Monday, April 9, 2018

Go Together

It's so much better when you go together!

This is true whether it relates to exercise or professional learning. I have examples from this week to prove both types.

A) Go Together to Exercise

I took a four-month hiatus from my Cross Fit exercise classes so that I could focus on my sewing lessons. I thought I'd have to choose between returning to Cross Fit and continuing sewing class (which I was inclined to do because I was finally seeing progress) but I decided to try and do both, since they are on different days. Returning to Cross Fit would have been excruciatingly difficult had it not been for my new exercise buddy - my husband James.

James' shoes on the left, mine on the right - brand new for class!

No lies - the break away from this sort of physical activity was too long and I was super-sore after the first class on Easter Monday. The benefit was that I wasn't the only one in the household with aching muscles. James hurt in different places (his triceps vs my quadriceps) but we both felt like we accomplished something together. James says he's taking the classes with me "to become more fit and to encourage you [Diana, aka me] so you [Diana, aka I] don't slack off". I appreciate this level of accountability. There were only a few classes in the fall that I skipped just because I didn't feel up to exerting myself. I suspect that now there will be even fewer missed sessions.

The funny thing is that when I returned to school on Wednesday, April 4 (two days after my first 2018 Cross Fit Sweat 60 class), hobbling and limping, my discomfort motivated two of my colleagues to sign up for a class at the same location! I'm not sure if the normal response to witnessing the physical suffering of another human being is to say, "Ooh, give me some of what she's having!", but it inspired them. One had to back out at the last minute, but the other - Kathleen - attended the class and was pleased enough with the experience that she chose to register too.

If you'd like to see exactly how challenging everyday tasks like walking was at that time, go watch my MADPD promotional video where I crawl up the stairs. The URL is

B) Go Together for Professional Learning - #tdsbul18

Visual of John Malloy's opening keynote at #tdsbul18

Last week's blog mentioned that I was busy preparing for the 2018 TDSB Unleashing Learning conference on Tuesday, April 3 (which is why the staff and students at my school didn't see my altered gait until the next day). 1500 educators swarmed the Beanfield Centre on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition to hear about how Global Competencies intertwine with some neat teaching and learning opportunities. It was also the site of the DLL (Digital Lead Learner) Marketplace, where everyday practitioners share some of the tips and tools they use when integrating technology in their classrooms. That translates to a lot of people, which can be pretty overwhelming. I checked out the schedule beforehand and attended a great workshop by April De Melo and Erin Persad about supporting kindergarten STEAM inquiries in the library.

Thankfully, I found my co-presenter, Denise, at lunch and we buddied up for the rest of the afternoon. That didn't mean we stuck to each other's side like glue; it meant that we had another person to compare notes, discuss observations, analyze talks, and make connections. I hope that the photo below won't be the last I see of teacher and author Peyton Leung - he likes games just as much as Denise and I do, and I hope that morphs into a teacher gaming outing.

Denise, Joel, Peyton, and me - selfie with Peyton's cool book!

My friends Diana Hong and Rob Reyes made a point of attending my workshop and tweeting about it to support me, for which I was surprised but grateful. I didn't realize my principal was also attending the conference; he dropped by just before I had to present to give his best wishes, which was very nice. The next day, I discovered that our school's chairs went to the same conference as well. I'm sorry we didn't get to hang out in quite the same way Denise and I were able to, because then we could share our "ahas" from the day. Turns out I got an opportunity to do that with Diana Hong later in the week.

C) Go Together for Professional Learning - #tdsbEd 2nd Anniversary
When you go somewhere you've never been before, going with someone else makes it less intimidating. Thursday, April 5, 2018 was the second anniversary of the #tdsbEd Twitter chat. Diana Hong had never participated in one before, despite the fact that she is the Technology Goddess I often turn to when I'm stumped. She agreed to come with me to TDSB headquarters at 5050 Yonge Street to mingle with some of the #tdsbEd participants. Many of the new faces at the anniversary party came with a colleague. Even some of the veteran tweeters brought someone else along. It makes the situation socially safe and more comfortable. We chatted with others, we nibbled on food, and we even tweeted. We didn't have time to stay for the entire event, and so it demonstrates another advantage to going somewhere together - it's not as awkward leaving an occasion in the middle of it when you aren't the only one. (We were also lucky we left when we did because I neglected to inform my family that we left Ms. Hong's car in my driveway so we could carpool and the parking enforcement division of Toronto Police was notified about this mystery parker. Luckily the officer that arrived on the scene was very understanding and did not ticket or tow my friend's car.)

Hopefully these examples will help you find a friend to accompany you somewhere instead of going solo. Too bad I can't find anyone from the GTA heading to Owen Sound next Saturday. Anyone?

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you, my dear. Always more fun with a friend, and you have been so busy! I absolutely loved the video of you making your way up the stairs, and I am thrilled that James is your cross-fit buddy. I have yet to successfully find a workout buddy, and I really need one to help keep me accountable.
    I had to laugh at the thought of your family calling the parking cops!
    Keep it up, my friend - the ideas, the sharIng of ideas, the encouragement of others. It helps so very much.