This week I am falling behind on my blogs but feeling better about my paper. After receiving some much-needed advice and direction from Dr. Jones, I was able to start organizing and illustrating my data. I’m a visual learner and while creating tables and figures for my paper was not difficult, synthesizing the data and deciding what to illustrate and share was pretty much crippling me this week! I also found myself getting tripped up on the sections of my paper and worrying too much about what was the difference between “results”, “analysis”, and “discussion”. After much agonizing and re-organizing, I realized that I was getting myself stressed out and I needed to focus on how “to tell my story” – as we have heard over and over again these last couple of weeks. It probably didn’t help that I kept seeing my enormous wall map of post-its and worrying about whether I had missed something important in the data.
As I reflect on why that was worrying me, I realized that I am accustomed to collaboration in my professional practice and that working with others and getting different perspectives is something I not only value but need in my work environment. This research process has been a growth experience for me because it has forced me to use my own thought-process, perspective, and experience to frame my work and leave the feedback to be given by my peers at a later time or in a different process (through the blogs). It’s important for me to be able to complete each stage of the research process on my own as well as in collaboration with a group of peers. I realize that in this course, we have been learning that lesson, to stand on our own in conducting research, and building the skills and confidence to repeat this process. It is important to our own professional development that we are able to conduct research on our own and to involve others where and when it enriches and informs as needed.
It was bittersweet to be in our last twitter session this week; on one hand it was great to feel that we have worked hard to get to this stage in our research process, on the other hand, the peer learning and sharing has been one of the most valuable aspects of this course, so seeing that end is a little sad. I thought we shared some valuable lessons learned during the session that I wanted to summarize in my own words:
I know my strengths but I also realized I am not always what I think I am,
I still have more to learn about myself,
I learned more about the research process and now I appreciate the importance of each step,
I have gained new skills that will improve and grow my professional practice,
I will be intentional in my work and integrate new tools and strategies based on what I discovered,
My perspective has changed and I learned to view my work through the eyes of my students and my peers, and
I always have more to learn.