TEACHING AND LEARNING MATTERS
Schools are a place of learning and I’m not just talking subjects. At school we learn to read people and situations as much as we learn letters and numbers. At our school we want everybody to learn so that means being brave and giving things a go. If you don’t give it a go you will never know. This leads me to some great advice that I learnt this week from a podcast called Unlocking Us by Brene Brown. Brene Brown is a psychologist famous for a Ted talk on vulnerability but what has this got to do with school?
This week everyone in our community is experiencing the uncertainty of doing something for the first time. It could be something huge like starting school, it could be something smaller like having a classroom upstairs, even just travelling to school in a new way. Generally, when we do something for the first time whether we are a parent, staff member or student we feel excited and we say to ourselves, “I’ve got to do this,” and then we try the new thing and we realise we don’t have all the expertise just yet, then it becomes awkward and uncomfortable and we give up or stop. How many of us really enjoy the first few days and weeks and then it’s the little everyday things that really test us?
So, how does this apply to learning and how can we help each other learn? Isn’t that what we all come to school to do?
Here is a summary of Brene Brown’s advice to push through those awkward bits of doing something for the first time (not just school related!)
- Name it and make it normal – “Oh this weird feeling is because this is my first time doing this. Being brave is uncomfortable, it’s okay that my tummy is doing flips!“
- Put it into perspective – This feeling will not last forever and it doesn’t mean I can’t do anything. It means I’m in the middle of learning something new.
- Reality check expectations – It might take a little time to get this right or the way I want it.
Imagine the power we can all have when we get comfortable with being uncomfortable? When we know that we can get through hard things no matter how big or small?
So welcome to the 2021 school year for the first time and I know that we will all come out the other side with new information, new ideas, new habits, new skills, that’s how we get braver with our lives and with our hearts. I look forward to working with all our students and families for the first time at the primary campus.
PS Check out the podcast!
Ms Joanne Gilmore, Director of Teaching and Learning – Primary