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Teacher's Pay Conversations Project

What have I been irresponsibly non-verbally communicating to our teachers nationwide?*

I've had at more than 100 "teachers" throughout my life; and probably, like yourself, I can recall only two whom I experienced as being truly influential, inspiring and effective. John Gray, my high school track coach and Werner Erhard (founder of est Training, The Hunger Project, and The Forum) —John for being the space in which I discovered that I was good at running; as co-captain of the track team I had to maintain at least "C"s, —and Werner, for creating space for me to know, to not know, and to be (no small gifts). 

What must take place between me and another for me to say that our interactions were influential, inspiring and effective? For me it's communication. It wasn't until age 32 (1972) while attending Werner Erhard's est Training, did I discover, with immense pain and sadness, that I had never been in communication with anyone. This statement is all the more significant, almost unbelievable, when you know of my unique childhood and educations (read about me).

What I had not known was that I had been communicating my dissatisfactions with an education system in which I had been able to consistently con everyone, orphanage headmasters, innumerable social workers, counselors, clergy, teachers and the world's finest military's instructors and commanders, without having to study; without ever having an experience of being with anyone.  Within the first hour of the 60 hour est Training, with my B.A. and M.A. degrees in Speech-Communication tattooed on my very countenance, I raised my hand to "ask" Werner a question. Werner replied, "Sit down Kerry. You're so full of shit." In the dozens and dozens of Werner events I've participated in since then I have never heard him say that to anyone .** It was the first time anyone had acknowledged my act, someone who got me, someone willing to communicate a truth no one had effectively delivered. I say "ask" but I was showing off how much I knew. wink

The above helps explain why, as a communication-skills coach, I find it valuable to make a distinction between talking and communicating.  Most of us have mastered talking, we succeed and survive though talking; however, you've noticed that talking doesn't work well when it comes to producing happiness or joy or ecstasy. As educators (not teachers) we talk to students which causes universities to have to offer remedial composition and comprehension classes for 25% of the nation's college freshmen.

* The bottom line, as to what I've been communicating to my former teachers and teachers everywhere, is—I still don't know how to have mutually satisfying communications with educators. And so, I've been sitting down; like yourself I'm non-verbally intending that teachers continue pathetically begging for pay raises until they bravely get into communication with students and parents. There are millions and millions of students like myself (with poor penmanship, comprehension, composition, and math skills) who are not in-communication with anyone, at home or school. We are still offering ineffectual communication classes to education and health care majors and I'm at a loss as to how to effect a transformation.

** Although it's a communication most need to hear it can only be delivered successfully with love and impeccable integrity.

More to come

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