Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Should...teaching...incorporate army training?"

The last few weeks have been the most physically and emotionally draining of my career and I am so glad we are on holidays now and I have time to pause, process and recover before approaching the final quarter of the year.

So, what have been the highlights (and the lowlights, can't ignore those, sadly)?
  • Attending the 2009 Smart Classrooms eLearning Innovation Expo and Teacher Awards was definitely a highlight. It was an honour to watch @shanetechteach, @jnxyz and all the other winners be recognised for their dedication to pushing the boundaries and forging new ground in the integration of digital pedagogy. These are the people who support, inspire and push me when it comes to trying new things in my classrooms and encouraging other colleagues to make the shift and leap into the great ocean of potential that is 21st century teaching and learning. The following elearning expo event was bigger and better than 2008 and left my mind spinning with new ideas, one task these holidays is to spend some time looking for ways to make some of those ideas happen! 
  • Another highlight has to be the socialising I was able to do because of the expo. It's not often I get the opportunity to spend face-to-face time with my PLN members, but the expo sure gave us a great excuse. To all the #EQelearn and #leftovers twitter group members who were able to make dinner and/or coffee, it was awesome getting to spend time with you all and bringing the virtual conversations and support of each other into "the real world".
  • Seeing the preservice teacher I've been working with refuse to give up and starting to find her own feet, and finding enough courage myself to let it go a little more each day.
Unfortunately, there have been some lows in the last couple of weeks too. When these challenges arise we always learn something new about ourselves and we always come away changed, even if only minutely. I don't think I've fully processed what happened to challenge my understanding of myself this week, needless to say it has changed me though. It's making me reevaluate a few things about my position, my roles and my future.

The preservice teacher I've been working with wrote something this week, without knowing the details of what I'd been dealing with, which really spoke to me:
"...should undergraduate teaching degrees incorporate army training?"
At this stage I want to answer yes, especially after this week. As a teacher we are on the frontline. We often find ourselves blamed for literacy, numeracy, social issues and who knows what else. We are expected to work with the basics to perform miracles in behaviour, in results, in innovation. We work with young people who feel disenchanted, ignored and frustrated, and we get to be the ones they take this out on while we try to engage them in a curriculum which largely disempowers them. It takes resilence, courage, determination, optimisim and hope to take the job on and keep at it, no matter what.

And, so far that's what I take away from my lows this week. No matter what, I will keep moving forward - maybe just with some stronger armour and ammunition now!

1 comment:

jamavon said...


I agree, we do need an army - an army of dedicated professionals in areas like social work, technology and health within our schools. Community based organisations that can design innovative programs to compliment and support the role of the teacher. Our kids deserve it.

(Another pre-service teacher)