Hmm … Let Me See If I can Help…

As I reflect on my contribution to others learning I can not stop thinking about how others have contributed to my learning. Coming into this class, I definitely felt as though I would not be much help to anyone when it came to the technology side of things, but I was hopeful that I would make up for my lack of tech knowledge with my passion for education, lifelong learning, and the experiences that I have had both in and out of the classroom. For this post I have been asked to demonstrate how I have contributed to the learning of others. I will go through a variety of ways that I feel that I have helped others learn including some screen shots, a summary, and a short video.

Slack Community

I thought that using the slack community worked really well for myself who was probably going to ask more questions than answer. I was happy that I was able to help a few people by answering a couple questions and providing a few links to resources that I thought would be helpful. The things that I found most useful about slack was that it was just our class so we could ask specific questions pertaining to our course content. I also liked that I was able to learn from the questions that other people asked. Often I would have had the same question but someone else had already asked and answered it. I feel that by participating in the slack community contributed to the learning of my classmates as I was there to give feedback, comment, share resources, and answer questions when I could.

Twitter

I was surprised at how much I have grown in my Twitter abilities. At the beginning of this class I was not sure if I would ever really catch on to Twitter. In the past I have not always felt confident in sharing resources or my opinions over social media platforms as I would worry about what others would think without me having the opportunity to explain or expand on things. I have a new understanding of how Twitter can help me in my professional and personal life. I found that not only did I stop “lurking” but I started participating. I have shared resources both articles and videos by tweeting and retweeting, I commented, and contributed to conversations and prompts from classmates, I have shared my blog posts to give others an opportunity to see what I was posting about on wordpress, and I also was able to go beyond our class and participate in a variety of Twitter chats. Some of the Twitter chats that I joined were #resilencechat, #N2T2chat #crazyPLN #PLN365, #Saskedchat, and #masterychat, I was able to answer many of the questions and get some great ideas from the other professionals in the chats. Twitter chats have had a huge impact on growing my PLN. Below are some screenshots of my contributions to others learning through Twitter. You can also follow me on Twitter @beaven_tracey

EDTC 300 and Learning Project Blogs

Blogs, blogs, blogs, in previous classes I honestly felt bogged down by blogs. I never knew what to say exactly, was my comment relevant, was it worthwhile, was it helpful? Well I had to shake this way of thinking and really embrace blogging not only to write and post my own blogs but to comment and contribute to others. I think that by commenting on others blogs truly helps the writer stay engaged because they know someone is reading it on the other end. I know that I looked forward to seeing comments about my posts even if the person was questioning my writing or giving me positive feedback, it made the blogging process seem more purposeful not just reflecting for my own benefit. I felt like my classmates would potentially be benefiting from my posts and the comments I was making on their blog posts as well. I tried to read and comment on a variety of people’s blogs and I ended up quite hooked on a few of my classmates learning projects. I was able to make a few suggestions on a couple of them and I hope it helped them out. Some of these blogs included Lochlin’s handstands , Julia’s longboarding, and Shelly’s to name a few. Lydia’s posts and many others comments and blogs provided opportunities for me to question and respond to posts in meaningful ways. I was mentioned in a few of my classmates blogs saying that I helped them with an app suggestion, it was nice to know that they found the app InShot useful. Below I have included some screen shots of some of the interactions that I had with the others in my class and I feel that they show that I have made significant contributions to the learning of others.

Resources

I have shared a variety of resources about technology, education, and anti-racist education. I compiled some of them in Wakelet so that I would easily be able to add to my resources as well as find them and refer back to them as needed. My Wakelet resources are divided into two categories videos and articles. Feel free to take a look and see if there is anything that you are interested in or perhaps haven’t seen before.

I have also included some teaching resources that I have created on my wordpress blog site. These include some lesson plans and unit plans. At this point it is still limited to some that I have used in my pre-internship but I am looking forward to adding to this section of my e-portfolio while doing my internship. I hope that some of these resources will contribute to others learning.

Collaboration

One last item that I wanted to mention in this post is the contribution to learning that has occured while collaborating with Shelly and Lydia on our summary of learning project. I think that we all helped each other in different ways but I know for sure that when Shelly and Lydia had to explain how to use certain aspects of the book creator tool they were growing in their understanding of how to use the tool as well.

We also shared many phone calls, facetimes, and messages to ask each other questions, get opinions, and confirm our understandings of assigned posts and material. I hope that I have contributed to their learning as much as they have contributed to mine. This is just a little sample of our collaboration and support that we provided for each other. Encouragement, guidance, and honesty, I am very lucky to have found so many supportive people in my educational journey. I know that I am supposed to be showing all of my contributions to others learning but so many others have contributed to my learning and understanding. Thank you to everyone who has helped me learn along the way.

Finito Per Ora: Perfect Pasta Project.

Finito per ora or finished for now in English. This post will summerize my learning project up until this point. I feel that I will continue to work on the art of making homemade fresh pasta, so I went with Finished for Now as my title because I know I will keep on learning and trying out new recipes when it comes to making pasta.

First of all I want to explain that I used way more tools and resources than I thought I would while doing this leaning project. I used a variety of websites and I also used Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to find pasta recipes and to learn techniques. Then to document my learning process I started by using my iphone camera and imovie to create videos that I could load to YouTube and then include on my blog. I branched out and also tried Splice and InShot video editors. I found that the app Recipe Keeper was helpful in saving recipes that I found online. To keep track of all of the online resources that I was using I signed up and started using Wakelet. It really helped me to organize my websites and videos from youtube.

This was the first time that I actually tried to learn a skill by only utilizing online resources. I was nervous at first because I was not sure if I would find the right types of instructional sites and videos. I worried for nothing, there are so many resources that I needed to really sift through them and find ones that were going to work for me. I realized how important it is to be a critical consumer of online content in all circumstances. Not every video, recipe, or website is going to be credible. This activity showed that we need to think about what we are looking at, sometimes investigate where the information comes from and decide if we trust it. I know with something like making pasta the worst that is going to happen is a failed batch but I could see how this could transfer over to all of the content that can be found online and the awareness that we need to have when we are accessing it.

Continue to read my blog post to find a summary of my project along with some final thoughts.

My First blog was an introduction to my project. I wanted to explain what my idea was and how I was going to learn how to make fresh homemade pasta using online resources. At this point in my project I had found a couple resources but I had no idea just how many videos, websites, and tools I would use to do this learning project.

Fun with Fettuccine this was my second post. This was my first attempt at making egg dough pasta. I was nervous but I had completed a few sections of the Instructables online resource and watched a few helpful YouTube videos so I was able to get a good understanding of the method of making fresh pasta and using a pasta rolling machine.

For my third learning project post I wanted to try a different type of pasta dough, flour and water. I then used this dough to create hand shaped noodles. You will find a few videos of my process in this blog post, So Many noodles so little time. My Family still thinks that the cavatelli that I made is our favorite and we will be making it again soon.

My forth post, Ravioli Regrets, was one of my first real roadblocks in my learning project. I knew that this would be one of the more difficult types of homemade pasta to make. I was happy with the dough and the sauce but the actual shaping of them did not go well and the filling was a bust. I also discuss using Inshot video editor and a new Recipe Keeper that I found.

Fun with Flavour is my fifth post and I discovered that making flavoured pasta was not that hard and it really added to some good spinach flavour to the noodles. One of the things that shocked me was the vast amount of different flavours that can be used to make pasta. I can not wait to try chocolate pasta.

Ravioli Round Two was a redemption post. I had to try again and I was pleased with the results. I was able to use the tool properly as I found a website that used the exact tool that I had and could follow their directions. I also found a better suited filling recipe. I think that by trying again I gained confidence in my abilities.

Photo Credit: Pest15 Flickr via Compfight cc

For my last post actually making pasta I decided to try a type of pasta that I thought was going to be most difficult, Tortellini. In my blog titled Terrific Tortellini I share some information about different ways to use tortellini and a video on how to shape them. I was pleasantly surprised when I did not really have any trouble making them.

Overall, I think that I was very successful in my learning project. I definitely learned how to make homemade fresh pasta but I also learned how to edit videos, post them to YouTube and link them to my blog. I learned more about being a critical consumer of online content and found that not all resources are created equal.

Here are a some of my final product pictures.

Final thoughts, I am excited to have this new skill. I know that my family is also very happy. I am a little worried that I ruined traditional store bought dried pasta for them and now a quick pasta supper will no longer be quick. To end each post throughout this project I chose a quote from Julia Child. I remember watching reruns of her cooking show when I was young and thought that she was great. I’ve read some articles and a book about her and felt that so many of her quotes were not just for the kitchen they were also about life.

My final quote from Julia Child,

 “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”Julia Child Retrieved from Today.com

Personally, I am passionate about my family, good food, lifelong learning and education. I will continue to be tremendously interested all of them. Thank you for joining me for my learning project. I hope that I have given you a glimpse of the potential of what online learning can look like and perhaps inspire you to learn something that you are passionate about too.

Once Upon A Time; Summary of Learning Project

EDTC 300 has provided me with the opportunity to explore and learn about technology, tools, resources, and media. I have come a long way from the beginning of this course. I am feeling much more confident and prepared when it comes to technology in the classroom and in my own life.

For this learning summary I was excited to be able use knowledge gained from the class to collaborate with Lydia Steffen and Shelly Ekren. We used a variety of online tools to create and present our learning summary artifact. See the link to take a look at our Book Creator book that we made.

Thank you to everyone who has shared in this learning journey. Take care, Tracey Beaven

Terrific Tortellini: Perfect Pasta Project

Photo Credit: Pest15 Flickr via Compfight cc

Welcome back to my perfect pasta project. It had been an interesting learning experience for me so far and I feel that I have come a long way in my pasta making abilities. This week I worked on making hand shaped filled pasta, Tortellini.

Now that I have got the hang of some the basics such as making and rolling out my fresh pasta dough and learned some useful tips in working with the dough, I felt confident to try out something that seemed a little more difficult. More difficult than ravioli? Well you will have to continue on reading and watching my post to find out.

So was making tortellini the hardest that I have tried so far? Actually no, the ravioli were more difficult for me, but I think that it was the experience that I had in making ravioli multiple times that gave me that ability to do a better job on my first attempt with tortellini. I looked at a few websites and found many videos that went through step by step instructions on how to make the dough, the filling, and then actually shape the pasta. The one I liked the best was from Laura in the Kitchen.

I started out by making my trusty egg dough that I have shared many times through my learning project blogs, such as in my last post Ravioli Round Two. I found that there are multiple types of filling that you can use and are all similar to ravioli fillings. I chose to do a ricotta cheese and spinach filling. Watch in my video below how I was able to get the hang of shaping my tortellini.

I think that I was able to do a pretty good job, once I had a bit of practice.

Now that I had the tortellini made I had to decide what I was going to do with them. As I was searching I realized that there are so many ways to use tortellini to create a meal. On the Taste of Home website they list over thirty ways to use tortellini. I decided to make a hearty vegetable soup and put the tortellini in my soup.

It turned out pretty great. I had precooked the tortellini in boiling water and then put them in the soup when the soup was ready. I did not want the excess flour in my soup. After the soup sat the tortellini got a little mushy but luckily it was so delicious that it did not sit for long.

I encourage you to try out a new way to use an ingredient. I went away from the traditional sauce and I was impressed.

Cooking well doesn’t mean cooking fancy.” – Julia Child Retrieved from Goalcast

Look At Me Code

Coding has become more popular in the last few years for a variety of reasons. As we discussed in class there are more potential jobs in this field than ever before, but there are other benefits for students who learn about coding. This is explained in more detail in the article 8 reasons why every child should learn to code. With all of this information it make sense that as teachers we get familiar with coding ourselves and make sure that we include opportunities to code in our classrooms.

While working as an EA I have seen a couple of different coding sites including Scratch and Hour of Code as well as I have seen students as young as grade one explore coding bots. The best experience that I had with a coding site was when the students received a workshop with a presenter who was trained to show the students how to use the Scratch program. It was great to see the teacher learning right along with her students.

For this post I decided to try the Hour of Code because it was the one that I was less familiar with. I signed up and started looking through the options that I could try as a beginner. I decided to try the artist tutorial. I thought that it would be neat to have the freedom to draw whatever I wanted. As you can see from the picture, it starts out pretty simple. It goes through the commands required to draw straight lines and to turn 90 degrees, which creates a square.

As the lessons progressed, the difficulty increased. I had to figure out what angle to turn at, which way to turn, and how many pixels to make it draw. Although it was walking through it in steps I still got mixed up and had to try it and fix it and try it and fix it until I would finally get it right. I actually found it a bit frustrating. I think that this would also frustrate some students but I think it would be a good lesson in learning from mistakes and how to persevere through frustration.

The tutorial then made additions to the commands like the function line and jumping. The function code is a set of commands to do something specific and then you can use it over and over without having to put every single line of code in each time. The jump command made it so that you could skip spaces without having to draw a line. I actually was starting to feel pretty confident and then I started to try and create my own drawing. Let me just say that my final drawing took me way longer to create than I would like to admit. In the video below you will see a short screencast of my hour of code project.

Once I completed my project and the tutorial I felt like I had a better understanding of coding. I think that there are many subject areas that it would be useful in. A few examples would be learning about sequencing and and angles in Math. This specific one could be used in both Art and ELA. I know that programs like these will be helpful in teaching students about code starting at an early age. It will be exciting to see what my students will be able to create.

Digital Literacy Has Got Me Thinking

Created using Wordcloud.com

Here I go again, blogging about a topic that I needed to learn a lot about before I felt like I could competently discuss it. I had my own ideas of how to describe digital literacy but by reading and watching many of the resources provided I have a much better understanding of what digital literacy is and how we as educators can help our students develop their digital literacy abilities.

So what is digital literacy? It is being able to to discriminate between real and accurate information found online. It is part of the critical thinking that we all need to have as we determine how to navigate through this world that has been saturated with news of all kinds, an information overload.

While learning more about digital literacy I found the use of many different terms that came up in multiple resources. The term fake news came up in class and again in many articles. I recall when the term started to become popular and I remember thinking how funny it was that there was now a name for something that was really just fictitious stories and that it was being associated with the word news. I found that there are many strategies to help teach and learn how to deal with fake news. The article Developing Critical Literacies: What we need to know in a “Fake News” world, by Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt discusses three new strategies. These strategies include, to develop and employ investigative techniques, use rich examples, and nurture a critical disposition. The video The Problem with Fake News, explains a way of helping students by getting them to use The 5 C’s for Critical Consuming. The 5 C’s include context, credibility, construction, corroboration, and to compare. I think that no matter what strategies we use to help students to learn and develop their critical thinking and digital literacy skills it will be a combination of strategies and real life examples that will ultimately help develop these skills.

Photo Credit: Ken Whytock Flickr via Compfight cc

There were two other terms that stood out to me, circular reporting and the fun house effect. I had not heard these terms used to describe media information or fake news before. I was surprised that the idea of the sharing of misinformation from one site or article to another actually had a term associated to it, circular reporting. In the Video How false news can spread it is explained it in more detail. The fun house effect was described in the New York Times article Evaluating Sources in a “Post-Truth” world: Ideas for Teaching and Learning about Fake News. It describes that the fun house effect is when there is so much misinformation and fake news stories that the reader is left doubting everything including the real news.

Photo Credit: wuestenigel Flickr via Compfight cc

Now what I am going to do with my new found terms and strategies? Well put them to use of course. As I took a look at the Saskatchewan curriculum I found many areas that the topic of digital literacy becomes both relevant and necessary. Besides the obvious area where students are expected to evaluate and use critical thinking skills to determine the validity of websites and information they find, the concept of digital literacy is built into the framework of the curriculum itself. I am referring to both the Cross Curriculular Competencies as well as the Broad Areas of learning. Where students need to employ their thinking skills to be active members of society. My focus grade areas are Kindergarten to Grade Five, it is important that we get a good foundation in critical thinking skills. Children are using media and technology at very young ages so we must take digital literacy seriously even with our youngest students.

Digital literacy is more important than ever. As we discussed this topic in and out of class this week it became very clear that digital literacy is an important part of our daily routine. We are using online sources for so many aspects of our lives, from finding a recipe, watching a movie, learning about an animal, following current events, and shopping, we use the internet and the digital world in ways that I never would have imagined. Whether we are using the internet for entertainment, work, or school it seems to be ingrained in our daily activities so both adults and children need to use digital literacy skills to responsibly use the internet.

Ravioli Round Two: Perfect Pasta Project

Welcome back to my Perfect Pasta Project blog, you will be pleased to find out that I have achieved ravioli redemption, sort of. Round two of making ravioli went a bit better than my last attempt, if you would like a recap you can see my post Ravioli Regrets. Let’s just say that although the ravioli stayed together when cooking the overall taste was not great. I am so happy to report that this time around the flavor of the filling was pretty good, all of my ravioli stayed together, and I was able to properly use the tool to make ravioli with the crimped edges. Let me tell you a little more about my process.

First things first I had to go back to the internet and find a better filling recipe. As I searched I again I came across so many different recipes. I just had to pick one that I thought that I would like and that I had the ingredients for, I do not really believe in always having to go to the store and buy every little thing that the recipe lists. Maybe that is my down fall but it is realistic, I am not always going to have everything on the list. I like to learn how to improvise and I have been cooking long enough that I have gained some confidence in this area.

I found a recipe on a site called All Our Way, I was excited to see that they used the exact ravioli tool that I had. This site had step by step instructions, a good break down of the recipe, and a link to a video.

Here is a video of my second attempt at ravioli during my learning project.

The mushroom and ricotta filling was delicious, the pasta was tender and not to thick. None of the ravioli broke open and only a couple had an air pocket in the center (not that big of a deal to me). I made a brown butter mushroom and sage sauce which was tasty but when I make them again I am going to try them with a simple tomato sauce. I think that the acidity in the tomato sauce will cut and balance better with the creaminess of the cheese filling.

This was a shorter blog post but I feel that I may be beating ravioli to death if I go on to long about it. It is time to move on from ravioli and try my hand at another style of filled pasta, perhaps hand shaped tortellini?

As always I look forward to comments or suggestions. What is your favourite kind of pasta, maybe I can try it out?

“…no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.” – Julia Child AtoZquotes.com

I Will Google You and You Can Google Me.

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk Flickr via Compfight cc

I have been learning so much in this class when it comes to technology and the responsibilities that come along with having this amazing tool at our fingertips. This week I was putting some of my skills to the test to cyber-sleuth one of my classmates and I also spent time reading and watching a variety of resources while reflecting on the term digital identity.

In a previous blog posts I explain that although I thought it was best to keep my digital presence to a minimum I have realized that it is important to have a positive digital identity and that we have the ability and responsibility to appropriately shape it. In Shelly Ekrens post Digital Identity Super Sleuth, she explains “We have been cautioned about participation on social media accounts as one wrong post could hinder our chances of employment.” I had the same impression and I am learning the importance of being able make sure my digital identity is one that I am proud of.

Photo Credit: Bovee and Thill Flickr via Compfight cc

This weeks readings were especially interesting. I was not sure what to think of the article Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think. I agree that different platforms have different purposes. This is true for me, my Facebook and Instagram are more for my friends and my Twitter account is more professional and is helping my build my PLN. What I struggled with was the concept of having different personalities between the platforms as well as having multiple accounts in the same platforms. Even though I could see the authors point when they explained that they would not invite their family to same function as their coworkers, this is not true for me. I think this could be for many reasons but when it comes down to it I really feel like I am the same person weather I am at work, home, with friends, or online. I explained this in the beginning of my blog post Why do I hesitate to post on social media. What I find troubling in this article is that people feel the need to create fake or multiple accounts so that they don’t have to be perfect all of the time. I honestly cried when I read the article Split Image. Madison’s story really struck a cord with me. It also reaffirmed my understanding that one can really paint any picture that they would like on social media and how dangerous that can be. I am just starting to understand the true complexities of the impact of having perfection portrayed on online platforms. This class is opening up my eyes to a lot of topics that I had not really thought about before.

I really appreciated the perspectives of the videos as a part of this weeks resources. I think that they both made good points about stepping in if you witness online shaming. It is a part of our responsibility to not engage in that type of behaviour and we need to show some grace. Although some mistakes are bigger than others, being able to give people a chance to explain, apologize, and make things right is important. Specifically, Monica Lewinsky explains how important it was for her to have her family show her compassion and urges people to give people positive support. I think she makes a good point, those small comments can help people get through hard times.

Photo Credit: crises_crs Flickr via Compfight cc

As a part of this week learning we began to do some cybersluething. I have googled myself and my family members before and have done so regularly to see what comes up, it used to be for fun and now I see that it actually has purpose. We are taking an active role in making sure that our online identity is what we are wanting and expecting. By doing this we can help against identity theft and preventing unfavorable online presence. It is one of the activities listed to help teach kids about digital identity. 

For my Cybersleuthing activity I sleuthed Lydia Steffen. I know Lydia from going to university with her for the last three years. I thought it would be interesting to check into someone that I know so that I can determine if there is anything that stands out as odd or totally new to me. I found that Lydia has accounts on all of the major social media platforms. I feel that at this point Lydia is much like me, her facebook seems to be devoted to sharing her joys of being a mom, spending time at the lake and being a fan of sports, hockey being a main one. Her Twitter account is also similar to mine as we both are using it professionally to build our PLN. I also found a variety of news articles where Lydia was mentioned and some of them included photos. Where I found the most detailed information was on her about me page of her wordpress website. She goes into more detail about herself and I think that this is a way for her to put information out to the public that she wants people to know and will help for her to maintain control of her digital identity. 

Overall I am seeing the purpose of helping to shape your own digital identity to reflect and represent who you would like people to see and know. This is important for everyone to understand when they are participating on online platforms. We are continuously adding to our identities with every post and tweet. By being proactive and conscious about what you are putting out to the public we are capable of presenting the image that we desire. It makes me wonder though, how many people are truly showing themselves or just who they want us to see? I think that this is both a positive and a negative.

 

“We are the ones we have been waiting for.” – Alice Walker – Retreived from Wisdom quotes.

“Don’t let other people decide who you are.” – Bob Goff – Retrieved from Wisdom quotes.

Fun with Flavour: Perfect Pasta Project

Welcome back to my learning project blog. I am happy to report that I have redeamed myself this go around. After my ravioli regrets on my last learning project post, I was anxious to try something new and put my failure behind me. But with my confidence a little on the low side I really was not sure what was going to happen with with making flavoured pasta. I am excited to say that my faith in my ability to learn how to make fresh pasta using online resources has been restored.

Surprisingly, making flavoured pasta was not that hard. I have to admit that I looked at so many sites and recipes that I honestly lost count. I wanted to make sure I was finding resources that would lead me to success. A came across the site recipetips.com and found a page titled, flavoured and coloured pasta. Here there was information for over twenty different types of flavoured pasta. It had the information displayed in a chart which make the information very easy to read. The columns include the flavouring agent, a description, the taste, and the colour. I decided that I wanted to try making spinach pasta, partly because that is what I had in the freezer and because I wanted to see if I could actually achieve that bright green colour I had seen in pictures on an Instagram account that I follow called Freshpastafun.

Spinach Pasta stages

I ended up finding a new egg dough recipe to use that included the use of spinach and garlic. I ended up leaving the garlic out this time because I did not want it to be too overpowering. I found the recipe on Yummy. I have made fresh pasta enough at this point that the mixing and needing process have become pretty simple but the recipe on this site also includes a good set of step by step intructions.

Here is the video of me making spinach flavoured pasta. You will see that the dough is quite a bit softer than than the traditional egg dough pasta that I have made before. I was a little worried at first but it ended up to be easier to handle that I thought it would be.

I decided to take the easy route and make a packaged alfredo sauce, I followed the directions on the package but then tossed in a pan with the cooked pasta, sauteed mushrooms and garlic. Honestly I don’t think we could have had a better sauce to pair it with. The creamy alfredo coated the spinach fettuccine and the mushroom and garlic added a nice earthy flavour to balance out the richness of the creamy sauce.

I was so happy that this turned out as I have plans to try a few more flavours that were included on the recipetips.com site. Perhaps chocolate pasta?? Before I try that I think I might need to try ravioli again, I am determined to get that figured out. Either way I hope you join me for my next perfect pasta learning project blog.

“Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music.” – Julia Child – Quote retrieved from atozguotes.com https://www.azquotes.com/quote/660280

Why Do I Hesitate to Post on Social Media?

The answer to this weeks blog prompt is simple to me, yes teachers have a responsibility to model active citizenship and anti-oppressive education in digital spaces. What educators say and do in the classroom should not be separate from their lives outside of the classroom. We can not live two lives.

So why do I hesitate to speak up on social media? At this point I rarely post anything on social media as it is, wouldn’t it seems strange for me to post anti-oppressive content. But in reality the answer is that I am afraid. I am ashamed to admit it but I am being honest. I am afraid I will say the “wrong thing”, I am afraid that I do not know enough to defend my statement, I am afraid that I do not have the right to speak up because of my privileges, I am afraid that it might not be my place, I am afraid people would think that I was just doing it “for show”, I am afraid that I will be in trouble with my employer. To be very honest, I was afraid to share this on this blog post.

Photo Credit: Wordsmith.org Flickr via Compfight cc

I know that being afraid is not right. It is not about me, the issues surrounding us that need to be shared are bigger than me, I have to stop being selfish and stop being silent. I need to do better. The fact that I would share anti-oppressive content when I don’t normally post anything would say volumes about how important the issue is.

Over the last few years I have been reading and watching many different resources to try and educate myself on a variety of social justice issues so that I can feel confident in speaking up. I have known it for sometime now, Silence can speak louder than words and not for the better when it comes to social justice issues. I need to remember that even if I make a mistake, it is how I deal with that mistake that matters.

A video that was shared with me recently that resinated with me is called Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Luvvie Ajayi makes so many great points about speaking up, “silence serves no one” and “everyone’s wellbeing is our business” are just two of her statements that stand out to me. She also shares three questions to ask yourself before you put something out there and I think that they will help me as I turn over a new leaf and break the silence.

Although, I feel that I am at the point where I am becoming more comfortable with sharing resources, it is just a start. I will continue to educate myself and get to a place where I can share more personal thoughts.

One way that I plan to continue learning and growing is by following the lead of other educators who speak up. I think this will help me to conquer many of my fears. With the permission of the person who posted this I am sharing the screenshots from the facebook account from a principal that I know personally. I seen these on Monday night and they immediately stood out and they fit perfectly into our topic for Tuesday night. She is setting an example for other educators to speak up and use their social media platforms to share anti-racism messages and information.

There are so many amazing educators out there creating resources and helping all educators figure out how to approach anti-racism and anti-oppressive education both in and out of the classroom. It is our duty to learn from them and use them.

I appreciate you reading my blog and I hope that my honesty has not offended anyone. Please feel free to have a conversation with me about any of the topics that I have brought up. I am still learning and trying to do better and I feel like at least that is a start.

“Silence serves no one.” – Luvvie Ajayi