Day 37 (of 188) being an interloper
One of the short stories I read in high school that still resonates with me is “The Interlopers” by Saki – http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/Inte.shtml – a story with one theme being ‘a person out of their element’ – an unfamiliar environment.
Growing up in small town BC, West Vancouver is ‘on the other side of the tracks’ from what I am used to! But Education is a topic that crosses perceived borders. We talked about eportfolios and assessments, byod and inquiry, and of course Learning (the capital L is purposeful). At first I feel like an interloper (I even referenced to a secretary that I was lurking around the building!) but the people in the schools I visited helped me overcome that self-imposed feeling very quickly! Craig Cantlie of Caulfeild Elementary and I had teachers who met this summer and talked eportfolios – so that was the initial connection that brought us together (and I couldn’t be happier to have a live meeting with a member of my twitter PLN – especially with such a like-minded educator!); but I was also introduced to other lead educators, including Judy Duncan and Brooke Moore at West Bay had similar “interest” in ‘communicating student learning’ instead of the traditional ‘reporting student learning’.
It was a great reinforcement that “visiting schools and talking shop” can be powerful professional development – and taking the risk to venture into another school district can be even more exciting. The visit allowed me to steal some great ideas (LOVE the concept of inquiry-based Digitally Enhanced Community –> iDEC) and reflect that our #83learns culture of “permission to move forward” is closely aligned to #sd45 ‘s “Culture of Yes”. To do different, we can’t be doing the same old same old. Yet it isn’t about doing ‘everything’ different – it is a mindful ‘eye on the past and look to the future’ to find balance to enhance the learning experience of all members of the learning community!
Even more so, I realized that I might not be the interloper I thought I was; some of my ideas (eportfolios, geniushour, SOLEs, etc) sometimes had me feeling I’m a ‘lone wolf’ (if you remember the short story, you’ll have expected this connection) but the more I talk to like-minded educators (both asynchronously on twitter and face-to-face whenever possible) I realize that the interlopers may actually be the educators who are resistant to changing things up to enhance the Learning of students!
Thank you to the educators of #sd45 who invited me into their learning communities – it is greatly appreciated and valued!