Even though I often mock my classes mercilessly and sometimes feel as though I haven’t learned anything (content wise) being in teacher’s college has not only helped me become very self-aware, but also to be more comfortable with who I am and what makes me, me.
In Ontario, teacher’s college is allllll about reflecting. Reflect this, reflect that. Reflect here, reflect there. Reflect on what you ate for lunch, why you chose what you did, how it made you feel, and how it will impact you as an educator. As much I am sick of the task and often find it utterly pointless, it has helped me become reflective in all areas of my life and I’ve learned more about myself than anything else through this program.
Let me explain by confessing a secret: I struggled through my entire undergrad. I had difficulty getting through lectures and extracting the salient points unless they were extremely clear or on a power point. I found the entire format difficult and coasted through because I know how to write a strong essay. I’m not proud of it, but most of my marks were in the high 60’s – low 70’s range. Learning in university was never easy for me, and for four years I just thought it was because I was not as smart as everyone else there. I felt like I was always missing something… like everyone else had this great secret and I was dumb for not knowing it. It was a huge relief to graduate.
And then I started teacher’s college, already anticipating that I’d be a mediocre student again. But something magical happened: I started learning about learning–more specifically, I learned about how I learned. And after 4 years of feeling less intelligent than everyone else around me I learned that I am not dumb, I just learn differently than the format of most undergraduate classes. In a survey that took 5 minutes, I learned that I am a visual and kinesthetic learner which is why I find lectures with no visuals or slides so difficult to sit through and learn from. I probably would have done much better in a college class where classes are much more interactive and less theory based, but I had no idea… I just thought I was different. When I found out more about learning styles and multiple intelligences it was like this little chip on my shoulder I had been carrying around all this time finally fell off.
That’s just one example of the new self-reflective me. I am now so much more comfortable confronting my strengths and weaknesses. I am more confident. I feel like I’m getting to know myself.
You should try it. :)