There’s a lot going on at school, and in the general educational circles about character education. The idea in a nutshell is that you can nuture kids to work on the traits that make them better learners. There are 24 of these babies, but 8 specifically for learning.
Part of this process is to be introspective as a teacher and look at how these 8 traits apply to me personally. So, seeing as I’ve been rather introspective lately, I thought I’d give it a go in a space where I’m less likely to get fired!
So here are the 8 in no particular order (OK, in the order that I remember them):
This is the ability to keep going even when the going is tough.
People, I have this one covered.
Bust my spine? Give me those crutches.
Dislocate various limbs? Hand me the bandages & I’ll teach like a dead Egyptian on wheels.
Give birth ridiculously early to tiny child who forgets how to breathe? Stick an alarm on the kid, whack a boob in it’s face, and… yeah, sign me up for university. (What was I thinking?!)
I am the terminator.
This is the ability to be positive. The glass is half full.
Ok, not so much. Optimism has bitten me on the bum one too many times.
Instead I am stoic. I hope for the best outcome, but prepare for the worst. That way, I can consider what the worst possible outcome is, and be prepared even though I go for it anyway.
Not the same as grit. This is being able to pick yourself back up after failure.
Oh it took me a long time to work on this. I still am. Some days I can take an utter disaster and look at it like a learning experience. Other days, I still require a blanket and some sweet tea.
I’m good at looking at things like a puzzle, but when it comes to other people, I can’t stand failing in front of people. In class, I’ll admit when I don’t know or I’m wrong, but if my class doesn’t get the grades I’d expected, I feel like a shoddy teacher. I’m a contrary soul.
My resillience comes from waking up in the morning and wanting to just laying here until the pain subsides, but dragging my arse out of bed and into work. It’s not crying because my arms won’t push my chair up the ramp without popping out. It’s suggesting to the kids that we dress me up as a Darlek for Halloween.
I love learning. Not just about computing, but just learning. I love reading people’s blogs and learning about their place in the world and what makes them tick. I want to know what happens if you press that button….
What once was nosey, is now curiosity.
Self Control With Work
Do I watch cartoons with my kids, or will I get that marking done? Invariably I’ll do the marking. Is that because I can self regulate or is it because I have a ridiculous fear of deadlines? A little from column A, a little from column B.
Do I eat the cake, then yes. Why are you even asking me that question? The cake is eaten. Duh.
My self control is variable. Don’t bring cake into this.
Self Control With Others
This is all about Social Intelligence.
I don’t lose my cool with people readily, and when I do, it’s in a quiet & controlled manner which suggests that you’re in a whole world of shit you hadn’t bargained for.
I vent in appropriate environments (here).
I’m equally able to hide a massive percentage of the pain I’m in for a good portion of the day. This slips and sometimes (quite a lot) I do snap. And I snap at those closest to me.
I’m also a massive control freak and this escalates when I feel vulnerable. Case in point being my zero tolerance on behaviour with classes : as I can’t physically get to the kids misbehaving, I need to make full and frequent use of my death stare.
No, not the outy bit of an orange. Enthusiasm.
I’m British. I feel far more affinity with Raven than Starfire. I am The sarcasm. Over enthusiastic anything isn’t part of my genetic make up, unless you ask me to talk about code, or World of Warcraft… then you unleash the unholy nerd.
This tends to be the one where people get all religious. Except I’m agnostic. At best. (I was actually raised Catholic, but I refuse to believe that any deity would want us to kill each other just to prove them right.)
I am grateful to still be working, even if it is trashing my body.
I’m grateful that I have a weird little online support network for my roller coaster ride of a diagnosis.
I’m grateful for my family.
I’m so grateful to have Mr Geek.
I’m grateful to have had the good fortune to have been born in a place where I’m safe and have the option to be independent.
Right now, I’m particularly grateful for my bed and extra blanket.
And those are the main traits of a good learner. I’m aware that I vary wildly on these scales, perhaps my introspection will help me give them a bit more slack when they don’t hit my super high standards.