Two weeks ago a colleague and I freaked ourselves out discussing “What is touch?”. We did some googling and laughed about this being the planning for our next lessons.
Fast track to this morning and a pastoral class was born. We’d been exploring Body Image and I’m always wondering the effect this kind of class has, does our talking help?
I had an idea to prime their minds with “What is touch?” and then use that mental state to explore another question.
It went like this:
- Start sitting together on the floor
- Whole class focusing/meditation exercise
- Prompt asked by teacher: “What is touch?”
- 1 min silent reflection
- share your thoughts with people around you
- tell me something you heard while I write it up on the whiteboard (all nice and easy, no debate, we all agreed: contact, meeting, things coming together, etc)
- then we watched this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE8rkG9Dw4s
- Got into a circle on the floor and had a huuuge discussion
“But the makeup comes off my face and goes on the wipe! It must be touching!”, ”Are you saying Audrey doesn’t get wet when she goes in the pool?!”, “How do my clothes stay on?”, “If I fall off a building do I touch the footpath?”, “What about the blood, that must be touching my face!”.
We’d moved from complete agreement to questioning reality in about 4 minutes (we didn’t watch the whole video because we got bored – 5 minutes is so, like, 2011).
At the start I’d explained we’re doing this as an exercise to open our minds then we’d apply that mental state to another question.
So I asked: “Can you change another person? Can you change the way they think?”
Another 1 minute silent reflection, applying our open state of mind to this stimulus, then…
Lots of opinions:
“You can change people by being an example of right behaviour.”
“People don’t really change, essentially they remain the same.”
“You can tell someone what to do. Like my Mum told me not to speak so unkindly to my sister and now I’m not going to do that anymore…and she confiscated my phone.”
“Temporary change is possible…sometimes.”
One thing that came up was you can only have an influence if the person wants to change.
Then I asked the class to contemplate “What could you offer someone who wants to change?”
And with that we filled our hands with chalk and hit the concrete:
Who knows what impact we had?