Cruise ship learning

Once again, I have unintentionally abandoned this blog and have been gleefully writing away on my more personal blog.  I have enjoyed laughing and sharing my adventures in that one, but they didn’t quite seem to be the right “material” for this blog.

But then I remembered, I typically update this one after a trip with some things I learned while travelling. I’m hoping our trips helps educate my daughter in real world situations and also help me develop as a more understanding and helpful teacher in the classroom.

We recently returned from a week long cruise in the Caribbean.  I learned some basic textbook type things to start : the tactile feel of dolphins and their power, geographical and historical facts about Belize, that it’s “good luck” to kiss a stingray in  Grand Cayman. ( but I think this is a clever joke to see if tourists will actually do it!)

I also had to learn some things the hard way. For instance, I have a delicate stomach, I get delayed sea sickness, tender boats hit waves with some force, people can smoke anywhere in foreign countries, and I cannot walk a straight line on a moving ship.

Some things I want to take into the classroom with me are not just about dolphins and gravol.  It has been difficult for me to plan, organize, and get over general nervousness and anxiety to go on these trips, but I did. The payoff was worth it. Being pushed by the nose of a dolphin on my feet was worth the anxiety and work and pep talks I gave to myself. When I had motion sickness and didn’t want to move, I had to take some precautions and forge ahead instead of (literally) being left behind. I had to face some unknowns, maybe even risks, but it was necessary to reap the rewards.

I need to take and remember these lessons in the classroom. Students often have fears and anxieties learning new material, expressing themselves, working with others, publishing work for others to view.  While I no longer face these types of fears in a class, it doesn’t mean I don’t have anxiety in other areas and fears I need to overcome.  Being able to relate and understand fear can help me encourage and guide my students to reach a better outcome.

This whole year has been about me pushing my boundaries and letting go (or at least facing them) of fears. I’ve been trying new things, some with better luck than others. Yes, some aspects of my trips have failed. And I paid money to fail. But some parts have made me feel great about myself and what I can accomplish. I can look back on everything good and bad and say, “yep. Worth it.” And I really hope my students look back in grade 12 and think the very same thing.

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