Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Job Fueled By Passion!

It is rare when you have a job in your life that you really love based on the daily unique human connections which make you reflect and learn. In an environment where you continue to grow your learning while facing unpredictable obstacles, growing through discomfort and taking risks, It is not considered just a job!

The most rewarding part about being an educator is going through the challenges and the obstacles of caring expectations and compassions. That means creating new perspectives, acquiring new skills and pushing boundaries. Yes, and sometimes empathy putting ourselves in the students' positions.

As educators, we shouldn't always be in our comfort zone. At times, we should challenge our thinking skills, be open and continue to learn new experiences. These discomfort experiences will guide us to continue to learn and progress. Our personal growth will depend on the challenges and the activities that we will encounter throughout the year. We need to give ourselves the time and act beyond the usual. The great part is knowing that you are not alone in this rewarding and at times exhausting journey! You have a community of supportive experienced colleagues around you and online to reach for feedback.

As we shift our mindset, we also shift and grow with our learners' mindset. We focus on the causes and effects of learning and how the learning process is chaotic.

It is important to accept the chaos as learning! The discomfort is also the unlearning for students to make room for learning. We need to listen to what the learners are saying. Think of ourselves in their shoes and make changes based on conversations through feedback or better of, feedforward as we determine next steps with our learning.

It is a job in a learning environment where we can observe, engage and be motivated to learn with the students. These are opportunities for us to converse and learn more about their thinking. Sometimes listening carefully for empathizing and figuring our students' emotions and obstacles for learning.

We often make assumptions based on our observations while conversations with the learners based on observation data, guide us on how the learners need to move forward. We learn most when our assumptions are challenged. We need to assess the effectiveness of the learner's learning and reasons for difficulties and successes.

The mastery of learning with the learners is not just about achievement or grades it is about developing mental, social and emotional skills. We also need to practice what we would like our students to achieve.  We need to create self-learning environments through leading by example. We need to embrace the challenges and we should take the challenges as learning steps with a positive attitude rather than negative uncertainties. Valuing our own journey and creating positive interactions with our learners is more than a job, it is a journey fueled by the passion for learning!

As I begin reflecting on my new year, with changes from 2 groups of Grade 6s to 4 groups of Grade 7 students, I am reflecting on:

  • How will I take the time to personally learn about every student's aspiration, interest, background, and particular learning needs?
  • Finding ways to motivate students to see the value of themselves when learning and impacts of their imagination and creativity to the learning process.
  • Providing a safe place for inquiries, explorations of thoughts, building a community and wonderings about local, national and global changes.
  • Giving opportunities for students to be courageous, accept failure, document their personal journey, reflect on their compassions and how they are making a difference in their lives and in others.
  • How will I be creating meaningful and purposeful learning opportunities for the learners to be empowered and be in control of their process?
  • How will the learning environment support collaborative, communication of thinking skills and flexibility for critical thinking, creativity, and integration of interdisciplinary for making and designing through many tools?  

It is not easy to change mindsets!  As educators how will we model compassion, take time with learners to build a safe motivating and innovating culture for all while honoring reality? Will we take the time to get advice from our learners before we give them advice?

A video to reflect on: What if We Didn't Have Teachers? By Trevor Muir

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