An Educator’s Journey to Understanding Consciousness in Teaching

In a new segment of the “Voices of eLearning” podcast, hosts JW Marshall and Leena Saleh spoke with author and educator Komal Shah about his book, “Raise Your Hand! A Call to Consciousness in Education,” and the consulting advice she had for educators who wanted to know how to integrate awareness into their classrooms.

Shah began his career in education with Teach for America, a national nonprofit organization that aims to create more teachers for schools nationwide. She taught at California colleges for five years before realizing she thought there was more to contribute.

“By my fifth year, I had kind of gone through teaching stages, which is usually a survival mode…. and I felt like I wanted to do more, but it wasn’t going to happen in class,” Shah said.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Shah went back to school to get a business degree and started her education consulting business. During this time, Shah wrote her book, which was published last fall, and discovered her true passion and the new doors her book opened for her.

“I just feel like that’s what I’m supposed to do. I would say the best part was connecting with people all over the world,” she said.

Shah explained how the feedback on her book has been enlightening because her fellow educators often tell her what they have benefited from and what people tell her the most. ”

You’ve finally put into words everything that I’ve been thinking about for so many years as an educator,” and I think that’s so powerful that you can write something or create something and it can resonate with anyone. ‘one in a way he didn’t even know. was possible,” Shah said of what educators told him.

It is his belief that awareness in classrooms begins with educators, and more importantly, how informed and aware they themselves are. Shah added that staying mindful self-care was the single most important factor that helped her access mental space which obviously led her to become a better teacher. After spending time on his self-care, the first people to notice him were naturally the students.

“There were times of frustration and stress, but I was able to react instead of reacting because I was taking care of myself first,” Shah said.

Shah said these are some of the many things educators can do to ensure a fully functioning classroom and teaching experience.

In his book, Shah notes that the ongoing professional development of teachers and their participation in workshops plays an important role in building awareness that will help them achieve this. But also remind teachers to remember their own experiences as students and how to apply this change.

“I always say if we’re going to be aware of what we’re doing in today’s space, we have to kind of go back in time and understand why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Shah said.

More episodes in this series:

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