October 15 – you master this and I’ll watch

83/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. I have flown. No, I’m not talking about airplanes. I’m talking about flying by the seat of my pants.   Teaching is like that at times when you are a day ahead of the students at times especially if you have been tasked with teaching a course that you have very little knowledge about – been there, done that. As mentioned previously, I felt this uncontrollable free-fall in my first year teaching adults at UBC. However, in addition to that instructor role, we new Adjunct Teaching Professors were also required to take an intensive course requiring the creation of a portfolio, attending weekly meetings and keeping up on readings and discussions. I met Andie (Andrea) at the first group session. I kept quiet as I was outside of my element. Andie was in year two of the teaching contract. The professor asked her to show her portfolio and Andrea pulls out the binder the size I cannot even begin to describe. She had all sorts of colour coded mini post-its and section dividers with personal notes in addition to all her readings. I was overwhelmed as I could barely think about instructing adults how to become effective high school teachers but this binder and what it entailed was unfathomable to me and she was only half complete – I was ready to reconsider my decision to work at the university right there!! However, not one to give up so easily, I decided to ask Andie what it all entailed. She told me her binder was not the norm but she was motivated to get it done and had put a lot of effort into it – I knew I had met someone who had the same work ethic as me!! She also offered to help me out and I was fortunate to find out that our classrooms were across the hall from each other. We became great colleagues, good friends and better yet, beer drinking buddies! Towards the end of my time there, Andie and I were asked to work on our PhDs in the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning and although we would have made an awesome team, it was not the right time for me. Andie did start and has since completed and I’m so very happy for her as she will make for an amazing professor – students in her classes will be so very lucky to have her as an instructor! I’m very glad I met you Andie and I lift, wait heave, my SOTL binder in your honour!

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