Vulnerability in Education

Day 46 (of 187) – November 7, 2018

I’m not going to lie… but I stalled on this daily blog of learning. I was doing a pretty good job on keeping up to my daily blogs until today. I shouldn’t be surprised. I definitely have up days and down days. I had a full day yesterday. I was on campus for more than 12-hours. I thought I could take this day to start with intention. Plan. Respond to emails. I just wanted a moment in time to have two-feet on the ground so that I could move forward with confidence and competence. Most times I feel like I’m running around. Reacting. Trying to do my best knowing that my “things to do” list was getting longer and longer. I needed to take a moment for me before I could go back and give to others.

I wonder about VULNERABILITY IN EDUCATION. I find myself in a constant state of trauma. I still think about my course reviews from last term. I really made myself vulnerable to my class. I tried new things with them and structured my class that was student led and student focused. From my point of view, the course was exceeding my expectations. From my students point of view, I was underperforming… in fact, incompetent. Truth. I was spooked and continue to be. I wonder about making changes to my pedagogy in education, whether it would be in K-12 or teacher education. I took great risks and wore the negative perceptions of these attempts. We’ve been groomed for 20th century rigour and routines. How can we UNLEARN these habituations?

Now, I feel like I’m here again and I’m spooked. Deja vu. Is this some kind of trick? Should I be learning from my mistakes? Or should I persevere? It’s like that summative feedback instilled a deep level of trauma in me that I am fearful to persevere even though I know it’s the right thing to do. I wonder about this in education. We ask students to take risks… to believe… to wonder and embrace the uncertainty. In the end, the students wanted structure, predicability, and certainty. Their summative feedback was hurtful and I’m having difficulties recovering. Was this the opportunity to put me into my place? Should I go back to my pedagogy from 1994? Is this what they were asking for in light of BC’s New Curriculum? There are no questions, I have doubt. With so many mixed signals, how can we move forward and feel “safe” doing so? I cannot be the teacher or learner I want to be if I’m operating in a state of fear… worried if “I’m doing something wrong.”

I can only imagine how student teachers feel… how our students feel (if they don’t fit into the box we call learning)… or our leaders feel who have to create the culture of learning and have to step out of the box so that learning by doing, experimenting, and exploring are the new norms. I hope to recover one day so that I can be the teacher I hope to be.

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