“Focused” (high content wolf-dog) taken at Yamnuska Wolf-Dog Sanctuary, October 2017. Photo: Sharon Rhodes.

Director of Schools – As an educator, I have always believed in the concept of “lifelong learning” and have, throughout my career, challenged myself to continue to learn and improve. Over the past couple of years, I have taken a keen interest in taking good photographs, so as an educator, it seemed only fitting that I take some courses in photography to improve my skill. Now, don’t get me wrong; I never signed up to become the next Ansel Adams. I just want my photos to look like what I see so I don’t have to explain what the fuzzy blob in the centre of the picture is!

As the student, being an educator gives you a very different perspective on learning. I find that I am often assessing the lesson plan, or the assignments, or even the final assessment. I hold it up to what I know and value as an educator and measure it against the standards that we have set as a division.

In some of the courses I have taken, the instructor has inspired me and really allowed me to tap into my passion. The course has been designed in such a way that there is a mix of information and hands-on experiential learning, and it provides for personalization. For example, I was excited to be out in the mountains at sunrise on a Saturday to get the “perfect” shot at daybreak. Or tromping around at daybreak in the bush in thigh-deep snow to possibly get a picture of a bull moose! Seriously… on a Saturday. And I hate getting up early on the weekend!

“The Three Bears” taken at Churchill, MB, November 2016. Photo: Sharon Rhodes.

A few courses were less than engaging. One course had mostly lecture and little hands-on. In another, learning the Photoshop program (I use “learning” loosely here), the instructor presented the information in rapid-fire format, jumping from one concept to another so quickly that there was barely time to blink to re-hydrate my eyes! Needless to say, I didn’t learn a whole lot. Thank goodness for manuals and YouTube videos!

My point is that, for a student (any student), we really need to present information in a balanced, engaging way – offering as many hand-on opportunities as possible to reinforce the learning and allowing the student to present their learning in a personalized way that ignites the passion of the learning. I don’t remember much about the Photoshop course and often consult other resources to get me through. Yet I still get extremely excited about planning my Saturdays and getting up before the sunrise to get photos of the next “thing” on my list!

 

Share This

Share this post with your friends!