"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Friday, 17 May 2013

When learning becomes reciprocal

I have to admit over the last few weeks I have been a little down and flat. Which is not like me at all. I don't usually let the stress of work and life get to me but I think some busy stuff just caught up with me. Since Thursday I feel a return to my usual up beat normal self with fresh glasses on it's time to reflect upon what's been going on in the last few weeks.

I was so excited for my students last term when sat their major exam and they received some fantastic marks. I felt so pleased for them and considering this was the first time that I had taught on the course I was stoked that they did so well. Often when the students are stressed it is easy to to feel stressed to. It's sad that many students don't return after the Term 1 holidays and you feel a sense of failure but I have come to realise that people for many reasons can't cope with study and the stress of it or there are things that change in their lives  or have gained employment and may come back at another time. I can't let these things get me down for too long. It's the nature of the students at Tafe and adult learners. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and your path is no longer straight and you have to get there another way.

Last term was a steep learning curve as I was course coordinator for the first time, teaching on three courses I had not taught on before and training and maintaining the Moodle site I built for the section. It was rich in experience and I am learning more about people and how to encourage and support adult learners from vast and varied backgrounds and ages. Each day is so different and I am often inspired by my students. Our students are not empty vessels and one student in my Cert IV course gave a me a great tip she came up with herself when writing a paragraph in an essay. She remembers:
Some students like concrete rules to help remember how to write different texts and I wanted to share this great idea in case you also might have students who like structure and rules. 

One of the great things about teaching for me is the generosity in sharing. I love it when I can learn something from my students and that in turn will help others. So many times they surprise us and I look to the wins when I feel down. 

A couple of week ago on #ozengchat on Twitter we had a fantastic chat with Jen Curwood-Scott about YA fiction. This genre is changing and challenging and I love the vibrancy that young people give to YA fiction and drive the genre because of their love of reading.

I am moving ahead with my plans for the first ever Central Coast TeachMeet and I think I have a venue. They are offering the centre free but will keep you posted until next week. Waiting on confirmation. Have also applied to do an Adobe Premier Elements course and am waiting to hear if I got in. Seems like a great elearning tool. My wonderful hubbie and kids gave my a Wacom Bamboo tablet for Mother's Day and I am having a lot of fun playing around with that. Have my L plates on and not ready to take it to the class room just yet. Another week or two and I'll give it a try. 

Another busy we ahead but one full of new and rich experiences. 

Until next week,