Saturday, March 10, 2018

Cues in Learning - #SOL18 - 3/10/18

 **I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 21 days remaining!

**Staring with a 'mea culpa' - I did not post yesterday. I had multiple things I could have written about, some of them quite fun, but I had an unsettled feeling about sharing anything yesterday. I don't know why; I lost my focus? I lost my desire? All I know is that I woke up this morning determined to begin again. So here we go!**

I am really thinking hard this morning about nonverbal and physical cues when it comes to learning.

Well, that was certainly a feminine way of sharing, "Please, no deeper on that leg press, please." 

These are being a little thug-like - telling me to, "Get the h*** out of there!"

The first comment was made by my trainer, Tami, today, after I had done squats, and then was on the leg press machine, with an immensely increased weight load. The body parts being defined as talking to her in a feminine way - my knees.

The latter comment was Tami referring to my groin muscles talking when doing some hip work on the table.

The thing that fascinates me about both of these comments is Tami got her feedback by having her hands on different parts of my body as I was doing my squats, leg presses, and hip work. She knew that my knees were protesting a bit, but were able to continue to get just a little bit deeper each time. However, during the hip work, there came a point where I could barely get my leg off the table. It was such a struggle - that earned the "thug-like" moniker.

None of this information came because I told her; she just paid attention, and checked in on my progress in multiple ways. She could both feel and see when I tired and my form began to deteriorate.

Which really had me paying attention to all the other training we did together today. When she wanted me to modify my posture or alignment, she would gently nudge me at the spot that needed readjustment. When she wanted me to work harder, I realized she puts her hand on my shoulder. When she wants me to stop an exercise or activity, she has a touch for that as well.

She always models what she would like me to do first, but then her teaching cues for me become far more non-verbal.

Just a little over 3 years of working with Tami, and I realize there is much she continues to teach me about modeling, scaffolding, nonverbal cues, and so much more.


  1. First of all, I had to reset my writing today as well. I posted yesterday, but it was more from discipline than from the heart. I need to get a routine going.

    Secondly, giving feedback is all about "reading" or understanding, without the person asking for it. Insightful parallel in the feedback from your trainer, and our role as teachers.

  2. We can always begin again. Glad you jumped right back into the fun.

  3. You've written about Tami before over the years and I'm so glad you find your time with her helpful not only physically but also mentally. Teaching isn't just in a classroom with kids. Keep working hard.

  4. First of all, I can relate to those training sessions and appreciate you noticing (and writing about) the subtle cues she gives you. I need to pay attention to that in my training sessions. I like the way you made the connection to teaching. What are those subtle cues we leave in the classroom?