Living What We Teach

There has been a lot of changes for me as an educator this year – a lot of new exciting and positive  experiences, as well as a few frustrations I’ve had to deal with and overcome.  I read somewhere that it is not the experiences in life than defines you as a person, but how you reflect on those experiences.  I am a firm believer in exposing yourself to as much as you can in life to gain the knowledge and awareness that different experiences can provide.  By opening yourself up to unfamiliarity, whether that is through the different uses of technology, trying different foods than you are used to, travelling or participating in events to learn about different cultures or being willing to change and shake up your daily routines from time to time, you are allowing yourself to grow both as an educator and human being.

Ironically, I just read a blog post by Beverly Bunker this morning (@beverlybunker) titled Stepping Just Outside Our Comfort Zone.  In reference to being uncomfortable outside our element, she writes:

It’s the only way that we can be genuine

when we tell our students that risk taking

is a critical component of learning. 

Basically, if we encourage our students to take risks with their learning in class we should be modelling  that as educators to them as well.  Live what you teach!

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Flexibility has become my middle name.  I am a pretty open person as it is, but some unexpected changes do initially send a ripple through me of uncertainty and nervousness.  Next school year I will be delving into a whole new territory for myself as an educator – job sharing in a Kindergarten classroom.  I had an opportunity today, after getting the ok from my open-minded VP Tia Henriksen (@TiaHenriksen), to observe and assist my fabulous  soon-to-be partner in her Kindergarten room.  As I watched, I could see these little faces becoming more & more engaged.  With each poem, with each song sung, and with the drawings paired with their attempted written expression I was beginning to think I can do this. Watching my colleague was like watching a master at work – the difference between a good Kindergarten teacher and a great one was very apparent.  I can only hope I can come close to how she engages her students each and every day.  I will have to work on my singing voice in the shower that’s for sure, but change IS good…right?