Gretchen Vogelsang – Lecturer – UNBC School of Education
Reflecting on the first month of the Renewed B.Ed. Program.
I have learned that when, as instructor or lead learner, I purposefully examine and confront my socio-cultural values about teaching and learning, and then bring my lens back to focus on the connections to those of all others- no matter how general or broad the connection becomes- that I build understanding, create space for relationships and ultimately foster the growth of learning community. And as a result, I broaden and transform my own values! And then to create this space online? Who knew? I do, now. Humbled by my own inexperience and ignorance – my mom would say, “Oh dear, how can you know what you don’t know?” Valid, mom, valid (and loving). But I do know now, so I am intrigued how this will continue to impact my practice. Maya Angelou reminds me that now that I do know different, I need to go out in the world and DO different. Yes, ma’ams!
I have learned that when I give myself permission to target the essentials of learning and stand determined not to get trapped in rabbit holes or the minutiae, not only is my teaching and learning more resonant for me, personally, but I notice these essentials echo of joy in the learning of TC’s –Thank-you Covid for granting me this opportunity to consciously decide to choose, if only for self-preservation. Regardless, what an understanding to come to after 20 +years in the profession – but could it happen any other way? Perhaps not…
I have learned that my work at UNBC supports my work at FSJSS. That my work at FSJSS supports my work at UNBC. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Scholar-practitioner struggle is real, but the benefits are palpable. The young faces at UNBC and FSJSS radiate untapped potential and promise, the extent of which I believe I have no right to try to predict or mould – I just feel gratitude for being able to witness the possibility, today, and, use any potential impact on their tomorrow purposefully, thoughtfully, and aligned with each ones emerging sense of self. Standing in service to something so much greater than myself alone.
I have learned that as my boundaries with self and other get even more clear, that more space for working, loving and living is created. In other words, clear ‘nos’ produce more ‘yeses.’ Irony rules!! Boundaries are changing – they are alive – and as contexts change, as children grow and mature, and as I grow and mature, boundaries are becoming a reflection of self – when they were once merely a protection of self. Trying to share these awakenings with my own two children in the hopes that I can save them a few years, at least, of existential angst and pain – probably too much to ask, but I will, and am, asking…fingers crossed!
Man, how I have learned.
And it is only the beginning.
Written by Christine Ho Younghusband, October 20th, 2020 | No Comments »
Who knew that I was dreading this day for about… 50 years!!! Well, here we are and I’m happy. GOODBYE 40’s and #HELLO50. My birthday this year landed on a Friday… what more could I ask for? Oh wait, it’s a pandemic and I’m teaching from home. NO BIG PARTY. No gatherings. And, no worries. I think over the past 10-years with my dissertation and now with remote learning and living, I’m becoming more acquainted with the INTROVERTED lifestyle and appreciated how my birthday went as it did.
I had my EDUC 394 class, I got my FREE drink from Starbucks, and I enjoyed a drink with my walking edu-buddy during happy hour after my 3-hour online class. I spent Friday morning planning and prepping, taught online, and we pleasantly surprised by THIS DELIVERY from one of my students. Cake, pakoras, and cola. BEST. GIFT. EVER. I was super surprised and overwhelmed. Loved our class that day. I feel very luck to be teaching and learning with these teacher candidates. They are incredible!!! Take a look at some of what they said about “what kind of teacher do you want to be?”
When I I look back at my life, I can see that each decade had a distinctive “theme.”
The first decade = FORMATIVE (Years 0 – 9)
The second decade = SCHOOLING (Years 10 – 19)
The third decade = DISCOVERY (Years 20 – 29)
The fourth decade = COMPLIANCE (Years 30 – 39)
The fifth decade = TRANSFORMATION (Years 40 – 49)
It’s incredible to think that I’ve been on this earth for half a century. I’m shocked because I feel like life is beginning. My decade-themes as stated above are self-explanatory, but calling my 40’s as a decade of transformation is an understatement. I tried to “rebrand” this time as my PEDAGOGICAL JOURNEY, but so much had changed for me. I left teaching in K-12. I became a school trustee. I ran for mayor. I finished my doctorate degree. My mom passed away. I moved to Prince George from the Sunshine Coast to teach in higher education. I was living in two places. I lost my marriage. My kid is becoming an adult. That’s the Cole’s Notes of my last decade.
What’s next for me? Not sure. What I do know for sure is the following:
I have an incredible learning community.
I have amazing friends and colleagues.
I love my family and my kid to bits.
I love to teach, learn, and lead.
I miss my mom and she was a strong woman.
What I am learning is to be more resilient and persistent. I am learning how to trust myself and others. I am happy and I am deeply grateful for the pandemic so that I can continue to live on the Sunshine Coast during my kid’s grade 12 year while working full time at the university remotely online. I was not sure how I would have survived another year without my kid during her formative/schooling years. Being here with my kid is the greatest gift. My kid did get me an Apple Watch for my 50th birthday gift. She is so generous and kind. Everyday, she amazes me. I am a proud mom. Finally, I had prawns during happy hour with my friend on my birthday… in addition to my wings and wine. It reminds me of my mom. I think she’s proud of both of us too.
Written by Christine Ho Younghusband, October 12th, 2020 | No Comments »
This is so sad that I have to do this, but I’m doing it. I am spending the day catching up. I have to do multiple blog posts. How to reflect under pressure but also almost a whole month worth of blogging and reflection. I wonder if I can back date some of my reflections? I have no idea. Just be thankful that I am NOT going to cram all of my reflections into one. I am going to make separate blog posts, but I have come to terms with the idea that a “weekly” blog isn’t working for me. Interesting.
I am so happy to be back blogging. I love that even my absence from blogging is an invitation to understand self and to figure out what works. EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING. Love Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle of a concrete experience, observation and reflection, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. I do not want to be limited to a weekly reflection, but I have tried blogging daily and blogged when I was inspired. I think I need to try a combination of all of the listed above strategies.
I’m not a huge fan of feeling obliged to blog because I don’t want to blog about nothing or something that has no meaning. On the other hand, I do not want to not blog and reflect. Reflection is integral to my practice and there is something so wondrous about the writing process that helps me with my thinking. I am reminded to write more often, formally and informally, but also why I do the work that I do. I need to embrace my pedagogical journey. Ahhh… it feels good to reconnect to my why. I was slipping away from it a bit for the last few weeks… and now, here I am.
I am so happy. YAY. My brain needs a definite 2-day break from the “big screen” on the weekend, blogging included. Hello Thanksgiving Day and stat holiday. I needed this day to breathe and be thankful. What I am super thankful for at this very moment is “classic editor” on WordPress. I engaged in “block editor” for a few weeks, but I did not like it. My life is a little happier going back to what’s familiar and getting back to my blog. It’s been a crazy few weeks and it’s time to catch up. So, Here it goes. This is my segway to my series of blogs that I’ve been wanting to write for weeks. Enjoy.
Written by Christine Ho Younghusband, October 12th, 2020 | No Comments »
Week 27 – September 20. 2020 – First Week of Teaching
Oh my goodness… I am still spending my time catching up. I anticipated this. For the last month and a half, I spent the prepping and planning for orientation and I just finished working on it this week. I expected to feel tired at the start of the term. We underestimated the work. Orientation is done and I am ready to start the new school year. My productivity and endurance is less than what I had hoped for. The marathon to the start line got the best of me. Expected but I hope to catch up soon.
We have just finished our first week of school after one week of orientation. It seems that our teacher candidates from the current B.Ed. program and renewed B.Ed. program had a good start. That was my ultimate ambition. The school year started well for our teacher candidates even though it was nothing like what we had originally imagined. COVID-19 and the pandemic is extremely taxing on one’s body, mind, and soul. Our teacher candidates seem to be handling the uncertainty well.
I am feeling exhausted. Oh yes, I’ve already mentioned that. I feel tired from Zoom meetings and trying to make the most of a situation virtually. It’s almost like Star Trek. I can beam myself to any meeting at any time, but there is something about walking to a meeting, driving to a destination, and meeting people face to face that is good for the human psyche. For this reason, I am so glad to have a critical friend who I can walk and talk with. Our brief moments of connection is good for work/life balance.
We go on edu-walks. My schedule does not permit it, but I wish I could walk with her daily, but . I try to connect up with her as often as I can during lunch to drive somewhere, meet someone face to face, and to go for a walk. I love that I have a chance to connect with someone in my bubble that keeps my humanness alive. Otherwise, I would be online ALL OF THE TIME. Honestly, Zoom fatigue is real!!!
My critical friend and I talk about our kids, life, and educational leadership. We come from two different perspectives on K-12 education, but we started from the same place in education. We first met almost 25-years ago teaching secondary mathematics. Those were the good old days. I loved teaching math and it was so fun teaching across the hall from my friend. We both moved through the K-12 system and moved in different directions. No matter how different our contexts are, we often experience similar things in our professional life. We often wonder how this happens.
This phenomena of parallel working lives, as well as similar experiences with our children, surprises us all of the time but also reaffirms that we are able to provide each other ongoing support, professionally and personally. Teaching and field of education can be an isolating and lonely profession even though you may connect with 100’s of people per day. It’s so nice to have someone like my critical friend to provide perspective. She is someone I trust. We laugh and share. No judgement.
#pandemicreflection #gratitude #friendship
Written by Christine Ho Younghusband, September 20th, 2020 | Comments Off on Critical Friends
Week 26 – September 11, 2020 – 4 days of Orientation
Here’s a beautiful pic of my desktop. Never mind the number of tabs I have open on my chrome page and the number of email tabs I have open on my desktop. Truthfully, there are just as many as the number of icons seen above. Gah. Is all I can say. At one level, I need to KonMari my computer. On another level, this represents the month and a half of work simmered down to 4-days of B.Ed. Orientation. The first two days with all of the teacher candidates took most of my time and the last two days was with the new teacher candidates in the renewed program. I still have not planned or prepped for my own classes because I was so focussed on these 4-days to endure we had an exceptional start to the school year for all of our cohorts.
The first two days were difficult to assess for me. I felt more like the wedding planner. It’s strange trying to plan and organize a cohesive, meaningful, and relevant learning experience when you have to implement the entire time ONLINE on Zoom. It was not my intention to subject the teacher candidates to early onset Zoom fatigue, so it was important to structure the day and learning activities to be interactive, short, and varied. We had the Lheidli T’enneh Elder Darlene McIntosh welcoming the teacher candidates to the territory, opening keynote speaker Jo Chrona from FNESC, and closed the event with UNBC First Nations Centre’s Bev Best as the closing keynote. UNBC faculty and staff facilitated workshops ranging from technology, walking curriculum, and the library. And, my friend Janet Chow from SD41 talked about FIPPA.
The strange thing about education is, when things go well, you don’t hear anything. I asked for feedback and overall it seemed positive. Of course as the “wedding planner,” you see all of the “mistakes” or places where it could have been better or that you had to change things on the fly to make sure the day would flow as close as you can to the agenda and you’re not going overtime. There were moments where the time scheduled fluxed, but in the end, we ended both days on time. I was so happy that the first 2-days of orientation were over. So much stress. So much time spent on making connections, reaching out, and making sure every felt good about what they were doing and contributing to the day. EVERYONE did an excellent job.
The last 2-days were spent with the new teacher candidates in the Renewed B.Ed. Program. It was so nice to meet them in person (on Zoom). The Zoom room shifted from 80-90 participants down to 30. Seemed more reasonable. I had to prep for these two days even though I had previously outlined the agenda. It was the first time I made a PDF (well, Google Doc) to provide two asynchronous assignments for my EDUC 405 course on e-portfolios. The last 2-days were meant to describe the “Interwoven” Courses of the Renewed B.Ed. Program of EDUC 405 and EDUC 446… but also create community. Oh my gosh… I am so proud of our new teacher candidates but also impressed. you can see online that “Our Learning Community” was forming. By the end of these 2-days, the teacher candidates were willing to have their photos taken, have those photos posted onto #UNBCed social media, and one of our candidates created this image (as envisioned by Dr. Tina Fraser) of our learning community. It was an incredible way to end the week. Thank you Teacher Candidates!
Written by Christine Ho Younghusband, September 12th, 2020 | Comments Off on Welcome Back to School
Week 25 – September 7, 2020 – Classic Chris, Need to Organize
I’ve got a lot of stuff and it’s not quite the time to sort through everything and consider purging all of my knick-knacks quite yet. Classic Chris to start organizing and cleaning right before a big event or paper… or something like that.
Tomorrow is the start of “orientation week” where September 8/9 is B.Ed. Orientation for Teacher Candidates… hosted online… and September 11/12 is the introduction of the Interwoven Courses of EDUC 405 and EDUC 446 of the Renewed B.Ed. Program. It’s going to be a labour intensive week such that I’ve spent most of my time trying to organize, prepare, and plan for these 4-days. Of course, there are amazing faculty, staff, and community members who are helping me out to facilitate a workshop or two.
Now it’s September 8th. Time will get you that way. Just completed the first day of four of B.Ed. Orientation. The first 2 days are for all Teacher Candidates from 6 cohorts and 3 campuses. The following 2 days are for 2 cohorts in the Renewed B.Ed. Program. The time has arrived and what I’ve been planning for in the last month or so is coming to fruition. I think Day 1 went OK. A few hiccups but nothing that we could not recover from. I am super proud of my team.
This gets to my original point of my blog. I am always thinking of the now. The URGENCY OF THE NOW seems to capture my attention, so I am only focussed on what needs to get done in the short term. COVID-19 in particular put me into this mindset. There is such a high level of uncertainty that everything that I am doing is TEMPORARY thinking that this too will soon pass. The pandemic will over time be a moment of the past, but in the meantime it’s here and possibly for awhile.
I’ve been living out of my suitcase in Sechelt since Mother’s Day (May 10th). That’s 4-months. From mid-March to mid-May, I was living in complete isolation physically distancing myself from everyone in my apartment in Prince George. It’s fall and school has started online at the university.
What I need to be doing in the new normal is to create a new normal that’s sustainable. When I was in Prince George after the global pandemic was announced, I stayed up until 4am and went to sleep until noon. I was getting my 8-hours of sleep but I was also watching the news at every waking moment and taught my courses asynchronously.
Returning back to the Sunshine Coast, my sleep habits are better… maybe from midnight to 8am but I’m working at every moment everyday (or at least it feels that way). I need to create some reasonable boundaries as I work from home. On the one hand, I am so happy to be at home with my kid who is going into Grade 12. On the other hand, working from home creates blurred lines between work, life, and play.
To be sustainable I need to have time for each aspect of my life. I have made a decision to stay for one more month in Sechelt but I’m waiting to hear more about practicum and the winter semester. Snow oddly is another factor for me to consider. In the end, I need to be acting and behaving for the long haul. The vaccine is not coming any time soon and the number of COVID-19 cases in BC are only going up. This pandemic is not ending soon and I need to find the joy in all that I am doing and kid burnout.
I am definitely taking weekends. Work until Friday at 6pm and not start work again until Sunday at 6pm. I got that idea from my critical friend. So grateful. I was kind of doing that already but out of exhaustion, not fir intentional rest time to fill my cup. I am also recommitting to my #daily5kchallenge. I can do that while I’m in the Coast. And, I’m taking lunch time off to eat (tech free) and go for a walk with my friend. A 9am to 5pm day seems reasonable but sometimes life or work interrupts that rhythm. I’ll leave that for now and see how things go.
#pandemicreflection #mentalhealth #sustainability
Written by Christine Ho Younghusband, September 07th, 2020 | Comments Off on Think Long Term
Week 24 (and a bit more) – August 31, 2020 – #SELFCARE
This is totally disgusting. A picture of a picture. It says it all. I should have done this a long time ago, but I had no idea of the extent of the problem. I knew that I had troubles cleaning the back of my teeth. I knew that there was a huge hole in my teeth. And, my breath was less than desirable. Other things like my gums aching, my teeth were sensitive to heat and cold, and a boney growth forming on the roof of my mouth were also telling signs that THINGS WERE NOT RIGHT. I maintained this state of being for months, especially during COVID. I think there was a part of me that though this would pass, but in reality, it just got worse and I made the call.
My mouth was aching and honestly, I could not take any more. I left a message at my dental clinic and they were pretty clear that they were only taking emergency calls. They were not business as usual yet, but they called me back the next morning and I was in to see my dentist within the week. You know that something might be wrong when you can make an appointment with your dentist during a pandemic. I could not wait for the day to see my dentist. I needed some relief from the pain and I was really concerned about the roof of my mouth. What the heck is this? I noticed it in March just when COVID-19 hit BC. I googled what it could be and it seemed like it was nothing life threatening. Thank goodness, but it would be really nice if it went away.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the dentist. I’ve been between the Sunshine Coast and Prince George. For some reason, I did not prioritize my health and health maintenance. I was burdened by the immediacy of the now and focused on everything else but my health. THE BODY NEVER LIES. My teeth were bothering me for quite some time. I went to see the dentist last week. She spent an hour looking around and making many assessments about my teeth with the Assistant. Seven X-rays later, some tapping, and some prodding.. she said that the back two teeth were suffering from tooth decay, the bump on the roof of my mouth was NOTHING, and much of my assessment asked about my blood pressure, sleep apnea, and teeth clenching.
The appointment was strangely enjoyable. It was like forensic storytelling of my life via my mouth. I had options, like getting fillings or removing all of my wisdom teeth. We compromised with removing my top two wisdom teeth which had the cavities, a teeth cleaning, and a mouth guard for my top teeth. They were concerned about my blood pressure and suggested that I go see the doctor and maybe get a referral for a sleep test. EVERYTHING was pointing to blood pressure and stress. When I returned later that week to get my teeth cleaned, the dental hygienist took my blood pressure and refused to work on me. She said I should go to the doctor about my blood pressure and to get my numbers down before she would see me again. Deja vu.
The same hygienist refused to see me a few years ago and I went to go see the doctor for the same reason. I was spooked about taking drugs for my blood pressure and stopped taking them. I had no idea how bad things were until I want to the hospital. I asked the dental office for a referral to go to the doctor’s office in light of COVID. They said they normally didn’t do that, but the dental hygienist ended up calling the medical clinic. She told me that my doctor was going to be at emergency and that she could treat me there. I went to emergency and they admitted me into the hospital. Apparently, the last time I was admitted into the hospital was 17-years ago to give birth to my daughter. In the end, I changed and updated my contact information.
The nurse takes my blood pressure and recorded why I was in emergency. Nothing seemed unusual. My doctor arrives and mentions that I saw her 3-years ago for the same reason. This is not good. She starts her assessment and sends me to a chair to get some blood tests done. I was going to be there for at least 1.5 hours to complete these tests. I had blood drawn, drugs to take, and blood pressure taken. While I waited, I spent my time reflecting on my health and watched the nurses and doctors like TV. My blood tests results were good, but my blood pressure condition was deemed chronic and I was given a prescription, advised to track my blood pressure daily, and referred for a sleep test. Follow up with the doctor in a few weeks.
THIS IS SERIOUS. Do I really need to triangulate my situation with another medical professional? I got the message. Blood pressure or hypertension. This is serious. What I am really thankful for is, everything is treatable and preventable. What a wake up call. I am now on medication. I stopped drinking coffee. No more alcohol. I am following the DASH diet and I have about 60-pounds to lose. I need to get back to my #daily5kchallenge or maybe pick up bike riding or running. What I am most grateful for is the dentist who was willing to remove my teeth regardless of my blood pressure condition. He was aware of the situation but figured that having my teeth stay would cause more stress and anxiety. I could not believe how easy he made the extraction seem. He talked me through it and made me feel that anything is possible.
Why am I going to great lengths to blog about this and why should you care? First, I don’t want to forget about this. This is a wake up call and the body does not lie. Second, I have much gratitude for the health professionals who are out there to help. My job is to listen and comply. I am so happy that nothing that I am experiencing is terminal. I can do something about this. Finally, don’t take life for granted. I was doing that and not PUTTING MYSELF FIRST. That is a big lesson for me to learn and understand. I am important. I can see that now and it will take time to shift. Doctor appointment is next week, sleep test tomorrow, and dental hygiene with another hygienist next week. I am taking the pills and recording my blood pressure every day. I don’t miss coffee and I even took a day for myself to recover from the surgery.
I have been here before and I have a second chance. In the end, it will be all worth it.
I am tired and very little is filling my cup lately. I feel like I’m running a marathon to get to the start line and I don’t feel like I’m going to start the race in time. As much as I feel that I am doing the work for the greater good, I will often get lost in that work and forget about me, my work, and what I need to do to get ahead. Sounds counterintuitive and selfish, but I am realizing that there is a level of self-preservation and self-care one has to do to maintain a pace of productivity and service, but I am also understanding that is the nature of my work. There is a part of me that resents it when others have drawn their line for this very reason and I have sacrificed my work to benefit the whole. Maybe this is my perception, but I cannot believe the work that I have chosen to do so that I can get to my work. I’m not there yet and I’m exhausted.
What I am doing is informal leadership. I am driven by the vision and mission of my work. “You only make a first impression once” and I am doing everything that I can do to ensure a strong start… but to what end? That was a beautiful phrase given to me by one of my friends and edu-colleague when I was writing my dissertation. The feelings are reminiscent. There are limitations I need to recognize but also delimitations I have to set to ensure what I am doing is within reason and achievable. I am also reminded of another time when I had “put myself in front of the bus” to activate and motivate certain decisions and actions when I taught in K-12. It didn’t feel good at the time, but the outcome benefited students. In the end, that’s all that mattered… but to what end? I burned out and left the practice. Here I am again… I started reading “The Listening Leader” to fill my cup. I’m loving the learning but the message is serendipitous. I am putting myself out there, “going for broke,” with hopes of something good in return.
Don’t get me wrong… there are a lot of good things happening. Each little step matters towards the big picture, but I have to remember a few things that I’ve discussed with my critical friend over the last few weeks. (1) I cannot control others; (2) how can I help; and (3) I will have voice. I also have to keep in mind My Manifesto. I know that leadership is not perfect, but I have to have the courage to listen. I reached a point of frustration, sadness, and discouragement that I had to have voice. I could not pretend that nothing was wrong. I was worried and losing sleep. Maybe it’s just me. It has to be at some level because I was the only one that said something. How can we give feedback to move the team forward? What do I need to listen to, to move myself forward? Admittedly, I stepped back. Self-preservation seems tempting. In the end, I just hope that I am able to make it to the start line and fulfil my manifesto.
End of Week 20 – August 2, 2020 – A good cup of coffee
This blog post has NOTHING to do with coffee, but it’s more about the feeling you get when you have an excellent cup of coffee (especially first thing in the morning). When something happens to you at the right time… aka. in a timely manner… you have to write about it. It’s time for my weekly blog, but also I’m also practicing my WordPress skills. I’m teaching a course in the fall on reflective practice, inquiry, and e-Portfolio.
This blog post includes a few tweets from yesterday. I appreciate being tagged in a tweet, particularly by someone from my PLN (professional learning network). I was one of 10 educators identified by Tim Cavey @MisterCavey who have overcame adversity as educator in the field of education. Tim is also the creator and moderator of Teachers on Fire Podcast @TeachersOnFire and he has interviewed hundreds of educators. To be one of ten chosen for this blog post, it feels amazing to be seen.
I quote tweeted the blog post. How could I not? I was taken a back, truthfully. Being an educator is challenging to say the least. There is lots of politics, plenty of conflicting agendas, and many challenges with trust, equity, and good decision making. That said, there were many good people in the system and I appreciate those who created space for me to grow and learn. Over time, one outweighed the other.
Hat trick of AMAZINGNESS on Twitter. Thank you @MisterCavey for this blog entry with @TeachersOnFire. Honestly… thank you for noticing. A majorly messy journey but grateful for people like you who I’ve met along the way. I could not do it without people like you. https://t.co/woULLCmV6a
I just happened to be scrolling through my Twitterfeed and saw a few of amazing and inspirational tweets and Tim’s tweet completed the hat trick. I read the blog post and took a moment to pause. Wow. First, he remembered my story. Second, he framed my story so beautifully. Finally, he could see my story and recognized from all of his interviews that this is more common than not. I replied back to Tim’s tweet and said…
I see a bit of my story embedded in the 9 other stories. I appreciate the theme of hope & resilience. Struggle is part of the experience. The goal is to overcome. Thank you for this inspirational blog. I hope others can see, “Anything is possible.” You just have to believe it.
It’s true. Each story was a little bit different, but I could identity with each story. I could empathize with each educator highlighted in Tim’s blog post and how they felt and what they experienced. I am not a victim, although it may have felt that way at the time. I will admit, teaching is not for the faint of heart. You need to really know your why and be driven by what’s important to you. I am focussed on student learning and well-being. My provocation: How can I improve the student learning experience?
Tim replies back to my response with a couple of other responses and shifting one’s mindset. I love these questions. (1) What can I learn from this? (2) How does this serve me and others? Although my departure has completely disrupted the trajectory of my career and it has not been an easy to transition from K-12 educator to university instructor and teacher educator, I look back at 10-years and believe that everything was meant to happen exactly the way it did. My reasons for leaving K-12 and all the events that happened before the event, during the event, and after the event were a gift. I only have gratitude. I had much to learn and I am learning. That’s the gift. TY.
I have to remember to be kind to self as I take the time for INFORMATION GATHERING. It’s a period of time that I take when I am trying to make sense of something. I’m in the middle of transformation. Change. Anyone taking the time to shift one’s practice, life, or mindset, you have to take a moment to reflect on why and what’s at stake. I made a decision and now I am digging in deep. For the last 10-years, I’ve been scanning, experimenting, and exploring. I felt at one time that I was in too deep and had to get out. I spent time digging myself out, redefining self, and rediscovering my love and passion for education to re-establish MY WHY.
It was a crazy pedagogical journey. I learned a tonne, finished my dissertation, and met so many wonderful people. My eyes were open to the possibilities. I had the privilege of looking at education from the ground, at the 50,000 feet point of view, and now I stand beside K-12 education as a teacher educator. Of all the things that could have been, I did not expect to be here. Moreover, I did not anticipate a pandemic and have the great fortune to reflect on what’s important to me and why. It’s been a struggle. I had troubles of letting go of what was and too scared to JUMP IN to see what was possible. I was uncertain and uncommitted. Now, I am jumping in.
It was time to dig in deep again. As a result, I wanted to start learning more about what I am passionate about and delving deep into Indigenous Mathematics, look at content knowledge acquisition, assessment, and leadership practices. What does it mean to be an academic? This is also part of my learning journey. I am very grateful to be back in the classroom and I love the flexibility and autonomy of my work. However, digging deep often leads to messy moments. That’s why I love this image above. Seeing the light through the trees. My friend will remind me to “be brave.”
#pandemicreflections #bebrave #jumpingin
Written by Christine Ho Younghusband, July 27th, 2020 | Comments Off on Digging In Deep