I was really nervous about this reflective T3 meeting.

Not because I had run through the schedule 10 times too few or that I didn’t practice reciting my lines every day on my drive to work, but because, I never really know who or what to expect at T3 meetings.

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Image: Courtesy of Dr. Laura Ramey (2017)

What if no one shows up? Will they think the topic is dumb? Am I doing this wrong? Am I missing something?

The unknown in trying something uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and new often stirs up restless anxiety just from thinking about it. That being said, how do I manage these feelings (which I’d much rather stuff down with White Chocolate Matcha Chocolate bars) and improve my practice through reflection?

Now that this semester is nearly over, writing this blog is essentially my way of reconnecting with my gut (inspired by Cult of Pedagogy) — like what the teachers did at T3 today. I was particularly unnerved by this month’s topic because this was the first time I hadn’t invited “speakers” to present, which meant: I could potentially have an empty room. Or even worse yet, I could have only one person show up — which would mean the show would still have to go, but without the added benefit of a variety of perspectives.

To my heart’s delight, 11 whole teachers showed up!

The Task

Teachers were provided with five topics related to teaching, which they were prompted to write down any positive emotions on a green sticky note, confused feelings on a grey sticky note, and negative emotions on a pink sticky note based on prompts in the following areas:

  • Classroom
  • Students
  • Technology
  • Planning
  • Professional Practice

 

Here are some of the great and not-so-great things that teachers experienced this semester:

Great thingsthat make teachers happy (1)

What now?

In her blog post, Jennifer Gonzalez recommended writing down an action plan for all the negatives, but we were so short on time that we barely got through talking about the great stuff that made teachers feel good this semester (the green stickies).

However, now that we’ve acknowledged the experiences that have brought about good and bad feelings from our gut, the next step could be to identify a common thread that unites certain recurring feelings. This will ultimately allow us to determine what our “plan of action” is to take.

What makes this so challenging? Why does it make me feel this way? What can I take away from this experience that I want to do again in the future? Who has been successful with something I’m uncertain about that I can I go to for advice? What am I afraid of that is actually within my power?

What I’m trying to say is that the anxiety and headache that comes with handling a difficult or new situation deems for an equal — if not more — time of reflection. Giving ourselves the space to process and and really bring about “that gut feeling” can be life-giving to ourselves and eye-opening to our professional practice.

We ended our T3 reflection time with a fantastic raffle thanks to our friends at Schoology and Google!

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4 thoughts on “T3 November: That Gut Feeling

  1. Terrific post, Stephanie. I feel like this was actually a great start to next semester’s T3. I would love to have more of this kind of collaboration.

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  2. Stephanie, You rule! I loved hearing your process for preparing the session and honestly could’ve stayed and discussed much longer. Thanks so much for helping us all take time to reflect. Let’s keep this going!

    Like

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