When we met in mid-February 2013 for our opening conversations, I mentioned then that I was feeling an edgy excitement about this learning community. What we were beginning was a little unconventional for higher education and, frankly, not well understood by many. Hence, my edginess. The excitement? It turns out, it’s for these same reasons that I was, and am still, excited about this collaborative work between our two institutions.
While we shared with everyone a long and full set of notes from our opening sessions, I offer here an abbreviated version that I hope gives you a sense of our beginnings.
Twenty-three faculty and staff participated in one or more of three sessions during the week of February 11, 2013. Key themes that emerged from our opening conversations included:
We heard, “I hope the focus is on students.” And, “I would like to help students to learn to be fully present.”
We heard, “I would like to explore what each of these ideas is. What personal value does each have, and what value does each have to students?”
“I am interested in learning how to incorporate mindfulness in the classroom. How do we move from mindful teaching to teaching mindfulness?”
We heard, “I am very curious about what resources are available.” And, “I would like to learn from the other participants in this learning community by sharing our experiences.”
And so we begin.