A crash course in being a beginner again – Dirt biking for old ladies!

April 21, 2011 at 6:40 AM Leave a comment

My husband LOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEES motorcycling and I love new experiences (and him :-). To be fair, I love the idea of learning something new maybe more than the actual experience, at least at the start of the day. It’s good for me – character-developing in a jolly good British way. But also painful, pretty literally learning to dirt bike at Rich Oliver’s Mystery School.

Like ropes courses, I realize stuff about my approach to life/teaching as I’m struggling to get an A and do perfect figure eights on a 125cc dirt bike.

– It’s really, really hard for me to RELAX enough to allow my natural balance to do what I instinctively know how to do. Maybe I don’t need to plan in quite so much detail? Maybe I can leave parts of labs up to them instead of prescribing too much?

– I’m terrified of holding others up, of being the class moron. What do I do to my students that puts them in that position?

– When under stress, I can only do ONE thing at a time, so I never did get round to using the back brake to slide out the back wheel in a fun rooster tail of dust. So yeah, sorry about last Friday with um, SIX lesson objectives. It was a bust that I won’t dwell on.

– I need a certain humility to allow myself to learn something from someone else – at 51, I’ve got used to being competent at the things I choose to do, and generally not choosing to do stuff I’m bad at. Kids don’t really have that choice. How tiring for them!

– I did fall off and it didn’t hurt, got up, brushed off and back on. So there’s a nice lead in to this cool TED talk about the value of being wrong:


A challenge – try something you’ve never done before and experience the fear and joy of it. Infuse that back into your teaching. Tell your story too!


Entry filed under: Education Psychology, Reflections. Tags: , , , .

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