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Wednesday, May 30 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
“Grit” and Educators’ Burn Out: Using Graphic Narratives to Brainstorm Solutions to the “Sand in our Shoes”

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"It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it is the grain of sand in your shoe."

It’s true we have mountains of worthy, exhilarating and challenging work in our education careers. Indeed, many of us are passionate about climbing those career mountains, conquering each exhausting climb to arrive at the summit of one educational mountain only to turn around and start a new climb all over again. But what happens when the small daily irritations — in or out of our learning environment — act like “sand” in our shoe and cause us to blister, limp or be miserable? How much of our energy goes into coping with the persistent “abrasions” from niggling troubles?

Sweating the small stuff. Perhaps we educators are playing in the same educational “sandbox” dealing with the same irritating “grains of sand”. This session is designed to help each other brainstorm about how we can get these “petty annoyances” out of our workday so we can reserve our energy for the essential mountain climbs ahead.

Give your “sandy” problems away. You will use a graphic narrative technique (e.g., stick figure comic) to illustrate: (a) one small daily irritation and (b) a best case outcome. Then you will hand off your problem to a team who will brainstorm possible strategies that could bring about your preferred outcome. That team will present two solutions back to you: humorous/hypothetical and doable/practical versions. This session will conclude with an opportunity to see how this exercise can be effectively used in the online learning environment. (The number of scenarios we can creatively solve will depend on the number of participants.)

Fun and practical. This is an opportunity for us to lighten the load in our work day by rehearsing through simple comic illustrations how we can remove persistent small annoyances that can wear us down.

Why limp along getting worn down by the “small stuff” that is, after all, fixable if you use some creative imagination and practical strategy? This fun graphic narrative technique can make it more joyful to “climb every mountain”.

(Bring your device.)

avatar for Krista Lambert

Krista Lambert

Designer: Learning or Instructional, Justice Institute of British Columbia
avatar for Jessica Motherwell

Jessica Motherwell

Research Associate, Justice Institute of BC
Director, Education Consultant, Instructor, Tutoring servicesLife Outside the Box Learning InstituteCreating small comics to tell BIG stories Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice

Wednesday May 30, 2018 10:30am - 12:00pm AKDT
Port of Vancouver