Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Teaching: Nurturing buds at different stages of bloom

| 11 Comments

I learn a lot about life from the little planting/gardening I do with our university’s adopt-a-plot program.

Just recently picked out some cucumbers. There were different plants, some with big fat cucumbers, some with thin small ones (but ripe), some with ones at the very early stages, others with no cucumbers showing yet. They’re all apparently in the same soil, with similar irrigation and getting similar lighting. Of course, some have weeds beside them sucking away at their nutrients, but most don’t, and still there is difference in what stage of bloom they are at.

It’s just like teaching a class or facilitating a MOOC. The classroom and teacher/facilitator are the same, but each person is a bud at a different stage of bloom. As a learner or teacher, how do we influence each other’s growth? Who do we nurture as we nurture our own selves to bloom?

Also relates to relationships. #rhizo15 is difficult for me because it contains people:
A. I care about deeply from #rhizo14 so we have a lot of shared experience since then including writing and presentations and more (some are co-facilitstors of edcontexts.org, others are also friends from other MOOCs like Simon, Terry, Kevin)
B. I care about deeply from other MOOCs or other collaborations (e.g. Tania Sheko, Lee Skallerup Bessette, Whitney Kilgore, Susan Watson, Laura Pasquini, Dilrukshi, Jeffrey Keefer, Alan Levine, and really many more, I can’t count them)
C. People I am just getting to know, totally new but really interesting and I really want to engage

Within this list are people at different levels of comfort with cMOOCs, uncertainty, social media but also all kinds of other things. Sarah pushed herself to play music online openly (twice!); Tania pushed herself to start writing drama she hadn’t done since high school (that post is umissable and getting hacked as we speak for rhizoradio), Jeffrey pushed himself to start blogging. Lee Skallerup Bessette asked us to openly/publicly peer review a paper of hers on #FyChat here. Bonnie Stewart conducted part of her dissertation defense openly on YouTube! (Search YouTube for #drbon to find it).

Folks, there is only so much inspiration one little heart can take!

Or not 🙂 please keep it coming. Inspiration overload beats info overload any day 🙂

I thought my post would be one of venting frustration today. Thanks to Tania, i was able to vent my frustration hidden into the hacking of her Mr. x conversation post. Here’s the gdoc if you want to contribute to the multivocal multlingual collaboration honoring Tania’s brilliance.

I am so so so inspired by #rhizo15 and hoping to take some of these awesome ideas back to class to enhance collaboration among students at different stages of blooming.

I am going to publish this now and add an image of my plants later…

11 Comments

  1. Love this: There’s only so much inspiration a little heart can take. Or not.
    Haha, or not in your case, Maha – finding inspiration, lighting little inspirational fires, inspiring people, encouraging people to jump in. I can’t imagine you sitting back and saying ‘that’s enough inspiration for me for the day’. Thanks for the huge encouragement and hope people find the time to hack the rhizoradioplay. I am excited in advance to see collaborative wonderfulness. And thanks for naming people near and dear to you – I get to discover them too.

  2. Ohhhh too many rhizomes. 🙂

    I can really relate to the love of learning, connecting with friends and getting to know new people. Powerful stuff!

    So what relationships do you nuture most at this stage?

    Regards,
    Pelle

    • Yeah, that’s the tough question. I think my main focus are people i know from outside rhizo who are now in rhizo, but i end up focusing most on the ppl i am most connected with… In any way.. It kind of just happens, i think. But if there are two blogposts to read, i try to prioritize the new person (in reality it ends up being 2 new, one old connection, or thereabouts, but don’t hold me to it). And if there are opportunities to connect ppl with each other, that’s ideal 🙂 but not always possible. The thing is, it reached a stage where i am too much a part of some ppl’s lives that it’s not a choice. Its almost like family 🙂

  3. So fun to watch seeds growing all over the place in rhizo15.

  4. In many ways I feel like the little weed. Trying to take root in an unfamiliar garden among more established plants. I completely understand your sense of overload and yet your willingness to keep connecting.

    • U know Patrick that’s a really interesting way to put it. I think i felt that way at the start of rhizo14… Lost in an unfamiliar garden, worried others already had roots (little did i know they were knowmads) and i wouldn’t be able to fit, to be heard or understood… And in these feelings i did some things that might have hurt other people, in my struggle to fit in and make it work for me. I am really fortunate to have found such a supportive community and really enjoying the new rhizo15 community with all kinds of interesting people i can’t wait to get to know 🙂 now off to read your post and a few others 🙂

  5. Nice overview of how much you really read and engage in, Maha. You must pay assistants to keep you so informed!

  6. Find myself wishing for folks like all of you among my colleagues.

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