Digital Identity? I Barely Have One

My initial reaction after creeping myself online was: “Man, I am boring to follow on social media”. I was not surprised about what I could or could not find about myself online. Instead, I actually bored myself because I literally am not active on my social media pages at all. But before we get into what I found on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on, let’s start at the beginning of this.

I started by reviewing the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation document STF’s tips for professionalism in a digital world. As I went through the top 10 tips, I was able to say that I already met the tips. I like to keep my life private and away from others, mostly because I don’t want everyone knowing my every single move (I find it kind of creepy).  I also do not want someone I do not know being able to look at my profiles on various social media platforms because again, it’s creepy to me. I like knowing who I follow and who follows me on social media so I keep all my accounts on maximum privacy (but do not worry, if I know you, I will definitely add you).

When it comes to posting on social media, I honestly don’t. If I do post on social media, it’s because it’s either a) a really nice photo or b) I haven’t posted for a while so I might as well make a presence. My motto for posting online is “if my Mom sees this, will she be disappointed in me?”, and it’s a really good motto to remember when posting on social media. But I should start writing about what I found when I looked at my social media.

Results for “Jayden Lang”

Let’s start with the classic search of typing your name into Google to see what comes up. When I Googled “Jayden Lang”, what showed up was Facebook profiles but when I clicked it, guess what? My profile didn’t even show up. What did show up was multiple YouTube Channels, Track and Field Records, Chess scores, cross country profiles and so many more results that were not me. Interestingly, my Twitter account I use for education and my blog appeared, but I do not have privacy settings set on those two accounts because I want people to see my growth and development as a teacher. It also makes interacting with other professionals so much easier because there are no privacy restrictions.

Yup, the results of “Jayden Lang melville” are of me

 After I searched my name, I added the name of my hometown to my name. The results were me, not someone else. Appearing in this blog, my Twitter I use for education, newspaper articles discussing scholarships and my results from when was speed swimming, and my grandfather’s obituary. For images showing up for the result of “Jayden Lang Melville”, there are pictures of me. My Twitter profile picture shows up, pictures of my swim team and I, and my grandfather. These pictures are available to the public because they are from a public Twitter account and from newspapers which I have no control over if I appeared in the picture.

I think it’s time I dive into those private accounts of mine to show everyone what is posted (warning: it’s not exciting)

 

Facebook 

I made a Facebook account much later in life compared to my friends. As a matter of fact, I was in Grade 11 to be exact, and the only reason I made an account was for group chats with my volleyball teams. As shown above, I do not have a biography written, and my profile picture is of my brother and I. As I scrolled through my Facebook I realized I have never actually written a post. What will be seen on my Facebook is grad photos, volleyball photos, birthday wishes, and a couple of shared videos that I couldn’t help but share. I believe the highlight of my Facebook is my grad photos, which was two years ago.

The most exciting post on my Facebook account

Instagram

Here’s a glimpse into my Instagram account

When I looked at pictures I posted on Instagram, I would be comfortable with anyone seeing those photos. The photos are selfies, of awards, of my family and of volleyball. I don’t post often as the last photo I posted was in November and that was only because I was so proud of my brother medalling at provincials for the second year in the row, I wanted everyone to know. I also reviewed photos that I was tagged in. Those photos are very similar to the ones I posted. Again, I would be comfortable with anyone seeing those photos. But one can view my bio on Instagram which is my Snapchat username.

Photos I’ve been tagged in

VSCO

You’ll see throwback photos of my brother and I

On my VSCO are pictures I have taken in which I would like to share or photos of my friends and me. My photos are once again, okay for anyone to see. On the other hand, my collection on VSCO features quotes about what country song I want to dance in a kitchen with my best friend, or country songs for any occasion, or about relationships. In a way, I wouldn’t want my students to see this but my VSCO is impossible to find and honestly, it holds nothing bad just my basic goals for what I want in a relationship and life and such. I’m thinking I should go through my VSCO collection very carefully and think carefully about the message the collection is portraying.

Twitter

As you can tell, I have never posted on this account

Okay, I have two Twitter accounts. One is for education and this is the one that is public. This is a professional account where I post resources, ideas and anything else related to education. I check this Twitter a lot as it is on my MacBook and iPad. My other account is to see what my friends are tweeting but I have never posted anything on this Twitter account. I mainly use this account to read Tweets by Regina Police to see about accidents that may affect my route to the university, SaskPower to know about power outages and Highway Hotline to know if roads are good if I am planning to go home for the weekend. This account is on my phone and is private.

Pinterest

Honestly, my Pinterest account would show others what food I like (chocolate anything), what I want my house to look like, quotes (way too many), wedding ideas (I’m not even sure why this exists but it does), photography ideas and teaching ideas. Again, not very exciting.

What did I learn from stalking myself?

I learnt my digital identity is hidden from the public for the most part with the exception of my Twitter I use for education and my blog. If people were to see my other social media accounts, they would see only pictures of me and get a general idea of what I look like and a little bit about my interests. As an educator, it shows I respect others as I am not shaming anyone, I respect my body and appearance, and I care about education (you would notice this by the number of Tweets I’ve been doing since the beginning of class. I just love seeing new ideas and learning about the art of teaching).

The message I send on social media, that is a tough question. Mainly because I never thought about it. It may be because I am not very active on social media, but I honestly do not know. On my education Twitter account, the message is simple though. I want to show parents/employers/other teachers that I care about my job and I am passionate about it. I am willing to learn more about teaching because I believe a teacher learns just as much as the students, maybe even more.

For the most part, my digital identity is hard to find. Majority of my accounts are private and I couldn’t find any of them and I tried everything. Comments, pictures, and anything else you can think of, all set to private, so you have to friend or follow me to see what is posted. If someone found any of these accounts, I’m okay with it, there is nothing I wouldn’t want anyone to see because of my motto stated earlier.

Areas I would like to work on with respect to my digital identity and steps I will take:

  • Letting people get a sense of who I am, aside from a future teacher
    • I should include my personality into my social media more often as personal identity is important
    • Tweet a photo of my dog, post a selfie of my family and I hanging out on a Saturday, make a category on my blog with photos I have taken
  • Being more confident
    • If I appear more confident in my Tweets, my profile pictures (a picture where it shows I’m happy and not trying to get the perfect angle and trying too hard to look like a model) and so on, students may feel confident in their teacher because that is how their teacher presents themselves.
  • There are probably more areas I could work on, but I can’t think of any but I am certain I will learn more as I continue my education on my way to being a teacher!

Who Am I?

Hello!

My name is Jayden! I come from the community of Melville, SK where I lived my entire life. I attended high school at Melville Comprehensive School. During high school, I played senior girl’s volleyball and coached the junior team. After graduation, I assisted in coaching the senior team for a year.

After graduation, I attended Yorkton Parkland College, taking university classes through the University of Saskatchewan for a Kinesiology degree. During this year, I learnt that Kinesiology was not for me, so I applied to the secondary education program at the University of Regina. This year is my first year attending the University of Regina, taking the secondary education math program with a minor in social studies.

In my spare time, I enjoy going back home to visit my friends and my family. I also like to read, take photos, and go for walks with my dog.

 

3 Goals I Have for EDTC 400

  1. To learn how to communicate with other professionals in education using platforms such as Twitter.
  2.  Be aware of debates and discussions surrounding technology use in the classroom.
  3.  Become more familiar with social platforms such as WordPress and Twitter.

 

Check out my Twitter I will be using for this class!

@JaydenLang7

What I Have Learnt (So far…)

Here is a list composed of some things I have learnt in such a small period of time. As I continue on with my education, I expect this list to grow drastically.

I have learnt…

  • The importance of structure in the classroom (ex: having the same routine for students for when they come in from lunch recess)
  • The incorporation of different types of media in a lesson (ex: using both a book and a short video to tell a story)
  • Learning environments are constantly changing (ex: when I went to school we had rows of desks and now desks are arranged in groups and some students have floor desks)
  • Planning for activities students enjoy (ex: if students want to try volleyball, let them because it is what they want to do) but making revisions so students do not struggle.
  • As a teacher, your mind is constantly working
  • Educators should incorporate different ways of knowing by using different sensory formats of teaching (ex: listening, seeing, touching, tasting, doing…)
  • Students need breaks from learning so incorporating a muster break in between topics helps students regain focus
  • The importance of antiracist education versus multicultural education
  • Teachers may struggle with incorporating and teaching diversity but can rely on fellow colleagues for support

On-Going Growth and Learning

Throughout ECS 100 and other education classes, I believe I have grown. To begin, I would like to point out that I am used to mastering a skill immediately, but I quickly realized teaching is not that. Soon into the field experience, I found out that teacher is not a mastery skill but instead on-going development with more always to be learnt and improved on. The first time I was privileged to lead a group of students was in phys-ed class with volleyball stations. I was at the station teaching setting, where each time a new group came around, I found myself improving my explanation skills even though I have coached volleyball for 5 years and have explained the technique many times. I was surprised by how much I was learning as students would explain what I told them in a way they understood which made 100% sense to me. I soon realized there are multiple ways to teach a lesson, such as setting and you have to base it off of your learners (One student compared the pushing of the ball forward to pushing a box onto a high shelf which I never considered before).

Another area of growth is the realization the students are as much of teachers as I am. A moment I can think of is when I was leading a Halloween bookmark making activity. I thought I knew how to teach the lesson perfectly, but instead, I was educated. During the activity, which involved the folds, a couple of students used the handle end of the scissors to flatten out the edges. By doing this, the folding went by much smoother so I told the rest of the class to use this technique which eventually led to the craft being a success. I interpret this to be a pivotal moment because as a student, I never considered how we taught our teachers but then when it happened to me, I realized students influence and educate their teachers as well.

The third area of growth which I will openly admit I did struggle with at the beginning was the communication of the learners. I am a shy person when I am around people whose names I do not know, and then for field experience, I was put in this exact situation. I quickly realized I would have to take initiative to ask students names (or pay attention to what other people were calling them) to talk to them. As I progressed with learning student names, I found myself being able to talk more freely with learners. Part of the reason why I struggled with communicating with students before I knew their names is because I find that helping a person or simply conversing without knowing their name to be very impersonal. As a teacher, we should not give students an impersonal feeling as we learnt in the discussion panel, the most important thing for teachers is to create a healthy relationship with learners which would not happen if the conversation felt impersonal. After learning names and form teacher-student relations, I found myself engaging with students in their assignments by asking them questions and helping them along the way. I also realized the students were more open to talk to me, with some discussing the results of their hockey games or their latest dance moves they have learnt. I was very surprised when the shyest kid in the class, came up and asked me for help. I was humbled by this simple act because this student rarely approached anyone. This was the exact moment I came to the realization of the importance of relationships with students.

Another area of growth I am realizing and still working very hard on is showing emotions. I have been told I do not show emotion a lot of the time. At the beginning of the field experience, I found myself not showing emotion. I saw this through pictures our cooperating teacher had taken of us working with students. These pictures inspired me to work on showing emotions (mostly positive emotions such as smiling). As time progressed, I found myself smiling in the classroom more often, which often was reflected back with smiles on students’ faces. This area of growth still needs to improve a lot but I am working on it by attempting to show emotions when speaking to friends and peers.

Additionally, I found growth as a future educator with communicating with other teachers. As the school I was in, some staff did not have a welcoming vibe. I found this difficult to engage in conversation and ask questions as some staff seemed unapproachable. Throughout my education, I am used to being able to approach staff since some are family friends or are coaches of mine so they always had a welcoming vibe surrounding them. I did not talk to any staff members at the beginning of the experience but towards the end, I found I was talking with staff more. I found discourse was often engaged around a common topic such as a student we both helped or an assignment students were working on. I talked to a couple of Teaching Assistants which I found interesting as I learnt their roles in the school were very important. For example, I never would have guessed a T.A.’s job would be to monitor a student with diabetes, but it is one of their jobs. I learnt to be a T.A. is a very stressful job as they are making sure the student’s insulin levels do not spike or drop and without them, a teacher would be very stressed. As I continue my education, I have to make goals for when I go out into the field. An example of a goal may be “engage in a conversation with a teacher that is not your cooperating teacher once a week” which will help with my professional communication skills.

Lastly, at the beginning of my field experience, I was scared to take initiative. I was afraid of overstepping the cooperating teacher’s boundaries by telling students to stay focused on the task at hand. As time progressed, I found myself reminding students to keep on track without being afraid to tell them as our cooperating teacher mentioned it was good we were reminding them of what to do. I consider this growth because I was afraid to do this, but in the end, I did this without being afraid.

Overall, I am able to say I have grown as an educator throughout my experience in the field. While I only talked about a few growths of which I am able to recall, I am positive there are many other areas of growth I have not even considered. I also realized as an educator, there is always room for more growth and I will continue growing throughout every year of my education and career.