Getting Comfortable with Discomfort
Heather Ridge

Hi Heather,

Thanks for sharing your experience. It sure reminds us that education is lifelong learning for both students and teachers alike.

I had a similar experience last year when I worked with a diverse class at the Global Scholars Programme, African Leadership Academy, South Africa. I can’t say for sure who was more uncomfortable, the students or myself standing in front of the class. Luckily, classes held over three weeks and so I learnt to observe the students, made adjustments and I guess building relationships with them made many of the communication barriers go away.

I surely learnt from that experience and one thing in particular I took away that helps me take down a bit of the shock with new audiences is the art of ‘facilitating’. I realize I don’t have all the answers and I can learn from the students as much as they can learn from me. So, I guide the conversation in line with my instructional content and goals. But of course, its always obvious I still have a lot to learn. I guess that’s just the way education is.

Thanks for sharing again.