Teaching any class forces you to really think about and examine what you know, but teaching a class that speaks a different language than you pushes you to up your game in whole different way. Because I have been teaching SIPS classes for a few years now, teaching levels 1 & 2 doesn’t really stress me out anymore. I know these levels inside and out and while I won’t say that I could teach them in my sleep, I have dreamt entire workshops before (because yes, I am the kind of person who literally dreams about kinesiology). Teaching them with an interpreter working by your side is a whole different animal. Now that I have had the chance to teach there twice and present at a conference, I feel equipped to share a few of the things that make this kind of teaching a unique experience and what I have learned from it.
- Be clear and concise. Working with an interpreter naturally takes more time (let’s face it, everything is being said twice), but no-one wants to spend an extra 2 or 3 hours in class everyday to make up the difference. This means stripping down what you would normally say to the essentials. Teaching in this way means less stories and examples, but the point still gets across and the technique comes through. This serves as a reminder that it’s not a bad thing to say things as simply and clearly as possible. That there is value is brevity.
- The material must speak for itself. As in, you can’t rely on jokes and a sense of humor or a relatively charming personality to get you through because these things simply don’t translate. (Side point; the second time I taught in Russia, the interpreter I was working with was very good and therefore was able to convey much more of this than when I was there the first time. For this, I am extremely grateful!) This is easier when you are teaching a class, because theoretically you are presenting solid material. But it becomes trickier when presenting at a conference when you have limited time to engage an audience. You have to figure out what the commonalities are and work from there, offering something of value rather than just being entertaining.
- Working on people in session where we can’t communicate very well was an extremely positive experience and one that proved the efficacy of what we do in a new way. For example, I would find an emotion that was creating stress in the body via muscle testing, put it into circuit (kinesiology speak, sorry) and work with the appropriate SIPS points and watch as the person had an emotional release; crying, shaking turning colour, etc. Now, I 100% believe that kinesiology works, or I wouldn’t pour myself into it the way that I have; but it is lovely to prove it to myself again. I’m not saying the words, “There is an emotion of sadness stored here,” and then watching people cry; all I’m doing is thinking it and touching the points and they cry. I know it may sound here like the point is to make people cry – that’s not it. What I’m saying is that, without being able to communicate what I am finding with the muscle testing, people are responding to it and that, to me, shows again that it is not a placebo effect or the power of suggestion, but a real change. After working with students in the evenings, I would take my session notes to class the next day where the interpreter was graciously helping me explain them to the student. They were amazed by what was there without them giving me any background information. Sometimes we need an experience like this to remind ourselves of the power of the tools we have in our hands.
My experiences presenting in Moscow have been incredibly positive. I was blown away by the warmth, kindness and generosity of the students; how happy they were to have something new brought into their area, how gracious they are as I mangle their beautiful language in an attempt to learn it! Presenting and working in different places sharpens and hones our skills, but these ideas could be applied for anyone teaching and presenting anywhere: Make your message as clear as possible, find the value in what you have to offer, prove to yourself again that it works.
If you can do these things while eating vareniki, then consider it a bonus.