Week 31 – October 19, 2020 – Still Overdue
What can I say? I’m catching up. It’s neither here nor there. As long as the work gets done by the end of the term, I am ok with that expectation. I spent so much time in August preparing for September to make sure that the program had a strong start with orientation, I am finding that I have been catching up ever since. I am online for a long time everyday during the week that by Saturday I’m pooped. My brain is unwilling to look at the big screen to work, to read, or blog. I can’t do it. By Sunday, I’ve gathered some sense of self such that I might tinker with some work, but would likely engage in “real human activities” like grocery shopping, dishes, and laundry.
I will admit, teaching online from home is a blessing but it’s also a marathon. My life at home is blended with my professional life. I thought the two were overlapping quite a bit when I used to go to work and bring work home, but now there is very little differentiating between the two worlds. As a result, I am mentally trapped in a vortex online with teaching classes, learning activities, and meetings. I’ve picked up my old normal habits into my new normal (i.e. not eating lunch, ignoring my family, and putting myself second or third in my list of priorities). I really need to find a balance of what is to make this online teaching experience during COVID-19 sustainable.
Furthermore, I’m learning how to teach online and figuring out how to honour “People, Place, and Land” on a digital platform. Teaching and learning are incredible acts of VULNERABILITY. I am learning how to park my ego and lean into the discomfort. I am learning how not to be too hard on myself and be reasonable with my expectations. I am not going to pretend. I am not the expert. I am doing my best. I have to be satisfied with that and keep my mind open to new possibilities. I am the learner. I have to remember that. It’s more than just “being seen,” but it’s about taking risks, being vulnerable, and delving in deep into what you are passionate about.
Two weeks ago, I asked the teacher candidates of our renewed program 3 questions:
- What is your biggest learning so far about teaching and learning in your first month of the B.Ed. program experience?
- What is the expected learning so far?
- What have you learned about yourself?
BTW: Question 2 should have said, “What is the UNEXPECTED learning so far?”
The instructors asked our teacher candidates these 3 questions (and I will revise for the next iteration to the correct question), but we are also asking ourselves the same questions. What is my biggest learning so far? I AM HUMAN. I make mistakes. Lots of them. My job is to learn from them, help others, and do better next time. That’s all I can do. What is my UNEXPECTED learning so far? A LEARNING COMMUNITY CAN BE CREATED ONLINE. We imagined going outside and gathering as a circle to start and end our B.Ed. program. Due to the pandemic, plans changed dramatically and we started “Our Learning Community” online with 4-days of orientation. Although we started the program not as planned being situated on the land in place, the renewed program is exceeding my expectations so far. What have I learned about myself? BE HUMBLE. I have to be kind to self and take care of myself. Self-care is key. Sitting in front of the screen as long as I do is not good. I need to connect with people, place, and land from where I am while I build my community online. Focus on gratitude.