[Aaaargh. Just wrote an epic personal response to this and then for some reason the browser refreshed automatically and wiped it! Rewriting it again, but briefer, lucky you! Less to read!]
YAALFing and ALFing
@tomis I hear you on this project. Definitely there will be students who will want to move into an ALF role down the track. I could name them for you now as a prediction, but I won’t. I think that is both a big part of the work we are doing with this style of education (read: empowerment) and also is likely to offer the community the best possible ALFs (these kids will have YEARS on us).
There is also the added bonus that it will create a clear alternative goal and pathway for students that want to get deep into this work. This will reward the community immediately as we see people (not naming names) who are already engaging in the work becoming clearer in their own challenges and next steps (i.e. for learning to hold spaces sacred, coping with bullying, leading so that others can lead etc).
I see hear a friction in my own process of becoming a more fully engaged and active ALF. It is both my role to learn HOW TO lead students to create more open and collaborative space, AND TO support the kids to DO THIS themselves.
This can be seen in the tensions:
Should I focus on modeling my passion OR finding and firing up their passion?
Should I speak now about something I see as a problem OR support the kids in noticing this themselves if it happens?
As a new ALF should I be seeking more opportunities to lead the group (in set the week etc) OR should I be holding silence for students to see the opportunity to lead themselves?
I recognise that these are not binaries (I will discover students interests because they will be interested in my own), but these questions hover over most indirect discussions/interactions I have (oh, you love comics and sci-fi? want to go to a comic store?).
Proposal: we need to make explicit which spaces and when new ALFs are being supported to lead and when we are looking to the kids to lead.