The Intersection of Self-Care and Moontime

In early March, the women in our ECCU class was prepped to take part in a pipe ceremony as performed by Elder Elma. Inform due to weather concerns this was rescheduled. During this announcement I was excited because I was on my moon-time at that moment and therefore I would have been asked to take time for self-care during this time.

We were rescheduled to take part in a pipe ceremony today, March 21st. Oddly enough, I woke up this morning  and realized that my moon-time had arrived again, for the second time in a month, odd. I was sad to not take part in this pipe ceremony; however, I was guided to use my time as a moment to take part in self-care as this is an important thing for women to do during their moon-time.

While my classmates took part in the pipe ceremony, one of my classmates Shania and I, both on our moon-times, decided to go and try to find ways to take care of ourselves. We spent 25 minutes walking around the University discussing self-care and then we each grabbed our favorite warm beverage and headed back to where we began our journey. During our conversation, it was brought up that there is very little self-care aspects within our University’s walls. We discussed how the construct of University is heavily encompassed by strict deadlines, pressure to succeed and high stress levels. Due to this, Shania and I decided that we would take some times outside of the University this week to engage in self-care.

Understanding Self-Care

When I was first asked to take time for self-care, I immediately thought of how self-care is something that I often set aside in the mix of assignments and classes. I admire the notion that during your moon-time, that a women should take time for self-care and to help her reconnect with the power that she has a life bearer and her strong connection to water. (Keepers of the Water, 2013, pg. 28)


Photo Credit: stevendepolo Flickr via Compfight cc

In considering the idea that my moon-time and ability of bearing life shows signs of great power, I wanted to be respectful and find multiple ways to engage in authentic self-care throughout my moon-time. I have planned to deliberate self-care in the following ways:

  • Physical self-care: This includes ensuring that I eat a healthy breakfast, get enough sleep and take part in physical activity like I do at the gym.
  • Spiritual self-care: This includes ensuring that I find time to listen to music and give thanks to those around me. These are two things that help me build a stronger connection between myself and the world around me.
  • Emotional self-care: Ensuring that I incorporate time during my moon-time to spend quality time with my boyfriend, friends and family as this helps me feel like I have emotional fulfillment in my life.
  • Mental self-care: This includes taking time away from my studies and homework to focus on my mental health. I have intentions to go to the Temple Garden Spa this Friday with my boyfriend as a way to disconnect from the technological world, relax and help myself refocus for the last few weeks of my semester.

So far, this has been my planned engagement with my self-care. I plan to document my self-care in ways that do not disrupt the notion of the care itself. But, for now, I leave you with this.

Until next time,

Jenna deBoth

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Defining Power and Authority in the Classroom: Classmate Article Review

After exploring the power and authority article that I found in regards to democracy and Building Future Voters I looked into what my classmates explored for their articles. I looked at a few different resources from my classmates and I found two that I want to add to My Toolkit for teaching. Miss Larson found an article about creating a classroom environment that encouraged students to find their individual power in the classroom and use it to engage in the activities and learning that was occurring. One thing in this article presented to me that I really liked was the idea of providing students with the opportunity to create their own guidelines in the classroom. By allowing students to create their own guidelines for behaviors in the classroom we as educators are empowering students to take responsibility for their actions and be able to hold them accountable for what they do.  A key point for my future self as an educator is the next 9 steps in creating a shared vision of what the classroom should look like. This is  directly from chapter four of the Classroom of Choice book by Jonathan C. Erwin.

Steps to Developing A Shared Vision of Your Classroom Environment with your Students

  1. Identify the Behaviors and Attitudes
  2. Create a Living Space
  3. Create Symbols
  4. Placing the Symbols in  the Living Space
  5. Group Presentations
  6. The Whole Class Living Space
  7. Give to Get
  8. Get a Commitment
  9. Keep It Alive

This template of creating a vision of your classroom with your students allows students to clearly understand how they should behave or act in the classroom. While I was reading Miss Larson’s blog post and article about this topic, I started to think about a video by Harry Wong that was shown to all 3rd year Elementary Education students in the TPC on Wednesday, September 23rd. A short clip that can be found here, is a small segment on the large 55 minute video created as a resource around classroom management and strategies for teachers. The Power in the Classroom article that Miss Larson found mirrored many of the times that Harry Wong mentioned in this video. Something that stood out to me between the two is that if you give students the opportunity to make decisions that affect them and help clarify your instructions and intentions, students will achieve and be successful in school. No child is able to be successful if they feel their opinions do not matter or if they do not understand what they are being asked to do. I plan to look back at the Power in the Classroom article and the Harry Wong book, “First Days of School” as I continue in my teaching.

The second article that I wanted to add to my teaching toolbox was read by Miss Russell and it focuses on the balance between being a strict teacher and being a flexible teacher. The article entitled Classroom Management: Finding the Balance Between Too Rigid and Too FlexibleIn this article, the author, Maryellen Weimer discusses whether it is better to be a rigid and strict teacher or a flexible teacher. While I was reading this article, I started to  make connections to student-led teaching and my concerns related to it. I find that I am worried that I will give my students to much freedom and therefore I will end up with a classroom management issue. I started thinking about how I could ensure that I was able to be a fun, engaging and enthusiastic teacher while still keeping students learning on track. I realized that Maryellen Weimer’s article reminded me of the one I read by Jonathan C. Erwin about Power in the Classroom.

The following quote was a segment of the Weimer article that stood out to me as it made rigid teaching seem so awkward for me.

If all potential challenges to authority are headed off at the pass, then the teacher can devote full attention to the content, and isn’t that where the teacher’s expertise really shines? And so the classroom becomes a place that showcases teaching more than learning?

What I take away from this quote is that if we only focus on keeping students in their desks and avoiding classroom disruptions then all teachers have to focus on is the content. If teacher only focus on the content then the most important part of teaching is left out and that is the experience of the students. We do not want to have an environment where students get hurt, feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, but we want life to happen in our classroom so that we can use it to teach our students not only about the content but also about the interpersonal skills that are need to survive in our social world. I loved reading this article as it made me think about where do I stand and how do I think about power in my classroom.

Here is my conclusion, these two articles made me think about the power that we as teachers have to decide what our authority is in the classroom and how we will use our power to encourage our students to find the power they each hold within. I look forward to referring back to these articles as I grow and develop my teaching philosophy and practice.

Until next time, thank you for reading my blog.

 

My Eyes Have Been Opened

Listening to everyone’s presentations so far, has made me realize how much I enjoy talking about the earth. I have always been interested in the environment and its wonderful capabilities, but this ESCI 302 class has opened my eyes even further. I was always stuck in the mind frame that taking care of the environment meant recycling and licking up litter. Listening to the presentation on food global vs. local made me question myself. I never considered that choosing foods from a local place instead of the grocery store would have an impact on the world. Thanks to this groups’ action learning project, I am now aware that we need to respect the animals and plants that we use as food, so we do not end up without a food source. I would like to thank Courtney, Matt, Trina, and Nat for opening my eyes to the places I get my food from and what they are made of. After this presentation, I was very cautious when I went to the grocery store. I am looking into purchasing fresh foods from Local and Fresh as I think this would be a great company to support and I would be given healthy fresh foods. In my creative journal this week I wrote, “Think LOCAL to affect GLOBAL” and I was making reference to the foods I buy. One reistance I had with the group’s presentation, is that we cannot totally buy local as many of the goods that we use today are created globally. I think that purchasing food locally is important, but you it is hard to completely cut our global goods entirely.

My feature image of this post is my creative journal entry from this week, but to give a visual to the following discussion I decided to post the journal entry below.

FullSizeRender (21)

ESCI 302 has opened my eyes to the way I look at the world. The words love, freedom, treasure, responsibility and education are located on this drawing as a reminder of the goals I have for how I now view the world. I love our earth and I think that it is important to treasure what you love. In order to treasure our wonderful planet we must rethink our education and give students the freedom to fall in love with what is around them. As a future educator, it is my responsibility to spread my knowledge of the world with my students in hopes that they will continue sharing the love and respect that I have for our planet.

One issue that I had during this course is that I live a very comfortable life, that is very harmful to environment. I struggle to step outside of that comfort zone and try to be more eco-friendly. My hope for the future is that I will be able to acquire new skills and techniques in my everyday life that will take the place of parts of my current life. I want to end this post by transferring the text on my journal entry to this blog page.

“ESCI 302 has taught me to look at the world around me in a different way; yet challenge myself to do more. Find a connection with the world around me. Fight for what I love and inspire others to do the same. Enjoy the fresh air. Be active and love life. Think local to affect global. Breathe. Respect our planet. One Earth One Life.” – March 9th, 2015

Until next time!

My Understanding of Curriculum: ECS 210 Reflective Response No. 1

In my Education Core Studies 210 class, we were asked to look at what curriculum means to use. From my past experiences and schooling I have developed the understanding that curriculum is a framework for instruction that can be taken and embraced by every teacher in their own way. Curriculum is a guideline to help teachers lesson and unit developments. Curriculum is changed and developed to follow along societal ideals of what youth and adolescence should be taught in order to have a basis for success in life.

As a future teacher, I will be actively engaging with curriculum through my daily plans and lessons. This framework is a guide for me so that I can guide the learning of my students. Sometimes the instruction will be direct and material will be transferred from me, the teacher, to the student. Other times children will learn and acquire new knowledge through activities and guided experiences by myself. There may also be times where children are learning both inside and outside of the school. As a teacher, it is my job to take the curricula and create a design for children’s learning. I learnt this week that the different ways children interact with curricula changes based on what works best for that lesson. One concern I have as a future teacher is that I may not know what method or type of interaction with the material is best for that lesson. I feel that this may be something that I will have to experiment and explore during my early teaching; however, I worry about it.

The interactions that I had with curriculum as a child has impacted my view on curriculum today. In elementary school, I was not very aware of curriculum and the impacts that it had on me. When I reached high school I was introduced to the idea of curriculum and outcomes as they became a part of assignments and daily activities in the classroom. Many teachers started to post the intended outcomes at the top of assignments so students would understand what the point of the task was. In many ways this felt weird as a high school student because I was not very focused on what the reasoning behind the assignment was, but more concerned about how quickly and efficiently  could I complete it. Now that I am in university, I value having that experience in high school of exposure to direct curriculum. These experiences help me reflect on the reasoning behind informing students the meaning or goal of that task so it does not seem pointless. In many ways, using curriculum in this overt way helped eliminate the reoccurring question, “Why Are We Doing This?”

As I continue down the path to become an educator, I know that my view of curriculum will grow and change. I look forward to reflecting on my thoughts and understanding of curriculum a year or 15 years from now and how different it is from this current understanding of mine, listed in the above reflection.

Until next time!

Feature Image Credit Goes To creativecommons.org.

 

Learning Never Stops… Final ECMP 355 Post

This semester has flown by and I can’t believe that I am now posting my last blog post for ECMP 355. I really enjoyed the uniqueness of this class and getting to tell my friends that I had to do my homework for the day and tweet. I learned a lot about digital citizenship this semester and noticed how to better portray myself online as well as how to teach my students someday about  the importance of this. The following video is my learning summary for ECMP355 – Fall 2014. A big thanks goes out to my instructors for presenting this class to us and another thanks goes out to my peers who were great supporters of my learning and others learning this semester. Hope you enjoy the video!

Feature image credit goes to Creative Commons

More Digital Stories

I wanted to share a cute ToonDoo that I created. I enjoy the season of Christmas and therefore I wanted to share another Christmas inspired item. I thought that it was particularly punny

cool-cartoon-8202783

I know you are probably shaking your head at how ridiculous that was, but I hope I made you chuckle or even crack a smile. The following two small video stories are from my personal past. I decided that it would be cool to look back at my time on Instagram. The following video was create with my Instagram photos with an app called Flipagram which is available for Android, IOS and Windows mobile devices.

Hope you enjoyed these two digital stories. Let me know if you have used either of these apps and what you used them for. Look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Story Telling!

Featured image credit goes to Creative Commons.