Same But Different
Week 18 (of 38) – January 21 to 25, 2019
This is a brilliant photo. Same but different. It’s a photo of my workplace in Prince George and I was compelled to take a photo. Look at the sky!!! If this was a photo of the Sunshine Coast, it would look similar but instead of the snow, it would be the ocean. This is how I feel about teaching and learning. I am so happy to be back in the classroom… teaching and learning. I am so grateful to have super awesome people (aka. my colleagues and friends) like Dr. Linda O’Neill from UNBC and Deneen Sawchuk from SD57 who are willing to take the time to share their expertise and passion for teaching and learning with my classes. Honoured. Furthermore, I have incredible colleagues at the institution who act as my mentors, which helps me to realize that I have much to learn about being an “academic.” I am definitely a beginner. I love teaching and learning with my students and wrestling with them, if they are willing, to sense-make. It’s fun.
I take great joy in creating and thinking about how to design a course so that the learning is meaningful and purposeful for my students, but also an opportunity for me to learn and grow in my practice. The drive to improve as an educator has not changed. However, at the university, every instructor and their courses are evaluated. Receiving course and teaching evaluations is never easy. I was only evaluated once when I taught in K-12 and that was after my first year of 16 years of teaching. Now, I receive course and teaching evaluations every term I teach (and my future employment depends on these results). My results last term ranged from “neutral” to “excellent.” Different courses resulted in different outcomes. I am not surprised because some variables were out of my control. I am not making excuses, but putting my evaluations into perspective. It’s not personal.