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
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.