Image courtesy of Cheng_I
Well, it’s here: the end of the 2009-2010 school year. I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the end of the school year, but I’m sure that is the case with many educators in my PLN. Sure, I love the summer. I relish the fact that my alarm does not go off at 5:45 am and that I can spend my days reading trashy novels as well as lounging around with my dog, but I love being a teacher too. I enjoy all the various questions I get from students and love watching them demonstrate their creativity in the classroom. I also really enjoying pushing myself to find new ways for them to express their thoughts, opinions, and creativity through technology. So the end of the school year is always bittersweet for me and it’s especially thought provoking this year as I’m not returning to school next year. For those of you who don’t know, I’m embarking on one of the largest adventures of my life: becoming a parent.
I’ve always wanted to become a mom. I’ve dreamed about carrying a little baby around in my arms (and I’m not going to lie, I’ve been practicing on my ten pound dog). Hopefully all goes well at the end of August and this dream comes true. Being a pregnant teacher is an interesting experience, though. You get adorable questions from students, “Ms. Weir – you’re pregnant right? Because you’re putting on a lot of weight!” “Ms. Weir – will you email us pictures of your baby?” or my personal favourite, “Ms. Weir – how does it feel to have a balloon where your stomach should be?”
Of course I’ve also heard the pregnancy horror stories from all the women in my life, but the one thing I didn’t anticipate was the comment, “You’re not going to be such a tech nerd when you have a baby.” Now, it’s true that I’ve not experienced the whirlwind that is parenting, but I can’t imagine letting this aspect of my professional life disappear. My PLN and all the passion-based learning I’ve engaged in over the last year and a half have renewed my passion for education. I love the constant challenge of my thinking I’ve discovered from other passionate educators as well as the openness and sharing we all engage in on a daily basis. The other key aspect of this learning is that I want my children to grow up in an education system that supports creativity, analysis, synthesis, passion-based learning and doesn’t focus on the rote memorization of facts. How can I encourage these traits in my children if I’m not engaging in them myself? In terms of my own learning, I’m not naive enough to know that my computer habits will change; however, I think I will learn to work smarter so that I can maximize the time I spend engaging in this learning. I’m also very lucky that I have a husband who is really supportive of my passion and when he’s having “daddy time” I will have “learning time.”
Don’t get me wrong, I know this new chapter in my life is going to mind blowing, but I know that I have wonderful real life and virtual networks who will support me with our baby but also with my learning. I’m also looking forward to seeing my PLN at various OTF events as well as at the ECOO and RCAC conferences as a means of keeping me grounded from ‘baby land’ over the course of the next school year. The next few months will definitely be an adventure, but I keep thinking about one of my favourite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” Here’s to a new chapter in our lives!