Season Three is Starting Soon!

While I was delivering a lesson, a student, who doesn’t usually say much, raised her hand. She told me that I’m not a loser. The whole class was a bit surprised, but no one more than me. I just accepted her comment, thanked her, and went on with my lesson.

A little while later, while the students were working and I was circulating, another student stopped me to tell me that I’m not a loser and am actually pretty cool. I couldn’t stop myself from laughing out of embarrassment because I was complimented publicly. I asked where these comments were coming from without first thanking her. She was upset with me for not acknowledging her act of courage. She, too, is a student who doesn’t say much often.

Eventually, I found out that the students found my podcast. Apparently, in one of the episodes—I’m not sure which one—I mentioned that people used to think me a loser. Every day since, this one student makes it a point to remind me that I’m not a loser and that I’m pretty cool. One of the students’ favourite teachers, in fact. I’m projecting, here.

I’ve come to really enjoy these daily reminders. We have so little time together in class, because I’m on rotary this year, that her finding the time to slide in this encouraging reminder is made that much more special.

I’ve been thinking about starting up with this podcast again. Learning that my students took the time to listen to it was the nudge I needed to sit down and think about it more seriously. So, here we are, at the start of season three.

This podcast started off as a pet project, something I want to try when the pandemic started. I really enjoy putting it together. The exercise of reflecting on my teaching practice and considering different aspects of pedagogy helps me see my career through an academic lens, which is a perspective I enjoy taking.

In January of last year, I hit a wall. Hard. I had to stop and take a break. The podcast was something I could take off my plate. I kept thinking about it, especially as the new school year was starting. More than anything, I miss taking perspective on my teaching practice and working toward developing an understanding of my intentions and expectations as an educator.

The last couple of years have been challenging. Teaching and learning in this new context has placed an intangible weight on the shoulders of students and teachers. Walking through the halls, you can see a discernible fatigue present in the faces of students and colleagues. People are tired. How it presents is different for everyone, but the restlessness and general malaise is undeniable.

What makes this year so much harder? The work is the same. The expectations are the same. The students are the same. The teachers are the same. The only things that are noticeably different are the masks on faces and bottles of hand sanitizer at every turn.

The rules have changed. The protocols are different. The foundation remains the same, however. School is about character and academic education, same as it’s always been.

Now that restrictions are easing up, things are going to change. Again. The number of changes that we’ve seen pushed through over the last couple of years has forced us into either a position of resilience or one of apathy. Personally, I waver. Some days, I really care about what potential exists within the structures that frame our learning environment. Other days, I just want to get to the day’s end.

As I start into season three of this podcast, I have some questions. Do students need to write by hand more? Do students have enough responsibility? Does the curriculum need to change? How are we going to address the learning gap? How can we effectively adopt a “less is more” approach? These are just some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head. I’m looking forward to sitting down and thinking about them more, and then sharing the ideas with you.

This season, I’m hoping to put out an episode each week, on Tuesday, starting on March 29, 2022, until the end of the school year. I’m excited about starting this up again and I’m looking forward to sharing ideas with you. As always, I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments, so feel free to reach out to me.

Talk to you again, soon, folks.

Season Three is Starting Soon!
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