The most powerful tool I have available to me at this point is my passion for it (simply because I see it work for all of my students) and the support network Movement Method and Horse Boy offer. Being able to collaborate with people from around the world to problem solve, brainstorm, and bounce ideas off each other has proven to directly support what I do in the classroom and at the Air Force Academy with Veterans and their family. In addition, it feels like I am becoming part of a 'family/tribe' that truly deeply cares. In our days that is not easy to find. With this philosophy it seems, I can start making the difference I would like to see in our education system. My challenge, as I am certain is similar to many other people involved in this field, is to balance my life. There are just so many hours in the day and self- compassion is not one of my strong suits, but as we know necessary to not burn out and to be able to offer the support others need. Another challenge we face is a system that has a lot of red tape and moves slowly, if at all when ask to rethink and change. We need patience, and we need to realize that we might not see the big shift we would love to see. Looking at the smaller impact and appreciating that even changing one mind set is progress, will be something we have to focus on.
Despite the challenges, there are first steps that were easy to implement. I started by challenging myself to implement one well- developed lesson a week. I ensured that I set up an outsite environment, rule based games, supporting the academic I had to teach. Rupert Isaacson's comment during a training "Reframe what you usually do" was an eye opener, and I started looking at lessons from a different perspective. If I could do it with movement, outside, and student oriented, I started to take advantage of the more favorable environment for learning (Easily done and no permission needed) and students started to ask for it as well.The next step I took was changing my classroom environment eliminate common triggers. My least favorite is the lighting in any classroom. The fluorescent lights trigger everyone I know, but nobody really changes anything about it. So, going to Goodwill and picking up a couple standing lamps with soft white light made a huge difference, to the point where other teachers ask me why my class is so calm in the morning when they come in. Students often ask to not have the bright lights off, and it makes for a much better climate- again, no permission needed. Flexible seating was my next implementation to allow students to feel empowered and allow for collaboration when they choose to. This is a work in progress and there is more to come, but starting with little changes like this and realizing, not all your Movement leesons will work out perfectly; you will have some lessons that you will not want to do again, and you will have lessons that are absolutely amazing and opening students' mind. It is a learning process, but it is the right way to move forward in education and needs to be considered best practice!