I am going to a facilitator training for a support group I belong to today. From what I understand, the focus is on how to be a part of a group and help move conversations forward, not allowing any one person or topic to dominate. I know I will get a lot out of this, both in my personal life and in my classroom. So often we only hear from a few students/ people. Not sure if the others don’t have an opinion ( I can’t imagine) or don’t feel confident to share. In any case- I will post back after the training to share.
About 15 people attended, all from the group. The focus was to learn how to appropriately facilitate small groups, keeping the conversation moving, making sure no one dominates and everyone is heard. It reminded us to take out the emotion out of it and to be objective. It is amazing that adult learners and student learners essentially need the same thing.
We all want to be heard, to be acknowledged and having guidelines to help us communicate is foundational. In my classroom, I worked on expectations and continue to work on them, but being here today makes me think, “What more can I do to make sure everyone is heard?” As in most situations, I have the same 4 or 5 students who share regularly. What would it look like to set/remind of guidelines before every sharing session? In class, we are talking about themes and point of view, but still, not all students share. How am I facilitating? Am I limiting some so that all can have a voice? Am I making it comfortable for all students? Are those who do not want to share still learning from others?
My time was well spent today. Not only do I have a better sense of how I can be part of my adult group, I have some inspiration on how I can better facilitate in my classroom and I am grateful. “What do YOU think the author was trying to say?”