If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn – Charlie Parker
Ok, it’s way about time I take a good hard look at my wishes, hopes, and dreams. How can I move towards a better future unless I define what I wish, hope, and dream for it?
I know that I can be a good leader. I’ve been floating for the past month or so though. I’ve been letting things slide in my classroom, I’ve been hiding from my work, I haven’t been digging deep into the planning of what my students need or what I need.
On Monday I will be back to teaching after this holiday break, and on Tuesday I will be back in the classroom myself as I begin my PhD studies.
My wishes, hopes, and dreams?
Courage – to keep pushing the envelope with my kids and myself. To not let ourselves get too comfortable because I know that true learning needs discomfort. And to stand up tall in the discomfort and plug away even harder.
Strength – to keep my vision clear and to not let it be chipped away by criticism (“that’ll never work”)
Structure – to keep my focus I will need to build and maintain a solid structure to help balance my PhD work, my work with the kids, my personal life
Fun and Laughter – without that, all else is useless :)
I’ve also been thinking of a recent conversation I was in over at EdTech Journeys about coaching. I love the coaching I receive from my online community, but I also feel the need for some personal interaction – a phone call, a meeting over coffee…on some days over something a bit stronger.
One of the wonderful things about blogging is communicating with others all over the world. I realize, though, that I have not encountered anyone else from Montreal here! It’d be lovely to meet with some of my blogging friends in person, to add another dimension to the reading/writing relationship that I cherish, to add depth to the conversations, to add some soul.
I’ll leave this post now, thinking about how to turn that last dream into something real…and welcoming any other suggestions…feeling reflective at the beginning of this new year
Metamorphosis, no better metaphor for this.
mp3 No Compromises originally downloaded from: FREE THE P! Palestine Takes NYC’s East Village by Storm, article by Remi Kanazi, The Electronic Intifada, 17 October 2005 is from www.freethep.com compilation which is a fundraiser for the film Slingshot Hiphop ! Many thanks to Invincible for allowing its use here.
Powered by ScribeFire.
Thanks for the in depth clarification. I see what you mean now. Your students sound just like mine. i just never thought about learning and discomfort because I thought the discomfort stopped the learning, and I needed to do something to stop the discomfort so that learning can continue. Over the years, I have often asked myself when things aren’t just peachy in the classroom for me or the kids “What can I do to change the situation so that I can continue to do something that I love to do?” I guess I’m motivated by discomfort, but I just never realized it. Thank you for helping me realize it. I thought I was motivated to change things because it wasn’t working for the kids and that’s what I want to happen. I want them to learn and grow as students and as people.
I think you’ve hit the nail right on the head when you say that kids will give things a try if they trust you. I’ve found that time and time again, and I work hard to develop a relationship with them that is based on trust and respect. I trust and respect them and then they in turn trust and respect me. I have to prove myself to them first before they will trust and respect me. I don’t get respect automatically just because I’m a teacher. They test me to see if I’m real. It’s not easy, but worth the effort.
Tracey, love your response about being uncomfortable. I’m with you in that I have come to recognize that feeling as an indication that I need to change-either my perceptions, thinking, or practices. Yes, you must push through when met with initial resistance with students. That is precisely when the relationship you built with them comes into play. They might not believe in the assignment at first, but, if they believe in you, they’ll trust you to give it a try.
I’m glad things are looking up. It’s amazing what can happen with some R&R under our belts. Proves the need for work/life balance, doesn’t it?
Hi Elona, and thanks for the question.
Learning and change are synonymous for me. When learning happens, changes occur, and when changes occur there is a period of slight (to great) dis-accord while what I once knew and was incorporates new knowledge and behaviours.
As a teacher, I can be uncomfortable when my expectations are not met – for example when I plan a unit and it just isn’t working for my students or when my students aren’t performing to my pre-set expectations or when something I have done a whole bunch of times before with success just doesn’t work. It is at that point that I need to change my behaviours and it is not always easy to do! It can involve a period of disorientation when I just don’t know what to do anymore and if I explore that feeling of discomfort…that is where great learning can take place.
Dr. Marilyn Taylor of the Canadian Institute for Research and Education in Human Systems calls this The Learning Red Zone. She writes, “The challenge of the red zone is self-inquiry about the nature of the disorienting experience and pursuit of learning from it.” (from Critical Challenges of the Learning Red Zone, Feb. 2004 found here: http://www.innovation.cc/peer-reviewed/taylor-emp.pdf)
As a teacher, part of my job is teaching my students to negotiate that red zone so that they are not overwhelmed by it but can learn through it, much like you did by providing your students with graphic organizers to help them organize information from the film you watched in class.
Sometimes (ha!), when I do something new with a group there is a lot of resistance (why do we have to do this? this is stupid! I’m not doing this crap!). If I give up as soon as there is resistance, nothing new is learned. But if I keep pushing, just the right amount at just the right times, eventually students may embrace the new ways of doing things and learn something new.
Hmmm…a long winded response. I hope it answers your question!
Good luck with your own studies and with your classes. Could you please expand a bit on the notion that “true learning needs discomfort”? I’m not sure I understand.
Good luck to you, Tracy. I tell you, after today, I feel reallllly good about teaching today. Same kids, same attitude, better relaxation. It’ll be OK.
Congrats on the new beginning, Angie!
I’m craving the every day kind of hook up – the “I need some strength now, can we meet to talk this afternoon?” kind of meetings.
An edublogger’s convention would have all that stronger an impact if we could supplement it throughout the year with everyday, informal discussions between people who care about and love teaching and learning.
Ditto, ditto, ditto. I begin my Ed.D. today. I’m no longer in the classroom, but wish for the same things when I begin my journey as a campus administrator. I too wish for a place to meet in person all the wonderfull people who continually add to my knowledge. An educator blogger’s convention?
2 Trackbacks and Pingbacks