The Non Expert

I was a little surprised and taken aback when someone recently asked me for some travel tips and ideas.  This year, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some time to go on some fun and amazing trips, so maybe it shouldn’t seem strange. But, it did seem strange to me, because I’ve documented many times how stressed, afraid, confused I was before taking trips, and even listed my mistakes!

Nevertheless, I’ve been, I’ve experienced, I’ve (fallen short of) conquered!  It totally snuck up on me that I put in my co-op hours. My apprenticeship training. I’ve journaled my trips, taken photos, and reflected on my adventures. Wow. I did it. But it still doesn’t explain why someone would choose to ask me when there are plenty of experts out there with better qualifications.

But, maybe it does.  I think many of us in education did well in school ourselves. Everyone struggles, but I’m willing to bet a majority of us were driven to succeed, found our areas of strength and were able to make smart decisions. Even taking AQ’s, we are still learning, but maybe know how to jump the hurdles a little better than some.

This year, more than ever, I’ve become a student again. Not like when we are teachers taking a course, but really going back before we found our niche.  I know, I know, we are all students, but like I said above, we have found the tools we need to be successful. Some of our students struggle with the everyday subjects and maybe always will.

While I’m not actually taking courses, I have found myself outside a comfort zone. I’ve had to push myself almost every time I wanted to go somewhere. I had no idea what I was doing, I was scared. I’m back to remembering exactly what is is like for some of our students.  (At times I felt I had no help, just had to persevere, and I’m sure some students feel the same way, despite our best efforts)

So when someone asked me for some advice, I almost chuckled, why me? Well, I think maybe I’m that approachable “non expert” that has just enough knowledge to help you get started. You see my flaws, but also note that I tried and found some success. I’m not, zip zap bobbity boo, done. I get it. Sometimes I’m afraid to ask the top person my question because what if it sounds silly? Or stupid? Or worse, they answer it, but I don’t even understand the answer?

When I head back to the class, I will understand that fear. I will be human, fallible. I know the feeling of being a fish out of water.  You ask me for help because you are like me – a little timid, a little afraid, and you know I can cut through the advanced version and give you the tools you need to start.


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