Last night I went to Pub trivia with some of my new colleagues. I love trivia nights and doing the quiz at lunchtimes so this sounded like a great way to get to know people and visit the fine establishments of my new town. It was a lot of fun and I had a little bit of an epiphany while there. People who know me don't really believe this but I am a bit shy at times. This changes rapidly once I get to know you but I'm not one for putting myself out there. However, I am in a new phase of my life and this is one of the challenges: plonk myself in a brand new town, far away from home where I know no one, and rather than do what comes naturally (stay at home and do my jigsaw puzzle), I am accepting all invitations when they come my way. Hence, pub trivia.
I, like many others know random stuff. The girls on my team were rapt to find out that I knew what sport Heather McKay was famous for (that would be squash) as they felt their team lacked a 'sport expert'. Talk about pressure. As the night progressed I found myself getting involved but also holding back when I wasn't super sure. At one stage two commercials were shown and we had to guess what they were advertising. As soon as this category was announced, I announced to my group that I would be hopeless here, I just don't remember stuff like this. It's the same for music and songlines. When the first commercial showed I didn't even engage with it, I made no effort. Talk about a fixed mindset. I had so easily decided I couldn't answer this question because I didn't want to be relied on and made a fool of if I didn't have an answer. When they told us the answer I was so disappointed in myself. It was a commercial for Stan, the new, online TV with Rebel Wilson. While I hadn't seen the commercial before I have seen all the paper ads and if only I'd not shut myself out before I'd even seen the ad, I may have been able to make the links and make a guess at the answer.
I know that I expect my students to be open and I remind and encourage them to take risks, engage with their learning, question and think. Yet I had so readily not done this. It's what kids must feel like sometimes when the task seems impossible or they don't feel safe. I'm usually pretty good at adding in YET to any statement that comes out with "I can't do..." as a sentence starter but I think that's more confined to a work environment and I just haven't embraced it in my personal life wholeheartedly YET.
This simple moment reminded me that, as an educator, I can have expectations of my students but if I don't live these expectations in my life then I'm just a bit of a con. Teaching is a lifestyle choice and I need to walk the walk if I'm to expect the students in my care to live up to the expectations I set.