Paul and Gayle are taking a year from their roles in Picton and Belleville and will be teaching at the Maple Leaf International School in Trinidad. We will use this blog to record some of our edventures!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Lessons Learned

I am wedged, as comfortably as possible in seat 15A aboard Caribbean airlines flight 608 having left Trinidad for the final time. I am wondering, "What have I learned on this great #Edventure?"

My mind races when I think of all we've done and seen. This post would be over a hundred pages if I tried to give details of it all. Don't panic, dear reader.  I am going to summarize it into three big ideas.  You can read all 75 blog posts if you want the details. Or just ask,I love telling my story!

1. Always Provide Good Service.
Customer service in Trinidad is generally poor.  We've start to take special notice when someone goes the extra mile, (or just made eye contact!).

As people said their goodbyes over the past couple of weeks, the conversations often had a theme about how we had, in some way, helped or encouraged them.

Providing the best service shouldn't be hard. It's a mindset and it is rewarding! The question to ask is simple. "What can I do to make this situation better?" For me, sometimes it means pulling a trick out of my bag of "cool shit Paul can do with a computer", other times it means listened hard to a student find the one thing that might help him take a step toward rebuilding a relationship. 

Lesson 1 -- No matter what you do, try to find a way to help others.

 2. Learn to Be Better
You might have read a story about the exercise science class learning to juggle this year. I am very proud of that activity for a lot of reasons. The biggest is that one student discovered "growth mindset". It was magical.

During another farewell session, one of the 4 fresh-faced young teachers with whom we've had some great informal PD sessions said to me, "We like it that you want to learn along with us." I wouldn't have it any other way, I said.

 Lesson 2 -- Learn ways to improve what you do and learn to do new things.

3. Yes, and..
In February, Gayle told me that a teacher was organizing a trip to see turtles lay their eggs.   There were lots of reasons not go: the trip was too far, it too was early in turtle season,  there were going to be too many people, the car was not going to make it, it was going to be too expensive,  it was too close to the beginning of the semester.

We said, "Yes, and..." "it will be great to get to know some people better", "maybe we'll be lucky and see a turtle", "We get to drive past Toco, we've never been there", "let's bring pancakes for breakfast"...

It was a fantastic trip.

Lesson 3 -- Look at the positives and find ways to make things happen.
I would like to say a final "Thank You" to all the people in Trinidad who made our #Edventure a fantastic experience. We will be grateful to you forever.

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