There is no doubt about it. Training a puppy will sometimes be frustrating. Yes, they are sweet, fun, and warm our hearts, but the first year is often fraught with struggles, setbacks, and moments of frustration. Whether it is housebreaking, sleeping through the night, coming when called, or learning not to chew your favourite pair of shoes, training a pup takes commitment, consistency, and perseverance.
During my MET journey I found perseverance to be a much needed attribute. Learning new technologies is not easy for many teachers, and it is often easier to slip back into old routines rather than working through learning new skills. But as we push forward with the goal of empowering students with 21st century skills, as instructors we must persevere.
A situation which required just that for me came up during ETEC 511 (Foundations of Educational Technology). I hit a mental road block. What I am sure was not intended to be an onerous task turned into a mountain for me. We had to create a cartoon to include with a paper on theorizing an application related to educational technology. It took me weeks of agonizing attempts to come up with anything for my application, blogging. I finally did it. Compared to many of my classmates’ cartoons, mine was very simplistic. But I was so satisfied with my final product. I persevered. I sought help. I tried and tried again, and I did it. And I think it was a very valuable lesson for me which I have carried forward into my teaching practice. Sometimes what I ask of my students may seem very straight forward and simple. However, each student enters a learning situation with his/her unique knowledge base and skill set, and in order to reach a prescribed learning outcome, each student will required differing amounts and types of scaffolding, support, and perseverance. How cognizant I must be of each learner’s needs!
Cartoon created by Heather Wik (May 2012) in ETEC 511 at www.toondoo.com