Author: Sarah (Page 1 of 4)

Hello! My name Is Sarah Clark, I am an education student at the University of Regina. I am hoping to teach high school Math, Chemistry, and Computer Science.

Technological reality

In terms of responsibility with technological world I don’t think it’s like necessarily the school’s responsibility but also realistically I know that most likely the school is going to have to deal with it and educate young people even though it shouldn’t be totally on schools and teachers to do that. I also have some what a bit of experience with this because it was a very sheltered child, and I wasn’t on social media and neither were my parents. My parents were anti-social media for most of my childhood so they always took pictures of me, but they never put them online and so and I was raised with the mentality that social media and technology was bad, and I didn’t have any education on it, mostly because then didn’t know much about it themselves so they couldn’t really educate me on it. I didn’t have social media and I never had a phone until I was 15. The only information I had about technology was what my teachers in high school taught me.

It’s also interesting to me that a lot of teachers try to avoid technology and they won’t use it in the classroom. They don’t want to use it and they don’t want to get involved in trying to figure it out, which is a fair perspective, however there are good things that come with technology like really helpful websites and visuals that you just cannot duplicate by hand. I think just getting technology involved in little ways is good to begin with and then teaching students how to how to decipher between fact and fiction is also key.

In Sherry Turkle’s Ted talk she talks a lot about being connected online yet being disconnected, the idea of seeming like you should be connected, and you should feel connected, but you don’t. Feeling lonely even though you are talking to people. Just because you’re talking to someone online doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be connected to them. I know in my personal experience especially through this pandemic I found that having to talk to people through either FaceTime or texting just isn’t the same as talking to them face to face it isn’t the same as having a conversation when you’re both right there especially with my friends, we tend to not be on our phones when we are together except for maybe a couple minutes but we will always be very present (pre-covid, that is) when we’re together and since I haven’t been able to see anyone it’s been hard because I’m relying on social media to keep me connected and it hasn’t been the same. As much as technology and social media tries to mimic the feeling of being connected with someone it’s just not the same as being face to face and being present. it is difficult to stay connected to people because you do feel really lonely when you aren’t able to see anyone. The example she gives in the Ted talk with her daughter and her friends in the picture of them being together but while being on their phones that was really interesting example because that’s oftentimes what happens. You see it more often now than ever, people avoid actually talking to each other and looking at each other and having a conversation, that’s something that has been a big issue in the last few years. I think the key with that with dealing with this is a balance, you have to balance the online time and offline time and recognize that when you’re with people you should at least try to not be online and scrolling through your phone.

Let’s talk about Twitter!

I think Twitter can be a really good resource for teachers to use to keep connected to other teachers and other future teachers and share resources. One of the drawbacks that I found with using Twitter is that whatever you post on there it is hard to remove once you posted it so if you post something that you thought in your first year of University and when you get to your actual teaching career and you don’t necessarily think that anymore it’s kind of hard to erase that off of Twitter.

One of the nice things about twitter is that you can build your professional network, You can meet and talk to and share resources with people that you wouldn’t normally be able to talk to or interact with so that’s a really good thing about Twitter and using it, is so that you can actually interact with people, especially now, with it’s much harder to meet people so it’s nice to have the online platform to connect with people and meet people that you might come across in your teaching career.

As for the Ed chats I really like them more than I thought that I would. I think that they can be in with a good way to connect with other people and talk about things that you don’t get to talk about on a daily basis, so for example, this week saskedchat was based off of mental health and self-care and that was really interesting conversation take part in and see what other teachers did and give like tips and ideas on what you could do to help you.

I was never a fan of social media mainly just because it was made out to be a place where everyone just ranted and share drama and that’s all it was ever made out to be for me when I was younger and so I never had an interest in being on social media because I never knew what the positive side could look like or what it could be if you used it in a positive way. Twitter now a more positive platform that I just don’t talk about my personal life as much (or interact with personal posts/random ranting)  and so it’s kind of nice to like keep off the personal side and stick with the more professional side of Twitter.  

Also if you don’t follow me on twitter yet you can here!

My Digital Identity

For my digital identity I don’t feel that it has a very significant impact and it’s something I’ve been trying to work on and try to get better at, but it’s not necessarily something that has been going really well in terms of making it more positive. My Facebook and Instagram are both private so there’s not a lot you can really find neither do I really post anything on either of those accounts except for major life changes and things I really feel strongly that I should share and on top of that there’s not really anything to find. My Twitter however is more of a professional platform, for me I try to keep it as much towards education and teaching as I can so that I can build a bit of a network and that way I have it organized so that I can use Twitter for that and use my other social medias for my personal accounts.

So the only thing that is really public is my Twitter account and I’ve only had it since I started University and I’ve only used it for EDTC 300 (I have used it outside of EDTC but a very small amount) and sharing resources and keeping connected to other teachers and future teachers. I feel like if the impression people would get when they look at my Twitter account is that I’m not terribly active but when I am active I do a lot of Ed chats and sharing resources and that’s all I really do on Twitter so it’s kind of makes it difficult for people to get a really good sense of who I am as a person or as a teacher. I don’t like social media a lot, I use it sometimes but I don’t like using it all the time and I don’t like my whole life being on it so I try to keep off of it and it’s something I’m trying to work on is just like shifting it towards using it as a professional platform and using it for teaching resources and education resources. I do follow quite a few teachers on Facebook but that’s more to keep up with them personally not really for professional development.

Hello and Welcome!

Hi, my name is Sarah and welcome to my blog! I am in my second year or secondary education with a major in math and a minor in Chemistry. Some things about me: I really love to learn new things, I also like all things nerdy (math stuff, science stuff). The last new thing I learned this summer was how an engine works, I went in knowing absolutely nothing but my boyfriend (now husband) got me into cars and now I am interested and want to learn more, I honestly learned so much! We took a seized engine from an older truck and basically took it apart to figure out why it had seized and what we needed to fix.

A few things that I am looking forward to learning in EDTC this semester, is that I want to learn more about how to use media for education purposes, how to manage it better, and just learn more in general. In EDTC 300 I learned a lot of stuff that I did not anticipate learning so I am just looking forward to learning more.

If you want to know a little more about me, here is my intro post for EDTC 300, and my other posts from EDTC 300, and my twitter account.

Inuit math

One of the fundamental differences between Inuit math and Eurocentric math is that the Inuit math, it is viewed that there are many ways to get to the same result. This is some that most people have a hard time getting their head around because Eurocentric ways are that there is one right way to get to the result, all other ways are wrong. I have many personal stories with this topic and many things that I want to improve on when I am a teacher. One common thing that I encountered is that teachers didn’t like it when students solved a problem a different way than what they had been taught in class. I was a good student, but I often didn’t understand the way that the teacher taught us, so I would go to other teachers and the internet to find a way that made sense to me, most teachers didn’t like that. The next difference is that Inuit math uses base 20, this stood out to me because I have (and many people) have only ever worked in base 10.  You see it everywhere; it makes the most sense to use because it is used in everything.

The last difference is that in Inuit math understanding is oral. Learning is based largely around spoken understand and saying what you know instead of writing and test taking. This is something that I love, the idea of solely judging someone’s ability and understanding based on how well they can take a test seems like a terrible idea. And being able to say and orally explain a topic actually gives you a much better understanding than anything else.

Single Stories

The most common single story that I had when I was in school, was that teachers always assumed that our one story was that we were students and nothing more. I found that it was a difficult bias to have against us. For example, if I couldn’t get homework done on time it was assumed that I was lazy when it was most likely because I had to work after school, and I had to pick between sleeping that night or getting the homework done on time, this is a mild example to what many high school students dealt with, many had to take care of their siblings or had to work because they had to help pay the bills. It was never that school was not important it is just that it is not the only thing that is important. Students also do this to teachers, assuming that they don’t have a life, family or friends outside of school. The way that teachers see their students, whether it is a biased view or through a single story, the way you view your students determines the relationship you will have with them.

For me, the teachers that got to know me as a person, not just as a student, but as a whole person were the classes that I did the best in. I also had teachers that were biased because they only saw me as a student, nothing more. At the time I didn’t understand why they didn’t like me, but I understand now that it has a lot to do with the fact that I saw school as important, but I also had other things in my life that were important.

One of my goals as teacher is to know students as more than just that, get to know what their interests are, what do they like/dislike. The relationship a teacher has with a student has a direct effect on how well the student does and learns. That being said this is not the only thing that affects how a student does, but having a good relationship with your students has a positive effect on your students

Treaty ed in the Curriculum

My response to anyone trying to teach treaty ed or dealing with students/ co-workers that don’t take it seriously is to take a few steps back and start with why it is important. As obvious as it is to you it may not be obvious to other people. Start with a video or group discussion, and maybe have some kind of assessment before you get too far into teaching. One of the common misconceptions about treaty ed is that you should only teach it if you have FNMI students in your classroom but as discussed in We are all Treaty People, that is not the case. It is important to emphasize that treaty education is just as important if you have no FNMI students or all FNMI students, it affects and applies to everyone, it is a large part of Canadas history therefore it is important for all Canadians to learn about it. Many people have the mindset of us and them and believe that it has to be one or the other. For example, the idea that treaty ed is FNMI history and culture and they are the only ones who should know about it, when is reality it is Canadas history and should be learned by all Canadians/ people living in Canada.

My understanding of the curriculum in terms of treaty ed is that it is not very well integrated into the curriculum. It has some places where it is in the curriculum, however it is not very well infused, there are some treaty ed outcomes but as for being infused into the curriculum, it is not. My experience in school was that the only classes that really dealt with treaty ed was English and social studies. Math and science didn’t really have any treaty ed components/outcomes.

Learning Theories

The three main theories of learning are behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism. Behaviorism focuses on teaching specific behaviors and rewarding for those behaviors to get students that have the behaviour that is wanted. Cognitivism has a large focus on how the students learn and allows for inquiry and curiosity but does not take into account individual needs. Constructivism is highly inquiry-based and allows students to take control of their learning.

I saw mostly behaviourism and cognitivism in my school experience. I found that teachers tend to use behaviourism in small ways in the classroom. For example, teachers sometimes did things like giving the students that settled down the fastest candy or something along those lines. Cognitivism was the most commonly used when I was in school, most teachers would do some inquiry, but it was for the most part it was structured and focused on learning the curriculum. I found that constructivism was used little to none and most of the teachers leaned towards the other learning theories. It was interesting to me because most teachers wanted to be inquiry based at let students take control of their own learning but most of the time it did not happen.

I have always wanted a classroom that I could do inquiry based and teach students what they want to know, unfortunately this is not possible because of the curriculum. One of the things that I always remember, and it always sticks with me is that so many students want to learn practical skills that they need once they finish high school. Many students are unengaged because what they are learning is irrelevant to what they actually need and want to know. I want to use cognitivism and constructivism in my classroom as much as possible.

Citizenship Education

In the article What Kind of Citizen? The politics of Educating for Democracy, three types of citizens are described, the personally responsible citizen, Participatory citizen, and the Justice-Oriented citizen. This article explained the three types of citizens as three levels of being good citizens. The responsible citizen being the one who “acts responsibly” (votes, volunteers, donates to charity etc.), the participatory citizen being the one who takes it a step further (runs a campaign, organizes charity events etc.) and the Justice-oriented citizen being the highest level of being a good citizen and tries to fix the problem at the root instead of just the results of what is actually going on.

In my experience in school is that being a responsible citizen was encouraged, there wasn’t much push for anything more than that. Most people wanted you to be a responsible citizen and vote, volunteer, donate etc. Schools should be teaching what is actually at the root of the problem so we can fix it. It would also teach a lot about society and how the world works if teachers and educators taught about the root of the problem and what we can do to fix the problem. This approach to citizenship focusing on being a responsible citizen limits how much you can teach about the social justice issues behind it. For example, if the curriculum only requires you to teach to be a responsible citizen, it is very likely that the curriculum will not allow teachers to teach the students to be justice-oriented, there won’t be much room to learn about the justice issues in society.

The approach the citizenship in a given place will show what is valued by curriculum makers. Since the government plays a large role in the curriculum, it makes sense that the government would want to shape the citizens that they want through the curriculum. The type of citizen that they are trying to make says a lot about the integrity of the government in that place. For example, if the government are trying to make only responsible citizens, it is an important first step, but it sends the message that the government doesn’t want its citizens to question the decisions that are being made in the local government. If the government wants Justice-oriented citizens, they are more likely to be open to the citizens challenging the governments ideas.

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