By Katie Mink, LAc, Senior Licensed Acutonics Faculty
At the onset of Shelter in Place, Laurie and I had so many questions about how we would go forward in teaching Acutonics in this new unknown situation. We already had 4 classes listed, and students signed up for each of them — What to do?
Fortunately for us, we have some wonderful students and friends who are tech savvy and have been trying to get us to teach by Zoom for YEARS. Some of them have moved to other countries and would feel disappointed that they couldn’t join a forum or take a class they were waiting for. This was the breakthrough they had been hoping for!
We had several trial sessions of teaching on Zoom with them, no holds barred in the critique we were given. This helped us immensely, so that on our first Zoom meeting, when more than 50 people attended (we were astounded and thrilled) we were able to truly focus on who was with us, and not on the technology that we could have crashed and burned with. Did I mention that we are truly famous for being non-tech selves? Having a super savvy co-pilot (co-host) made a huge difference. Thank you, Jill Keene!
Fast forward to May 11, we have taught 4 forums and 2 Acutonics curriculum classes, all of these had people participating from all over the world. Energetics of Points and Meridians was very well suited to Zoom. We chose hours that worked for everyone except the Hong Kong, India and Kuwait contingent, though 2 days of a start time of 3:00am and 5:00 am for Australia was a truly devotional act on their part. We also recorded each portion and had a list of what was covered. We got very good feedback on those recordings but had a little bit of snafu, remember to push “record” …!
What I have found is that I truly love teaching on Zoom! The challenges are that I love to connect in person, to see students’ eyes light up when the light bulb goes on, that AHA moment is so rewarding! I also love to feed people (the Demeter in me), so can’t do that online. But I found that when I told people I need them to be more obvious in their gestures to let us know they were getting the concepts that really helped. It was great to see people laughing even if we couldn’t hear them, because they were muted. And having people unmute themselves for questions worked really well. Everyone was so polite!
My only concern was how few questions students asked, even though we continually encouraged it. After day 2 or 3, they were more forthcoming.
The feedback we received was that people felt they could really concentrate well on Zoom. There were less distractions, we got right to the teaching and though there was less bonding between students, they really appreciated the laser focus. They liked that there was no travel time or expense involved. They LOVED that they didn’t have to stop their forward momentum in learning Acutonics because of COVID 19. They liked that the pieces were in meal-sized format (2 to 2 1/2 hour blocks with an hour in between). Students especially liked it when we scheduled Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday in the afternoons and partial early evening, so there was time for people who were working, time to celebrate Mother’s Day with brunch, etc.
We also taught Acutonics Level I on Zoom. This was a real learning curve for us, and in a very good way. It made us rethink how we present the information. We focused the treatments to be self-care. Quite a few of our students had kids at home with them, and some of the kids came forth quite readily to be treated by their parents during class. While I demonstrated a treatment on Laurie, many students would follow along on themselves. We had to get creative on many occasions, but that was fun for everyone. The students who took Level I will also come to meet in person with us when we can, so we can fulfill the practicum portion of the class. They like it enough that many have already signed up for Level II and III on Zoom.
I feel grateful to have learned this expanded version of teaching. So many students that live only 30 miles away have asked us to continue to teach forums this way because it is so convenient, and the information is so valuable. It also allows us to deepen the concepts that we often don’t have time for in our curriculum rich core classes.
I am truly excited by the many ideas we have on our list to present in the months ahead.
Katie Mink and Laurie Herron of West Coast Acutonics are Licensed senior faculty members offering the full Acutonics curriculum and many informative forums to enhance learning. They also host Acutonics Camp in Mt. Shasta, CA. Upcoming classes on Zoom include Acutonics Level II and III. Phone: 925-849-6006; Website: westcoastacutonics.com; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org