Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Learning Shoe

My friend, Stephen Hurley, over at Teaching Out Loud put out this fun, thought-provoking post about what type of shoe most represents your style of teaching. I briefly commented, but thought it deserved a post all of its own. So here it is.

Hiking boots most represent my style as a counselor educator.

They are good for Exploring. There is a lot to see, experience, and learn out there in the world… and it is usually off the beaten path. For me, there is nothing like getting out to nature to ratchet up self-discovery, as well as the discovery of what life has to offer. I’ve discussed in the past the importance of being comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Making oneself vulnerable is OK. Taking acceptable risks definitely gets one out of a well-worn rut and can be growth-producing. Hiking boots allow you to put yourself out there and be open to that sort of experience. With a bit of effort there are opportunities and possibilities there for the taking.

They are also durable, reliable, steady…. made for the long haul. Hiking boots are usually not swift of foot, but built to get you through the tough moments. They are meant to get messy, scuffed-up, and dirty. Hiking boots provide Support to get you up the tough climbs and down the steep descents, too. Life and learning is a lot like this.

A good hike in this type of shoe cleanses the palette of the mind and puts things in perspective for objective and meaningful Understanding. Sometimes learning can be confounding. Sometimes we need to reframe our thought process. From confusion comes the A-ha moments. My preferred shoe of choice for educating does just that.

Exploration. Support. Understanding. Effort. This is my approach to teaching.

I just may need to start wearing hiking boots to school!

But what about you? What is the shoe to represent your style of teaching? (By the way, Stephen’s are Hush Puppies).

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