Report of TTT Budapest, 2013 by Ivaylo Dimitrov

The TTT Budapest meeting was something that I did not expect to like. What I mean is that it exceeded the expectations that I had about how this type of collective work and how such an exchange should function. The way the TTT meeting was structured created an open space for sharing ideas and exchanging knowledge and experience, in a very open and free way without any competition and with support for each one of us within the group. We were invited to participate in an open structure that respected the group’s diverse quality. It was a gathering of teachers and performers with different backgrounds and lives, but with a common sphere of questioning: teaching, art, life. This brought us to the topic: “How can we create an open learning structure?” This was an important question for me and for the others, as I saw .We were looking for a method of personal development based on trust and respect, allowing both student and teacher to take responsibility in the teaching-learning dialogue. We shared the idea of the teacher being a facilitator in the process rather than a dictator and of the student, in addition to being a learner, very often being a teacher to the teacher. We discussed tools, ideas and methods that would bring about “expandable knowledge”, breaking barriers and allowing access into the unknown, through the horizontal sharing process. I believe that the limits (how far one may go) depend on the flexibility of both sides.
From the discussion on how to create a better educational programme arose an issue related to the question of creating a “better teacher”. The following values were revealed to be important qualities in a teacher:
-    flexibility and the ability to learn constantly, remaining in a state of constant change
-    ability to bring grace to the space, the “classroom” or home stage
-    patience and understanding that the learning process is a time investment on both
sides, for both student and teacher
-    courage to take risks and face challenges
-    maturity to relate art with life / life with art
-    diversity and an interdisciplinary approach in the context of contemporary art
-    ability to manage politics within educational institutions - ability to acknowledge the difference between “art of teaching” (pedagogy) and “teaching art” (teacher as an active artist)

TTT was also an open lab for collective experiments to test our questions and hypotheses. Looking to find connections between pedagogy, creation, performance and life, we tried out a variety of schemes, improvisations, games and teaching sessions. I loved this process of sharing very much. We place ourselves as teachers in performance mode through some scenes where we played both sides of the teacher-student relationship. That allowed us to question the roles that we often play, being in the position of teacher in our home environments and institutions. I also had the opportunity to lead a short teaching session within the framework of “10-minute teaching propositions” for each member of the group, in addition to a 30-minute warm up-class. I proposed ideas that were also related to my own research about time perception and the somatic approach to dance training. This process greatly enriched my experience, because I could practice my teaching method in a new environment. I could also share my artistic material with colleagues from other countries and receive constructive feedback.
The opportunity to exchange knowledge and practices, to dance together, to reflect and to receive feedback were integral parts of the “open learning structure” that served as a catalyst in my learning process. The TTT meeting was very interesting and challenging as a process with its own group dynamic and flow, informed by discussions, feedback, performing states, and the essence of individual identity. In a very graceful way, the group become like a mirror for me. I have learned a bit better how to pose questions in my own work and to communicate them to others. My experience in the group dynamic itself became a teacher, together with the issues and topics we were attracted to.
This process has encouraged me to re-evaluate and challenge my aims and values as a teacher, as an artist–creator, an educator and a human being.

This was great experience.

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