Author Archives: Riley WC

my summary of learning

Hello everyone!

Here is my summary of learning presentation. I created it using Canva, and though it was not a flawless process, it was a very good learning experience. I got to experience recording using a special microphone so that my voice could be heard over the music I chose (thanks to my wonderful Husband for the help!).

Just a side update on my learning project: I have made many more cowls for Christmas gifts and a few baby blankets for some expecting friends (lesson learned: you always need more yarn than you expect!). I am loving crochet and will continue with it after this course is over (although I will be taking a break as my hands have been very full!).

Thank you everyone for your kind words about the birth of my daughter, Zoe. We are so thrilled she is here and we are both healthy and happy.

Thanks to everyone for a great semester! I really enjoyed it!

oer’s

So, after learning about open education resources (OERs), we’ve been asked to evaluate some of the platforms offering these resources to users across the internet. As I said in my previous post, I have never heard of these resources until taking this course. I still am in disbelief that people create and provide educational resources, without expecting any compensation in return. So in order to evaluate an OER, I felt a bit overwhelmed as to how to begin.

Leigh, somehow sensing mine, and some others discomfort, posted this tweet because she is a sweet baby angel:

(I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but Leigh feels like the guardian angel of our class, asking good questions and posting helpful stuff on her twitter for us to check out so we can all be better)

Leigh’s link included lots of content on why these resources exist, how to evaluate them and how to create them, as well as copyright and licensing information.

I decided to evaluate one open education resource, OER Commons. As I am getting closer to having this baby over here, I decided this was a reasonable task for the minimal energy that I currently possess at this time.

(https://www.oercommons.org/)

First impressions:

  • The homepage seems very well laid out. It explains the purpose of the site and has the search laid right out on the homepage.
  • It appears user friendly, we’ll see what happens when I attempt to search for some arts education resources.

Search 1: “arts education”

  • I searched “arts education” under the “education” tab, and chose “lower primary” (there were many options for grade level, which is very nice to see).
  • The “standards” tab is for curricular standards, based in only certain American states, like North Dakota and Pennsylvania.
  • My search yielded 193 results, very general results (arts education is quite vague of a search).
  • I liked how along the left side of the results page, you could continue to refine your search.
  • Some of the results actually looked very promising, and some looked completely unrelated (meaning that the tags for the lesson were not very specific). I am sure some creators want their lessons and units to come up on as many searches as possible, but why a “Field Trip to Honey Harvest Educators Guide” came up on my search is beyond me.

Search 2: “dance education”

  • I got less results doing this search (73), however the results seemed better suited for what I was trying to find.
  • I quickly noticed looking on the left side that you could refine the search based on the material type, license type, language, and many others which is very handy as well.
  • I opened up a lesson called “Creative Dance Handshake Dance” and I loved how there were places to save and share right at the top of the page, including a link to export directly to your own Google Drive. Other saving options want you to create your own account on the site, which I think would be worthwhile and I will plan to do in the future.
  • I also found a really cool dance/physical education resource for kindergarten to grade 2 and the way it is laid out to show the unit is very cool:

My thoughts:

  • My main thoughts are that I plan to tell every educator about this resource. Especially people who are new to the profession and are just starting out. I know how expensive being a new teacher can be.
  • It appears from my surface-level detective skills that there are even arts education resources on this site, which is very encouraging. Arts education resources that are usable can be more challenging to find than say, a social studies resource. This is very nice to know. Sometimes we (arts educators) find resources that are “good enough,” and reuse them even though they may not serve a great purpose for our students, simply because it is too difficult to find or make something newer and better. This has also been a challenge for me in the past when I have been tasked with teaching core french.

All in all, OER Commons is a great starting place for those new to open education resources, and I fully intend to use it in the future!

open education & our culture of sharing

When we complete our teacher training, typically we know one educational resource quite well: our curriculum. That was my first glimpse into an open educational resource (well, one that you could easily find, not one that you could “edit”). I am in my ninth year of teaching and I confidently say I have never seen these open education resources (OERs) before our class last week. What I have seen lots of? Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT), Education.com, and many other membership based websites, many that require membership fees or paying for content, like on TpT.

These sites are what has been recommended for me. Ones that require you to provide credit card information and pay for a resource. Every teacher I know, especially those in elementary school settings, use TpT regularly for resources for their classrooms. I have no idea how much money has been spent paying for resources by colleagues. These colleagues are mainly new teachers, who are just starting out, perhaps already have some debt and many expenses getting their classrooms set up. How is this fair? I wonder how many of my colleagues have also never hear of OERs.

The site Alec showed us in class, Everything is a Remix, was really interesting to me, as an arts educator. I’d love to show some parts of the series to an older class to discuss. TikTok and memes are all remixes, without people even realizing it. CBC Music also does a fun feature everyday called “Distant Cousins” where they have listeners send in two songs that sound very similar, possibly on purpose due to sampling or completely by accident (and then get sued!).

Having students look at sampling would be a really fun unit – providing some well known songs using sampling, you could easily weave in some music history! One of my favourite samples was originally done by the sorceress herself, Stevie Nicks, in her song “Edge of Seventeen”, then sampled by Destiny’s Child and Miley Cyrus.

(Ok, 2 fun facts: 1 – Stevie Nicks is actually in this music video! And 2 – This is my son’s favourite song right now. Proud mom moment right there.)

Ugh, I just love Stevie so much. My sister named her golden retriever Stevie Nicks because we are so obsessed. And Fleetwood Mac is in a total revival (thanks to remixing!) currently with TikTok’s viral video using their song “Dreams”.

Ok! Enough of me being a music history nerd. I’ll leave you with song tunes for your Wednesday. Enjoy!

learning project update 3.

Hey there! Hope everyone survived the last week of October. It is a lot for us teachers, and I certainly was thinking about you all as I was home, nesting and crocheting and going to a million appointments for the baby.

It has been a very productive few weeks for my learning project and I have many photos and a new video to show my progress. I also am going to include some links that were helpful to me while working on some projects.

My projects that I have completed during this time were:

  1. A coffee cozy (which I made a video of)
  2. My first baby blanket done in crochet for my daughter (complete with edging.)
  3. 3 chunky cowls (if you have no idea what this means I will explain)
  4. I began a new baby blanket in a more chunky yarn

So the coffee cozy was a project that actually provided more of a challenge than I expected as there are so many different patterns that I found on Pinterest that I had many to read through in order to find one that I knew I would be able to accomplish, no new or complicated stitches, and using yarn that I already had at home. As I’ve said, an extra trip to Michael’s can be unpredictable… and pricey. I found this pattern on a blog called Domestic Bliss, and the whole project came together quite quickly. A big difference in this pattern is that there was no video provided, so I have to follow the written instructions, and I was crocheting in the round, which provided some new challenges. Here’s my timelapse video of my coffee cozy:

I felt it was only appropriate to complete this project, which took me about 40 minutes, with Gilmore Girls on in the background. If you’ve seen the show, it’s a love letter to autumn, and the characters are obsessed with coffee.

Turned out pretty good for my first try!

Ok, next up is my baby blanket – which I am so in love with.

A labour of love.

I completed the pattern, and decided that the edging pattern originally from the blog I was working from was a bit too complex for me, so I decided to do some research and I decided to return to my favourite YouTube channel, Bella Coco Crochet. It was a very helpful video, and now that I am getting more experienced with crochet, it did not matter that the video was done right-handed. I was still able to get myself started, and then I had the process quickly memorized to complete the edges of my blanket. I am still planning to wash my blanket before my daughter is born so it will be a little softer and ready for her, it’s going to be cold soon! Will need lots of cozy things for baby.

Ok, now I will explain what the heck a chunky cowl is. So yarn comes in many different thicknesses, depending on what you want to make you’ll use thinner or thicker yarn. Chunky yarn is exactly as it sounds, thick yarn. Here’s a photo for reference:

A cowl is a scarf that is a neckwarmer crocheted in one tube or loop. Cowls are nice because they are easy to throw on over a coat and are not too bulky. They also use less yarn, making them cheaper and quicker to complete. Nice for gifts, especially. This is how I began making a few at a time. They crochet up quickly and are going into my Christmas gift stash. Might as well make a bunch now before baby arrives!

I had two patterns saved to my Pinterest board, and I was torn as to which one I wanted to use, so I decided to begin with the easier sounding pattern first, from Make and Takes, which was super fun to do. The second pattern was from a blog called Cate Crochets. It had more of a pattern to it, with different stitches from one row to the next, so I actually wrote out the pattern and would check off the row as I went so that I did not forget. It was very validating to be able to read through these new patterns and go, “ok, I have all the skills to do this pattern!” Here’s a photo of the trickier cowl I tried:

The trickier pattern created these weird holes when I’d begin a new row, so I am unsure as to if I was doing something wrong or if there was something off with the pattern… I will likely try again and see how it goes. Crocheting in the round has it’s challenges for sure! But I am undeterred because I love making cowls.

Finally, the pattern I am currently working on is very similar to the first baby blanket I completed, but in a much chunkier yarn I found in my yarn stash. I used this pattern here to work from, but used a larger crochet hook so I did less stitches (and it’s still going to be massive).

So, in conclusion: So. Much. Crochet. I am really enjoying it. I never would have taken the initiative to learn a new skill right now if not for this course. It has been a nice use of my bored baby brain as I wait for this baby to arrive.

activism on social media: perspectives.

I had a physical reaction to this week’s blog post prompt. I left class after our discussions and went to unpack my thoughts and here’s where I’m at with a lot of this:

First off, it is challenging to be a social media activist and have the words “educator” in your profile. I have found that some social issues are present in schools and posting about causes that do not reflect the division you work for can be risky. We as educators and representatives of our employer are reminded often to be mindful about what we post on social media by our employer.

I have a lot of causes that I care about. I am a parent of soon to be two mixed race children. I have family of multiple races and orientations. I care deeply. This deep care has caused me to move away from social media when it comes to activism on causes I care about. In my experience, I have found when it comes to posting about causes that I care about, it’s inviting opinions and comments that I don’t need or want. I don’t need feedback. I’ve already made my decision. My morals are my morals. I don’t need to debate this with a distant relative on Facebook or some random person on Twitter.

As I have explained before in a post, I try to keep a lot of my life private on social media, and that includes activist topics that matter to my family. I have to also mention here that it is a privilege to protest; generally the people posting that we see online are ones in a position of privilege (typically by race, orientation & social status) and will receive different responses than those who are protesting something that is directly connected to themselves (race, gender, orientation). This is where #slacktivism comes into play, as many folks will repost something political or about an important social issue, and then quickly move on with their day, not having to worry about who sees and responds to their posts. Those who are posting about experiences directly related to their own backgrounds are taking great risks at doing so, and I know for many of us, we do not take the same risks when we post or repost something. This risk can threaten someone’s career or reputation and can come at great cost to their family. It is not to be taken lightly.

Katia Hildebrandt describes in a blog post from 2015, how if educators remain silent on issues related to issues on social justice, how we are implicitly saying we are okay with what is happening. This sentiment has been quoted on many blog posts that I read this morning from my peers on this topic. I struggle with this sentiment. It’s one of those statements that sounds simple in theory, but is actually fraught with variables depending on the given situation. My response to that sentiment is this: silence on social media might mean something very different than being “okay” with injustice. It might mean that speaking out is too much of a risk to one’s family or loved ones. It might be too upsetting to the person, as this issue might directly affect them and their loved ones. It might mean acknowledging that social media is typically not a safe space to be vulnerable and say one’s truth. It might also mean that this person is focusing their energy into other forms of activism that may feel more substantial, and are choosing not to post about them, which is their prerogative. If someone is dealing with social injustice on a daily basis in their workplace, school or public spaces, why put themselves more at risk by posting online? For myself, I may be in a position of privilege being a white female, but much of my family does not possess that same privilege. Not to acknowledge and be mindful of this is careless and dangerous. I cannot speak for these family members, I can only support and be open to whatever is needed of me to learn and help.

Does that mean that I do not do anything about these causes? No. I have been to protests. I have written emails to officials. I use my own activism in my teaching with students. I have found that in teaching arts education there are many avenues for using social justice in art as a way to connect content for students. One of my favourite ways to do this is by teaching a protest songs unit with grades 7 and 8, which spans from the first known protest songs by artists such as Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan to more current protest music by Kendrick Lamar and The Halluci Nation.

So here’s the question: Are you posting it to actually make change or to just look “woke”? People have been saying for years now with Black Lives Matter and with Indigenous relationships in Canada (Residential schools, mass incarceration, etc.) that we need to do our homework and educate ourselves. Are you doing that? Is it happening before or after you hit retweet?

One of the good things about social media is it is making these resources much easier to access. There are accounts that are working hard to break stereotypes and get the information out there so that we can learn from the proper educators – those who are actually experiencing oppression. When it comes to social media, this is how I utilize these spaces. To listen. To learn. To educate myself. To try and be a good parent to my children, and a good wife to my husband. A good family member. A good friend.

learning project update 2.

Well it has been quite the two weeks over here. Between Thanksgiving and me beginning my leave, we also had daycare covid cases! Honestly, we’ve been lucky that there hasn’t been anything up to this point closely affecting our family. But yowza, does it freak a parent right out to have your child be possibly exposed to anything. So my little guy was home with me last week, which made it challenging to do much in the way of work on my learning project, however, I also found that having my learning project to work on was a nice outlet at the end of the day, once my son was in bed, or during naptime after I had some time to do the “to do list” (laundry, cleaning, etc.).

SO. Full disclosure time. I basically… accidentally… started a big crochet project… It wasn’t the progression I had planned on, I was planning to move from my granny square project to another small crochet project, ideally a coffee cup cozy (similar to the one linked here). But here’s the thing about me: I get a little disinterested in smaller projects where I need to be constantly learning new skills and these skills are different from the ones I had just learned. I was looking at all of these different projects and going, well dang, now I need to learn like 3 new stitches before I can begin this project, it’s going to take a few hours and then if I want to move onto a different design then I have to learn 2 more new stitches to do that project. Cue the apathy and frustration.

I had already been working through the Bella Coco Crochet video series on youtube for left-handed beginners, specifically the one on how to double crochet and it was going really well, and I was wanting to use some of these new skills, but it’s harder to get into these skills and practice on smaller projects for me. So what I ended up doing was starting this baby blanket pattern from a blog called the Crochet Leaf that I found on Pinterest.

Here’s a picture of the finished blanket from the blog:

Folded crochet blanket

I did not want to initially post about this project because, honestly, I thought if I didn’t say anything and it didn’t work out I could just move onto another project and pretend the blanket attempt never happened. I know that sounds lame, but I had tons of projects to move onto once this one blew up in my face, and I was ready to just take it apart and move forward.

Apparently, that was not to be! Check it out:

So as you can see, it is turning, somehow, into a fully formed blanket shape. So here’s what I’m taking away from my inclination towards this bigger project and moving away from my initial progression plan:

  • It’s easier for me right now to do a larger, repetitive project than many little ones using different skills for each.
  • This pattern was a very low-risk project where mistakes and learning could happen.
  • I definitely feel like I am building muscle memory as I’m going row by row, which I think is making me better in the long run, like these crochet skills will stick better because I am getting lots of practice just repeating the stitches over and over. Moving in this direction is helping give shape to where I will move to next, which has been very helpful.
  • I am also making many mistakes along the way (we’ll need a separate post on the edging of this blanket and what the heck I can do to make it look decent), and I’ve found that many mistakes one could make in crochet are much easier to fix than in knitting. I am liking that a lot as a beginner.
  • The mindful peace that comes with returning to a project over and over and repeating patterns and stitches is not to be taken for granted in our current climate. There’s a lot of emotion in my household right now with 1) having a two year old, 2) having a new baby arriving in a month and a half, 3) the pandemic, 4) being super pregnant and everything that comes with that and, 5) the pandemic. This project has been very therapeutic for me to have on the go and be able to return to when I need to just make something for a minute and breathe. Knowing this is for our little girl that will be with us soon, in whatever world we’re living in, is a tiny bit of control that I can have when everything feels very out of my control right now.

I also have to mention, crocheting a blanket and being cozy right now is very #fall, and it’s helping me appreciate the seasons at this moment and enjoy the present.

Ok! I’m sure you didn’t think someone could write this much about crochet, did ya?

learning project update.

Well, people. It has been a very busy few weeks over here on my end. After some discussions with my obstetrician (baby doctor, for those who don’t know), we decided it would be best for me to take some time off of teaching before this baby arrives end of November. It was a decision I agonized over, but ultimately I needed to put my own health and my unborn daughter’s health first, as it is getting crazy out there.

So this means a few things for me, the first being that I am very glad I planned my learning project to be skill focused for myself since I am no longer with students everyday; the second is that I am now going to have more time on my hands when I am resting to practice my new fav skill: crochet! (Does it still take me two tries to type the word crochet every single freaking time?! Yes, yes it does.)

Moving on! Week before last I began to choose some specifically left-handed crochet tutorial videos on YouTube (I’ll link my playlist I created here), and I found what has become my touchstone for this learning project: Bella Coco Crochet, this lady is from the UK and her videos are just lovely. She moves at a good pace and has nice looking beginner projects for users to work on.

I did some basic tutorials on some stitches just to get a feel for things without trying an actual project first using this video and worked that out for a few days. I included some pictures below.

(My first chain – and yes, my yarn colour perfectly matched the tutorial and I was very proud)
(It looks like it’s supposed to! This is a single crochet swatch I practiced)

Since my husband is quite technologically savvy, he suggested that I try using an iPhone mount to film my progress during my new projects. We ordered this mount off of Amazon and it works really well, we attached it to a little tripod we already owned and I just set it up on the couch next to my laptop so that I could follow the YouTube tutorial and control my iPhone. Dalton suggested during one of our breakout sessions that I try using the time lapse feature in the camera app on my phone, and it worked really well! Here is my first project video in super-speed form!

Here is a picture of my first completed granny square!

Here are some takeaways about what I learned in this past week (and a bit):

  • This is very different than knitting – I understand how polarizing these hobbies are more so now and why it hasn’t stuck before. Very different skills required!
  • In order to do a more challenging project, I’ll need to refer to right-handed tutorials & patterns, which means I will need to adapt for myself, something I never had to do with other learning. Good perspective!
  • I could spend hours scrolling Pinterest and Ravelry searching for different patterns (Ravelry is a free membership site where makers from all over the world can post patterns for knitting and crochet, some free and some paid), it leads to choice paralysis, I realized I needed to just pick one video and go with that, as I still lacked many basic skills to do some of the beautiful projects I was pinning to my crafty board.

So that is my recap of the week, it was a full one in and amongst finishing up school. I have made a list of things that I would like to accomplish, so I am very motivated to keep going!

tiktoking.

So. Because it was for class purposes, I now have a TikTok account. This is not something that I thought I would be getting anytime soon, however, upon planning my learning project, I decided this would be an appropriate social media tool to help get me started since TikTok has many crochet tutorials under hashtags such as #crochettutorial #crochetforbeginners and my personal favourite, #crochetlefthand.

I found the results overwhelming, complete choice paralysis! Below are some screenshots of my initial searches after downloading the app for the first time.

(these were the results when I searched #crochettutorial)
(These were the results that appeared when I search crochet left hand, which provided many different hashtags with it)

I am undecided if I will actually be using TikTok to assist me with my crochet learning plan. I honestly think I’ll feel more comfortable with a more familiar platform, like YouTube, to search up tutorials. At least initially this week as I am getting started. I intend to revisit TikTok for inspiration or if I’m feeling more comfortable with my crochet skills/adventurous.

I am also keeping in mind that I could try using TikTok to make some progress videos… So we might try that eventually. I am planning to use Instagram reels first, and we’ll see where things go from there.

I also noticed this morning, checking my Feedly, that I was not alone in my choice to start a TikTok account! I read Chris’, Leigh’s, and Megan’s posts on their TikTok ventures. I agreed with Megan that the learning opportunities for new skills are endless, especially recipes, which I am interested in as well! Megan also mentioned the problematic “challenges” posted on TikTok, which I also find very troubling. I work with many impressionable youth and know that they are seeing these challenges and are not fully capable to process the possible dangers of trying out these challenges. I also read the article that Leigh tweeted about using TikTok in the classroom, the benefits educators found, especially when adapting to online learning during the pandemic.

I also discussed TikTok with my stepsister, who is a grade 9 student, about her TikTok experience. She spends a large amount of time on TikTok, and explained to me the allures of the app, all of the different content, and how the more you watch, the more the app figures out what you like. The content is more your preference, so you watch more, because everything is tailored to you. She also explained that sometimes you might see things that make you feel uncomfortable, violent or overtly “creepy” (read: sexual in teen speak) videos, and she explained that you need to swipe by them in a certain way, from what I understood, quickly(?) to ensure the algorithm doesn’t think that you would want to see more of these videos.

YIKES GUYS.

My stepsister is quite intelligent for her age, and is understanding how this app works, how it tracks her usage and tailors it to her, and is wary of making sure this app does not get the “wrong idea” about what she wants to see.

What about other kids who are younger users/not as savvy online/more impressionable with seeing this questionable content? I mean, some of these videos are described as looking at a car crash, you cannot look away! So then the app thinks you want more of this content, and keeps feeding it to you? Oy. This knowledge makes me nervous.

Does anyone else know more about this than me? I am hoping some of you can fill me in here, as I only have a little bit of information to go off of. I don’t want to spread misinformation either.

I just wanna sit and crochet… and not deal with the scary TikTok world out there…

my learning project.

I am thrilled to be planning a learning project that is specifically for ME. One that is not for a class or my household, but for ME. This class has provided me with an excuse to think about something that I would like to learn, and I have chosen specifically to focus on something outside of the psychological world, which I have been focusing much of my learning energy on the past few years during my master’s work.

My project plan is to learn to crochet! This is a project that I have attempted in the past and it has failed. This has also been a project that has been really easy for me to ditch and move on, as I already know how to knit, so it has definitely been the thought of “why would I struggle through this when I could just go start a project when I already speak the lingo?” I have not had a good enough reason to push through and persevere.

For those of you who are wondering, these are the differences between knitting and crochet:

illustration of knitting vs. crochet
(https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/differences-between-knitting-and-crochet-4077447)

Reasons why this has failed in the past include some adaptations that I need to make in order to learn – the main one being that I am left-handed. This means that it is more challenging/difficult/annoying to learn from a family member. Mainly my mother, who did not get the teaching gene, guys. It gets real frustrating real freaking fast and then it’s like “is this worth it?”

With that said, in my current pregnant state, I feel limited as to what I am able to try out in my learning project. If I was more able-bodied and less achy/stretched out/exhausted I might take on a new workout program or try running again for the first time in a long time, maybe use a new app to track my progress and build a plan? Anyways, that is not happening, so crochet it is! I can easily take on the brain work, while cooking this pineapple-sized fetus to term.

For inspiration, I have been taking to a website that I should have mentioned in my social media usage blog post which I use often: Pinterest! I have linked my page which I save many of my craft ideas to if you want to see what I’m dreaming up.

For those of you that care to know, I typically gravitate more to chunky knits, scarves, cowls and hats. However, I am open to trying some different patterns and providing some updates on whatever patterns/tutorials I am trying out.

My main goals are to use online tutorials to get going with my crochet skills. I found when I was learning to knit that there were many helpful tutorials for knitting for left-handed people. I am hopeful I will be able to find some left-handed focused tutorial videos on youtube and instagram. I will post once I have found some promising and helpful accounts.

I will also use my mother as a resource… but only if I really need to. Because like I said… teaching gene…. must have been recessive…

A second goal I have during this project is to use some new video recording techniques and tools to film my progress. On instagram, many knitting accounts that I follow have these cool progress videos where they are fast-forwarded as they work through a project. It looks so cool!

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy as I embark on this obstetrician approved, pregnancy friendly, learning project.

My thoughts on social media.

My relationship with social media has been a long one, to say the least. It has not existed for my entire life, but it has existed for my formative and adult years. This all began for me with MSN Messenger, on my family’s HP desktop, located in our family room. I believe this entered our household when I was in grade 8. This had a huge impact on my friend groups and my beginning high school especially. During last week’s class, we discussed how for many of us, this is how we began talking to boys we liked. This was, in fact, how I began talking to my now-husband. The early social networking site did solidify a relationship, although we have been talking in person ever since!

Throughout high school and university, I was fairly active on social media outlets appropriate for the time, using Facebook and Instagram. Twitter was not very common in university for me, until I took an ECMP 355 class with Dean Shareski, where I did begin to use Twitter for educational networking. I found that once I began working as a teacher, I used Twitter as a part of my staff to update the community on what was happening in my art room at the time, which was fun to do.

I have found for me personally, that once I had some more personal things happening in my life (to put it briefly some life changing medical events), I found myself less wanting to be posting on social media on a regular basis; I’d post updates now and then, mostly to alleviate those asking questions about my progress and bothering my family. This attitude has remained as I have begun to raise my family, I post every now and then about my family and include a cute photo of my son, but I find now that I share more in more private settings with my close friends and family in group chats, whatsapp and iMessage. Hilariously enough, I only really use Facebook messenger to connect with my Nana (my mom’s mom) to send pictures of my son to her, since cell service is so poor where she lives in rural Saskatchewan!

I have found in my adulthood, after these events, that I value my privacy much more. I have found that though many people want to see and comment on my life, that sometimes people say things that I might take the wrong way, and carry with me afterwards. This has become a personal boundary to maintain my inner peace.

Common ways that social media is used in my social circles is two main forms:

The first is, on every staff I have been on, there is some sort of group chat on Facebook or some other social media site. It usually devolves pretty quickly and is not usually very professional or helpful. I unfortunately found out about our school being shut down due to a covid outbreak on one of these group chats instead of through my principal. Not great.

The second is, this is currently a very common way to connect with other moms in our community during the pandemic. I have been connected through some friends who are also parents on Facebook to people all over the city. These pages are very well run and contain lots of question forums where parents can ask questions and get feedback, suggestions or reviews on baby items, programs and tips and tricks. It’s helped a lot of isolated parents feel more connected during this time.

For me, social media is something that I have learned I need to manage my time around, as well as my own exposure to. I am intimidating to work more on this course, as it does involved more social media presence on my part, which is something I have not participated much in for many years. I am hoping I can continue to maintain my personal boundaries while remaining open-minded to learning new things.