First thing you need to know is that I’M BACK IN SCHOOL. But this time as a student! After many, many years working in classrooms as an educational assistant or substitute teacher or volunteer, I get to feel first hand what it’s like to be a student again. It is absolutely mind boggling!
That’s me on the inside. I’m a crazy mixture of exhilarated and terrified.
That’s me on the outside. Looking like I can do this. Smush those two images together and you’ll get a more balanced idea of what my reality is really like. Let me give you a little more background on what has brought me to this spot in my life…
I’m Dianna, wearer of many hats. I have grown into a saucy, middle-aged woman who is frequently aware that my laugh is louder and more explosive than your average gal. I’m married to my college sweetheart, Ken, who is partly responsible for the evolution of my laugh. He’s very witty. And so I keep him. We were completely out of our minds over 19 years ago and decided that parenting was definitely something we could figure out. We were wrong. Just when we thought we’d figured out how to parent these three amazing humans, BAM! They became TEENS! Joking aside, I’m awestruck by each of them and so humbled by all that I’ve learned by being their momma.
I’m also a daughter to phenomenal parents, a sister to my fabulously strong and inspiring five sisters, and Mrs. S or Mrs. Symanski to my students. I live in the wee village of Haines Junction, Yukon where I gaze at the tallest mountains in Canada (found in the St. Elias Mountain Range) just out my window.
And it’s here, in this time and place, I’ve decided to finally get my Bachelor of Education degree.
I am a teacher. Already. I just don’t have the papers that say I’m recognized as an “official” card-carrying teacher with a B.Ed. degree. Nonetheless, it’s who I am by nature and what I do professionally as an E.A. at St. Elias Community School (K-12). I LOVE my job. I love the students, the work, my colleagues, the synergy of a classroom, the challenge, the celebration, the learning… you get the idea.
So why, at 50 years old, have I decided to get my degree after all?
It’s about having a place at the table. It’s about my voice, it’s about the future and it’s about reconciliation.
Have a place at what table? The table that people sit around and discuss how we do education. Getting my degree is like buying a ticket to sit at that table. And then, at that table, my voice can be heard.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I have all the answers about how we should do education. What I do have is a lot of experience and passion born out of many years of “doing the stuff” and I want to be a part of the conversation as we move forward! ESPECIALLY in regards to how we, in education, pursue reconciliation with our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Being fully involved in how education responds to the Calls to Action (outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission), feels like the only way I can adequately respond to how impacted and humbled I am by my Indigenous friends, colleagues and students.
So I’m back in school. Learning to juggle all that makes my life full, wearing my new “student” hat.
Hopefully, it looks better on me!!!
And hey! Thanks for joining me as I blog all that this upside down, inside out life of learning has in store for me!