I am acutely aware that I have been uncharacteristically quiet on the blog front of late. For anyone who knows me even remotely on any level, this is virtually unheard of. I am seldom lost for words and on the rare moments this does occur, it is usually followed by a flurry of worried and concerned responses. Fear not, my reasoning is enveloped in a sense of overwhelming awe and wonder. Over the course of the past week or so my journey has taken a rapid incline and made me reflect on a deeply profound level. I am usually very verbal about this thought process, however, this experience has been somewhat different and I have felt the need to introspectively internalise my own thoughts before I share them on a wider platform.
As I embark on the final stages of my journey I can not even begin to articulate what a life changing experience this has been for me. It has made me grow and develop both personally and professionally to such an extent that I would go as far as to say that it has been transformative. As I sit here writing this, I desperately wonder why I had not sought out such an exhilarating experience sooner. The past week has been full of such rich discussion and discourse that it has made me feel as if I am a small child just starting out on this quest of learning. I have embraced this sentiment because it affirms that here I am yet again in the midst of experts and ‘living legends’ such as Dr J. It excites me that a single discussion can spark a multitude of complex thought processes in my mind and make me question some of the fundamental ideologies I had and shake them to their core. This need to analyse and re-evaluate has bought me closer to the vision that this is the exact feeling I wish to recreate in pupils in a manner that is genuine, purposeful and authentic to them. Learning should be a voyage which incorporates elements of acquiring knowledge and information, applying it and most importantly to be a creative medium which feeds the soul. It should be a thrilling experience which challenges one to think critically, creatively, collaboratively and caringly (some of you may recognise these as the essential 4C’s of P4C). It has also made me consider the ‘big questions’ I had alluded to in my initial post and really given me the space and time to contemplate their intentions, values and practices. I know in many ways this could sound so primitive but I am sure many educators would echo this very sentiment. Sometimes, there are simply not enough hours in the day to actively participate in such enquiry. Amongst the rigours of daily life, it can seem that it takes an all-consuming energy to allow your mind to plunge to such depths after a hard day’s work. I suppose it is perhaps the same root cause which deviates certain types of people from doing the same in their personal lives. It can just feel like an overwhelmingly ginormous mountain to climb and let’s face it life can be easier without this type of shuffling. This is the very reason I am enthusiastically embracing this sense of being utterly overwhelmed by this experience. It drives the realisation that I am still learning and there is truly no better place to be than a growth mind-set that is open to new opportunities and potentially endless possibilities.