I love this door mat for its sheer creativity! I give a tip of the hat to the person who came up with this idea.
Speaking of mats, there were some creative mats in my life this past week, some place mats to be more exact.
I had the privilege this week to teach The Better Plan 1 course here at Pacific Union College, a summer class I have now taught for 10 years in a row. The Better Plan (also the name of this blogsite) is an experiential class in choice theory for educators. This summer, teachers in the class came from California, Arizona, and Oregon.
It has been a very special week for me (alumni of the class will know what I am talking about) and now I am sitting in the class reflecting on our experiences and our discussions. The tables and chairs are empty, yet I have a distinct memory of each person in the class sitting at their usual place. I see them even now. I think about their journey this week and the shifts that began to take place in their thinking. The room become a kind of sacred place as people shared about their lives and their challenges, a sacredness that for me still remains as I sit here and think about all we did and said. I shared of myself, too; my thinking has shifted, too.
I yearn for everyone in the class to be fully grown in their choice theory understanding and hope that we covered everything needed for choice theory expertise. Just as quickly, I know that we didn’t cover everything, and that even if we had covered everything expertise in choice theory takes time. Glasser himself said that “choice theory is easy to understand and hard to do.” I hope that students in the class this week will 1) recognize the week as a beginning, 2) be patient with themselves as they experiment with the choice theory ideas, and 3) continue to seek resources that will support them in the choice theory journey. Resources include books by Glasser and other authors on choice theory, as well as, for example, The Better Plan blog you are reading now. Also, I have found that Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy are a huge part of the choice theory journey for me.
On the last day of the class, early in the morning, I took a few pictures before anyone else arrived. I like hanging out in a classroom pleasantly cluttered with learning. One of the ideas that seemed to work well this week had to do with place mats. Everyone received a small poster, or place mat, that they could doodle on and, in whatever they wanted, capture important thoughts or concepts that were important to them. I explained that except for one thing that I wanted them to include, they could put anything they wanted on it. The one thing I requested they include on their place mat was the How the Brain Works chart. (The Chart as the Glasser “family” affectionately refers to it as.) There is something about creating or drawing something yourself that strengthens the learning, I think.
And so, while the Better Plan 1 class ends, the choice theory journey really begins. For some the journey will continue with The Better Plan 2 class that kicks off on Monday. Looking forward to our time together!