Tuesday, September 10, 2013



      For me this is a great metaphor for my life.  If you think of how small your feet were when you were young, and compare them with how large and calloused they are now....what a difference.  The same could be said for my own knowledge and experience.  I took a country (visit) survey - I've been to approximately 40 different countries.  I've lived in about six for any length of time.  I would hope that gives me a global perspective.  My husband jokes that we should be citizens of the world - not of individual countries with arbitrary borders.  

       When I was young, my favorite shoes were my ballet shoes.  I was light, skinny, and agile.  I would like to think my mind and understanding of the world were of the same.  Some could consider that naivete, but I choose not to.  

     As a teenager I experimented with what can only be described as army boots that were swapped with high heels or cowboy boots.  Again, I believe my mind was trying to hunker down and protect itself from outside influences while at the same time trying to attract the opposite sex.   I believe most teenagers are like that - trying to be their own person, but also trying to find their way in this crazy world.  

        Fast forward to now.  I'm a wife, a mother, and even a grandmother, but I refuse to wear "grandma" shoes - the ugly orthopedic ones.  I wear fancy sandals, and sports shoes.  I even wear an occasional high heel.  
        How does all this relate to my teaching?  I would like to think that I change my shoes to fit my needs - and I change my teaching methods and styles to fit my needs and more importantly to fit my student's needs i.e., what I am able to do or not do (like wear high heels) [or to get my students to study when they don't want to].  I can be practical (sneakers) when I need to like when we are pushing for an exam etc.  Or, I can be fun and impractical (high heels) on a special occasion.
       I think I need to be as flexible as possible.  I need to be able to change shoes - sometimes in the middle of the lesson.  I miss my ballet shoes, but I have been known to bust a move in the class room.  
       For me, I think that I must realize what shoes my students are wearing - flats, heels, vans, high top sneakers - and still be able to get such a diverse group to gel right from the first class.  
      Occasionally someone will stumble (my middle name should be grace because I fall so much), but it is my job and my pleasure to help pick them up, dust them off and send them on their merry way.  
      One could argue that in the future we may not need to walk to do anything so we won't need shoes, but I can't see women giving up their Manolo Blahniks anytime soon!  
      I as a teacher, need to remember that my student wear many shoes and that even if they show up in army boots - they are "my" students and they won't wear them forever!  


  1. Hi Adria! I enjoyed your shoe metaphor, it is an inspriring story and food for thought for a new teacher like me. I also like the way you transform ideas into words in a compact manner, keeping the reader interested all the way through. Your experience as a teacher really shows in your writing, also between the lines I can read wisdom. I agree that teacher needs to change roles and adapt quickly and unexpected to new situations in the classroom. Remembering the students all the time and imagining to step in their shoes occasionally should benefit for the successful interaction in the learning situations. Greetings, Laura.

  2. Hi Adria! I totally agree with Laura's comment. You write in such a compact and humorous manner that I'm left here waiting to read more!
    Like you, as a teacher, my goal is to meet each student as an individual with his or hers individual strengths and needs and during lessons, like you put it, to be able to change shoes i.e. teaching methods and styles in order them to fit my students' needs.
    You come across as a woman who is quick-witted with words (and I do mean this in the most positive manner!) and has such life experience that I'm sure through out this course I'll be learning a thing or two from you :)

    Your post was a real treat. Thank you!


  3. Hi Adria, it was great to read your writing. You have gained a lot of exprerience and it´s visible in your writing. Your story of your shoes is very inspiring and I do agree your views on flexibility. It´s better to have many shoes to fit to the diffrent needs and as a teacher also be aware what shoes students are having. And thank you for the great shoe pictures!

    BR Tuire

  4. Hi Adria,

    I feel your narratin/story was very impressive! I enjoyed to follow you in your different shoes from your chilhood to the present day. Now I have read four blogs (Tuire, Jonna, Laura and yoyrs) and I'm so excited that the shoe metaphor inspired you to reflec on your previous learning and teaching and working - and life expereinces:)

    Adria, this sentence especially stopped me in your reflection: "I would like to think that I change my shoes to fit my needs - and I change my teaching methods and styles to fit my needs and more importantly to fit my student's needs."

    I can hardly wait for your comments when you read the content of our last topic in next January. - I mean that in some way you already summarized the key points of your module in your first blog reflection:) And I'm sure before January we can together increase and deepen our understanding in multicultural e-learning in many exciting learning moments.