Change The Story

Week 34 (of 38) – May 13 to 17, 2019

Oh wow… back-to-back weekly blogs of learning… and I am so grateful for the power of writing. It’s my #OneWord2019: Writing. Although my intentions to WRITE is more directed towards research, publishing, and writing the book about my mom, I appreciate the blog platform. THIS IS FORMATIVE. It’s a way for me to reflect, self-assess, and learn… aka. Assessment As Learning. Since returning home to the Sunshine Coast, I’ve been struggling with deep sadness and desperately wanting to get out of it. This lack of willingness to be vulnerable and take risks is holding me back from doing my work. It’s a little frustrating (for everyone). After writing my last blog entry, I’ve realized that my number one priority… what I value and believe in… is my kid. I am kid centric. I would not admit to helicopter parenting, but I do admit to being a WET BLANKET. I just want to smother her (with my love and attention). And, I would do anything to be with her.

My next priority is my pedagogical journey… aka. MY CAREER. I’ve been a secondary math teacher, school trustee, educational consultant, sessional instructor, and assistant professor. I will have to admit, it’s pretty tough to let go of my OLD STORY. In fact, I am just holding onto it as if my career depended on it. In some ways, it does. My history made me who I am today. That said, holding onto what was is preventing me from exploring and engaging with what could be. After attending CAfLN19 and NOIIE2019, I realized a few things: (1) I’m at the beginning. I have so much to learn. I am not the expert. (2) There is work to do. I am super excited about the potential research opportunities. I want to jump in and consider ADAPTIVE EXPERTISE, formative assessment, and Spirals of Inquiry. (3) Networking is key. I have met so many new people and reconnected with those I already know in the field. I have MENTORS!!!

As much as I am recovering from a VULNERABILITY HANGOVER… and realizing that students, their learning, and their learning experiences are my priority (next to my daughter and her wellbeing)… I need to outweigh what is possible from what is or was. Even entering a new workplace, I had to understand the workplace culture and practices to understand what I see. Basically, you have to learn more about “the story.” As much as I thought I could separate myself from the story, you get trapped in the story. I become part of the story. That story exists, but I also have my own stories. I am always the last to know my potential because of my damn stories. As much as I want to see change in the field and in my workplace, I have to start with MYSELF. We are back to Dr. Helen Timperley’s pre-conference message at NOIIE2019. What do I believe? I started this blog with the title of “Create a Story” but revised it to CHANGE THE STORY. Change the story.

This was a great place to start… at the pier at Davis Bay on the Sunshine Coast walking with my daughter. I need to understand who I am. This may require DECLUTTERING… REBRANDING… and REDEFINING. I am in a new place and I am becoming more clear about what’s important to me and what I am motivated about, personally and professionally. Attending CAfLN19 and NOIIE2019 was a godsend. Even though I was not in the best state of mind… I have many friends and supportive colleagues around me. I am reminded of my love for FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT and how each of us will make a difference. I loved listening to Dr. Linda Kaser when she sat at my table for one of the discussion talks at NOIIE2019. She said that she will not give up until students know what they are learning, why they are learning it, and where they are going next. I love her persistence and resilience. There is work to do. I have no regrets. I am meant to be here.

Second Chance

Week 33 (of 38) – May 6 to 10, 2019

I am a week late in writing my weekly blog of learning… and truth, it was not because I was “too busy.” I am busy but I have not been doing much. I am in a state of SADNESS and I am unable to shake it. I feel very lucky to be a part of the CAfLN conference and reuniting with some of my colleagues at NOIIE2019. I had to leave the the NOIIE2019 early to rush home to bring my daughter to the hospital. She’s been sick  since she’s come home from Florida. We went to the doctor when she first returned a couple of weeks ago and treated her with some penicillin with hopes of the inflamed area would cease after a one week of treatment. She got better, briefly… but she remained sick and missed a few days of school. I left for my second conference thinking that all would be well… but she persisted to tell me that it was getting worse. As much as my professional learning experience was lifting my spirit, I had to leave the conference early to help her.

As soon as I arrived at home from Richmond to the Sunshine Coast, I dropped off my bags and got back into my car to take my daughter to emergency. She was not looking good and had troubles talking. We walked into emergency and well… we walked right in. Got immediate service and before I knew it, she was attached to an IV, her vitals were taken along with a blood sample, and was immediately signed up for a CT scan. OK. This is bad. In fact, I’ve seen this before (with my mom). My job was to keep my kid company. She’s old enough not to have me there… but I look young enough that they thought I was her friend (and not her mom). My kid soon corrected that idea… reiterating the fact that I’M OLD. Looking back, my kid did a great job describing her condition (even though I think she down plays it a bit). We soon learn after the CT scan that she had a tonsil abscess. If we had waited any longer, her airway would have been completely blocked.

We were then armed with more antibiotics, steroids, and pain killers. We also went to Lions Gate Hospital the next morning to get her abscess drained by the Ear-Nose-Mouth doctor. The draining procedure was somewhat successful (and my kid would also say painful). We were then sent back to Sechelt Hospital for more antibiotics and steroids to be taken by intravenously for the next few days. In the meantime, I missed another conference I was presenting at, stepped down from one committee, and missed a meeting (I stepped down from that committee as well). My friend called it “decluttering”… I called it necessary. With my full attention on my daughter, nothing else mattered.

In my last blog entry, I claimed that was not given many (if any) second chances. I stand corrected. I was given a second chance with my kid and her wellbeing. I was given a second chance with my work. In fact, I am given many second chances, but it was my decision and responsibility for me to recognize the opportunity and to seize it. Sometimes I took the opportunity. Sometimes I didn’t . I am so grateful that my daughter is on the mend and her (almost sixteen year old) sassy self is alive and well. Dr. Helen Timperley from NOIIE2019 pre-conference (and I’m sure on Day 2 of the conference) talked about ADAPTIVE EXPERTISE and asked each of us WHAT ARE YOUR BELIEFS? What do I believe in? What do I value? She asked us to look inwards to self-assess what our beliefs are to understand ourselves and how we would behave in our practice. What do I value?

What I believe in and value is MY KID. That sounds completely crazy… but it’s true. I would drop anything to help her or be with her (even though she wants to be independent and autonomous). She has a high level of efficacy (more than me, for sure) and she has a better sense of herself (way more than me). I love her to bits. Looking back on my last 16 years with her… my BIG LIFE decisions had much to do with her (and she would hate that). My career is definitely second. This is part of my struggle. My kid aside, what I value the most and believe in wholeheartedly are MY STUDENTS. It didn’t matter if they were my high school math students or students in teacher education or graduate studies, their learning and learning experiences are my primary concern.

I have some core beliefs about student learning. I want them to be the agents of their learning. I want to use ongoing formative assessment strategies to support their learning. And, I want them to feel efficacious with what they are learning. In doing so, I am learning. If I am learning, I am vulnerable. When I am in a state of vulnerability and learning while I am doing, sometimes things don’t work out as planned. This is EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING. I am driven to challenge the status quo. Unfortunately, when it doesn’t work out and you are taking students on the ride with you on this pedagogical journey… it may not be received by those who are experiencing it. Negative feedback… it can be relentless and I am unforgiving (to myself). We are back to Dr. Brene Brown’s work with vulnerability and shame. I deeply internalize my mistakes such that it takes a lot time to get back up, to forgive myself, and to try again. I feel shame. It will be a long road. Brene calls this the VULNERABILITY HANGOVER. I hope to get over it soon.

Review Reflect Redo

Week 32 (of 38) – April 29 to May 3, 2019

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve returned home to the Sunshine Coast or if it was the tail end of a long semester, but I have been in a place of sadness that I have not been able to shake. Last week was filled with cognitive and emotional anguish and this week was consumed by sadness, hopelessness, and feeling down. This is not like me. I’m normally the extroverted optimist. Lately, all that I have been wanting to do is lay-low and disconnect. I know that I am a lot stronger than this but wonder if I reached a tipping point. Sadly, I’ve been here before, which tells me that I still have a lesson to learn.

This week, I signed up to attend some pretty awesome edu-events… such the viewing of Secret Path in North Vancouver, EDvent2019 in Burnaby, and CAfLN Pre-Conference touring schools in Delta/Richmond. I could not do it. Aside from all the things I had to do, I just didn’t have the will to attend and gave my tickets away. The joy I get is knowing that someone else enjoyed the learning experience. I went to the #CAfLN19 conference because… I was presenting. Thank you to those who attended my session. It was definitely the “B-side” of my pedagogical journey with Assessment for Learning.

I will admit, I am not myself. I am actually standing beside myself. Going to CAfLN (Canadian Assessment for Learning Network) 2019 Conference was a blessing in disguise. I got to reunite with my teaching partner, Deb, from UNBC… I met some pretty incredible people in teacher education… and, I reunited with many edu-folks face-to-face from my Professional Learning Network (PLN). How can you not be lifted up? Furthermore, it was great to briefly chat with Lorna Earl, Ken O’Connor, Damien Cooper, Judy Halbert, and Linda Kaiser. You can’t ask for anything more? Oh wait, there was more. The students.

There was a student panel from School District No. 37 (Delta) who opened and closed the CAfLN19 Conference. They were talking about assessment. It was AMAZING. Truth telling, really. And this reminded my of my why for many years when I taught high school mathematics where I had embedded Assessment for Learning principles into my pedagogy so that we could focus on learning… and not the grade (even though the achieving a final grade was the summative EVENT, shall I say, of our learning experience). They were passionate and articulate. I resonated with their message and myth busting.

The Grade 10-12 students presented a model for learning: REVIEW, REFLECT, and REDO. They called it their “3 R’s.” I would also suspect that the cycle would begin with DO… then review, reflect, and redo. They left the conference delegates with this question. “Would you be here today, if you hadn’t been given a second chance?” Since the conference, I’ve been thinking about this question and their model for learning. Although I believe I implemented AFL well with my Math 8-12 students… and trying to implement with my teacher candidates… I don’t often give myself the opportunity for a second chance.

Let me clarify… I do believe in making mistakes, learning from mistakes, and having the opportunity to try again (if permitted or expected). That’s how people learn… me included. It’s situations where I do not believe a second chance is possible. Is this the time to be resilient and persistent? To what end? Can I go back? Am I suppose to go back? Do I want to go back? It’s not that I’m not able. I am. However, I think back to similar situations in my career and life where I made a big decision and family (and my self-care) was part of the equation. What if there was a second chance? Take it?

Who Am I?

Week 31 (of 38) – April 23 to 26, 2019

I’ve returned home to Sechelt and I’m staying longer than 1-2 days. Yay me!!! I would say to others that I’m doing the “reverse commute” back to Prince George. I will have to admit that being away from home and my family longer than 2-3 weeks, I’d be home sick. My last stint away from home was about 4-weeks, if not longer, and it was riddled with many challenges, obstacles, and complications. I’m not sure why it has to be so difficult, but it apparently is. As a result, I feel that I am faced with some important decisions.

This will not be an easy blog to write. At least, I’m not anticipating it will be easy to write. This week I was faced with situations that I had to think about deeply and consider my trajectory in my pedagogical journey. I feel that I spent the last 10 years rebuilding myself and restoring who I am as an educator and person. I am still on this journey. What does it mean to be a learner? What does it mean to be authentic in what I do as an educator? What does it mean to listen to my intuition and follow my path? This is what I try to convey as a teacher educator. These are not easy questions to answer for oneself.

I am in paralysis. I have a tonne of work to do and I can’t even open up an email. I am faced with these questions in full force such that my purpose that I have set out for myself in the last few years have disappeared. I don’t feel it anymore. Something happened, like a switch. It was once on and now it’s off. I am really considering what my purpose is. Who am I? I find myself in a place of uncertainty such that it’s beyond uncomfortable. I am called to action. Returning home is influencing my current state of mind. I am a coastal girl. I am also a mom and wife. I am meant to be here but I took my people, place, and land for granted. I had to be somewhere else to realize this.

As much as I look around for “the answer,” my friend made it known to me that “I already know” the answer. That spooked me out. I already know the answer? I guess so, I suppose. One has to dig deep to reveal the answer to oneself and others. On the one hand, it’s easy to do the status quo and what you think others expect you to do. But, it’s not that easy. How long can one live not aligned to who they are?  You have to know who you are to make good choices. I also believe that life presents you with lessons to learn. Although it may come to you in different contexts, it will keep presenting itself to you until you learn it. I feel that I’ve been here before and I am presented with a choice to make.

I don’t want to disappoint. I don’t want to discourage others. I don’t want to make the “wrong” decision. In the end, I have to be honest with myself. It’s a moment for truth telling. And apparently, I already know the answer. It’s been a weeklong struggle and I have work to do. I will keep you updated in terms of what I have decided. Stay tuned.

Feeling Vulnerable

Week 30 (of 38) – April 15 to 18, 2019

I’m a linear sequential thinker… YAY ME!!! Back to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator… I am an ESTJ. While working on my dissertation, I was leaning towards being ENTP… but now I’m back to ESTJ, as an educator… just like I was when I was teaching secondary mathematics 10-years ago. One thing at a time… and I have to be OK with that. Knowing this, I can only handle one thing at a time. It’s OK, but when I am working on one thing… EVERYTHING ELSE HAS TO STOP. I can’t even imagine right now having research on the side of my desk… I have reviewed a couple master degree projects, contributed to the renewed BEd/MEd program committees, and marked a pile papers to conclude this term.

Talk about feeling vulnerable. I have to get back on track. I’m not sure how people multi-task. When I try, it’s a lot of things happening at the same time, but nothing is getting done. On the other hand, when I am doing one thing at a time, a lot of other things are not getting done. Hello Spring/Summer Term!!! I have an online course to prep for and teach in May/June, I need to catch up on work for Open Schools BC and the FNESC Math Teacher Resource Guide, and I have lined myself up for some professional learning activities to participate in and present for. I’m only capturing the next big things on my things to do such as reading, writing, and editing… committee work… and well, planning for the fall. Woohoo. I hate not getting things done. Talk about feeling vulnerable…

Last night I was at Science World learning from a master teacher about coding. That was the most engaging workshop I’ve attended as learner and my first time learning about Coding in K-12. We were working with Micro:bits. We just scraped the surface of this contraption and my mind was blown. I thought about how much I didn’t know, what learning really feels like, and where coding can go if fully embraced. I was overwhelmed. I was learning something way out of my comfort zone and I just wanted to quit. Reforming education is massive and I know it takes one step a time, patience, and resilience. There is so much to do. Thank goodness for Carrie, the facilitator, for connecting tonight’s learning to the Core Competencies. “I can celebrate my personal successes and achievement.” It was one step at a time and thank goodness for collaboration and excellent facilitation and expertise. It was a fun learning experience.

I needed that. That was a humbling experience. Learning requires vulnerability from the student and teacher. I really enjoyed the planning, engagement, and relevance of the workshop. I had to be vulnerable to take in what I have learned and remain curious to what I would like to learn next. I want to learn more about ADST, computational thinking, and coding and how all of this connects to pedagogy, student engagement, and BC’s New Curriculum. Thank you Carrie and Science World for the workshop. Thank you for reminding me what it means to feel vulnerable and how we need to develop our Core Competencies to be resilient, persistent, and playful with our learning experiences. 🙂

HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND!!!

It Will Never End

Week 29 (of 38) – April 8 to 13, 2019

Thank you George Couros for posting this today on Instagram. Needed it. Soon after last week and ending the term with the Celebration of Learning on April 5th, it was marking time. The way I designed the course was to have students engage in the course content with ongoing reflections and writing throughout the 13-week course, partake in 4-iterations with a case study to see how their thinking was evolving over time as they acquired professional knowledge over time, and conclude the course with their own case study and analysis. Conceptually, it sounds great. Reality, it was a lot to read. Much of what we worked on was formative. The final case study and fourth iteration a was summative. A long story made short, the story continues. I spent a week reading through student work, but realizing that “holistic” grading (which is aligned to my pedagogy) is not aligned to the grading process that we all know (and love… I suppose). Count every mark. I’ll admit, every counts but not everything counts. What kind of change am I expecting as an instructor. I want to focus on learning… but the demonstration of learning varies in quality… and how do you “count” that? I will continue to wrestle with my ethical dilemma. What’s more important? Student achievement or student learning? Sadly, they are not equal.

 

Perspective

Week 28 (of 38) – April 1 to 5, 2019

It’s been a hectic 3-weeks and now I am attempting to catch up with my weekly blogs of learning. When put into situations that may be perceived difficult, challenging, or almost impossible… there is something to learn about yourself. This week was the last week of classes for the winter term. This was the calm before the storm. What do I mean by this? See next week’s blog (Week 29). I was planning and facilitating a summative event for all teacher candidates, staff, and faculty for April 5th… A Celebration of Learning.

Although this program has concluded with similar events, I wanted to celebrate their achievements from practicum and second year teacher candidates share what  have learned with our first year teacher candidates and faculty (aka. BC Teacher Standards 7 and 8). It was an opportunity contribute back to the profession but also learn from each other. I am very thankful for those who helped me along the way and during the event. I could not have done this alone. You name it, people helped out. For that, I was very grateful. It was intended to be a fun day… summative… and celebratory. Nothing is perfect… particularly when it’s your first time. As great as the event was, it was also met with some resistance, apprehension, and unanticipated obstacles. This was the work.

You don’t realize how interconnected we really are until you have a summative event like this. Everyone had to be on board to make this event successful. I definitely earned my keep as the EDUC 491 Instructor. The second year teacher candidates followed through and I really appreciated what they had presented. The first year teacher candidates recorded key ideas from each presentation to goal set for next year. And faculty provided feedback for each second year teacher candidate and presented them with a certificate and pin to day congratulations and goodbye. We had a first year teacher candidate to acknowledge the unceded territory, we had door prizes, and staff honoured one of our colleagues. Overall, the event went well, but I walked away with mixed feelings.

It’s been a challenging year for many reasons. I was happy for our second year teacher candidates for completing their program and I am excited for the first year teacher candidates to return back to the university to complete their transformation to induct themselves into the teaching profession as well. It’s been a hectic year with learning a new position, building relationships, and learning how to teach in higher education in my new role as assistant professor. I am happy to be learning, but it’s also stressful at times. Much of what I am faced with is out of my control. After the event, I was on a plane to Toronto with my siblings. Not the best timing, but we planned this a few months ago.

Unfortunately, we landed in Winnipeg because someone on the plane was found non-responsive and it was an emergency landing. The flight crew and passengers who were doctors and nurses gathered together to save this man’s life. You can see policies in action, liability prevention, and professional responsibilities. It was leadership at it’s finest (even though it was a less than ideal situation). Perspective. As difficult as life seems to be, nothing seems to compare to fighting for your own life. Everything else is extraneous. Do the best that you can and celebrate the small victories. Enjoy and appreciate the little things. Congratulations second year teacher candidates. Happy teaching and learning.

Challenge Yourself

Week 27 (of 38) – March 25 to 29, 2019

Learning comes in different forms and our job is to pay attention. This week was filled with subtle and not so subtle moments that nudged me to step out of my box… or at least consider it. I wondered what my “weekly blog of learning” would be about this week. My week entailed having my little family visiting me in Prince George for a few days, reuniting with my colleagues on campus, listening to news that took some time to synthesize, and immersing myself in a field of cows on a farm outside of Quesnel.

Learning is not meant to be easy. It’s not something that you just do… but it’s something that transforms you. I never understood that for a long time. For years I thought that “learning” was about getting grades, getting degrees, and getting promoted. I could not be more wrong… and I had to learn that. It was a tough lesson to learn and it was only myself that held myself back from that truth. Thank goodness for teachers, mentors, and good friends who are willing to tell you the truth to guide your thinking. I am so lucky.

It was during my doctorate when my supervisor said to me… “you wouldn’t be in this program if you didn’t expect to change?” I never expected to change, but I did. I’m sure that I have transformed many times during my lifetime up until my doctorate but I never acknowledged those changes until that moment with my supervisor. I was overwhelmed when he said that to me and somewhat bewildered as well. It took me some time to understand my why for completing my doctorate and those reasons changed from when I started the program to when I finally ended it. They changed because I changed.

This week, I learned that I love my family very deeply and being apart from them is challenging. Ironically, this separation is keeping us together. I have more gratitude and I appreciate my little family. I am also grateful for my colleagues on campus. I work with an incredible bunch of people at the university. It’s amazing what these people do and I was so happy to reconnect with them. They lift me up. Yet, there were moments this week that made me wonder about what educational reform and the leadership required to create change. Things to consider for research. Finally, my friend from Quesnel is a cattle rancher. Her gentle ways got me out of my comfort zone to be on the farm, wake up at 2 am to check the cows and their calves, and drive a quad. Although I did not ride a horse, I loved the experience. It’s something that I would have never done or understood.

What I learned this week is, learning takes time and patience. Notice. Be grateful. Change is happening. Learning is not about getting stuff done or jumping hoops, even though it may feel like that sometimes. And when it does, take a moment to question what you are learning at that moment and what you are suppose to learn. Learning can be frightening or a subtle experience so make the effort to reflect, wonder, and acknowledge change.

Turning A Corner

Week 26 (of 38) – March 18 to 22, 2019

Can you believe that I am reflecting on my week EARLY? It’s really unheard of. I had full intentions of catching up on my marking… finally, but the server is down. How does that happen? Is this karma? I’m not sure, but I thought I should take the opportunity to catch up on other things. It’s so amazing how many things on my “things to do” for work accumulate and EVERYTHING is pressing. As a result, many things get put on the back burner and continues to accumulate. Admittedly, I am finding it a bit frustrating looking at my social media to see that EVERYONE is in Hawaii. Welcome to the 2-week spring break in BC. I’m very happy for my colleagues in the K-12 system who can take the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. This time is needed by all educators. I guess I had my time in weeks prior when my students were on practicum. It was a break from teaching but I continued to work. Now I’m back on campus teaching and still catching up on work.

I am feeling good now and turned a corner. Thank goodness for the first day of spring on March 20th. That might have been my TSN Turning Point this week. I’ll admit, I was feeling down this week. It was really tough to get myself out of that mindset. I think I spent one evening watching as many American Idol clips as I could with hopes of lifting my spirits. Sounds strange, I know. I am just so lucky to have colleagues I can reach out to who have my back. It’s absolutely amazing to me knowing that I have a team of colleagues standing beside me. I feel very privileged. Moreover, the students I work with lifted my spirits. One by one, each student I interacted with on campus this week brought me hope. I loved having the spontaneous conversations in the hallway, at my office, or in the classroom. All of these conversations are unsolicited and I get to be a part of their learning journey. This brings me incredible joy. I could feel myself turning the corner and I am so grateful. It’s these “little things” that become A BIG THING. Thank you. 🙂

Staying Grounded

Week 25 (of 38) – March 11 to 15, 2019

Catching up on weekly blogs of learning is saying something. I need to take every opportunity to get organized and get things done. ONE THING AT A TIME. That’s the beauty of being an educator… you spend massive amounts of time (or at least you should) reflecting on self and practice to understand who you are, your strengths, and places where you can do things better. What I have learned and learned over again is, I am a UNI-TASKER. It’s really one thing at a time. I’m OK with that, but I’ve got to get things done. It’s almost impossible to get things done when there are many different things happening at the same time that want equal attention and you have to prioritize. Welcome to life, I suppose. What I resent (a bit) is that getting organized TAKES TIME.

Also grounding myself… takes time. After a few days being at home, I am back to Prince George to do my job. I don’t live with my family when I’m in Prince George. They stay on the Sunshine Coast. I love how people ask… “Do you live in Prince George? Is your family moving to Prince George? Are you planning to move from the Sunshine Coast?”… along those lines. You can hear the assumption… we are heading to Prince George. I would like to say NADA. That’s not the case. My response is: “I live in two places.” That’s it. I do live in two places. I live on the Sunshine Coast and Prince George. One place is where my family lives and my house is. The other place is where I work and I have an apartment. I find myself resisting calling Prince George my home, but it is. They are both my homes.

I have to get back to the Sunshine Coast every two to three weeks to get grounded. I love walking along the ocean, being home with my family, and reconnect with friends. It’s absolutely amazing. It makes me appreciate what I have on the Sunshine Coast. I love listening to the waves of the ocean, breathing in the sea air, and feeling the warmth of the sun. It helps me to appreciate MY PLACE. Where I am from is part of my identity… of who I am. Returning this week reminded me that THIS IS MY HOME. I am from the Sunshine Coast. I don’t have intentions of leaving. We are almost finished our mortgage, my kid has 2 more years of high school, and my husband’s career can continue and thrive on the Sunshine Coast. I’m not leaving. That said, it was time to get back to Prince George… to get work done, to reconnect with my colleagues, and support my students as they return back from practicum. I feel grounded here, but in a different way.

It’s clear that the central interior is NOT my place… but I am learning. That’s all I can ask for. I saw a moose (well part of one behind trees) the other day, I am acquiring a larger footwear and jacket collection, and I am learning what it means to be an educator (and researcher) in higher education. There is a tonne on my plate and I am learning what it means to be “productive” in my new position. It is very different from working in K-12. In many ways, the deadlines are set by self. I am the creator of my work, production, and success. It’s very much like being an edu-preneur. Nonetheless, I am learning and I have to feel grounded in my work and my place. In the end, I feel very lucky to have people in both places who are my family, friends, and colleagues. It’s absolutely amazing!!!

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