Day 79 (of 185) the lies of Landy (or truths….whatever…)
Sometimes I lie (sorry, I’m not sure how to ___ but maybe we can figure it out together)
Sometimes I’m ambiguous (I can neither confirm nor deny if a phone call was made to MCFD as everyone has a duty to report, but not inform me)
Sometimes it’s hard to tell (yes, I can put on my resume that I have three years of university French….but a closer look will notice it’s the same course…)
Ok. Today was one of ‘those’ days that I enter with trepidation. One of ‘those outings’ where students have to try something new….and sometimes the adults do too….for today was ski/skate day….and for me, I can do 1 of 3 winter activity-opportunities…..so I have to make the best of a bad situation.
I can’t skate. Well, I can go forward (unsteadily) and when I used the boards as a means to stop myself in my youth I ended up with six stitches. And it amazes me to see how easily some kids take to the ice…and I’ve had encouragement….but really it’s a great opportunity to build character! And show that even adults can be unsteady at some activities!
Which is how I cope with cross country skiing. I’m a decent downhiller – but…..well…..when I used to do report cards, I always liked to say that our second term grade depended on them being better cross country skiers by the end of our class sessions. And each time I would have kids say that worried them….until they saw me ski. I fail at cross country skiing consistently. I am an advocate of the activity/sport (though I used to tease a top tier skier when I taught him English 11 that it’s not really a “sport”…he did get the last laugh!) but I am not a good role model for it.
I freely admit that I do create both real and fake “opportunities for learning where I can’t help”. When students have done GarageBand, I routinely say “I don’t know” when asked how to do some things. Now…I might know…but I’m truly trying to build a collaborative culture. So I do try to mix in some authentic “learning together moments” like working on some new coding activities (which, by the way I am very happy to see as part of the curriculum for all instead of “enrichment activities”)
I believe it is important for students to see themselves as independent learners. I am always there to help students get into and out of ‘zones of frustration’ – especially when there are glitches (one of the words one of my grade three students used) that can add an extra obstacle (and that’s not fair). But I love it even more when experts arise from the unlikeliest of sources – like the grade two girl showing older students how to solve a Christmas tree coding puzzle. Or the student who finds a shortcut in GarageBand….or when we accidentally learned how to increase a quiet voice on an old iMovie platform (so I keep an o,d version available in case any such editing is needed in the future.
Sometime fails lead to some of the best learning opportunities. Even today, while I struggled (and even avoided for awhile) doing some laps along the ice – I got to model that not everybody skates with ease. Thankfully I didn’t have to model getting up from a fall….but I saw some students trying a new activity (after having over-thinking it for the past two days at school)…some teaching others how to skate backwards….and a lot of parents show up not just to watch and chat but to skate and have some fun.
So… “yes” I can ski, skate and even sing(!) but the competence level is up to “interpretation”!
And hopefully some similar learnings were happening with our staff, students and parents up skiing at a local mountain – looking forward to connecting and hearing some stories tomorrow!