Connected Learning

Jarrod Lamshed

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The Juggling Act

When you start a new job, there’s always a period of time it takes to feel settled. Last year was that for me. If I’m being honest, it really took the whole year for me to start feeling like my new school was a place where I fit. I don’t think that this is unusual. Starting a new role in a new school means developing relationships with students, staff and other leaders. It means gaining their trust. In a new role you tend to hit the ground running. You are eager to impress… to show people that they’ve made the right call in hiring you. That time is over now. I’m beginning the second year in my role and I feel like I’ve got a handle on what that means. I’ve also had the time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not. This isn’t a ground breaking revelation… I think most of us do this all the time.

Last week, some things clicked for me. Any teacher knows that time is a precious thing. There are only so many hours in a day. What we do with those hours is important. I’ve written about the need for balance before and I don’t want to rehash that here, but my thinking has changed a bit. We all struggle with the balance between work and home. Hours at school stretch out and that time at home with the family get encroached upon all the time. This is a constant battle that isn’t going to end any time soon. What I’m struggling with right now is finding balance WITHIN┬ámy work life. Reflecting on my new role, I’ve discovered that I’ve lost some things. In particular, I’ve unintentionally removed myself from a network of learners that challenges and pushed MY practice.

A big part of my role is encouraging pedagogical change in others. My job is to prod, push and expose people to consider new ideas and to try new things in their practice. In focussing on this, and feeling time-poor, I’ve stopped exposing myself to people and professional activities that push me.

This year, within my work, I need to make time for this. I have nominated to rejoin the EdTechSA committee and work with others to help shape teaching and learning around digital technologies. The people involved in this group are passionate about what they do and help to spark my thinking. I have already committed to facilitating several workshops for teachers at other sites this year. Doing this, pushes me to think more critically about my practice and keeps me on my toes.

Guiding others is important and I know that this is what my role is about. But I can’t do this properly if I’m not pushing my own learning.

3 Responses to The Juggling Act

  1. Leith Gourlay says:

    In the time I’ve known you on Twitter and your blogging, I’ve seen what you do in classes, your schools and across different sites. I think you need to know that it’s guys (and gals) like you that make guys (and gals) like me aspire to be more than we are. You don’t seem to have acknowledged the extra miles you go to for your “communities” – so I hope I’ve done that for you.
    Congrats!

  2. Sue says:

    I understand that if you push yourself in your learning it makes you better at things. However in some places you also need to be seen as a classroom teacher too, as they (other teachers/leaders)need to know that challenging students and yourself — a growth mindset can be done in a class situation.
    You need to lead by example. Congrats! Great to see you are challenging yourself.

  3. Tina says:

    Another great blog post, Jarrod and once again, I’ve learned so much from you. Your sharing inspires me to look at my own blog and to start using it as a way to not only share but to clarify my thoughts and to connect with others on another level.
    I agree that there is a need for us to challenge and push our practice. Being part of a professional association can be challenging at times but it can also be rewarding when we help make a difference and are there for our community. It’s great to see you nominate for EdTechSA and I can’t wait to work with you and the other committee members this year.
    Thanks for the ‘push and prod’!

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