From Student to Teacher

From Student to Teacher

It’s been 16 days since classes have ended. 10 days since my last final for my degree. And  8 days since I started solo teaching. That’s right you read that correctly, 2 days after I wrote my final exam I started teaching. Thankfully I didn’t jump head first in by myself right away and got to  shadow the sub for a couple days. That was a relief.

I adore the school I am working with! It is one of neighbouring towns around where I went to school and I even played basketball with them during my grade 12. They were like my school away from school. My mom went to this school and I still have cousins growing up there. I only teach one of them and it is only a tiny bit awkward (ha!).

I teach predominately grade 5 and 6 with a little grade 7 and 8 ELA and some RTI. I honestly love teaching middle years. I know I specialized in high school mathematics and physical education, but the more I work with the middle years grade the more I think they are a right fit for me.

So here it is a quick update from the adventures of Ms. Nyhus. I wish I could promise that I would blog regularly but we all know that won’t happen because I have way to much work to be doing.  I am procrastinating at the moment. This does make me rethink my plans for the future, but I am more than happy to take this challenge head  on! I hope you enjoyed my short post and cheers to the weekend!

 

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From Heartache to Legacy

From Heartache to Legacy

The other night we had the unbelievable opportunity to listen to Carol Todd. She is an amazing speaker who is extremely passionate about what she talks about. Carol Todd is an educator at Amanda Todd Legacy, where she educates parents and teachers about internet safety, mental health awareness and cyberbullying after the death of her daughter, Amanda Todd. Amanda Todd was a 15-year-old girl who took her own life after years of bullying, harassment and sextortion.

If you’ve never heard of Amanda, I would advise you to check out her video below to fully understand.

This video, her video, went viral following her suicide. Amanda dealt with bullying and sextortion, online and in school for 2 years. She was a princess snowflake, as her mom called her who dreamt about singing. After her death, Carol took it upon herself to help educate others on the importance of a child’s digital identity.

Upon hearing about what was happening in class I was very intrigued. I was curious, what would she say? Carol had every right to be angry or upset. Honestly, I expected her to be. I was blown away by how she could turn something so negative into a positive, educational way. If you get a chance to watch her TedTalk on April 16th, you won’t be disappointed.

I would love to be able to summarize her talk but for me, it would be nearly impossible. Kerrie Craske does a fantastic job of that. I would recommend checking out her posts on this talk. For me, I want to focus on to two important pieces of advice Carol gave to the class.

The first one:

When a kid turns 16, you don’t just give them the keys to the car without teaching them how to drive. So why do we hand children an iPad, tablet or cell phone without teaching them how to use it?

*cue explosion noises because my mind is blown* This simple idea is revolutionary and I would have never thought of it. I don’t remember ever getting lessons on it. I mean I wasn’t allowed on any social media site until I was in like grade 10 so maybe that why I didn’t get a lesson. But as you can see More Than Half of Children Use Social Media by the Age of 10. So why are we not educating them? We need to start educating children on the dangers of the internet and how to properly use it. StaySafeOnline.org has interesting activities to teach students ways to use the internet. They have some for k-2, 3-5 and middle & high school. We have to, both parents and educators to start teaching our students, computers are all around us and it will be better when people know how to use online space safely and appropriately.

The second biggest takeaway from the night:

Every single person in this word is unique. Beautiful. Fragile. Alone we can melt and disappear from the world. But together we form a snowball; strong and forceful. We can break just about anything. Carol talks about empathy, and the ability to actually just listen to somebody. Everyone needs someone who they can trust. Parents and teachers are the two most influential people in children’s lives (excluding friends), we must be open to listening to them. Carol deals with trolls in a remarkably classy way.

She is has one classmate says:

I know as a future educator the importance of teaching students to bring each other up instead of tearing each other down will be important both in person and online. I hope to educate the youth the importance of having a good digital identity.

What are ways we can incorporate digital identity in the classroom? What kinds of conversations must we have in order for there to be a change in the world? What were the biggest things you took away from the class? 

Hey, Let’s Creep on Them!

Hey, Let’s Creep on Them!

If you’ve never said you’re going to creep on someone, kudos to you. I will be the first person to admit that I have crept on individuals that I don’t know, I mean how else will I know whether or not my best friends new boyfriend is good enough. I am what you would call a cybersleuth, (I mean it sounds better than a creeper) Cybersleuthing is defined as

A person who does any kind of detective work using the internet.

Now when I creep cybersleuth, I usually do it in the private of my home or with close friends you know so nobody knows how weird I am (and that’s out the window now) because it’s weird being around someone when they creep on you. I know. From experience. Ms.  Shalayne McDermit asked at the end of her post Cybersleuthing if anyone has ever experienced it. So instead of posting a really long comment, let me tell you a story.

During internship, I was coaching rookie girls volleyball. The girls I was coaching were also my students that I was teaching so they got to know me inside and outside the classroom. I would like to think I was professional during both times (definitely dressed down during volleyball but nothing extreme) We were coming home from districts which was held in Lampman late one night and, of course, the four girls that were in the same vehicle as me were being like grades 8.  All of them were on their phones (I pretty sure they were SnapChatting back and forth) taking pictures, sending texts to their teammates in other vehicles. You know typical stuff.

At one point I take out my phone because they “needed” to know how many SnapChat trophies I had (5 by the way) what I didn’t realize is that you have to swipe down exposing my SnapCode. If you use SnapChat you know that you can add friends by scanning their SnapCode (if you don’t know how to check it out here) So as I go to check my trophies one of the girls had her phone over my shoulder (without me knowing) ready to scan my SnapCode. THANKFULLY, I soon realized what was going to happen and closed my app.  But what I didn’t expect was “let’s google Ms. Nyhus!”

THEY. FOUND. EVERYTHING.

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Photo Credit: messiole via Compfight cc

I am so unbelievably happy that I have been lectured repeatedly by my parents and professors that I need to be careful about what I put online. I mean not everyone does. Check out 9 suspected criminals who got themselves caught via social media. I did find out that my Tumblr and Twitter were connected, which I didn’t really want so that was good. They found my blog  which resulted in;

“Ms. Nyhus, you have a blog?!”
“Yes, it was for class.”
“I’m going to read it.”
“Okay find out all the interesting things I do.”
“Never mind, it doesn’t look that fun…” I would like to say that my blog has improved a lot since that November night.

I also believe that when they searched Google Images they found a picture of a girl in lingerie, but it wasn’t me I swear. Googling my own name I am so happy to find that my blog and Twitter account are my first websites that show up, which I consider being my most professional accounts. My Facebook isn’t even on the first page (YAY! because who goes past page 1 on google) and I never did find a link to my Instagram (double YAY!) But that didn’t stop my students, I had multiple requests to follow me on Instagram, which was followed up with a “not until you graduate”.  How they found me? I am not quite sure but I think it was, if you can follow, they had a friend whose older sibling was friend with my longer sister who follows me. Whew!

I mean these 12-year-olds have almost as good detective skills as Katia Hildebrandt does. Almost. I am still unbelievably impressed by Katia in The Curious Case of Srkj Rife, “Victim”-Turned-Harasser.  The amount of information she found within an hour is crazy. The power of the internet is insane.

This kind of reminds me of the TV show Person of Interest. If you haven’t heard of it before, I would recommend going and watching it. Basically, it is about a computer that is watching your every move. It spits out relevant and irrelevant numbers (SIN numbers), the relevant go to the government and basically, it says that person is probably going to commit a terrorist attack. The irrelevant numbers are thrown away as they are either a victim or perpetrator of a violent crime until Harold Finch takes control and with the help from John Reese, they help stop criminals or save victims. Finch’s cybersluething would, sorry to say, put Katia’s stalking to shame. If you were comparing. Check out the opening sequence below.

Victim or perpretrator, if your numbers up we’ll find you.

Thoughts? Have you ever crept on someone before? Have you ever been crept on that you know of? Do you think jobs/businesses do it more often than not? As teachers why do you think we have to be so careful? Are we more careful than other professions? Why or why not?