These last couple of days have been a whirlwind for me. I am very pleased that my classroom was featured in the Hamilton Spectator this week for our efforts in coding. In 12 years of teaching, I never sought or endeavoured towards any reward for my work. So all the tweets and emails are really overwhelming. Some people would say I was “deflecting” praise by thanking so many people. But the truth is, no good idea or accomplishment in teaching was ever achieved alone. I thank Brian Aspinall, Lisa Floyd, Jonathan So, Aviva Dunsiger, Sonya Clarke, Sean Kelly and Jared Bennett. Also, I feel very grateful to have such a lovely group of students. What would have happened if they did not embrace coding? There would have been no article!
Maybe the one thing I can say about myself is that my focus on teaching has increased exponentially this year. I think about teaching constantly and I never feel like I’m doing a very good job. It is so easy to get distracted in education with politics, job demands, the social needs of students and gossip. This year, I have turned away all distractions to fixate on teaching and assessment like never before. In my personal life, I am big fan of Formula 1 racing. I think about Ayrton Senna who used to drive for McLaren-Honda. To paraphrase his words, he once said that drivers must always find a gap to push themselves forward. If they sit back and allow things to happen, you will not win. Drivers have to keep pushing the performance of their car. He also said that he is so focused on racing that it has become part of him. Couldn’t you say the same thing about teaching? If you can’t, then it’s no longer teaching. So as a teacher, I’ll keep pushing.