Friday, January 28, 2011

Blogging on the bus...

I have a forty-five minute service bus ride to school each morning and a one - one and a half - two - two and a half hour ride home depending on traffic on the TEM motorway system. I live in the centre of Istanbul - Cihangir and I work on the outskirts of the city beyond the suburb called Hadimkoy. My IICS colleagues and I share this trip every day. We have become very good at looking out for signs of a traffic jam - the simit seller, the water seller, the mobile phone recharger seller - we have seen drums, flowers, bananas and even disco balls sold. The men selling these things stand in the middle of the crawling traffic. The thing is they must actually make some money - why else be there? They also must be very good at judging where and when to hit the stalled commuters. They meet a need at the time of the need.

I need to learn some lessons from them. They appear when the traffic slows and gets stuck. I need to be available to my students when this happens to them. I do believe that the best learning happens at the point of need. The trick is for me to get good at judging when the traffic flow is slowing and to make the most of the opportunity of a 'teachable moment'.