Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Learning Curve. Letting the World In.

#Kinderblog2012: Question numero un!  Details here

What did you learn this past (or, for our southern hemisphere friends, what ARE you learning this current) school year that you couldn't have learned any other year, from any other students or colleagues or administrators or parents? What lessons did this particular year, this particular setting, these particular children bring into your life?

So. Back at the blog challenge.  I love how this pushes me to think. Thanks Amy. 

A funny thing happened to my t’other on a dog walk. He ran into a friend walking his puppy.  They chatted about the trials and tribulations of puppies, and as they parted, the man reflected that his puppy was on a learning curb.   Mine smiled, and walking away, shook his head. Learning Curb.  Ha.  
I love the new saying.  We use it often now in our household.  But as I reflect on this blog question, it occurs to me that as shiny brilliant a teacher as I might have imagined I was,  I have been on a learning curb for a few years now.  Sitting there, happily plunked down, still playing in the dirt, but not looking around me. Just sitting still. 
This particular year has been like no other. This year took me off the curb and  onto the curve. A troubled, complicated, figure it out, fly by the seat of your pants, fail, rethink, honest learning curve.  Like the one our kids are on. Everyday. 
I let the world in this year. Into my classroom, into my friendships, into my thinking. 
And it shifted things for me. 
It gave me perspective as I railed against the idiocy of my current government, then calmed me as I chatted with somebody a world away, passionate and committed to providing for children what we have at our fingertips. 

It showed me  that my passion for play had been diluted by other’s indifference, a passion now re-ignited into a fierceness. 
It allowed me to revisit that clueless, do-whatever younger me, as a still no wiser, older me. 
As always, writing clarifies things for me. I have been struggling to loop my thinking back to my kindergarten students. How all this is reflected back to them. As it always has. My students have been the driving force, barometer, guiding light every year of my 25 years as an educator.  
But this year was for me.  That is my lesson, my take-away. My little just-for-me epiphany. I stepped up off the curb, stretched, shook some sillies out, and got on my learning curve.  Not for my students, but for me. And it changed their worlds because it changed mine. 
Thank you for being there, dusting me off, and pushing me on my way.