Embracing My Fears

March 12, 2010

Ok so I’m in this strange space of course innovation. I’m trying to be innovative at four levels: firstly I’ve put together a totally new content for the course, moving it from the old planning orientation to a greater systems perspective. I’m trying to teach in ways that are highly participatory (not easy when teaching systems theory to 60 students in a traditional classroom). I’m trying to be innovative around assessment, basing it in real life experience (which thankfully students seem excited about). Finally I’m trying to be innovative in the trial of various IT processes. I’m trying to capture all of this as I go in this blog.

 What I’m finding of course is that it’s not all working. Bits are spectacular (you should see the discussion board – I can’t keep up – hundreds of posts). Bits are falling over (my assessment item based on the discussion board is pretty much useless!). I’m having to change things as I go, which for at least half of my students is an enormous stress in itself (“What do you mean you don’t know what the final presentation will look like yet?”)

 So, what is keeping me in a place of fear is that I’m aware this may really come back and hit me in the face – with 60 students slamming me at the end of semester seeing my co-creative processes as a cover-up for disorganization and chaos. Sure they’re saying lovely things now – but I know things will get much tougher as assessment looms.

 I’m wondering if there is any mechanism within the uni to have courses quarantined, so that student assessments might be treated differently? And if so, what one might need to do to qualify? I really love all of this – but it’s not just the students who are being assessed and taking some pretty massive risks.

And more importantly will all the cool kids still talk to me when my teaching rating plummets?  

Image reproduced with kind permission of Eugenio Recuenco http://www.eugeniorecuenco.com/ (I am in love with this man’s work!)

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One Response to “Embracing My Fears”

  1. Karen Says:

    Hi Linda,
    I have read your post for the last few days. I can only speak for myself. I have recently had to compare two articles – one depicted that social workers are ok with the unknown and admitting that they don’t know the answers. In keeping with this I hope the social work students are embracing the unknown readily.

    Your concept of doing the delivery of our assessment is unsual – but for me the rationle I used in picking all my electives was to be stretched and challenged.

    I know I am only one voice but I think I am one of many to say that being involved and working with you as innovators of this style of delivery is exciting. It is through our trials and errors that we truly learn- which was what the beginning of last weeks lecture was about.

    So hang in there and the cool kids will still like you even if it all falls around all of us.
    Karen


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