Is being overwhelmed better than being underwhelmed?

When doing some introductory reading about the facilitators of Cohort 21, I noted how Justin had expressed frustration with his previous Professional Development sessions. I took this to mean that he was underwhelmed with the offerings which had been available at the time.

Today, however, I felt overwhelmed.

From, one meaning of "overwhelm" is to load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything. The excessive amount of anything I experienced was great ideas. Overwhelming, - certainly! I did suggest that Garth either add an extra 4 hours to my day or offer to board my 3-year-old daughter so that I could even begin to delve into some of the discussion.

After having taught in the public system and then a private elementary school, I feel that I have now entered a time warp where:

Technology available to me as a French teacher in an independent school

+ Recent changes to the FSL curriculum

= Rocket launch in my teaching trajectory.

A quick review of my day:

Design thinking: I felt I had accomplished so much already by 10:30 a.m. Much more than I would've on any regular Saturday (although laundry marathons and meal planning/preparation are vital as well!) I solidified some goals that I had for oral French production integrated in a natural and meaningful manner at the beginning of every class. Details will be revealed once I try this.

Twitter: So far my favourite tool. Highly addictive. Even moreso now that I've joined this group.

Diigo: Wow - I could get lost in this. So many great articles. How did I ever teach effectively before this? (Did I?...fodder for another post...)

GoogleHangouts: Well...I'm still getting the hang of this. Pun intended.

Blogging: My first attempt here. (Can anyone tell me if I should source my images the way I did? Or how about if I can change the font size? Or how I'm even supposed to end this post...?)


11 thoughts on “Is being overwhelmed better than being underwhelmed?

  1. Well done! You are away to the races. What a perfect capture of your experience of the day. Thank you for sharing. I hope we can keep overwhelming you in a "good way" 🙂

  2. Hi Vivienne,
    It was nice to meet you this weekend. Glad to hear that you felt it was productive, if overwhelming. You're not alone in feeling like there was a lot to take in today. Check out posts from @mjolicoeur and @hadams and you'll see you're not alone. They both comment on how we need to be uncomfortable in order to learn, and it sounds like you're ready to embrace the overwhelmed feeling!
    Looking forward to reading more blogs from you and seeing you on the Twittersphere.

  3. Vivienne, I posted on twitter a good resource for posting pictures in a blog. This image is actually copyrighted and I'm guessing paid for the use of it. In this instance simply citing it might not be enough.

  4. Hey Vivienne, great post! I love the title. I've found Hangouts to be really great with teaching French but Diigo is really excellent with second language learners. Letting them read what they're interested in is sometimes hard to track but with Diigo they share to your classroom group and all is well!

    French teachers unite! Will you be at the DELF workshops on Dec 5th at Royal St George's?

    Looking forward to learning with you!

  5. Vivienne,

    To answer your question, is probably better to be slightly overwhelmed that underwhelmed. But know that you are not alone and with the personalized learning adventure, it's sometimes like taking a drink of water from Niagara Falls: there is so much happening, at times you have to know where is the limit to what you can handle. That said, it sounds like you are off to a great start.

    If you are free, come and check out our first Google Hangout on Nov 2nd at 7pm. Here's the invite on Google+:


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