pandemic reflections

Woke Moments

Week 45 – January 22, 2021 – I think it’s me

I have reached a pivotal moment. Could it be that I’ve finished teaching my last classes for the term? Could it be that I know I am a work in progress? Or could it be… I think it’s me? I’m not sure what to make of the series of events that have happened this week, but they are woke moments. I’m not going to talk about specifics, but each day has offered me a piece of information that I have to listen to. If I don’t take the opportunity to reflect and think about what’s important to me, then it will be my own fault for not listening. I need to listen carefully. Now what?

It’s been a challenging year to say the least and COVID-19 did not make the situation any better. I was building momentum with my “research career” but everything was put on hold. I recall making a deliberate decision to focus on student learning. It’s more than just focusing what’s happening in my classes, but it’s also about the program and its successful implementation. For a better word or less, things were not clear or transparent. I spent a lot of time trying to figure things out, share what I do know, and continue to find things out. When things are not accessible and visible, much of my time is spent figuring things out (for students).

Much of my inquiry is to ask questions for students. Advocate for them, but also for faculty. Communication could be better, but I will always lead, question, and ask questions. That’s how I operate. I am finding that this way of being is not serving me. On Monday, I saw that and it’s been going down hill since then. They are subtle differences in behaviour and I’m not sure what’s going on. I ask, but now I’m thinking it rubs people wrong, but it also rubs me wrong. Yes, I had some great moments this week. I don’t want to overlook that, but when things can be better, I am not going to hesitate to have voice and question, but right now is it welcomed?

I know what I have to do in the immediate, which is WRITE. I have to publish and get some research done. I don’t know how I would do that when every moment of my time is spent on student learning and quality of. the learning experience. With all that I do, it’s not what’s valued. That’s a woke moment. I can do a lot of work and try to share or collaborate, but I cannot be a one person show and it has nothing to do with me. Yet I feel that I should be focused on me so that I could get ahead?!? Sadly, that does not resonate with me. I can’t do it, even though I wished I could. I guess that’s one of my shortfalls. Instead, I opted for service and student learning.

The more that I listen, the more that I notice. And, what I am noticing… I am thinking action is required soon. I have definitely been here before and I think it’s time. Three times is a charm. I just have to make sure that I do things right so that what I do is aligned to what’s important to me, that I move forward mindfully and thoughtfully, and I am focused on what can help me in next steps without taking anything personally. Nothing is personal but whatever I am feeling, it’s isolating. I’m not liking it and I have to listen. Also, is my new #oneword2021 WRITE? Whatever. I just have to do what feels right to me. I need to trust my instincts and intuition.

It’s time to reassess.

#pandemicreflections #thereisashift #feelingisolated

In a Time Warp

Week 44 – January 17, 2021 – Feeling Connected to Land

One of the craziest effects of the pandemic is feeling like you’re in a time warp. I’m losing track of time and cannot believe that it’s already mid-January. Where is the time going and why can’t I catch up? I am so grateful that I am taking the time to connect to land and to self. One of the things that really threw me off last term was working everyday and around the clock. Even though I did that, I never got to research and I spent so my time getting the job done. I am so done fighting and resisting. It does not serve me. I am still figuring out my place and honestly, I cannot work inauthentically and misaligned to myself and my values.

On the one hand it’s like “letting go” of what is, but on the on other hand it’s about believing in myself. In my mind, I feel that everyone is positioning themselves, vying for the same things, and pretending that everything is awesome. There are parts that are definitely very good, but there are other parts that need a lot of work. What I am understanding is, a lot of that stuff is beyond my scope and capacity in the role I’m in. All that I can do is inform and let the decision making happen with those who make decisions. I got to know and understand my impact and it seems that what I can do is to inform and influence. This is what I am committing to in 2021.

In the meantime, I need to focus on carving out time for myself to make myself and self-care a priority. Walking with friends in the forest or along the waterfront is a good start. 2021 is about sustainability, mindfulness, and doing what I love.

#OneWord2021 = READ

Week 43 – January 8, 2021 – Welcome Back to Work

Gah. It happens so fast. Admittedly, I would have used another week of winter break but the School of Education started the new year as scheduled with other professional programs while the rest of the university delayed their start for the Winter 2021 term. As a compromise or an opportunity to make lemonade from lemons, I started the work-week asynchronously. That will be the nature of this term. I am teaching the final practicum course and Block 2 of the interwoven inquiry/e-portfolio course. I look forward to a different momentum of this teaching term, but also I look forward to finding ways to restructure my time and work so that I can FILL MY CUP with what’s important to me. As you can see, I’m off to a MEH start.

My #oneword2021 is READ. I have to carve out time to READ. Reading is not an area of strength, but it’s a skill I would like to develop. You are never too late to learn. I started blogging so that I can develop my writing skills. I think that blogging is going very well and it did take some time to develop my voice and momentum to write and reflect. I have learned to love the writing process as a means to reflect. I love the unexpectedness of blogging and where it often leads me in my thinking. It’s time to move onto READing. It’s not just about reading, per se, but reading is intentional, you are still, and it’s for me. What I have learned from the last term is, I cannot take care of others if I cannot take care of me. You have to take care of self to be SELFLESS.

Reading is an act of self-care. I need to do more of that. I need to sleep, go for walks, and prioritize what’s important to me. In one of my doodle reflections, I realized that what’s important to me is (1) my kid; (2) my students; and (3) my research. You’ve got to name it to claim it. And truth, I can do a lot better at focusing on what’s important to me. I will do better this term. I almost lost myself last term. I didn’t take a break during the spring/summer term and I was so invested in having the fall term that I almost burned out. I can only what I can do and I need to let go of the outcome.

So, I started the new year READing a manuscript that I had in hand for a couple of months. I do not perceive myself to be a “reader” and not a reader of fiction. And so I did… and loved it. I could not put “the book” (aka. my computer) down. I was so engaged with the storyline and I finished the book from beginning to end within 24-hours. I don’t I have ever done something like that in my life. I was pretty happy with the book, but also pretty happy with myself. Who knew what 50 could bring? Put your intentions to what you feel is most important and who knows what you can accomplish? I miss the characters already and I secretly want her to write a sequel.

Well… I’m hooked… on reading. I have a tonne of books to read and I have just downloaded the next one. “From the Ashes” by Jesse Thistle. Shelley Moore hosts a reading club with her wife and looks like a good read. From what I am gathering from Twitter, it seems like it will be a great read. A non-fiction novel. I’m ready for this. In fact, as soon as I finish this blog post, I am going to bed with my iPad to READ.

#pandemicreflections #anewstart #oneword2021 #read

Feeling Grounded

Week 42 – December 31, 2020 – Year in Review

What a year. I have no words… but, goodbye and thank you. I have to admit, this has been an incredible year for lots of reasons. First, let’s not forget about COVID-19 and the pandemic. Because of this, I was able to answer a question that I had waning in the back of my mind, “how can I be with my kid and work full time at the university?” The pandemic and remote learning from the university was a viable solution. I still maintain living in two places, Prince George and the Sunshine Coast, but this year was consumed by work, #pandemicrelflections, and time figuring out what’s really important to me. I think that I’ve been asking myself this question for years, but with 2020 pandemic and turning 50 this year… there is no better time to reflect.

The year started being knee deep in snow, I got to observe and support some teacher candidates during long practicum, and participated in my first podcast with Teachers on Fire. The year took a sudden turn mid-March with the announcement of the global pandemic. At the time, I had huge family plans with my brother, sister, and dad. They were planning to come up to Prince George from the Lower Mainland to watch the World Women’s Curling Championship. They booked plane tickets and I bought tickets to the entire tournament. I was stoked. Then, my kid was going flying up to Prince George during spring break. Nope. It was not meant to happen. All plans wer cancelled as well as the continuation of practicum and other opportunities like going to the CAfLN conference in Alberta and presenting at the inaugural conference of OTESSA at the CSSE in Ontario. EVERYTHING SHUT DOWN. Hello pandemic!!!

A quick pivot to remote/online learning and finishing my first full cohort of teacher candidates from beginning to end, we ended the winter term remotely. Along with my year 1 students, what an amazing crew!!! I could not be more proud as we moved forward together… remotely and asynchronously. During the start of the pandemic, I was living alone in Prince George watching the news religiously. Of course I ended the numeracy course with a pandemic them for the final assignment. The stats were telling a story… and they continue to do so. I started the #daily5kchallenge after the term ended to get outside but also for some mental health. Two months living alone in my apartment, I made the great escape and left Prince George on Mother’s Day.

I wanted to be with my kid and she was living on the Sunshine Coast. We had very little time together this school year due to the strike at the university in the fall and now COVID-19. I got my winter tires changed and off I went. I left all of my toilet paper, canned foods, and lifetime supply of Mr. Noodles and headed off to the coast to see out the pandemic and spend time with my kid. Weird. My husband and I had separated, but we continue to co-own the house and co-parent. In the end, I just wanted to be with my kid. Who knew that I would still be here on the Sunshine Coast on December 31, 2020? Not me. I anticipated returning back to the fall to teach full-time, but instead we implemented the RENEWED B.ED. PROGRAM remotely online.

Admittedly, I worked hard this spring, summer, and fall terms and didn’t take a break. I plowed through working remotely from my home on the Sunshine Coast on my living room floor. There were some pretty amazing things that happened, but there were also many struggles. I pivoted so often that it felt like a circle. Anyway, I am learning and so grateful that the fall term ended successfully. We welcomed a new cohort of teacher candidates and figured out how to conclude the 2-year program. Lots of changes happening in the program and university. I have met some amazing people and engaged in some amazing projects. No regrets. I just needed a break.

This has become a long blog post but hoping for a shift in 2021. I am so glad that I took a week off from work to GROUND myself, rest, and gain perspective. It was a low key Christmas and equally underwhelming New Year’s Eve. Not sad about this given that COVID-19 continue to persist regardless of the vaccine. This extrovert is mastering the life on an introvert. I’ve been resisting this lifestyle ever since leaving teaching in K-12 10-years ago and working on my dissertation. The pandemic has taken this lifestyle to a new level of understanding. I get it… LAY LOW. I need take deliberate actions with clear intentions. I’ve been living unconsciously and almost burned out. I have to STOP and be kind to self so that I can take care of others.

I am brought to my #oneword2021. I need to be intentional, still, and learning. If I am to address my fear, I need to name it first. I am not the best reader and I used blogging to get better at writing. It’s time to practice reading. Sounds like a crazy thing to say from someone who wrote a dissertation and in the field of education. One of the things I have to model as an educator and learner is vulnerability. Reading is something I’ve wrestled with as a child. I have clear memories of this demon as a young child who watched her older siblings read, a Grade 2 student who hated reading aloud, and as an adult who never thought would get into university, undergraduate and graduate programs. I can see what’s important to me and what serves as possible limitations. My choice right now is what am I going to do about it, what consequences am I willing to accept, and what do I really want for myself.

My #oneword2021 is READ. #HappyNewYear2021 #joy 🙂

Do What You Love

Week 41 – December 24, 2020 – Christmas Eve

Well… I had really thought I would be working until December 23, 2020… and I could have. Admittedly, I was a bit jealous of K-12 ending their schooling on December 18th. Me, on the other hand, was receiving a pile of work on that day and had to meet a deadline for Monday, December 21st with a meeting and all. ARGH. This work output is unreal and I can’t even get to the work I need to do. Anyway, a couple late nights and an all nighter, I managed to get my work done on-time. Monday was filled with the joy of submitting my final marks, fielding a flurry of emails, and attending a couple of meetings. I almost felt like I was in first year university, but back then I often wondered if I could sleep standing during my 8:30am labs. Anyway, I digress.

I do want to mention that Monday was filled with joy. The communications departed contacted me to let me know that some of the School of Education web pages are LIVE and updated. BEST GIFT EVER. Love working with people at the university. I am so focused on advertising for the next fall and I am so happy that the primary pages are complete and we have a few more to go. I’m already thinking of next steps and how to get candidates, current students, and alumni to help out with next steps. It’s so important to emphasize student voice. Today, December 24th, I did start a Facebook page and YES… the candidates are on board to help. I am so grateful for who they are and their willingness and enthusiasm to make things happen. Blessed.

On December 22nd, I started the day with the same vigour and verve, but after my edu-walk at lunch I realized that my work had to stop and I needed a break. I spent the afternoon sending goodbye emails and see you in the new year. I have a LIST OF THINGS to do for the new year, but I want to spend part of the break doing people things and re-prioritizing what’s important to me and living that way. I can’t do a term like this again. Anyway, December 23rd was spent DOING WHAT I LOVE TO DO. I got my favourite pizza at THE BAKERY, bought live CRAB at the fish market, and walked along the waterfront listening to the ocean. I bumped into a few friends and chatted with them for a bit during my 4-hour meandering time in downtown Sechelt.

I took the time to FILL MY CUP. Self-care is so important. I love connecting to place. Be kind to yourself. Fill your cup. Know what’s important to you and live your best life.

#pandemicreflections #theholidays #focusongratitude

Leadership is a Feeling

Week 40 – December 18, 2020 – I know this is true

Here we are at Week 40 of the pandemic and this is about the same time it takes to have a baby. Yikes. I’m not having a baby, but a few of my friends are pregnant and having babies. This is one of the blessings of the crazy pandemic experience. Today is also the last day of school for K-12 schools, even though some had to close a bit early due to low staffing levels due to COVID-19. And, I just learned that one of my colleagues in K-12 schools was called today via contact tracing that she was in direct contact with someone with COVID-19 and she’s expecting. Honestly, I am very thankful that it is winter break for K-12 and teacher candidates have completed practicum (even though I am aware that at least one of the teacher candidates from our program was called this week). That said, the first vaccines for COVID-19 were first delivered this week in BC yet the numbers for COVID-19 in BC are going up.

I am super busy and my brain is super tired. I am still working. Friday is not the last day of work for me. Although my classes ended on December 4th and final assignments due December 11th, I am swamped with marking, report writing, and just getting the term complete. Oh ya, what about planning for next term and look ahead on the program. Sigh. It’s relentless sometimes and I am just about to give up. For the last week, I was basically brought to my knees and had to reflect on what’s important, what do I value, and where to next. I’ve been here before. There is a reason why I completed a degree in leadership. It’s not that I perceive myself as a leader, but I compelled to figure out what is leadership and what does it mean to be a leader. There is a difference between manager and leader. There is also a difference between micro manager and visionary. I still wonder about, what is leadership?

When you google LEADERSHIP, definitions vary from (1) the action of leading a group of people or an organization; to (2) the act or instance of leading; (3) the office or position of a leader; (4) the capacity to lead; to (5) the set of characteristics that make a good leader. What makes me curious about all of these definitions is, these definitions are all focused on “the leader.” What about what “the follower.” One of the biggest ideas that I have taken from my formal studies is the measure of a good leader is the number of leaders they leave behind. Another concept I took away about “good leadership” is always looking for people and grooming those to be better leaders than you. I love that idea. I feel that way about teacher education. After this week though, I think that LEADERSHIP IS A FEELING. How does the leader make the follower feel?

I’ve been thinking about LEARNING and FEELINGS. When I am teaching, how do I want my students to feel? This is a big idea that I have been wrestling with as a teacher practitioner. Cannot reprimand students for not understanding or learning, but also you cannot punish students or manipulate them to do what you want them to do. It does not leave the learner with good feelings. Moreover, they are left with the WRONG LEARNING. So how do you woo the learner to be engaged and see THE WHY embedded in what they are learning that extends beyond the letter grade, final exam, or major paper? Then, I am led to think more about efficacy, agency, and intrinsic motivation. Teachers are leaders. With this thinking, how does this translate to leadership in an organization? How do these leaders make people feel? If the feeling left behind is not good, are they actually leading? If not, then what are they doing?

I am left with more questions than answers but I will continue to ponder this idea of leadership. What does it mean to lead and how do you want people to feel?

#pandemicreflections #leadership #experiential

EDUFAIR2020 and Intentionality

Week 39 – December 7, 2020 – EARLY START TO BLOGGING

I am giving myself some grace. I spent the weekend planning and prepping #EDUFAIR2020 to end the term at UNBC School of Education for teacher candidates, instructors, and practice evaluators. Hosted and facilitated #EDUFAIR2020 this morning and I think the event went very well. Of course I would ask my colleagues soon after the event for feedback. It went well. This ties in so closely to what I advise teacher candidates about lesson planning. When you plan with intention and prep accordingly, all will go well. You are able to flex and adapt because you’ve planned for it. Well, that’s how things went this morning. That said, I am grateful for the #UNBCED teacher candidates who supported and encouraged me just before the Celebration of Learning event started. TECH ISSUES. #classic. They helped and walked me through, and we were back on track soon after 9am. Honestly, it takes a village and I am 100% grateful for this learning community. Thank you all for participating!!!

The power of INTENTIONALITY. Everything that I do has to come from a good place. My WHY is tied in to who I am and I will act accordingly. This has taken me some time to learn my authentic power. I am still learning. What I am understanding is, when we move forward honouring our purpose, karma will work in your favour. Sounds spiritual or “fluffy” but it’s starting to make sense to me. What I need to focus on is, where am I going to spend my time. This is big. I’m back to “what’s important to me?” What I do know is, the work invested in #EDUFAIR2020 was worth it. It came from the intention of community, connection, and collaboration. HELLO? This is completely aligned to My Manifesto. Huh. That’s a wonderful realization. The day was meant to honour the learner and celebrate the learning. From what I understand, mission accomplished. I am also focused on FEELINGS. How are people learning the learning activity? Do they feel good? Do they feel inspired? This is the aim of teacher education. If anything, I also appreciate the SENSE-MAKING opportunity of #EDUFAIR2020, which is based on the framework of Edcamp. Focus on learning.

Anyway, I am happy as to how the morning ended and I am very happy about feeling satisfied. It’s a good feeling. This state of transformation is complicated and shifting mindsets takes time. I am so proud of the teacher candidates. All 5 cohorts reconnected today… from Prince George, Terrace, and Skidegate. Being online and teaching/learning remotely at the university is NOTHING like teaching/learning face-to-face, but it as radically improved accessibility and what can be possible. I don’t want to be limited by the status quo and I don’t want to rely on what was comfortable. I am struck by the term LAZY and motivated to develop my practice to transform my pedagogy to maximize the learning experience of teacher candidates, thus K-12 students they will teach during practicum. I am set on my 2021 challenge. Not only will I get that selfie-stick and tripod in action to video record asynchronous learning that is situated in place and on the land, but also to find ways to design learning experiences that are engaging, participatory, and transformational.

#pandemicreflections #2021ambition #beingintentional

Having Your Back

December 6, 2020 – Week 38 – The end of term

I am racing to the finish line after a very long marathon and I know there is a post race soon after I cross the finish line. Friday was my last class with EDUC 394 and it was also the last day of practicum for EDUC 490. I’m exhausted. It’s like I start and end my week on Friday’s. By the end of my class, my brain is Zoom fatigued.

I always encourage my students get outside after my class. I go the full 3-hours synchronously. I was so happy to have The Elder in Residence to come visit to end the course in a good way. I was not sure what to expect but I got shivers up and down my spine several times during the hour. It was amazing. He ended the class in his language and translated the saying into English. I loved it. “Soar with the eagles.” Super magical. The students appreciated his visit and one student talked about his grandfather. I was so happy to end the course that way. I feel very lucky.

I took my advice and went for a walk with my dog after class. It was a gorgeous sunny day. Sally an I took a detour from the routine of walking around the block and strolled through the forest first. It was magical. I can’t believe this park is so close to my house. It’s a good way to escape the online experience and get back to what’s important… nature and my mental health. I need to do that more often. It’s becoming more clear to me that I have to be a priority in all THIS to be sustainable and viable. I’m definitely not perfect and misstepped a few times. That’s not where I want to be.

I have to be INTENTIONAL with my actions. Returning back home after our walk around the block, I was drawn back into my work with a few phone calls. It was nice to chat with my kid too. I get so consumed with my work that I am missing moments with her and that’s one of my main reasons for staying in the Sunshine Coast during COVID-19. I can teach remotely and be with my kid. Honestly, it can be all consuming. And, it is. How does one find balance in this and I’m not even researching… yet.

I went to bed early and slept for 11-hours. Obviously I needed it. How is this sustainable? No emails, really, on the weekend. I get to address my work at my own pace. Can you believe that? I worked all weekend. I have a tonne to do but I have done enough to get Monday morning going with #EDUFAIR2020. Let’s see how this goes, but I’m prepped. That’s all that matters. The post-race will come soon after.

When I started this blog, it was suppose to be about me have the back of others, like the people I work with or my students. I do. Sometimes conversations are not easy but the goals and learning intentions have to be clear so that you can have tough conversations. I hope people feel safe but I also want to remain honest, supportive, and kind. Anyway, what the blog is turning into is to recognize those who support me and have my back. Admittedly, I can be too focussed and lose sight of what is.

I realized that my scope is limited. I have an expertise but so do others. The goal is for them. Not to be like me or vice versa but find ways to connect, converse or collaborate. It does kit work with everyone. I’m so grateful for friends who can keep things in perspective for me. I don’t think the term “letting go” is the right term that I am developing, but more like “accepting” what is and influence where I can, if needed or asked. I can only do what I can do but I am learning that it’s the same for others. This does not make it right, but understanding this helps me to have their back.

Relationships are the underpinnings of education. It takes time to develop trust and respect. I need to be patient but persistent. Keep the vision. Be mindful of self. Be intentional. That’s my next step in the pedagogical journey after I mark portfolios and finish my paperwork for the term. I’m back to, “what’s really important to me?” I’m still figuring that out. If anything, I have to have my back because I’m important too.

Two Blog Posts In One

Week 36 and Week 37 – November 21 and 28, 2020

CONVERGENCE – bringing two things together to one point. That’s what I’m doing today… well, now a few days later. This COVID-experience is almost like a time-warp. Time goes by fast. Time goes by slow. I have no sense of time and now I find myself catching up most of the time to get where I want to be. I don’t know how other people are doing it but I will admit that I am completely exhausted and I am 100% underestimating the time it takes to do things. I feel so lucky to teach remotely and be in my home on the Sunshine Coast with my daughter… but dang. This online lifestyle is getting the best of me. I feel like I am shifting again to a “new normal” where I have to PIVOT to getting outside and connecting with nature.

This photo is one of my most favourite places to be… MISSION POINT in Davis Bay. This place is amazing and it’s one of the places I walk with my edu-buddy to discuss life, kids, and education. We walk along the seawall and to Mission Point Park where there is a sandy beach and a massive spit where the two waters CONVERGE, as you can see in the photo above. It takes my breath away and I love that this is a place where I feel at home. I also love the imagery of the two waters meeting at one point. I feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful place and community. However, I will admit, with the new COVID-19 numbers in BC, I am so compelled to just stay at home. I just don’t get out. It’s very much like how I felt in March 2020. #stayathome

I am not really that motivated to leave the house, except to walk with my edu-buddy and to walk my dog Sally around the block. I will sometimes force myself to go out and get a Steeped Tea from Tim Hortons or Pink Drink from Starbucks. Most times I am on my computer, like I am now, attending a Zoom meeting, teaching a class, or sending out emails like I had nothing better to do with my time. My legs ache. My head is numb. And, I wished I had the strength to make dinner after a 12-hour online day. Most days I can’t. Even my favourite local Chinese restaurant just closed for 14-days due to a COVID-19 exposure. Nothing is safe anymore (and I have to cook).

The one thing I do appreciate about online is ACCESS. I am able to attend meetings with people whom I may have never met otherwise face-to-face. I am able to attend conferences and workshops without the expense of travel and accommodations. I am participating in MOOCs and I hope that I am able to carve out the time soon to write. I need to read and write… and I never thought I would say that in my lifetime, but I feel that it’s time. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time until the work of this term is complete. I do love the work that I get to do. I feel that each thing that I am a part of is ALIGNED to my purpose of “improving the learning experiences of students.” The experience is transformative, progressive, and disruptive… for self and others.

Tomorrow I am a guest on a former student’s podcast. This will be my third podcast and I am struck by what my friend said to me… you feel like a professor when you are professing something… honestly, this is the next step. To understand this, I have to get reading and writing, and carve out the time. TIME MANAGEMENT. Be more INTENTIONAL. I need to exercise my AUTHENTIC POWER. I am drawn to Gary Zukov right now and what resonates with me today is, “accept the consequences.” Agreed. No fear. There is nothing to lose. Act and accept the consequences. I also loved what I heard yesterday in an interview with Oprah and Jack Canfield and he said you know when you are on the right path when what you are doing feels joyful.

As tired as I am, I am on the right path. I am currently visioning a life that I am currently living. How many people can do that? I am not sure where the pandemic will take me. I am constantly deliberating what to do with my apartment and the level of uncertainty with anything right now is high. What I do know for sure is, I am grateful for every moment I had so far and I love all of the people I have met along the way. I love how my daughter is learning math at home and loving it. She can factor a trinomial like nobody’s business. I am so impressed. She is transforming her mindset and level of math efficacy right before my eyes. It’s really rewarding. And, I know that I am safe where I am (even though I am teaching online). Life is very good.

#pandemicreflection #catchingup #onestepatatime

The Brighter Side

Week 35 – November 14/15, 2020 – Giving Myself Permission

I gave myself permission today to take the day off. I really needed one. It’s been a stint of time that needed a tonne of my attention and effort. Nothing for me. I do enjoy going to Tim Hortons and getting a steeped tea from my favourite Tim Horton’s server. He is so efficient. I really like that. I went out and roamed around with my kid. It’s so nice that she can drive. She took me out “into the real world” to do real people things. In the pandemic, it’s so easy to isolate myself particularly with remote learning. I am doing my whole job online. It’s not my preferred modality, but I’m doing it. It’s taking a beating on me (and my students) to learn 100% online via Zoom and Blackboard, but that’s what it is, for now. I think with all of the numbers rising and K-12 schools closing for 2-weeks at a time for staff and students to self-isolate, I’m anticipating “a new norm” in the second wave. It’s not going to be pretty. I need to take some time for self, give myself permission not to work, and do what “normal people do” to rebuild myself for the next week to come. It seemed like I was in a marathon and I could not get out of the race… and the race was never ending. You think you were on mile 20, but really it’s the 5th mile. UGH. I’m taking a water break and spending time with my kid. I am also grateful to my friends who reached out to me to see how I was doing and for my friends who listen to me. I could not do this without you. I am so happy to take time for myself, clean the house, get a steeped tea, sit in front of the fire place, and go for a walk. The little things keep me happy. 🙂

BTW: I have to post my Week 33 blog post below… why? It’s seriously receiving some major JUNK messaging that has to stop… so have have to delete that blog post. It’s very stalker like to receive messages from BOTS or whomever from porn-liked names sites relentlessly and continuously. I can see why people hate being online and receiving garbage emails like you had nothing better to do but to receive them. Gah. I tried to change my settings, but it didn’t work. Goodbye troll. Find another victim.

Week 33 – November 1, 2020 – Changing Seasons

Wow. Survived Halloween. I did not expect too many kids but about 75 trick-or-treaters walked by in small groups. The kids were so cute and I made just the right amount of candy bags. Normally, I would not make candy bags because more than 200+ kids come by our house, but this year seemed different with COVID-19. It was nice to see families out and it was a gorgeous night with the full Blue moon. Kudos for trick-or-treaters for getting outside. Why not collect some candy en route?

Here I stand at the fork in the road. I am reminded by the song by The Clash, “Should I stay or should I go.” Can you believe it has been 10-years since I’ve been teaching in BC public schools? It shocks me. Time just flies by and I’ve learned so much over the last 10-years, met so many great people, and participated in so many educational experiences that making me into the educator I am today. A humbling journey, but one that is looking at the the fork in the road. I have decided how things will unfold after a decision is made and honestly, I look forward to both. I just have to wait.

That said, am I a patient person? Nope. Am I swamped? Yup. I have plenty of work to keep me occupied (as long as my brain and body don’t fail me). Sleep is getting the best of me and that’s a good thing to do. Anyway, I had two master’s papers to review, 30+ lesson plans to provide feedback on, and 78 e-portfolios to to look at. Let’s not forget to mention the many Zoom meetings I attend, emails I need to respond to, and yes… the classes I have to prep and teach. I have plenty to stay “in the moment.” I am not complaining, but I’m not bored either. It’s busy. It’s messy.

What I can say right now is, SAVOUR THE MOMENT. Things are suppose to happen the way it’s suppose to. Stop controlling what I can’t control. I can only do the best that I can. My Pedagogical Journey will unfold as it should. I am not sad about how things are going. If I had the position, power, or influence to create change, I would. Sometimes I don’t have that and I have to allow things to happen as they should. Will I get caught trapped underneath the bus? Possibly. It happens from time to time. I tried to prevent problems from happening but many times felt that no one really understood what I was saying. Too late and too bad. Here we are. Now what?

A difficult time. An exciting time. Should I say or should I go? Time will only tell.

#pandemicreflections #timeforchange #decisiontime