Connections

The last week has been a revelation.

This could be considered an overstatement, but it is not. This time last week I was struggling to marry the place where my pedagogy was and the environment the rest of me was in.

It can be an incredibly tough road being a teacher. You (can – I do) have complete control over the learning that occurs in your classroom. If anything goes wrong, it’s all on you. You are your own worst critic. Any mistake or trouble inside or outside your classroom can send you in to that zone of reflective negativity. Regular visits to this place can end up being severely damaging to the psyche.

Having been out of teaching for three years prior to starting my job at the beginning of 2013, I found it incredibly hard getting back into the groove. Planning, meetings, responsibilities. Three months into the job I started wondering. Then the questioning began. Does he know what he’s doing? What’s happening in that classroom? Who does he think he is? This has continued in the background for the better part of the year. You can imagine how that weighs on the soul.

That’s the place I was in heading up to Auckland to attend the inaugural #edchatnz conference. I somehow knew¬†a good conference would sought me out.

It opened. Then it happened. This video happened. As soon as the words “lone nut” had been uttered by Derek Sivers I knew something was about to happen.

And so commenced two of the most mind-blowing days I’ve had in my teaching career. I am still utterly gob-smacked at just how wonderful this conference was. I’ve returned to South Canterbury and tried to explain to the people around me just how much this has changed my life. They are supportive and excited for me but because they weren’t there they just have no idea.

No longer am I the lone nut. Yes I exist in my own little bubble in my small rural school guiding my kids through year 5 and 6, but I am no longer alone. There are literally hundreds (thousands?) of other educators around the country (world?) who share my philosophy. They believe what I believe.

They understand.

I’ve been inspired to begin a blog. This blog is dedicated to the teaching journey I am undertaking. My connections have been made. My support network exists. Twitter is my new staffroom.

I am no longer the lone nut.

More soon.

Mike