Class date: Friday, September 11, 2020. Today’s date: Monday, September 14, 2020. Choose one of the Seven Grandfather Teaching that you would like to use as a touchstone for the semester. Create your response based on that teaching. Honesty.
Poem: Effortless, work. Beautiful satisfied accomplish gentle, peace. Listening mistakes contribute to the beauty. Flawless, beautiful, giggle! Perfection. Piano= peace, calm, serenity, continuous sound, movement. Welcome breeze, needed desperately, desired, deepest aches and sorrows.
The grandfather teaching I choose to focus on is honesty, represented by the Sabe, because I believe when we are honest with ourselves and our fellow man, the other 6 grandfather teachings (wisdom, love, respect, bravery, humility, and truth) have a solid base to build from. Honesty is linked to vulnerability for me. In my craft as an advanced pianist, I try to show vulnerability through my playing because it allows me to open up in a safe environment where I can explore possibilities both as an artist as well as a human. Vulnerability also helps me to heal any wounds I may have and take risks. The song (Prelude in B minor) I choose to play is especially meaningful to me because its composer, Frederic Chopin, was gentle in his movements and explored using soft dynamics (ppp, pp, p). It is actually fairly difficult and takes skill and practice to play so softly and to coordinate both my hands so I can create the desired (and intended) proper hand balance. If you listen very carefully, you will hear how I play louder in my left hand (bass clef) than in the right hand (treble clef). This is backwards from most pieces of music. My honest attempts to get the correct hand balance further my vulnerability because it leaves room for criticism on how technically correct this is accomplished. I know within myself I tried my best, I was honest with myself. Honesty is my top virtue that I want to live by; honesty with both myself and others. I delight in my ability to make music even though sometimes I feel I make more errors than correct notes! I am learning that mistakes are part of the beauty and of exploration. Mistakes in my art can help me find peace and healing- I do not want to take my craft so seriously that I forget to giggle. The whole reason we do art is for JOY! My challenge is to find joy while being honest with myself and others.
Class date: Friday, October 10, 2020. Today’s date: Friday, October 10, 2020. Reflect on our visit from Al Boutin of the STF. What aspects of his talk stood out to you? Create a response based on your key takeaway(s).
Poem: Common sense, frustrated, appropriate, respectful. Professional, feel, burdens, alleviate, robs, education, difficult, struggle. Not fair, surprises, good things, ponder. Saviour.
The above poster is to bring awareness about the difficult yet rewarding career teachers enjoy. I wanted to express myself by exploring a new art form to me and InkScape (an online open source tool) is brand new to me. This simple poster took several hours to learn to make. Figuring out how to place the word “professional” in the circle was more effort than I expected. This was very symbolic to me because becoming and being a teacher is EFFORT, more effort than I expected. I used the word professional in the circle because as I think back to the teachers I have had in my life, they have always behaved professional: they never complained about the extra burdens they surely must have felt. Teachers no doubt wanted desperately to alleviate burdens their students experience as well. As Al was speaking, I thought of some students that do not get a fair chance at education and this led me to believe they are robbed of an education, a valuable asset I take for granted. As a teacher in training, I have many good things to ponder and think about. I needed to express this and I choose to do so through the creation of a poster that could include symbols, such as a circle that indicates learning and teaching have no end; and through the use of words. I appreciate that apples are round, further emphasizing that education has no end. The poster allowed me to explore art using words, symbols, poetry, images, and my creativity.
Class date: Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Today’s date: Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Reflect on the webinar on place-based learning. How do you see yourself engaging with place-based learning as a teacher? Create a response based on your connections to place-based learning.
Poem: Interesting, traditional, classroom, hands on, experience. Struggled to learn and understand. Connection to world, immersed another environment gives deeper, and solidifies. Fun, interactive, out of the box. Not fancy, school yard will do. Try gardening, try winter.
My art form this time took a creative risk: I created a “beat box” video using the DaVinci Resolve program. I felt the very best and most effective way to demonstrate my excitement for place based education is to take my kids out into our local space within our neighborhood. Place-based! We spent an hour after school playing and relaxing outside. DaVinci Resolve is a brand new program to me so I wanted to explore cutting and editing sound and images while making a strong point that kids need to get outside. The day of filming my 12 year old asked if she “had” to go outside with me, I insisted. When we got home she said “that was fun!” Of course it was fun. What I learned is that students need to be outside as often as possible, even when they don’t “want” to. Place based education does not need to cost (transportation) money- our family explored our local area, within walking distance. There was a park, leaves, trees, pedestrians, cyclists, a golf course, a body of water, dirt, plants, flowers, insects, wildlife, domestic animals, etc. I could easily create several lessons incorporating any of these listed things, even as the seasons change, creating cross curricular, quality lessons. I love the idea of getting students out of the classroom. The panelists at the webinar made a few keys points:
1. Less fortunate students can still participate in year round place based education with some pre planning and organizing on my end (ex: collect winter gear, umbrellas, etc. well before the scheduled departure from the classroom).
2. Start small. I do not need to begin my place based education with trying to grow a large garden to feed the city of Regina! Small and simple will make things manageable and still provide a rich learning environment.
3. Connect students to their environment, Mother Earth, and the space around them. They can only get comfortable doing this through exposure! We may not be able to rely on the student’s home and families for them to receive this exposure.
I can envision myself using all three of these key points in my pedagogy. Through a few trips to second hand stores (or browsing lost and founds), I can build a reserve of winter clothing to enable all my students to enjoy place based education (yes, even in the winter season our students can experience placed-based education). I can start small! My goal is not to save the world but to provide different and unique place based locations for students to further their understanding. I reflect back to my education and I think I would have had a much better experience if I had been exposed to other options outside my classroom. That is what I want to provide my students with!
Class dates: Friday, October 9, 2020 and Friday, October 16, 2020. Today’s date: Friday, October 16, 2020. Reflect on our 2 classes that focused on trauma-informed education. Create a response based on how you as an arts ed teacher will create a trauma-informed environment within your classroom.
Poem: I care: compassionate, caring, sensitive. ABC’s. Not expecting. Build relationships, know them, understand them, not judge or label them. Safety. Be in the present, pleasant, “fun stuff”, interactive.
I took another creative risk this week, creating my own version of a GIF. I created several images (using an image editing application) that represent how I envision having a trauma informed classroom. Four driving factors for me to have a trauma informed classroom acted as my home base as I created these images: 1. build relationships; 2. safety; 3. focus on the present; 4. focus on the pleasant. Then I loaded these images (to a program called Processing) to make them a looping animation before uploading to a GIF Maker. The end result was surprising startling because the images change (loop) so quickly. I can actually control the speed but I set it at this speed as a reminder that trauma usually happens very quickly and without warning. It is my job as a teacher to be sensitive to my students needs and that their “misbehaviour” is most likely that they are hurting. This reinforces that teachers do more than teach the ABC’s; teacher’s are compassionate, caring, sensitive individuals that are developing appropriate, rich relationships with their students. These relationships contribute to a sense of safety, fun, interactive, pleasant, “fun stuff”! I really appreciate Amanda’s comment “hurt people hurt people”.
Class date: Wednesday, October 21, 2020. Today’s date: Thursday, October 22, 2020.
Reflect on the webinar on inquiry driven learning. How do you see yourself engaging with inquiry driven learning as a teacher? Create a response based on your connections to inquiry driven learning.
Poem: Fun, upbeat, fast tempo, Jeopardy, game, curious. Wonder, explore: How, why, things work, be curious = fascinating, freedom, flexibility, accomplishment, pride, contentment. How? Why? When? Create! All by myself? Figuring out, trial and error? Great, learn! Frustrated, further investigation, curious. Questions: help, find, answers, more questions, answers, discover, help. Teachers lead, guide, encouraging, cheering, gentle. Be curious!!!!!!!!
What I love about creativity is both the risk and vulnerability involved as well as the fun and enjoyment I experience along the way! I decided to create a beats & sequence using https://music-grid.surge.sh/ because as I listened to the webinar about inquiry driven learning, I immediately thought about the game show Jeopardy! This fun game show reminds me of inquiry driven learning because the whole premise is that of asking questions! As I developed the beats and sequencing I had the Jeopardy music in the back of my mind, reminding me that inquiry driven learning is all about the questions! My poem beautifully represented questioning. I want my students to be curious, to ask questions, to research answers. I am there to gently lead and guide the students without giving them all the answers immediately. Trial and error leads towards learning, although I do understand this can at times be a frustrating experience. I will encourage my students to ask lots of questions because inquiry driven learning helps students seek answers while they gain a sense of accomplishment, pride, and contentment. This model allows for freedom and flexibility: I will follow the students lead; what are they curious about? How do they think? What do they need to know? I want and need to be curious with my students! I don’t know all the answers! We can ask questions, learn, explore, and find answers together! This is much more effective and fun than the banking model of education and I feel very privileged that our educators strongly support this method of learning.
Class date: Wednesday, November 4, 2020. Today’s date: Wednesday, November 4, 2020. Reflect on the webinar on arts infused learning. What connections did you make between arts infused learning into your own future teaching practice? Create a response based on your connections to arts infused learning.
Poem: Remember. Love, believe learning. Individual possibilities, freedom, explore, identity, safe place. Vulnerability + passionate=awesome! “Artist”, try, be passionate, be vulnerable, remember! Excellent! Recorded, remembered, excited, passionate.
Please listen to the following audio journal with earphones on to get the full effect of the sound art.
You do not have any idea how excited and proud I am to share my audio journal regarding arts infusion! Sound Art is brand new to me so I decided to play with it using a program call Audacity, which I have only experimented with a few times. I used this form of art for a few reasons: 1. I wanted to push myself to see if I could actually do it and pull it off (there are many technical steps requiring a few technical devices!) 2. I loved the arts infusion webinar so much, I felt there was so much valuable information that I did not want to lose it, therefore, I “journaled” my thoughts and my learning along with quotes from the panelists so that I could remember.
I have enjoyed taking creative risks to respond to the portfolio topics because I have been stretched. There were many moments I was so frustrated with my art that I was tempted to give up. I am so grateful I pushed through; even though my work is amateur I am very proud of it. My audio journal captures my thoughts exactly in response to the arts infusion webinar. I wish there were more student teachers out there that are as passionate about this way of teaching as I am! I believe incorporating arts into all our curriculum is most beneficial to our students. It helps them see the world in new and exciting ways.
Class date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020. Today’s date: Thursday, November 26, 2020. Reflect on the webinar on anti-oppressive teaching and our EAE 302 class on Arts Ed for Social Justice. How do you see yourself engaging with anti-oppressive practice within your arts ed teaching? Create a response based on your thoughts.
Poem: Marginalized, different, entitled, education. Equity & fairness= prevail. Racism, discrimination. I feel. Opportunity, colour, skin, realize. Startling: skin colour, made fun, less worthy, pain. Valuable? Experience.
Anti-oppressive is a very difficult topic for me to write on. I have tried my best to be gentle and considerate.
My art piece is a time lapse video that I filmed over an 18 hour period. Anti-oppressive was my theme so I wanted to capture some opposites and I felt this could be well captured by contrasting the light of day to the darkness of night. I was very pleased with the end result because there is significant contrast between the light of day and the darkness of the night. This resembles life because we need both; we need both light and dark. I’m trying to imagine what life would be like it there were never day light. I would live in constant darkness. If there was no darkness I’d miss out on our galaxy’s beauty found in darkness. This carries over into society: we need each other no matter our differences. It is a shame that we (including me) “other” people based on what we see. This is particularly important for me to recognize going into the field of education where there are all types and colours of people with various religious and sexual orientation preferences. It is important to remember that we are all human and human desires are not all that different. We all desire love, respect, communication, tolerance, to be heard, emotional connections, security, etc.
One of the webinar presenters asked the question: when did you first realize your skin was white? I was stunned and I thought the question was absurd until he clarified himself. As I am a white woman of course I have never been made aware of my skin colour; this is not all people’s experience. The presenter pointed out that children of colour may become aware of the colour of their skin fairly early in their childhood. This actually broke my heart; this should not be the case. I want to yell and scream and announce to the world that this will not happen in my classroom but I cannot be that naive: this happens in every classroom without the teacher even being aware. I am left wondering what my part is then, what can I do? My final thought is far to simple that is sounds stupid: I start with myself. I can change myself and my behaviour by being aware of the systemic challenges nonwhites are burdened with.