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2018 Reflection - Late to the Party!

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach
13 10 465

I feel like I am late to the party for these 2018 Reflections blogs my friends are posting. Although, when I think about it, it is still January and the year has just started, so maybe I'm just in the nick-of-time!  It may just be the sense of urgency I chronically feel, because I work four jobs and there never seems to be enough time. Or, perhaps, it is just because I have never been particularly good at all this self-reflection introspection stuff. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow ain't here and we can't count on it even happening anyways.

 

And yet, my past and my present include this Community. If I have a future beyond this moment, it will likely also include this Community.

 

What a powerful, yet still comforting and familiar, thing this Community is. Locally, I have started referring to the Community Team, and a great many Community members as my "Panda Friends."  Like so many friends, they are all different sizes, shapes, and configurations of individuals; and yet still as all friends should be - helpful when I need help and accepting of the help I give. Grateful to both receive and offer help! And like any good Community, a source for continuous learning and growing.  It is the helping and the learning that keeps me in here, and I usually find it totally impossible to separate the helping from the learning regardless of which direction they are flowing.  The learning potential in here is immense, even if we don't consider all the formal resources provided in here like guides, and videos, and CanvasLive, and all that jazz!  The best learning is happening between the members of this Community! I ask a question, I learn. and when I answer a question, I still learn because it makes me reflect on something, explore something, revisit something, test something that I might not have thought about in a long while. Reading the questions and answers of others in postings I am not even participating in have been great learning experiences. It always amazes me that 14 different answers to the same question can all be the correct answers, or include an element of correctness. Learning about thousands of different perspectives on what Canvas is or what it should be, how Canvas is used and could be used, how Canvas works or should work.

 

In this Community we have such a diverse collection of Canvas users - from teaching every level of education, in countries and cultures spanning the globe and to every level of experience in using Canvas. I think that perhaps a few of you might be very surprised to learn (there's that sitinkin' "L" word again - sheesh), that I sometimes learn the most while trying to help the least experienced users - they know what they want to do, just not how to do it in Canvas; and so many of the things they want to do are amazing!

 

It may also surprise at least some of you that I also learn a great deal from our most dissatisfied Canvas users. Folks who really need Canvas to do something it can't, and even from those who want Canvas to do something it shouldn't. Every time I find a way to articulate an answer for those folks, I learn something - usually about myself, and my role in a Community such as this.

 

So for me, the Community is about learning, and learning while helping and being helped. For me, 2018 represented a lot of that!

 

Thank you every one the 382,000+  members of this Community. Thank you for a great year, filled with helping and learning! That is my crowning achievement for 2018 - growing with this community!

 

And here I am at the end of this blog, actually in the future of where I was at when I started this blog. So those moments did exist and are now gone. perhaps there will be more.

 

Kelley

10 Comments
laurakgibbs
Community Champion

FOUR JOBS! I did not know that,  @kmeeusen ‌: I think there should be four Kelleys, one for each job, and then there would be four times as much Kelley goodness in the world. And the world needs all the goodness it can get right now!

You know I totally connect with what you are saying about dissatisfied users, because it is the same for me with students. It is the students who didn't like my classes, in fact, that students who hated my classes who have challenged me to do a better job. It's easy to make classes work for students are totally on your side already and share your interests and assumptions... but it's the students who come with different ideas and assumptions who make us grow. I sometimes think, "Wow, if only Student X could see how I am handling this aspect of the class now; she would really like it so much better." I don't always figure out solutions in time for the class to work for them, but those are the students to whom I owe the biggest debt. 🙂

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi laurakgibbs

I don't know how much goodness there can be in someone who is almost 70, and still a workaholic. Okay, maybe a smidgen of goodness, but not much sense, that's for sure!

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

We need ALL the Kelley smidgens! 🙂

Bobby2
Community Coach
Community Coach

Your perspective is always a treasure for me to read. I can't thank you enough for daring to speak your mind, the clarity of your thoughts, your honesty, wisdom and your sense of humour. 

Thanks  @kmeeusen or all of that and for saying:

The best learning is happening between the members of this Community!

305162_learn.png

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

DOCENDO DISCIMUS! 🙂

Docendo discimus - Wikipedia 

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @kmeeusen ‌, this is a phenomenon that never ceases to amaze me:  

I ask a question, I learn. and when I answer a question, I still learn because it makes me reflect on something, explore something, revisit something, test something that I might not have thought about in a long while.

Community Is: Always Learning.

And I had to laugh when you thanked the "382,000+ members of this Community," because just yesterday I read an old comment you posted that extolled the "70,000+" members we had at the time. We've come a long way, haven't we, pal?

Bobby2
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thought you'd like a little latin laurakgibbs.

And this magic works with kids too, the whole buddy reading or writing system for example. The older kids more often than not make the gains from these experiences. https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/curriculum-teaching-strategies/older-students-mentor-younger-...  

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Yes, yes we have, stefaniesanders‌, and we have come that far in such a short time!

tdelillo
Community Champion

My favorite part of this: "It may also surprise at least some of you that I also learn a great deal from our most dissatisfied Canvas users."

Not that surprising, and true not only in our online Community but also among my local Canvas users. If someone is being "cranky" about Canvas, their crankiness is usually borne of a thwarted desire to help themselves and their students have a better experience. If everyone was satisfied, there'd be no innovation Smiley Wink

kenneth_rogers
Community Champion

Oh,  @kmeeusen ...you so eloquently put into words why I love this place so much. Thank you for your words, your guidance as a Coach, and your continuous learning! While I wanted to quote many parts of your blog, this really stuck out to me:

It always amazes me that 14 different answers to the same question can all be the correct answers, or include an element of correctness. Learning about thousands of different perspectives on what Canvas is or what it should be, how Canvas is used and could be used, how Canvas works or should work.

T‌his is one of the many, many reasons I not only love Canvas, but also the Community. Everyone has a different approach. Everyone has a different answer. Everyone is unique.