Tag Archives: resilience

Learn. UnLearn. ReLearn. Repeat.

I often come back to The Innovator’s Mindset book by George Couros which I have read a couple of times now because so many ideas in it really resonate.  Today was definitely one of those days.  In particular, I thought of three of the characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset:  Resilient, Risk-taker, Networked which gave me a more positive frame for dealing with the big tech news I have been dealt this week!

Just last week, I learned that Blab, a platform I had just learned and experimented with shut down. Because I was fairly new to the platform, I wasn’t overly upset at the news, and given the fact that they were not very diligent or responsive to my negative situation a few weeks ago, I am not going to say I am heartbroken.  Nonetheless, it was a really great platform for connected debates, book clubs and panel discussions.  I will need to go back to my blog posts and delete them and there are teachers who took the time to experiment with the platform because I got excited about it, when they could have gone to the beach instead!

Then yesterday, I learned from someone in my Edumatch Voxer group that Google Hangouts on Air, a platform which I have spent much time using and teaching others about is shutting down after September 21st.  After my initial panic and shock, I realized that it is simply moving to YouTube Live and that it really isn’t that big a deal, but it still will mean going back to all of my tutorials, presentations, etc..to change the information and it will mean trying to find a suitable alternative platform for connecting students to experts, organizations, and other classes.

As I shared this information to my PLN, I said, “Need to relearn” to which my friend Leigh Cassell added:

Learn, Unlearn

And it’s so true.  Putting yourself out there to learn how to integrate technology in meaningful ways means being a Risk-taker; but it’s often a calculated risk with the goal of doing what’s best for kids. And it provides the opportunity to really put ourselves in the shoes of our students who are constantly learning new things.

For the rest of the day, on both Voxer and Twitter, people were sharing ideas, alternatives, and resources to help each other through this change.   Being Networked allows me to get support and help when I need it and to offer support and help to others.

Teachers and Administrators who try to bring in technology to meet their learning goals  have to be Resilient.  Platforms and tools change so quickly that teachers who are trying new things for the sake of differentiation and student learning are risking that the tool they teach their students may not be available in six months.  Do we let that fear stop us from finding the best tool to suit our purpose?  Or do we deal with this flexibly and thus model this mindset for kids?

The only constant nowadays really is change.  We can either complain about it and let it be an excuse NOT  to innovate or move forward, or we can be can embrace an Innovator’s Mindset look at it as a great way to really experience what being a learner means.

So back to the drawing board for me as I go and learn about YouTube Live, Firetalk, and the many other alternatives people have been so generous to suggest.


Now I know how it feels

This morning, I posted this on Twitter:

Self regulation tweet


And yet, here I am, 2 hours later writing a blog post…

Full disclosure.  I’ve also checked my Twitter feed & notifications 3 times.

And I’ve also cried.  Seriously sobbed.

Over the past few days, I have done EVERYTHING to avoid working on my assignment for a Research Methods course I am taking as part of my MEd.

On Wednesday, I hosted my first Coffee EDU.  Though I was really worried that it would just be me and a book, it turned out to be an amazing gathering of educators and the conversation was so rich.  When I got home, I was exhilarated and exhausted and couldn’t possibly work on my assignment.

Yesterday, instead on working on it, I signed up for the EduMatch Passion Pitch moderated by Sarah Thomas as part of Shelly Sanchez-Terrell’s 30Goals e-conference (which you should really check out if you are NOT working on an assignment).   I had never done anything that spur-of the moment before.  I thought I would throw up I was so nervous, but  I got to meet Shelly and Sarah, whom I’ve admired on Twitter and several other really great educators who shared their passions.

Then last night, instead of working on my assignment, I revised a blog post and added it as a guest post to Edu_match (again something that I would recommend if you have some spare time).  It was awesome and I was temporarily ecstatic, until I sat back down to my course work, realizing that I really should have used those precious hours to get caught up.

I told myself that I was doing these things to “put myself out there”, to “try something new”.  I did things that disrupted my routine, in the hope that the adrenaline rush that comes with trying something new might somehow help.

And of course, it’s summer, so I need to spend some time with my family by the pool, planning our summer road trip, and watching our favourite Netflix shows.

But the reality is.  I am avoiding my assignment(s).  Because I feel completely and utterly out of my element here. I am re-reading research articles over and over again and I quite literally still don’t understand the “research methodology” or the “conceptual framework” at work or why the “standard deviation” really matters.  I may as well be reading a foreign language and I have never felt quite so stupid in my life.

Does any of this make sense to you, because it sure makes no sense to me!

Research Methods

(From: Children’s utilization of emotion expectancies in moral decision-making Steven G. Hertz* and Tobias Krettenauer Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 2014)

I know that I SHOULD contact my professor and that she will be more than willing to help me, but I don’t think I will.  I will go to Youtube, ask a friend, and keep struggling through it.  I have even decided that I will be satisfied with a lower grade, even though I really won’t.  I know when I get through this, I will be better for it, but the feeling of failure is a palpable right now: an anchor weighing me down and I’m drowning.

I wonder if this is what my own students felt when we read Shakespeare together.  Me, with a passion for the nuances of the language, my students completely and utterly befuddled.  Is that why some of them didn’t hand anything in or were completely off-task in class?  Or why my students didn’t come for extra help when they needed it?  Or resorted to plagiarizing?

Of course it is.

Self regulation and resiliency are not easy skills to teach, develop, or support.   I think recognizing that might be a good place to start.

I will start by moving this post from Draft to Published and go and work on my assignment.


N.B. This post reflects a moment in time.  You will note from the comments that I did seek help from my professor (who was incredibly supportive) and that many of my peers were struggling as much as I was.  Nonetheless, this moment of reflection been an important one, for me.  How do we deal with the reality of teaching students who may be feeling the struggle?  How do we stay in tune with that and how do we support them along the way?