Saturday, February 28, 2009

found poem

I was going through some of my old stuff and came across some poems that I wrote a long time ago. I used to love to write poetry and I was even published. I wanted to add this poem because it still applies to what is going on in my life. I just don't know what I want to do.

The Road

The road I'm on,
Goes so very far;
But all the signs,
Have long since been gone.

Which way should I go?
Should I turn?
Where will it lead?
What's going on?

Is the road going to be bumpy?
Or smooth as can be?
Will I meet someone?
Or go all alone?

After I'm gone. down my road,
The signs are up;
Saying I can't go back.
Or change my mind.

So what's done, is done.
I guess I can't complain;
So I'll smile and say thankyou
And keep moving on.

by Janine Smits

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I learned alot during the treaties four workshop. I know very little about treaties and I feel a little bit better after taking this workshoip. I know that I still need to learn more about them. I really enjoyed having the perspective of people that went through the hardships of the treaties and residential schooling. It made an impact on me. I had heard about some of the things that had happened but not by a person that it had happened to.

One of the things that was said that has stuck with me is that it is not my fault. I always believed that I was being blamed when issues with the treaties were brought up. I think it was something that I needed to hear so that I could get over the idea of being blamed and defending myself. When I feel blamed I always feel defensive and cornered. I can't change the past, I can only help to make my classroom representitive of all cultures.

I hear numerous racial remarks and jokes and it is so normallized. Why is it okay to make fun of a culture? a hair color? ethnicity? I do this, I laugh at these, I make jokes about myself being a blonde. So is this right? Is this wrong? Why does it seem to be more okay if you are making fun of your own ethnicity or haircolor? After going to the treaties four workshop I went to a comedy show that featured an aboriginal man. Almost all of his jokes were about his culture, his family, and his experiences with the world. I laughed at most of his jokes as at the time I thought they were funny... the next day as I thought about it i really had to stop and wonder why they were so funny. Would they have been funny if it would have been a white guy saying them? Probably not then it would have been racist.


One of my professors wrote this for me to think about:

"I challenge you that rather than searching for others' great ideas and practices, you start to look into yourself - what interests and passion do you have? what talents do you have? what dreams do you have? and what it takes for all those to come out and meet/enrich the world? "

The answer to these questions is I don't know. I have a variety of interests, passions, and talents. My dilemma is that I don't like to remain on one project for an extended period of time. I think that may be one of the reasons that I like technology so much, it is constantly changing and there is something new to explore.

I don't know if I want to be a school teacher. I do love teaching but at the same time I am in the school system doing preinternship and there are so many things that I see that I just don't want to do. I'm learning one way of teaching at school and another way in the classroom and I don't get to practice what I want to. I am very uninspired by my current placement. I am not saying that she is doing things wrong because she has some really good ideas and practices. I think I am unexpired because of the lack of choice within my lessons. I don't get to try what I want.

Another reason I am unsure is because I am used to playing with students to help them learn (early childhood) and all the playing seems to stop once they hit grade one. This is one of the reasons that I am drawn to inquiry based learning. Students questioning, exploring, learning, and following their interests deeper. I haven't seen this in action and won't have the change to explore it fully until I am a teacher and I am scared that before that happens I will pick up other habits that are easier and become complacent. I know that I can fall into rutts and if I am not inspired I will not try. I can see myself doing this constantly right now in my classes. I am happy just floating by. So far the class that I have put the most effort into is Arts Ed and that is because I really like the arts. I also really like technology and loved taking my ECMP classes and learing new things with technology. The outdoors and field trips are another thing that I think I would really enjoy doing with students. I love being outside and i believe that so much learning can happen in a real situation compared to from out of a book.

As for dreams, I dream of travelling. I love going to new places and experiencing different cultures. I am put outside of my comfort zone and forced to meet new people and experience new things. I don't do this often enough when I am at home although I have been trying to more and more. So right now, I would like to travel to another country for my first year of teaching. I believe there is alot that you learn from other places to do with the education system. Different techniques, strategies... I learned so much when I was in Australia and taught there that I didn't know. I am not very socially aware although I want to be. I try and make a difference everyday personally but I still live in my own little bubble. I think that is why I like travelling because I am always outside my bubble and learning new things.

I wish we had the opportunity to go into a classroom and just try out what I would like to try and then go back to my section and debrief with them. You have an opportunity to learn without complete failure and then have a support group that can help explore options with.

I just don't know is my answer... I have answers but they don't seem to give me direction. I want to be inspired and have a vision of where I want to be but I just can't seem to find it. I don't know if there is a way to find it other than through trial and error.

I want to be a passionate person and teacher. Right now my passion is travelling and I'm not sure how that relates to teathing.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I want to be this type of teacher!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I love quotes

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
-- Albert Einstein
“A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions.” - Anonymous

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Environmental Education

I found this video very inspiring and so true. Children are the future and by teaching enviro ed early on things can change. Imagine if a program like this was implemented in our school systems.... think of the possibilities. The extra resources and funding would be amazing. Teachers try their best already to teach Enviro ed but having an organization that would help with these types of things would be a huge help. There are some systems in place through outdoor education but I don't think that is enough. We only have one earth and why is it not the most important thing to think about. We could teach english and math until we were blue in the face and if nothing is done about enviro ed than what is the point...

I love this video... the power of the outdoors. I want an outdoor classroom, why do schools have to be within four walls.


I am really enjoying doing experiments in my Ed Science class and learning from my classmates how to engage students. At the same time I'm not sure that I am learning the dos and donts of teaching science. I don't know what is acceptable, what is outdated, what are best practices. I can look up science experiment online or in a book but to learn how to do the activities or chose the activities that are appropriate is another story. I understand that we are relating curriculum to our experiments but I still don't know the fundementals of science education. What makes it different than any other subject?


On the weekend I ran into a peer that I went to school with 5 years ago. We were both taking Early Childhood Education. I got talking to her and she is back at university taking psychology and trying to get into the BEAD program. We were talking about how our classes transfered into the university and how it was such a joke. Why are university's in Canada so ridiculous? When I went over to Australia on exchange their whole four years of university focuses on their Education degree, there is not two years of arts and science and then lets learn about Education. As an Education student I feel unprepared to go into the classroom and that is mainly because here I am being in university for the last 4 years and this is the first year that I have taken strictly Education classes. What a joke. I also don't know who in their right mind would go and take Early Childhood if they were planning to go and upgrade their education. There are Early Childhood Degrees offered through UofR and the credits that transfer from a two year diploma are 3 or 4 if you are lucky. How pathetic. You spend two years strictly focusing on Early childhood and then go to do a degree with it and you are back down to having almost no education. The whole transfer system leaves plenty to be desired. I have fought nail and tooth for the credits I have and it still doesn't even come close to the amount that I should have received. I would love to see the university offer strictly education classes and prepare teachers... there is only so much time in each semester to take the classes that you want to take that would be beneficial, so why not get rid of the electives that are pointless.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I really do not like reflecting, and have found that I enjoy looking and seeing what others have to say. In this past week I have come to learn that I do this with many things. I like sitting back and scoping out the situation before contributing and forming my ideas. In a way this is good because I take into all opinions and facts before making up my mind but in another way I feel like I am not knowledgable. I don't have a direct opinion. Meeting a person for the first time I tend to feel that person out before putting myself out there. Once I know the person then I know how to react and where my boundaries are. I am beginning to think that maybe I have some trust issues.... I also feel like reflections are personal but I know they are a big part of the education profession. I do think about how things could be done better or differently but I do it at the time and then move on, I don't live in the past... I live in the here and now and what can I do next.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

21st century teacher

I guess I am going to answer some of my own questions. I can start small and then move bigger as I am employed in my own classroom.

Are we learning to be 21st century teachers?

So how do I become a 21st century teacher when alot of what I am learning is 21st century theory but what I have to practice is not. I would love to do a thematic unit integrating all subjects and using technology. I have big ideas and want to put them into practice but the educational system doesn't allow for complete control.

I also want to be a more civic minded teacher and person but starting is so hard especially when I am so so busy. I have to find balance and balance does not entail doing any extras. In the future I hope to be.

Playground wisdom

This video is a great reminder as to the simple things in life...
1. What ever you do MAKE IT FUN!
- I am having a difficult time doing this because it is such a busy semester with so much information to comprehend. I do make time to curl and do a hip hop class each week. It is a time for me to have fun and be myself. Another way that I make it fun is by talking and being around friends.
2. Practice Gratitude
- I am grateful for my friends that are going through the same experiences as me and sharing their thoughts, ideas and dilemmas. I am grateful for my dog, Scrapper, because he is there to greet me with a jump and kiss everyday when I get home, no matter what type of day I have had. I am also grateful for my family who is there for me no matter what.
3.Reach For the Stars
- I want to do the best job in my preinternship as possible. I am trying to think of new and exciting ways to make my unit come alive. I am also striving to accomplish my degrees.
4. One Step at a Time
- This is key in my life right now. I have come to accept that I can only do one thing at a time. I can't focus on the distant assignments I need to start small and go from there. At the same time it is always a concern in the back of my mind. But I'm working on it.
5. Always Play Nice
To me this means working with others and being professional. Not going behind someones back and talking about issues you may have with them. It is trying extremely hard to get along with others and work in the best interest of the children. It is working collaboratively and sharing thoughts and ideas that would and will benefit others.
6. Challenge Yourself Everyday
Think outside the box. Don't settle for the boring paper and pencil. Say my students can do it and so can I. Prove to the myself that anything is possible if I believe. The only limitations on myself are the ones that I place, so going out of my comfort zone is a huge challenge.