As I reflect on the weekend a big take away for me was the passion and intensity for education and learning that was on display. It was very powerful to see the value presenters and participants were placing in education to reclaim culture. As a public school teacher it often feels like we are fighting a losing battle to cell phones, youtube, family vacations and extra curricular trips. So to be around people who have been denied educational opportunities or who had suffered mistreatment under the disguise of education and see the emotion they had in being able to share their stories was an important reminder of the power and importance of education. It was nice to focus on language, culture, person narratives and collective histories rather attendance and discipline. Perhaps if we made more than token efforts to include the people we are trying to educate instead of continually trying to force what we think they need on them we could achieve higher levels of engagement in all areas of education. Allow our youth to explore, experience and grow. Trust in the power of education instead of focusing on "training" our youth for a future we acknowledge we can't predict. Just some random thoughts at the end of a weekend
I am in Vancouver for the Annual Aboriginal Education Conference put on by the First Nations Education Steering Committee. Interesting timing as BC has just passed the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights into law. The timing has made that event the talk of the conference and it is interesting to see the buzz the passage of UNDRIP from bill to law has generated here. A real optimism and sense of victory as the speakers now look to UNDRIP as a powerful tool to help advance the goals of reconciliation in B.C.
Not often one gets to be at an event like this with a group so closely tied to a big announcement or decision that they have worked on for so long. It is cool to feel the energy and I guess we will have to wait and see if this results in real change or if the optimism and faith gives way to more political posturing but for right now it seems like we may be on the verge of systemic change in First Nations and government relations.
Monday and Tuesday UNBC Timberwolves soccer teams decided to that since they couldn't go to school they would go to Ron Brent Elementary and play with the kids there. A great couple mornings working with the Kindergarten to Grade 5 classes. Tons of energy and enthusiasm from the kids. Thanks so much to Ron Brent for allowing us to come in to your school.
Last night I did a presentation at the PGSS parent-teacher night on Technology and Teens. This was a version of the previous presentation Michelle Scott, Steve Bordeleau and I did for PGSS staff earlier in the year.
The intention is to keep the conversation going and include parents as we examine the impact and effects technology is having on today's teenagers.
You can view a pdf version of the presentation by clicking on the link below.
One of the biggest things we are finding as we dig in a bit deeper into the research of technology and adolescent brain development is the impact of sleep. It seems that many of the negative effects we associate with technology really have sleep deprivation at their core.
For more on Sleep watch the great TedTalk below.
Global Tech Tip for better physical and mental health .... keep your devices out of the bedroom!
September 27th we introduced the Indigenous Big Map of Canada resource to teachers and UNBC teacher candidates. The "Big Map" is an amazing resource and comes with a number of prep made lessons from Canadian Geographic. Teachers and teacher candidates had a chance to explore the resources, interact with the map and collaborate on potential educational uses.
Click here for digital copies of the Canadian Geographic lessons
If you or your school is interested in booking the map for your school you can find information below.
Also below you will find a document with ideas for using the map provided by the UNBC teacher candidates came up with after a debrief of the afternoon.
On the September 27th non-instructional day myself, Michelle Scott and Steven Bordeleau presented to some of the PGSS staff on the impact technology is having on the kids in our classrooms.
The intent was to highlight how technology has advanced and evolved in recent years and present the most current research on adolescent technology use and its effects on social and emotional development. We are hoping this presentation promotes discussion and encourages teachers to take a critical look at the role technology has in the school setting.
A great podcast on this topic from Outside magazine. Definitely worth a listen.
The Radically Simple Diet We All Need
For a profession that interacts with so many people on a daily basis teaching can be a very isolating profession. Most of the day is spent in classrooms as the only adult or on supervision trying to fit in conversations with colleagues in between the bells. As a result the prep (staff, lunch work) room is important in a school as a space for professional discussion, lesson planning, collegial support, sharing, debating, laughing and venting.
As I am now in a district support position I have created this space as a virtual prep room to support all of the above just without the stained carpet and uncomfortable furniture.
This space is intended to support the work I am doing in my current position as a support teacher with Learning Innovation department.