throughout my career the phrase “what would you know” has been thrown at me on many occasions.
As a brand new teacher I was often challenged about what I knew as
-I was too young
-I wasn’t a parent
– I didn’t have enough experience
-I had come through state education in a small town
– i had never lived in a big city
At that time I remember thinking that while some of these statements were true but I didn’t see the direct correlation with my ability to teach.
I mean if you ask me anything about maths you will be quite right to say what would you know anyway?
Assuming you knew my total confusion at anything more than a 75% off sale sign.
The key is in knowing the people and not instantly dismissing their ideas because it doesn’t fit with your perceptions of them.
As a lover of all things bright and flowers, it’s easy for people to assume I’m a walking dulux colour chart and ideas are immediately formed.
I do love the surprise when the conversation starts about language education and then I’m able to say “I mean what would I know anyway?”
Recently at a fairly tense work meeting I was challenged about what I knew about living abroad. Did I know what it was like to leave your family and live in another country? Did I know what it was like to living in a country where they spoke a different language? Did I know what it was like to live on a country where the culture was completely different?
So, it was either unleash hell or smile and just quietly say yes.
The trouble is, these people who were challenging me about this, have worked with me for 7 years on a project and don’t know the first thing about me. I can tell you where they live, what they enjoy doing at the weekend, what their family do etc and not because I have stalked them or googled them, but because I think that it is important to get to know a wee bit about them to try to understand why they do things in a way they do, to care enough about their health to know when to support them and just to show that caring doesn’t make you weak.
There was nothing to be gained by having a confrontation but it did highlight the lack of interest from said colleagues. What about the learners in front of us…..”what would WE know?”
So, just for the record, I now have 17 years in education, have a 7-year-old daughter, have lived and worked in various different countries and even ones where the culture is wildly different to my own. What would I know?
Mammy points – currently on the couch watching school of rock…..def a 9
Manolos – heels all day on Friday I think should bump me up to 8
Methodology – started my new higher class and had that “buzz” def a 9