Learning and me: A love story
And yes, it’s complicated
I’m Karen, I’m a teacher, and that’s been my story, but really, it’s only half.
Crafting my story in public (as part of an amazing course I’m taking on digital authorship) is scary and is about risk-taking. My story is a piece of my identity, and that means being vulnerable in an icky ‘why would anyone want to watch this’ kinda way.
And that’s the point.
Crafting a story about who I am has led to me figuring that out a little, myself. I started by scanning my memory bank through tales of adventure from my life overseas. Surely, someone would want to watch a 10m video about awkward cultural stumbles or terrifying ‘no one will find your body for days’ moments, right?
I just couldn’t get there.
I got stuck on the part of the assignment about sharing “an original short story that helps an audience to understand who you are”. My mind and instinct vetoed the overseas adventure stories in favour of a story of my profession — my identity — that is the centre of my world right now.
And I repeat: I’m Karen and I’m a teacher. I have always wanted to be a teacher. Even in kindergarten, I felt like I was in my forever space. On my last day of public school (Kg — grade 8), I was gutted. I sobbed on my walk home.
That’s not to say learning comes easily to me. I struggle with reading, and even more so with speaking. I need much more time than most.
And I love it. Every minute of it.
I love being taught well. It’s happening right now, in Renee Hobbs’ digital authorship class. It’s happened only a handful of times in my adult life, and each learning experience has shifted my thinking, my perceptions, and yes, my own identity as a teacher.
Becoming a teacher was a dream come true and I take my role very seriously. My role is my identity, and over the last 25+ years, I’ve been on a learning journey about the vocation and profession of teaching.
Key word: about.
And that’s what my story means to me. It’s about balancing the seemingly simple notions of learning about and learning to. It’s about climbing the tree of knowledge and being among trees of knowledge. Forming and cultivating a wood wide web. Curious about this whole tree thing and the wood wide web? I invite you to watch my story.
Understanding my own role in teaching and learning has meant I’ve had to teach myself and trust myself.
It feels good.
And holy shit, it’s scary.
Check these out!
Wood Wide Web
Suzanne Simard’s TED Talk (2016): How trees talk to each other
BBC World Service YouTube video (2020): Secret life of trees
John Medina’s book (2017): Brain rules for aging well
NPR’s TED Radio Hour (2021): Life stages of the brain
Brown, Roediger III, & McDaniel’s book (2014): Make it stick
The Learning Scientists (2021). Website FULL of great content!