Why It’s Good to Have Good Friends who Get You Into Trouble (aka The Benefits of a Mentor Group)

I have this good friend who keeps getting me into all sorts of trouble.  I first met her on the soccer field.  She could play every position, including keeper, with ease.  That should have been my first warning, but I ignored it.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons: Public Domain Pictures, Aubrey Kirkham

Since the soccer playing days, I’ve been talked into a number of adventures: traversing a cliff face in Waterton, hanging onto a cable for dear life; snowshoe backpacking in Kananaskis; week-long back-country kayak around the Bowron Lakes in BC; hiking and getting lost in the Marin Headlands near San Francisco.

To be fair, I’ve also had some experiences that have helped shape me as a teacher. Meeting with the Director of the New Tech High School model and visiting one of the schools helped me see how a project-based model of learning could be implemented.  Another was the shared model of services in Olds where high school students, college students, and the residents of the community share venues and services to the benefit of all.

Last fall, I thought I would get back at her by laying out a trap of sorts.  She has a weak spot for learning all kinds of interesting stuff.  I sent out an invite looking for people who might be interested in taking a Seth Godin Krypton College online course called, “Go: How to Overcome Fear, Pick Yourself, & Start a Project that Matters.” She took the bait alright, but I was the one outmaneuvered.  She introduced me to two more people who got me into even more trouble.

Because of them, I ended up at the Alberta Tech Leaders in Education conference.  Wait! I said.  I’m not a tech leader; I just play with the stuff.  I’ll feel like an impostor!  Come anyway, they said.  It’ll be fun.  And it was, and I did learn a lot.  I wrote about it here.

Another time, I ended up in Calgary for a 56-hour Start Up weekend marathon.  Wait! I said.  I’m not an entrepreneur.  I have no business experience.  How does this possible relate to me??  Come anyway, they said.  It’ll be fun.  And it was.  I learned a lot about the fascinating world of startups.  Pitching ideas, conducting market validation, developing a business proposal, building a minimum viable product.  And seeing how this could relate to Alberta Educations’s Inspiring Education document.

While we finished our online course several weeks ago, we decided to keep meeting on a weekly basis because we found it so valuable.  However, we have been without a purpose and have been feeling somewhat rudderless.  Not for long, though.  They have an idea.  I’m in! I said. Wait! they said. You don’t know what it is yet.  Oh. Yeah, I said, but I’m still in.

I suppose I could just say no.  But that would be like saying, “Stop introducing me to smart, amazing people and incredible adventures.”  So I’ll take a pass on the ‘no’ and keep getting into trouble.

Have some friends you wouldn’t mind getting into some trouble with?  Here’s a great place to start: Seth Godin’s Krypton College Courses.  Overcome Fear, Pick Yourself, & Start a Project that Matters:)

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About Sherry Langland

I have been teaching English for 15 years and am passionate about teaching students to read critically, think critically, and live purposefully. I am also the lead teacher for our junior high department and am thankful to be part of such a dedicated group of teachers who are committed to collaborating around the most important part of our job: student learning. My biggest blessing is being the mother of 2 young men who are in their 20s and discovering their purpose.
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2 Responses to Why It’s Good to Have Good Friends who Get You Into Trouble (aka The Benefits of a Mentor Group)

  1. TechPudding says:

    Sherry,
    Thanks for highlighting my thoughts about you. The more you try, the more you see, the more you grow, the more you do. We are more malleable than we may think. I found this interesting article about our perceptions of how we change over time. Thought you might be interested. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/science/study-in-science-shows-end-of-history-illusion.html?_r=0

    Like

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