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Harris and Garrison reflect on “Tools for Maximum Engagement”

September 4, 2012

Torrin Garrison and Stacey Harris, kindergarten teachers at Cottonwood Creek, attended Eric Jensen’s workshop about Tools for Maximum Engagement this summer.  This was made possible because of the educator summer scholarships they received from CGA.  Want to learn more about tools for maximum engagement?  Please read on.

Eric Jensen taught us that each of us have a large variety of states including Emotions, Bodily Sensations, Metabolic Energy States, and Attitudes.  In order to obtain complex learning, our brains need to be in positive learning states.  Any given state can last for seconds or minutes while moods can last for hours or days.  It is our job as educators to be able to manipulate the learners state in order to maximize learning.  As printed in the Tools for Maximum Engagement book,  “There is no such thing as an unmotivated student…..Only a student in an unmotivated state!”

In order to effectively change states of the learner we need a good template on how to get the students brain ready to learn.  There are a multitude of strategies to get the learner in a preferred state.  A Template acts as a box in which to hold all of the strategies.  If a teacher sticks to the same strategy alone it will become boring and ineffective to the learner.  We need a good template or formula for generating all of the strategies we could ever want.

(We) really have learned so much through this training.  It was very inspiring and (we) can’t wait to use the information that (we) learned, and share it with others.  Thank you CGA for allowing us to go.

Torrin Garrison and Stacey Harris
Kindergarten Teachers
Cottonwood Creek Elementary

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