Being with Erika: #09, “Making the Link”, London, 1993

I can no longer be sure of the chronology of all the following events as, after such a long time, the occasions Erika stayed with me for one or two weeks, spanning a period of some five years, have mostly blended into one.

It is interesting to record, however, the way she addressed some of the difficulties young teachers were having – rarely related to a technical question about ‘hands-on’ or what we normally think of as ‘use’, but something more existential.

To one she suggested taking up a craft, perhaps even getting a loom, recognising this person’s need for a creative outlet.

Another teacher who came told her of his constant planning inside his head from the moment he woke up in the morning. She got him to sit beside her and watch together in silence the planes flying into Heathrow airport in the distance. He told me later how, at some point, he felt the ground appear underneath him and all his tensions and worries just drain out of him; he ‘stopped’ – and came into being.

Some did come with very definite questions about this or that ‘procedure’; not being open to other possibilities, they missed an opportunity for another level of self-discovery.

One came with a question which was to capture very succinctly a problem which many had. “How do I make the link between what I have learnt in my training course – and do with my pupils – and my own ‘everyday’ life?”

I personally felt it important to pursue this theme of “making the link”; it also gave me some insight into Erika’s comment “all about teaching“.

© 2013 John S Hunter

Other Posts on Being with Erika:

#01, London 1985 – Annual Memorial Lecture
#02, Brighton 1988 – Key Note Address
#03, Melbourne 1991 – “Come for lunch!”
#04, Melbourne 1991 – Tea Ceremony
#05, Melbourne 1991 – Jean Jacques by the Sea
#06, Back in Melbourne, 1992
#07, “Where did you train?”, London, 1993
#08, “It’s all the same”, London, 1993
#10,  A Lesson in Stopping, London, 1993
#11, Hands, London 1994
#12, “Yes, but you’re worrying!”, London, 1993
#13, “Nothing special”, London, 1994

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