Some of my recent experiences in VCC’s Provincial Instructors Diploma Program (PIDP) are really starting to cause me to question why I do things. For example, I signed up for this program to help with my current technical training, and to open doors down the road to teach as an “industry expert” at a college or university. Pretty straight-forward, right? Well, I’m learning that learning about learning isn’t a simple case of achieving grades.
These courses are structured to force me to learn. In prior business and technical training, I discovered I could go straight to the scoring rubric, lock myself in my office when required, and produce the required paper, exercise, widget, etc. to get the maximum mark. Did I learn? Sometimes. Could I have learned more? Absolutely.
In the PIDP program, many of the specific activities and deliverables are left up to me. I can look for a shortcut or easy win all I want. If I find one, it will quickly come to light in my class discussions or self evaluation (which, by the way, I find impossible to embellish). This battle leads me to one soul-searching question: why am I doing this? I have to admit, there was a time when my answer would have been, “to get good marks” – thinking smugly that I could actually learn the material more deeply if and when I needed to. Today, I’m discovering that the art and science of education is not something that can be mastered through a few all-nighters. Now, I’ve caught the learning bug. I want to take this unique opportunity to become the best possible educator … even if my marks are just so-so.