Tactile Aid

I remember spending a day in modern class during my senior year of college exploring tactile aid.  My teacher knew that many of us would find ourselves in teaching positions in the near future, and therefore she felt it was important to spend a day on this topic that is often forgotten or overlooked.  This day emerged from my long term memory last week while I attended the NDEO conference.  I attended a class about “using partnering exploration to enhance the learning environment.”  The focus of the class was on partnering exercises students could do together to better understand their own bodies, and the human body in general.  Although I found the exercises valuable, it also made me think about the “partnering” that happens regularly between teacher and student.  It is common for me to use my hands to help a student lift an elbow, rotate a leg, or find her true second position.  However, I thought about how I perhaps do not often enough think about how I am using my touch and energy.  In Oakland’s class we partnered each other with the words push, pull, drape, resist, support.  I never thought about how a gentle pull can help a limb feel more relaxed and placed.  “support” is  something I do often.  I cannot think of the last time I “pulled” a student.