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.