[media-credit name=”stock.xchg” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]Today, Mr. Migraine is slowly sneaking up on me. I know this because I’m starting to have wonky vision in one eye…. which I know from past experience is a harbinger of things to come. (I really wanted to say ‘harbinger of doom’…. don’t you just love that phrase?) Mostly, it feels and looks like a blind spot in one eye, which brings me to staff meetings.
Staff meetings are an interesting organism, aren’t they? Especially to those of us new to education- lots of terms tossed about like so many leaves. PBS, ETIL, AYP, XYZ, LMNO, not to mention all the “teacher jargon”…. Innerater? Entereighter? 🙂 Oh, you mean interrater reliability? Check. I feel like I need a translator. (But, hey, I’m getting good use out of my Dictionary.com app! Word of the day: psychometrics . ) Eventually, I begin to stream Charlie Brown’s teacher in my head. Oh, I’m listening, but I have a limited ability to translate and connect to all those terms.
About the time I start hearing the “woah-woah-woah” voice, people start revealing personal blind spots- areas where their vision is impaired or things are out-of-sight. Oh, it’s not usually purposeful. Those blind spots are often counterparts to areas of strength or expertise. A colleague was encouraging me today by reminding me of my big blind spot. (Granted, she couched it in good teacher speak, like “your greatest challenge will be…”) Technology use is easy for me. I like it. It makes sense to me. My children make horrendous beta testers for new applications and concepts because they take to them like fish to water. As a family, we value 21st century skills and knowledge highly (and I don’t just mean technology!) because we want them to be prepared for their future. So, even if I quadruple the time it takes them to learn something, it’s still fairly useless data when I adapt it to the 1-to-1 classroom environment. It’s easy to forget that I have students who really don’t understand what I’m talking about when I say something like “scroll down”. I can sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher too.
What I’d like to take from this is a heightened awareness of my own blind spots. I may need a translator from time to time so I’m not sounding like Miss Othmar. I also need friends and colleagues who are willing to remind me of that from time to time when I get frustrated…. in the words of a good friend, “Julie, you don’t think like other people.” That’s true. But I also believe that to be true for each of us- we’re complex beings with our own strengths and weaknesses. We don’t think alike. We have blind spots.
Do you see your blind spots? Hmmmm….. profundity. (Don’t think you’ll need the Dictionary app for that one, but I linked it just in case.)