Question Teaching, Practice Learning
( A daunted but determined teacher irons out the creases of her brain)
From when I first thought of it, the word Encounteract struck me as a kind of incantation. A wishful way of responding to the overwhelming, complicated and scarily accelerated problems at large in the world today. This was its conception in a very general sense.
En-counteract! En-counteract! Sparks fly! Bigots and trolls lose momentum and roll off the edge of the world, the alt-right implodes in a dramatic allergic reaction to intersectional feminism, decoloniality and black power!
Ok, well as a single word it probably would not have accomplished any of that – not by itself anyway – but it was well intentioned.
"I have started to see Encounteract as a doing word,
As a teacher I have also found the word useful as a way to think about my job. Teaching is a cyclically responsive series of actions, directed towards a seemingly endless supply of triggers and contexts. Encounter…act, encounter…act. The two states – of observing and responding - roll continuously into one as the teacher assess their student’s learning and their own teaching and then adapts their approach to try and engage new reactions from students. Students, similarly, observe and react to their teacher. I have started to see Encounteract as a doing word, but also as a state of being.
This is a blog about teaching in South Africa, but it is more specifically about MY experience of teaching in South Africa and how I contextualise and understand this experience through a personal, politicised lens. My opinions are my own. Unless otherwise stated or academically referenced I draw from observation and reflection.
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You’re welcome to Encounteract!