Changing gears…in learning, teaching and life!

When we begin driving we display an ‘L’ plate and then after some experience behind the wheel we work our way to a ‘P’ plate. Then finally the day arrives when you are a fully qualified and recognised driver with a full licence…you feel excited, exhilarated with this newly acquired freedom. Well for me this equates to my  journey in learning, teaching and life except that the cycle is never ending but in fact a continuous circle. At points along the continuum I may be wearing an ‘L’ plate or in fact have moved so far along that I have my full licence.

Right now I’m still  very much on my L’s with moving into a NEW Stage for teaching, NEW grade partners, a NEW building, a NEW leadership role and a change in family dynamics….yes a lot of changes in a very small amount of time. Suddenly I understand more fully the impact of change that our students experience at the beginning of every NEW year where they meet NEW teachers and peers.

So now I’m a Stage One teacher and there are quite a few students in my group that I taught either last year in ES1 or the previous year when they were in my ES1 class. Those students that are now in their second year (Yr 2) of Stage One are displaying their ‘P’ plates as they confidently take on the challenges of learning and growing in Stage One. However, as I watch the newest members of Stage One (Yr 1) they, like me, are very much wearing their ‘L’ plates. We all need some time to readjust and find some new friends and trust in our own abilities as learners that what we see as challenges right now will become less frightening and with some creative thinking and innovative problem solving will eventually become our strengths. Having an awareness has made me realise that these students will require extra support at times when they are feeling overwhelmed and just like adults, they need to be acknowledged when they are doing their best. I feel so proud of all my students as I watch them grow and at times struggle to move from L plate to P plate and then continue to strive to attain a full licence….the possibilities are endless.

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My colleagues and students give me inspiration and it’s through them that I knew it was time for me to try a new pathway….this year sees me also taking on a brand new leadership role of ‘Religious Education Inquiry leader K-4’. As a life long learner I see this as an amazing opportunity for personal and professional growth. The best part of being within a team is that we all share our gifts and talents with each other…..knowledge and skills are plentiful, so on those days that my L plate is way too heavy all I have to do is reach out my hand and I know that someone will help me!

The last change was probably the hardest…especially as family is so precious…but recognising when the time is right for others (in this case my daughter) to encounter their own worldly adventures is priceless! Do I miss her? Very much, but I know that she is exploring the world and I’m so lucky to still have the rest of my family at home who also help me with changing gears and moving forward!!

Oh, did I happen to mention my learning in Barcelona…..wait that means more change and another blog post. So until next time have fun changing gears and wearing whichever plate best describes your journey…LP….or even full licence….