Wednesday, October 14, 2009


So maybe I have Bruce Tuckerman to blame to for the cone of semi-silence within which my class has been operating.

In 1965 Mr. T. invented the stages of group dynamics -- "forming" where the group starts to get to know each other, "storming" where there is jockeying for leadership positions, "norming" where the group essentially finds its stride, and "performing" where the group starts actually doing what it came together to do (apparently several years later he added "adjourning" - must have been a slow moving group).

Yes, I know it's more accurate to say he described them rather then invented them, but that seems to somehow absolve him of responsibility. No no no.
The first week of class we did basic intros. This is me, this is you, this is what we're going to talk about. No, we won't have class the night before Thanksgiving, thanks for asking. Forming, check.

Commence storming.

Subsequent weeks started the review of why adults sometimes need communication systems other than speech, and how to figure out what that system should be. I'd review a Power Point slide and hear the "click click click" of notetaking on a lap top and not much else. Thoughts? No? Okay, moving on.

As the 2nd and 3rd weeks went buy I tried to bribe them into interaction with by forcing them to do interactive things (here, collobrate the eye gaze system for each other; hey, let's have a relay race to see which team can construct a sentence on a speech generating device using a switch.... whee!). I get a questions that have the undertone of "are you for real?". Other than that - crickets.

Weeks 4 and 5 come and go with a f e w talkers - a couple who have immediate concerns based on what they're doing in their clinical practicum and maybe, just maybe, a few who are starting to find all this stuff interesting. They have to talk to each other to present brief research projects and they mostly seem to be listening. A fun conversation about how icky trach care can be. A
few more questions emerge from new talkers. Hmmm.... maybe we're getting somewhere.

And then, tonight, boom. EVERYONE either asked a question, answered a question, or shared a thought. Woot. I think we're norming.

It's sooooo much more fun than the other junk.

No comments: