How might we access more of our selves in our teaching practice?
How might our teaching practice -- especially the more challenging days in the life -- help us befriend and re-learn more of our own story?
How might we better understand what our colleagues bring to their teaching practice -- and (gasp!) even learn from them?
My first experience of the Enneagram was during my year-long CPE (clinical pastoral education) as a Hospice chaplain. We (my fellow chaplain residents, guided by our CPE supervisors) met weekly to debrief, compare notes, cry real tears, share best and worst practice -- and, all the while, watch ourselves and our "habit energies" at play. The Enneagram helped us at every stage as we learned to stop playing the part, and actually tried to become... more fully ourselves.
The Enneagram not only offers intimate knowledge of our various personality types, but also helps us (in the words of Riso and Hudson, co-authors of The Wisdom of the Enneagram)"catch ourselves in the act" -- that is, to better understand how and when we get stuck in self-defeating narratives, blame games, emotional states, and practices that just don't teach.
The beauty of the Enneagram is that it draws wisdom and insight from all spiritual traditions, names equal measures of genius and crazy in all of us -- and works inward/outward from the premise that awakening and integration and transformation are all out there for us.
I"m thinking aloud here, but....
- What if teachers at a school had a half-day to learn something about the Enneagram (hopefully under the watchful eye of someone with experience using this tool), take an Enneagram test (or two) -- and the right blend of structured activities and personal reflection time to mull/contemplate/wonder how their "number" (I'm a "9" with a strong "1" wing, for example) might be the stumbling block and the open gate towards a life of deep learning?
- What new insights between new and long-time teacher-collaborators (I'm thinking within a school, and across the Twittersphere) might be had if each knew a bit more about what made them and the other "tick"?