Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The perfect metaphor for teaching!

Today I heard the perfect metaphor for teaching and just had to share it.
Rebecca, one of my uni lectures told us that teaching is like riding a mountain bike.
Below, I explain in my own words.

When things are going great, you feel like you are flying.
When they are not, all you can do is hold onto the handle bars, try to stay upright and hope for the best outcome.
When you are scared, in the pit, or taking a huge risk, all you can do is take a deep breathe, roll over the edge of the mountain, and hold on tight.
When you are obsessing about trying to get everything piece of data in, assessment marked, blog commented, it is like you are too busy fiddling with the gears that you forget to pedal.

New teachers tend to look straight down, at the wheel in front of them. They are worried about what they are doing now. The hurdles, the bumps, the nooks and crannies we can fall into. It is almost like we are just trying to avoid things that will knock us down. 
New teachers are just trying to keep peddling the bike. 

More experienced teachers, look up. They ride their bike with their heads held high, trusting in themselves they know what is on the ground in front of them and how to deal with that. They look into the distance, the long term goals for their student achievement. It is not a mentality of 'what am I doing today?', but of 'If this student needs to be at X level by the end of the year, they need to move Y levels every month and how can I best facilitate that learning?'
Experienced teachers look up towards the horizon, confident they can keep peddling.

And both of those are okay. 
Even as a new teacher, sometimes I will feel confident enough to quickly glance up and check what is on the horizon. Other times, I will be so busy taking deep breathes and holding on tight and trying not to fall off my bike, that I won't have the energy to look up. 
And that's okay. That is part of riding the bike. 
That is part of the journey.

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome Ashley! I love how simplistically yet wonderfully you have broken down this metaphor. Your closing statements are what is most important for everyone, to be reflective and realistic about your workload and progress you and your students are making. There's only so much you can do without going crazy! Keep up the good work :)


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