Tuesday, February 24, 2009


One of my professors wrote this for me to think about:

"I challenge you that rather than searching for others' great ideas and practices, you start to look into yourself - what interests and passion do you have? what talents do you have? what dreams do you have? and what it takes for all those to come out and meet/enrich the world? "

The answer to these questions is I don't know. I have a variety of interests, passions, and talents. My dilemma is that I don't like to remain on one project for an extended period of time. I think that may be one of the reasons that I like technology so much, it is constantly changing and there is something new to explore.

I don't know if I want to be a school teacher. I do love teaching but at the same time I am in the school system doing preinternship and there are so many things that I see that I just don't want to do. I'm learning one way of teaching at school and another way in the classroom and I don't get to practice what I want to. I am very uninspired by my current placement. I am not saying that she is doing things wrong because she has some really good ideas and practices. I think I am unexpired because of the lack of choice within my lessons. I don't get to try what I want.

Another reason I am unsure is because I am used to playing with students to help them learn (early childhood) and all the playing seems to stop once they hit grade one. This is one of the reasons that I am drawn to inquiry based learning. Students questioning, exploring, learning, and following their interests deeper. I haven't seen this in action and won't have the change to explore it fully until I am a teacher and I am scared that before that happens I will pick up other habits that are easier and become complacent. I know that I can fall into rutts and if I am not inspired I will not try. I can see myself doing this constantly right now in my classes. I am happy just floating by. So far the class that I have put the most effort into is Arts Ed and that is because I really like the arts. I also really like technology and loved taking my ECMP classes and learing new things with technology. The outdoors and field trips are another thing that I think I would really enjoy doing with students. I love being outside and i believe that so much learning can happen in a real situation compared to from out of a book.

As for dreams, I dream of travelling. I love going to new places and experiencing different cultures. I am put outside of my comfort zone and forced to meet new people and experience new things. I don't do this often enough when I am at home although I have been trying to more and more. So right now, I would like to travel to another country for my first year of teaching. I believe there is alot that you learn from other places to do with the education system. Different techniques, strategies... I learned so much when I was in Australia and taught there that I didn't know. I am not very socially aware although I want to be. I try and make a difference everyday personally but I still live in my own little bubble. I think that is why I like travelling because I am always outside my bubble and learning new things.

I wish we had the opportunity to go into a classroom and just try out what I would like to try and then go back to my section and debrief with them. You have an opportunity to learn without complete failure and then have a support group that can help explore options with.

I just don't know is my answer... I have answers but they don't seem to give me direction. I want to be inspired and have a vision of where I want to be but I just can't seem to find it. I don't know if there is a way to find it other than through trial and error.

I want to be a passionate person and teacher. Right now my passion is travelling and I'm not sure how that relates to teathing.


Julie Machnaik said...

As I read this posting, Janine, I can sense your frustration and understand that you want to explore your own beliefs more by trying practices that fit with these beliefs. As you head to your field experience tomorrow think about some of the things that we've talked about - what do you see and not see...what do you hear and not hear...what is being taught and how is it being taught... They say we learn the most from people who are different from ourselves so if this is the case in your placement, what are you learning? This can be a powerful experience as it is challenging your beliefs and will either strengthen or weaken them. It may not be easy but it is a learning opportunity. How can you make sure that you go to school everyday with a positive attitude knowing that you may not be able to try all the things that you'd love to? How will you have fun so the students also have fun? Try not to get caught up in the negative feelings as this will block your thinking and learning.

As for play...yes, we all learn through play so how can you incorporate your philosophy within the routines and procedures that are set in the classroom? We all see things in the school system that we don't like (believe me I've had 30 years!!) but we have to keep learning, growing, and trying to make a difference. I admire your passions and talents and we need teachers like you so don't give up just because there are things you don't like. Your professor that wrote you that comment is challenging you to continue searching. Your placement offers you another PLACE to do this searching.

Look for your inspiration from within, Janine. Be positive and don't look for the roadblocks... look for the openings and all the fun possibilities!

Harmony said...

Great Janine that you love traveling!
Have you checked out the GoNorth Adventure Learning site yourself or with your students? It's a very good application of learning technology. This year it's in Nunavut and the theme is "Transboundary Pollution" Tomorrow, March 11 there will be a live chat with scientist in the field, who you can ask about the Arctic region - the cultures and environmental situations there, etc. Check it out!
Try something at least - negotiate with your co-op teacher.