Susan talks about the redesigned 4th edition - with connections to the 7 CHAKRAS
- Susan Schwartz
Are you wondering how our 4th edtion came to be? It has been an interesting and exciting learning journey! When Mindy and I secured our rights back (upon mutual agreement) from Pearson Canada this past November, 2019, we set about the task of revising our CREATING THE DYNAMIC CLASSROOM as a 4th Edition. Since we had always worked with a big publishing company, we decided this time to go a different route and self-publish. We wanted to make our work very accessible in digital format and in print, to be more readily affordable to all teachers, as well as to reach a wider audience. We explored Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing and decided to redesign our work as a SERIES of 5 texts featuring the 5 Parts as in our 3rd Edition (2018). We agreed that each Part would become an individual ebook or paperback on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com, and hopefully also worldwide.
Based on my recent experiences with yoga, meditating, and Reiki, I saw unique connections between our work and the 7 chakras, originating in Eastern spiritual traditions. The 7 chakras are believed to be the main internal energy centres of the body, and each chakra, beginning at the base of the spine to the crown of the head, is said to govern a different part of life. Chakra means ‘wheel’ or ‘circle’, and you can envision the chakras as wheels or spinning discs of free-flowing positive energy. It is thought that when our chakras are open, energy can run through them freely, and harmony exists between the physical body, mind, and spirit. Today, Western thinking describes the function of the chakras as linking to our psychological, physical, emotional, and spiritual energies.
We discuss here each of the 7 chakras and their locations on the body, their associated colours, and the connections we see to our 5 book covers, text content, and website.
The colour of the first chakra, the Root chakra, is red. This chakra is located on the body at the base of the spine. Its energy is based on the earth element, and is associated with the feelings of safety, security, and grounding, as well as support, trust, and building a strong foundation for living our lives. The cover colour of BOOK 1: Creating an Inclusive Classroom Atmosphere is an earthy red colour. This text contains essential information about the root or foundation of effective and dynamic teaching. Without an inclusive classroom atmosphere as the base of their teaching, teachers have a challenging time with their students and parents.
The colour of the 2nd chakra, the Sacral chakra, is orange. This chakra is located a little below the navel in the lower abdomen. Its energy is based on the water element and implies fluid energy. The sacral chakra informs us how we relate to our emotions and the emotions of others. It also governs creativity. Those with a blocked sacral chakra could feel a lack of control in their lives. The cover of BOOK 2: Planning an Engaging, Dynamic, and Inclusive Curriculum is orange. We could say that the planning process for engaging and inclusive teaching are essential aspects of dynamic teaching, and without careful long range, unit, monthly, weekly, and daily lesson plans, teachers would feel a lack of control in their classrooms. Also, planning such an engaging curriculum entails creativity and emotional energy.
The colour of the 3rd chakra, the Solar Plexus chakra is yellow. This chakra is located on the body just above the navel and below the sternum. It is associated with the element of fire, which links to the sun, light, heat, and power. It functions as the centre of energy associated with ego. It is the source of personal power, self-mastery, self-belief, and self-worth – the ability to master your thoughts and emotions, overcome fear, and take appropriate action in a situation. The cover colour of BOOK 3: Creating Effective Assessing, Evaluating, and Reporting Practices is yellow. This text contains important information about assessing, evaluating, and reporting to parents, and we can say here that teachers are taking appropriate action to develop their students’ self-mastery and self-worth. When students are assessing their own work and are self-reflecting on how to improve their learning and growth, they are developing independent thinking and self-discipline, taking responsibility for their own learning, and becoming more self-confident.
The colour of the 4th chakra, the Heart chakra, is green. This chakra is located at the centre of the chest. It is associated with the element of air. If the heart chakra is open, there is a good air flow, a healthy circulation, and the ability to love self and others. This chakra functions as the centre which governs relationships, friendships, and compassion, as well as self-acceptance and balance. The cover colour of BOOK 4: Creating a Student-Centred Literacy Classroom is green. This text contains essential information about literacy and language learning which could be said to be at the heart of teaching and learning. A student-centred and balanced literacy program and classroom involves thinking and learning with emotions from the heart, and helps to create good relationships and compassion towards oneself and others.
The colour of the 5th chakra, the Throat chakra, is blue. This chakra is located at the base of the throat, and is associated with the voice and communication, or the expression of ideas, thoughts, feelings, emotions, opinions, and truths. Not surprisingly, the Throat chakra is associated with the element of sound. The cover colour of BOOK 5: Lifelong Learning - Your Career in Education is blue. The connections between this text and the Throat chakra are clearly evident because BOOK 5 contains strategies for presenting oneself in writing (in resumes, cover letters, thank you letters, portfolios/eportfolios, etc.), and in communication as a professional (during employment interviews, meetings, etc.); as teachers, leaders, and collaborative team players.
The 6th chakra called the Third Eye chakra is located on the body at the forehead above and between the eyes, and is associated with the colours purple or deep indigo. This chakra is associated with the element of light and luminescence, as well as with intuition and imagination. The 7th chakra called the Crown chakra is located at the top of the head, and is associated with the colours violet or purplish white. This chakra is associated with the element of thought or consciousness, as well as with awareness, self-knowledge, and wisdom. Our CREATING THE DYNAMIC CLASSROOM series of 5 ebooks and paperbacks, as well as our new website, feature the colours purple and indigo as well as white – in the purple font and background colours on our website, in the indigo blue font colours of the headings in our ebooks, and in the white backgrounds of our website and texts. In our work, we strive to bring about light and conscious thought to make teaching and learning more accessible and effective.
We see the rainbow colours of the 7 chakras permeating our new edition of 5 texts and website. We believe it gives our new edition a unique depth of thinking, relating, and reflecting, as well as another layer of understanding for those who can see these connections. Also, since our BOOK 1 contains important information about yoga, meditating, and self-regulating strategies for students, we believe all of these connections are appropriate, as well as interesting. Additionally, the yellow cover of BOOK 3 matches the yellow flowers on the Home Page of our website. This provides a visual connection, and since it is the 3rd book of the series, it creates a sense of balance as it sits in the middle of the group of 5 texts. Additionally, the different photos of students and teachers in action on the website are colourful and engaging, which we believe all work together to represent our vision of a dynamic classroom. Enjoy!
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