I can’t imagine working as anything other than an educator. I teach in a rural community in Western Canada and unlike most teachers, I’ve taught all grades from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve. Starting September 2010, I am an Elementary Connected Classroom teacher with the district. This is an exciting collaborative opportunity in which my grade 5 students have a daily, virtual connection with two other classrooms in other communities in our district. To create this virtual connection, each classroom is outfitted with a Smartboard, 1:1 netbooks, video conferencing, elluminate, and a shared moodle platform. Prior to this new challenge, I taught secondary art and photography with some textiles and information technology added to my teaching load. I love working with children and, no matter the age, they constantly amaze me with their enthusiasm, abilities, creativity and talent.
I recently completed the final year of my Masters of Education in Educational Practice. My research was comprised of three strands: visual arts in education, (digital) citizenship, and indigenous beliefs on education and learning. I created three main inquiry questions. What are the schools of thinking around visual literacy and how can I teach using arts-based methods in the context of the Elementary Connected Classrooms (ECC) project? How is my pedagogy shifting in this technologically-rich teaching and learning environment? What are the traditional Métis and Cree beliefs surrounding education and child-rearing? I adopted the mixed methods approach of qualitative research, employing teacher inquiry, living inquiry, performative inquiry, arts-based inquiry, writing as inquiry, and indigenous inquiry at varying times throughout the research. I plan on posting sections of my thesis to share my learnings while maintaining the ethical standards of Simon Fraser University in terms of confidentiality. One last, interesting (to me anyway) comment regarding my thesis; my sister (one of my editors) made the comment that reading my thesis was much like reading my blog. I’d like to write an entire post just on that!
Personally, I’ll share that I love photography, nature and running outdoors. I think life is too busy and complicated so I try to keep things simple. I love learning, music, baking and reading. I intensely dislike being bored. I’m a realist with an optimistic edge. Although I love technology and want to build a positive digital footprint in relation to my job, I like to keep my personal life offline.
I started to blog for many reasons. I love to write, especially for professional reflection. Writing helps to clarify and solidify my thoughts. I also wanted to learn how to use Edublogs before using blogging as a tool to enhance the learning in my classroom. The final reason I started to blog was to grow and maintain my personal learning network (PLN). I am truly thankful for all the amazing people, from those in my blogroll to colleagues and special friends, that motivate me, make me think and help me learn.
I hope you enjoy ‘Just a Thought’. Please comment as I’d love to hear what you have to say!