Hey ECMP355!

Photo credit: Open Source va Flickr cc

Who am I? Check out the “All About Me” Page!

I am normally uncomfortable talking about myself to others and even find it difficult describing myself in words.  This is one of the main things that scares me about ECMP355 and technology in general.  I have never been the type of the person to update my status or write a new post, so this will be a bit of a learning curve.  I know that if used properly and appropriately, sharing through technology can be very beneficial.  I am excited to begin networking through technology and building a strong PLN.  Although I still find face-to-face interaction a bit more authentic when building relationships, technology can open so many new doors and opportunities.

As a BEd. student in the Middle Years program and having a previous BA in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies, I have always been passionate about social justice, adolescent issues, and educational psychology.  I am a strong believer that change will occur through education.  When i was young, I remember always responding to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with “Teacher!”  As a child, I loved to pretend I was a teacher by creating a fake classroom, writing on an imaginary chalkboard, and reading aloud to my “students.”  Might sound cliché, but I think I have always known that teaching is really my calling.  When completing my BA, I enjoyed taking classes that related to children, adolescents, and the way in which people learn.  I took interest in psychological and sociological understandings of why people actually turn out the way they do.  I loved learning about the development during adolescence and the biological functions of the brain.  I’m not sure where this passion originated, but I believe my own adolescent years and experiences have definitely shaped the way I think and interpret the world.

My elementary and high school experiences have impacted my life in ways that I am beginning to understand more clearly as I grow older.  My elementary school is located in a family-oriented, community-based neighbourhood.  I was able to walk to and from school and able to spend quite a bit of time with friends.  The school population was not overwhelming, allowing students to feel comfortable with students outside of their regular classrooms.  I have many memories of my teachers – some good and some not-so-good.  I can definitely say that a few teachers positively influenced me and I am thankful for it.  However, I sometimes think that my negative experiences truly changed my behaviour and personality.  One example of this would be when I was turned down after applying to be on Student Leadership Council in Grade 7.  SLC consisted of approximately 10 students from both Grade 7 and Grade 8.  As a child, I tried involving myself in extra-curricular activities but did not stick to anything for long periods of time.  Because of this, I was not considered athletically talented and did not feel comfortable trying out for school sport teams that (I thought) would reject me anyways.  Trying to become involved in SLC was exciting for me; I wanted to contribute to something and I knew that I would enjoy the responsibilities entailed by joining SLC.  I actually remember reading the list of accepted students and not seeing my name.  Even worse, all of my friends made the list.  I remember feeling devastated.  There would have only been a small number of students who were not accepted, and my self-confidence dropped.  I know that this was a major influence on me; I lacked confidence throughout high school and even into my university years.  I still consider myself a more reserved individual.  However, I am now beginning to see the strength in that quality, rather than feeling like a failure.  This is somewhat of a personal story but I think it is important to reflect and learn from experiences.  These accounts of my own life will influence my own teaching in the future.

Finally, and because this is a class devoted to learning about technology, I should mention my school experiences with technology.  This should not take long – overhead projectors and tube TVs on large rolling units.  Unfortunately, I did not experience much technology integration in the classroom.  Paper and pencil was the norm.  I am looking forward to learning how technology can offer benefits in all areas of education including assessment, differentiation, and inquiry.

Thanks friends and I can’t wait to learn alongside you all in ECMP355!  Follow me on Twitter!

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