Over the last couple of years while my focus has been on upskilling myself and others in the area of eLearning, I've noticed just how important it is to stay true to the kaupapa of tautoko and awhi.
While mentoring and helping those begin or renew their journeys in eLearning, it is important to focus not only on the skills that need developing but the relationships you build while doing this.
One important relationship I've been cultivating is one of trust and support. I try my hardest to listen, to focus on the issue at hand and also to support the colleagues and students who have sat down with me to talk about their own learning and the issues they've had.
By doing this, slowly slowly, I've been building trust. More and more people have asked me different things and are beginning to come and ask me for help or just an ear to discuss the process they went through to get some advice.
I've been overwhelmingly impressed and completely stoked by the way that one of these colleagues has emerged as a change agent herself. She's become quite supportive of others in our Google Plus MindLab community and has helped others on their own eLearning journeys. She has reembarked on her blogging and reflective journey as well. I've seen her confidence grow in this eLearning area throughout the year and am just incredibly proud of the shift she's made in so short a time period.
The importance of awhi is as important as tautoko. Because if you haven't fully surrounded and supported that person by giving wrap around support then sometimes they may feel uncomfortable in their new learning - though some may feel claustrophobic. So it's important to know the person through your relationship and develop a stronger sense of understanding as to what kind of support they may need, what help they may ask for.
Because at some point, that caterpillar hunger you've been feeding will eventually embrace them all on their own and they'll emerge as a beautiful confident butterfly, capable of extending their own wings to fly to the highest point possible. They'll visit other butterflies, other flowers on their search for knowledge and eventually come across their own wee caterpillars to feed and support too.
Who knows, maybe you've been feeding caterpillars without even knowing it? :)
Awhi and tautoko your colleagues because becoming a change agent is powerful. Because it helps to show just where you were and where you hope to go. Making that change is as important as breathing. Because without a beginning there is no future. And I think... that's enough metaphors for today. :)