Category: Class Reflections (page 1 of 1)

Comfort with Discomfort and Vice Versa

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of Indigenizing Curriculum.

-izing something, in my mind, assumes that at the basis of it all, we carry on doing things as we always have been – with the added bonus of weaving in the best parts of new ideas. Perhaps the work is too difficult, too emotional, too heavy, too…something.


I am feeling hungry for considering the possibility of entirely disrupting what we’ve been doing, of blowing it up and starting as fresh as possible with the resources and capacities that we have. …would that be doing more honest justice to fixing a broken system?

And more importantly, if our intention is to have an education system that centers Indigenous ways of knowing and being…then perhaps it involves paying Indigenous people to guide everyone through this next journey. (That assumes, of course, that Indigenous folks would be interested in doing that deep work…that would then be taken up disproportionately by white settler educators who represent what got everyone into the mess in the first place…)

I guess I’ve been thinking about the why of Indigenizing Curriculum, of adding the 9th standard for BC Educators, of sprinkling First People’s Principles of Learning into our lesson plans.

(from the UVic Teachers’ Competency Guide, 2019) 

And just as importantly, I’ve been thinking about who benefits from us doing this work. Is it Indigenous Peoples? Is it settlers? Is it society as a whole?

I have no answers! Just questions! But I do know that I’m uncertain about the logic in taking something from peoples who have been endlessly taken from (but this time perhaps with permission) without easily knowing or accessing the answers to all of these questions.

Bias & Social Justice

These past few weeks, starting the program, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the biases and perspectives I’ll be bringing into my classroom and pedagogy. The UVic Teacher Ed. Competency Guide asks us to consider questions around this idea, wishing us to introspect around how our intersections will shape the sort of educators we will be (p. 7).
But I think beyond that, what I am more interested in is the question of how I can engage and support my future students in being empathic, community- and justice- minded folks (and how I can sit with and continue to support students wholly uninterested in such issues).

One of the reasons I’ve been ruminating on this subject is our Teaching Social Studies class, where we have been talking about how to best facilitate a classroom where its occupants are faced with a world struggling with the effects of catastrophic climate change. It has been such a treat spending my Wednesdays at Vic High, especially since my first day there began with a Politics 12 class that was organizing a Climate Emergency Assembly. I got to observe youth self-organize, make mistakes, question best practices, and practice holding each other accountable. On my second day, I was able to attend the assembly itself, and experience their activism first hand.

Going to the climate strike on September 27th culminated in a lot of emotions that I found myself processing while marching. As a future educator, I felt camaraderie with all the other teachers there, especially the ones that had brought groups of their students down to the strike. As an environmental activist that used to do a lot of direct action work, I felt like my intention had shifted in being in a space such as that one, from loud chaotic outrage to a community-oriented responsibility in being an adult and taking care of others. It was really curious to feel and to sit with.

Looking around and seeing so many youth and children at the strike, obviously missing school and other day-time commitments to be there, I felt a deep mixture of guilt, pride and also second hand grief for their futures. It reminded me that my intention in becoming an educator is wholly shaped by my longing to support and empower young people, and I also felt excitement at all these future (complicated) possibilities.

I think, in conclusion, I’m deciding that these questions will be best answered by looking to my students to see what sort of bias disclosure and activism support they want from me. Obviously the answer isn’t as clear cut as that, but I’m excited for a career which will be full of me making mistakes and learning best practices as I go.

Works Cited:
Bell, D., Elsner, S., Hopper, T., Robertson, K., & Sanford, K. (2019). Teacher Education Program Competencies: A Guide [PDF File].

Vic High Climate Action Instagram [@vichighclimateaction]. (2019, Sept 29). Retrieved from

Reflections on Social Media in Education

As a cohort, we’ve been talking a lot about social media, cell phones, and technology – and how we anticipate these things fitting into our careers and pedagogies.

Jesse Miller, who “researches & discusses how people converge with Internet & technology, & how that convergence creates digital events making society interesting and/or problematic” came to visit our class on October 8th.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what he was saying and the topics he was bringing up!

1) A lot of the way I choose to spend my time online is reposting and magnifying messages I believe in, and these topics and issues can range from: environmentalism, anti-oppression and decolonization to sexual health and liberation, gender and sexuality diversity, and anti-state praxis. I believe strongly in discussing these topics, in not shielding young people from them, and rather lowering the age bar that we’ve arbitrarily set for content.

Anyway, right now, (sure, speaking as someone who doesn’t have a contract and hasn’t been in the system yet), I feel great with students seeing anything I’m post on the internet. I believe it aids and assists in my pedagogy for my students to see that I’m walking the talk I bring to class.

2) Jesse shared with us a story about an educator he knows in Vancouver. The teacher was on Grindr (outside of class hours) and stumbled upon a student. As soon as he could, the educator told his principal. The students’ parents were notified and the story is framed as positive and good for everyone involved.

Okay, but what happens when the information you find out about the student online (inadvertently or not) puts that student in a dangerous situation? What if in that instance, the student’s parents were notified, and they kicked the student out of their home because they were homoantagonistic and it goes against their values to have a queer child in their home?

I don’t see a clear answer in these situations.
But I do think this topic is complicated, and I’m left with more questions than answers!