“We all learn in our own way, and by our own time clocks.” – Grace Pilon

Photos from WorkShop Way (TM). URL: http://www.workshopway.org

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We’ve been blogging about changing the world, or changing the world by changing ourselves.

Many have suggested that instead of the focus being on changing the world or changing ourselves, the focus should be on LOVE.

We are not talking about the popular culture version of love here. We’re certainly not talking about sensual love. We are talking “filios,” “brotherly love” or “sisterly love.”

We are talking about simply caring about others (say, children and students) in a genuine personal way, no matter what their academic performance is, no matter what their behavior is.

This is not easy. We do have to learn to love and respect ourselves first, completely, with our combination of strengths and weaknesses, as we learn to love students completely with their combination of strengths and weaknesses.

If love and respect are performance-based, if love and respect are conditional, they don’t work very well. Not safe. Not secure. No ultimate trust. Students need the trust to move ahead confidently.

Respect and love are effective!

And they are do-able.

Teachers or parents, for example, are not just simply purveyors of subject matter or rules.

In the classroom this translates, according to Grace Pilon, into paying attention to specific and obvious TRUTHS that apply to all of us, and certainly to students. She liked to see teachers put up LEARNING TRUTHS posters in their classrooms.

The LEARNING TRUTHS

  • We respect the rights of others.
  • It is intelligent to ask for help.
  • It takes courage to be willing to risk.
  • We are free to make mistakes while learning.
  • Everyone has a right to time to think.
  • We don’t have to know everything today.

These learning truths posters are not just for decorating the wall with “nice sayings.” The teachers refer to one or more of them daily, in the course of the day’s lessons, so that the students will learn how to apply them effectively. ……………………………………………………………………………………….

This applies to children in the home environment as well.

This needs more discussion in a future posting.

Filios, Doc Meek, Wednesday, June 16, 2010 (1st posting, morning)

Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

6 Responses to ““We all learn in our own way, and by our own time clocks.” – Grace Pilon”

  • Tami Huggins:

    When I took my first class about Grace Pilon’s Workshop Way I was a fifth grade teacher. I was frustrated in the classroom and was anxious to try Workshop Way methods. However, I really thought it would be a hard sell to my students, especially the Workshop Way philosophy signs I was suppose to post in my classroom:
    • We respect the rights of others.
    • It is intelligent to ask for help.
    • It takes courage to be willing to risk.
    • We are free to make mistakes while learning.
    • Everyone has a right to time to think.
    • We don’t have to know everything today.
    I was surprised and pleased by the students’ reaction. They already knew the truth of these statements and were relieved that they now had a teacher that believed and followed this philosophy.
    When teaching these truths to students, Grace Pilon taught the use of “Cushioning Language.” It is a series of questions directed to students before they make mistakes. For example, when introducing new concepts, the teacher always starts by asking students if they have to learn everything about the new concept today. The students are to respond that no one can know everything or that it takes time to learn things and they are just starting. Grace Pilon called it “Cushioning Language” because if you cushion before a student makes a mistake or doesn’t understand a concept right away, it will free the student from fear and they will be better able to learn.
    Tami Huggins, teacher

  • Tami, None of us will ever forget Grace Pilon, I hope! She was truly one of the educational greats, and a great classroom teacher as well. Maybe that’s why she is so influential in the eyes of teachers who know she taught the truth: she taught what she had carefully worked out through actual classroom experience with many students over many years. Grace was no “armchair” philosopher of educational methodology. She was a “dyed in the wool” classroom teacher with much experience, and more importantly, much love for the students in her care. And “in her care” are the right words to use. She really cared about her students, no matter what their marks were, and no matter what their conduct was. And the students knew she cared about them! I’ll bet you, Tami, have followed suit over the years, whether in your own classroom with your own students, or helping other teachers in their classrooms with their students. Love and Blessings, Doc Meek

  • Rosemary Flanigan:

    While I never met Sr. Grace, I was privileged to meet another teacher who shared the power of the Workshop Way. I was a kindergarten and 1st grade teacher and completely sold on Sr. Grace’s program. I couldn’t wait to begin the following year. The children loved it. It allowed the children to feel and know the strength of their abilities. Their parents couldn’t believe how independent they were and capable of completing their workshop.
    Now my 3 grandchildren (ages 5 and 4) are beginning home schooling with their mother (and a little bit of me,too) I hope we can incorporate Workshop Way for them as well. But it seems there are few places practicing this program. What a shame. Any there any in Florida? If so, I would be most grateful for their addresses and/or names. Thank you so much.

  • Dear Rosemary, I am so glad to hear from you! Your experiences with Grace Pilon’s Workshop Way are so excellent. Thank you for sharing that with us. For information on Workshop Way locations, contact the Workshop Way headquarters, which used to be in New Orleans and are now in Virginia.

    Here is their contact information which is at the bottom of every page on their current website:
    The Workshop Way®, Inc., 5004 Carterville Rd. Powhatan, VA. 23139; Phone: (804) 598-8938;
    Email: info@workshopway.org; Orders: orders@workshopway.org.

    Go to Workshop Way’s current website to see what they are doing by putting this link to them in your computer’s website address search box:

    http://www.workshopway.org

    Blessings and gratitude, Doc Meek
    https://docmeek.com

  • Susan Bostic:

    Many, many years ago 1981 to be exact I was new teacher under the direction of Sister Amelita Berringer in Espanola, New Mexico at St. Anne’s Catholic School. It was there that she trained me in the Workshop Way. I used it for many years and it was a wonderful way of organizing the learning environment in my classroom. Later I became a principal at a Catholic school but did not incorporate the Workshop Way in the classrooms. I am now back in the classroom teaching third grade and have had a bit of an awaking with all the new teaching strategies being implemented in the public school. I have since ordered Workshop Way manuals and am very excited to begin using it again. I have read the manual and memories came flooding back, memories of a productive, positive classroom.
    Thank You Sister Grace Pilon May You Rest in Peace. You Rock!

  • Dear Susan,

    I am very grateful that you have reminded us all of the value of a single child, of every single person in this classroom called earth.

    Many a child struggling in school (or simply bored to tears, struggling in a different way, eh?), has been saved by Grace Pilon’s Workshop Way.

    You can prove this for yourself by checking out any of these links:

    Official Website: http://www.workshopway.org/

    Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu4RT_IOyeE

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Workshop-Way/487160230516

    Academic Journal: http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_199009_harmin.pdf

    Doc Meek: https://docmeek.com/what-can-one-teacher-do/

    Not only is the child saved (revived, survived) in school, they grow up to become better parents at home (or wherever they work elsewhere), and better members of their communities, their churches, and everywhere they are in this… our common classroom…

    Mother Earth.

    Susan, thank you for pointing us to the nature of true education:

    It’s ripple-out effect, spreading its value in ever-widening circles—for all time and all eternity—and throughout the entire cosmos (known and unknown to mankind).

    And to womankind of course. :o)

    They (womankind) are what makes the world worth living in, and living for.

    Yes!

    Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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