Week in Review: Feb 3, 2020

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Highlight Reel

  • Book Club. We continue our journey through “The Truth About Stories“. Shit’s getting existential: what is your authentic self? How do you know? Sometimes I’m totally at peace with this: “the truth about stories is that’s all we are”. Other times, not so much (runs screaming). I am thinking about the work of “Indigenizing” in education, and how we are often quick to get busy DOING. Not a criticism – many doings are structural and essential: revising policies and practices, roles/positions, curriculum/course reviews, etc. I wonder about supporting the (really hard) personal work and learning that’s needed to be able to show up well and engage. I’m thinking – as I often do – specifically of those with teaching responsibilities – it can be challenging to make it to a workshop at the best of times. Maybe this is going on locally, in institutions much more than any outsider can know. Probably, and I hope so. I’m grateful for the work and learning we have been doing at BCcampus over the last few years and I guess I just wonder how instructors – many of whom work on contracts and are often over-committed with all the things – are being supported to engage in personal learning, which is difficult, vulnerable, and the important work of our time.
  • Naloxone Training – we are so fortunate to have Corey Ranger on our team. At BCcampus he works as a Project Manager, and he is also a nurse and advocate for access to harm reduction supports. He recently responded to a public overdose in Victoria and tweeted about it, which made that side of his work an expertise more visible to all of us, and then he offered to provide Naloxone training for anyone interested. It was a full room, and challenging learning. We all left better informed, and with our own kits. Here is info about getting a Naloxone kit in BC.
  • BCTLC Community Conversations – This week about 14 members of the British Columbia Teaching and Learning Council (who are generally Directors of Teaching and Learning Centres in BC post-secondary) jumped online and had some lively, loosely structured, purposeful conversations about current priorities (e.g., Indigenization, Inclusion, Strategic Planning). I appreciate both the reassurance of colleagues in the same boat, as well as the excitement of hearing new approaches to recurring challenges (e.g., at UBC Okanagan, they are moving away from generic teaching and learning workshops and toward bespoke, highly customized workshops within departments and including local co-facilitators. Yes, now they do more workshops with fewer people in each, but they feel the impact is better. Great example of Polarity Management – this is not a problem that can be solved forever, it needs to be managed)
  • Planning & Doing – reading tanbob’s blog today, I recognize some of my own thoughts! We (our team) have been in a fairly long-ish planning cycle. The approach is new to us (we are literally inventing it as we go), and it’s good, and it’s challenging because it’s new and good. But it’s paying off , shaping both our work/tasks, and our thinking and conversations about most things. We decided on 4 thematic “buckets” (Indigenization, Inclusion, Open Pedagogy and Regional/Rural PSIs), and we are constantly inspired and reminded to seek connection and focus to those things.

Some media I consumed:

  • Video: I’m Not the Indian You Had in Mind by Thomas King (Video, 5 min)
  • Podcast: Dear HBR. This was mentioned to me some time ago by a leader I adore: Kathryn McNaughton. If you are interested in HR/staffing/org situations and like a “Dear Abby” format (dating myself, but someone has to, badum bum), it’s pretty good.

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