Finding My Niche

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FPPL: Learning requires exploration of one’s identity.

OMG… I love this photo of my bub… taken approximately 16-years ago. She looks exactly the same, but she’s 16. It was shocking to me when I had my bub. LIFE CHANGING to say the least, but having her tampered and disrupted my sense of self and my identity. At that time, I remember saying to myself, “who is this?” All of a sudden, my life was thrown upside down. What I knew or understood about “what was life” would no longer be the same. I made decisions about my career because I was a mom and I made decisions about my life because I was a mom. Now, I just know… I am a mom. It’s who I am.

Completing my doctorate 2-years ago was like giving birth to my second baby… but instead of 9-months, it took 9-years and a long “pedagogical journey” of transforming self and my understanding of teaching, learning, and leading in BC education. I had to take that time to understand and restore my love for K-12 education. I had to unpack my research question and just focus on that question to get to “an answer” but also challenge myself of what is AGAIN. I had to tamper and disrupt my understandings of BC education and what I was able to do and accomplish. I think that much of the 9-years was trying to LET GO of what I believed in and SAY HELLO to what is and what could be.

I feel like I’m here again. I am sure that I am experiencing this “change” over and over again in the micro and macro, but now I am at a point where I am noticing that I am HERE AGAIN. I am brought to the First Peoples Principles of Learning (FPPL) of exploring one’s identity. I AM LEARNING. I guess this is life’s journey… to engage in change… reflect, explore, and wonder… and figure out our identity within a given context, time, and place. I AM HERE and I am listening. I am information gathering and I am leaning in a particular direction as part of my PEDAGOGICAL JOURNEY. It’s so weird when I feel like I am meandering, but really when I look back, it looks like a straight line. It’s weird.

I am given a gift to really consider who I want to be. WHO AM I? This is where my professional and personal life intersect and right now I can REIMAGINE who I want to be. This is pretty phenomenal… and in the same breath… recognize my self-limiting beliefs and overcome them. Admittedly, I’ve been doing that so far, but now I want to identify them and cognitively, emotionally, and spiritually overcome them as I move forward. I am building up my SELF-EFFICACY as a researcher, writer, and educator. What’s so great is, I have an amazing PLN (professional learning network), amazing mentors, and amazing friends and family who believe in me and support me wholeheartedly. I feel so lucky.

Now, I am taking the time to unpack my next steps and just JUMP IN with two feet. I may not know what I am doing (at first) and I may not be an expert in what I do (yet), but I am willing to forge forward to find out how and build my expertise. I have to be vulnerable to the process and know I will be “punched in the head” (metaphor) from time to time, but my job is to try, get punched in the head, and get up again. I’m Ok with that. As one of my mentors said to me, “Do you feel like a professor yet?” I said, “no.” My mentor said, “You need some thing to profess about.” Ah yes… I spent the last year and a half narrowing my niche, but now I have something I am passionate about. Can’t wait!

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