Over the next 9 weeks, I will “take the challenge“. No, it’s not the ice bucket challenge. It’s the Ontario Extend 9x9x25 Writing Challenge. The goal is to write 9 blog posts over the next 9 weeks reflecting on my practice as an educator in post-secondary education.
I thought I would start this challenge with my motivation for doing this in the first place.
As a “mathie” at heart, I am comfortable with numbers and formulas. Writing has never been easy for me and although I have become better at it, it’s still not in my “comfort zone”. I’ve tried journalling, but not successfully. I always find myself sitting there, trying to think of something to write down. If only I could connect my brain to a computer to capture all those great thoughts I have when I am in the shower or driving.
This is one of the reasons why I chose to take the challenge. It’s going to take me outside my comfort zone and push me to write at least 25 sentences every week as I reflect upon my teaching practice.
A friend of mine posted the following quote on Instagram:
“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.” Caroline Myss
THIS is something I truly believe in.
Some of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my life have been the ones that were the scariest. They forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to try something new. I can think of many examples throughout my life – but I will only share one as it relates to my career in education.
The first time I was asked to present my peers, I thought, who me? What have I got to share? There are so many other faculty with much better things to share. Of course, it didn’t help that I was terrified to be at the front of the room in front of all my peers. Imagine that, a teacher who stands in front of students every day worried about teaching other teachers. The thing I learned very quickly is that your peers understand what it’s like to be at the front of the room. They are supportive and responsive. Having the courage to step in front of that first group and offer a workshop, has lead to more workshops and other opportunities.
In 2016, I applied to be a facilitator with the Southwestern College Educator Development Program (CEDP). Being a facilitator is very different from teaching. It’s VERY different from being a MATH teacher. In a math class, the content & activities are very structured. At CEDP, we facilitate the group and much of the content is generated by the participants. This is very different than what I am used to. It was very scary when I facilitated my first group on my own, especially since I was taking over for another facilitator in the second phase. My group was amazing and we learned so much from each other. I really love being a facilitator, meeting faculty from the other colleges and learning from everyone. I learn something new every phase.
I am excited about the next 9 weeks to see what happens. I am already having thoughts about next weeks topic.
I am looking forward to learning from each other over the coming weeks!
Happy writing everyone!