I closed my last post with this quote from the stunning Invincible:
And post-post discussion (aka comments, I guess) is gravitating around the concept of discomfort and learning.
I am propelled to reflect on both the quote and the discussion.
I have not been feeling comfortable lately in the classroom. Before the holidays I was burnt out and definitely not pushing myself to do anything novel with my students – almost questioning my decision to return to teaching. My back went out, I took sick days.
Metamorphosis, no better metaphor for this….
Change is not easy.
I have been suffering in my discomfort.
Change is not easy. For me, my students, the attendant in my classroom.
I’ve worked with teaching assistants before, but never with one who is in my classroom 24/7 and who was there for a couple of years with a different teacher before I got there AND who is bound by union regulations to certain activities. I’ve worked with students with disabilities before, but never such a diverse group as I am working with now.
I am becoming a different teacher. Metamorphosis, no better metaphor for this….
To do this, I need to balance:
I read Jose’s post The Great Dissenters and I think of the discomfort the teachers in his school are experiencing and I think of the potential for learning and change if it is examined more closely by more people, in the way that Jose is starting to do – with a balance of reflection and action.
I read Elona’s post Helping Kids with Learning Disabilities Change Negative Habits of Mind and I am witness to the balance of reflection and action as a result of discomfort that led to learning.
I read Pete’s post I Don’t Want to be the Bad Guy and I am reminded of the choices I make everyday and how I can choose to explore my struggles and discomfort in order to learn and change ….or…not.
And I reread Marilyn Taylor’s work (2004) on learning and change and remind myself:
“The challenge of the red zone [discomfort, disorientation] is self-inquiry about the nature of the disorienting experience and pursuit of learning from it.”
And even though I read and remind myself about all of that….
…change still remains a 6-letter 4-letter word a lot of the time. Luckily I don’t mind swearing once in a while.
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