Author Archives: Jacquie Ehrmantraut

The proverbial finish line (spoiler: there’s no medal)

Well, the time has come to summarize my learning experience with learning to run for fun. Here is a breakdown of some of the things I learned throughout this process: 

Social media as a teacher and culture of sharing 

One thing this project and this course has taught me is how valuable social media is in learning a new skill. It doesn’t matter what platform you look at, there is content made by every kind of person for every type of learning you can fathom. I stuck to Tik Tok as my main resource for this project and there was endless amounts of information and advice. I found that Tik Tok embodied the notion of culture of sharing we discussed in class. Yes, there are a million videos that say the same thing, but who cares because that just means there is a wealth of sharing and that is amazing. When learning something and using social media resources, I really like that you could stumble upon a couple accounts that really resonate with you or you could learn from a different person every time.  


Ride the rollercoaster 

I have mentioned it before, but you just have to ride the rollercoaster when learning a new skill. Any process that is challenging enough and meaningful is not a linear process. I typically had one good and one bad running day per week. I had multiple days when I did not want to run at all but ran anyways. Although I have come to enjoy running, I felt like the hard days increased near the end of the project; my calendar was so full that it would have been easier to not run or to waste my energy on running. I will say though, I don’t regret a single run that I went on or wish I had spent my time differently.  

Learning is not linear

Tik Tokking 

Ricky Bobby awkwardly doesn't know what to do with his hands

In logging some of my progress and process through Tik Tok, I have been introduced to some skills that have helped in producing content. I still feel a bit awkward about making Tik Toks because I don’t really know what I’m doing still. I mean, I know how to put them together, but I don’t really know the trends or what style of a Tik Tok works best for particular content, etc. Ricky Bobby knows what I’m talking about. Needless to say, I don’t think I will be an influencer anytime soon (unless we can start making $ in Canada doing it, in which case I’m on board…I’m kidding…sort of…). 



I have listed some of my major takeaways from this learning project below.  

 Points of self-awareness
-I like being accountable to a running partner
-I enjoy being outside more (not that I didn’t before, but now it is where I spend as much time as I can)
-I am a better runner at night
-I am a better runner with music because I naturally increase my pace to keep beat which has earned me a personal best during a few weeks ago (that I have since beat again)
-I have a singular focus when running and am incapable of remember that I need to take picture/record some content
-I am slow but consistent in my progression  

-running on a treadmill (you can’t change pace like you can outside and its boring because there’s nothing to look at or distract you)
-it has undone all hair wash training I’ve done
-running with a stroller
-there is no crowd waiting for me when I return from a run to hand me a medal and cheer for me (I guess I have to enter a race to get that reception)  

What it has left me with 

This learning project has left me with a sense that I can learn anything I want to because of the teachers I have available at my fingertips. There truly isn’t much of an excuse to not learn something I’m interested in. It has also left me with a sense of accomplishment because I did what I set out to do. I feel accomplished after every run, when I hit the little goals I set for myself, and when I don’t allow myself to succumb to the pull of not running.  

Final tally 

I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seats to see if I am close to my 58k June goal. Well, I am proud to say that so far in the month of June I have stuck to my pace of 13 km per week to make it to my goal of 58 km for the month. This was no easy feat. In the past 3 weeks I have been beyond busy with wrapping up 3 spring classes (I don’t suggest taking this on), being home with an infant and 4-year-old, planning and hosting a 4-year-old birthday party, attending weddings, etc.  


Although we have crossed the finish line for learning projects and this class, there is no line to cross in building a positive habit rather evolution and self-satisfaction. Thank you for following along my journey of learning to run!  

Runners running towards the finish line. Success concept.

It’s actually not even really about the running

Holy smokes! The last learning project update before the final wrap up post! Where did the time go?!

This week was wild. Wait, didn’t I say that last week too? Well, whatever the case, it’s true. Coming to the end of a spring semester with 3 classes and 2 young kids is not for the faint of heart and I am finding out what I am made of these past couple weeks. On the running front, I stuck to my plans, adjusted along the way, and was proud of my progress by the end of the week.

My initial running plan included twice-a-week runs with my neighbour and I am happy to report that we have stuck to it. I have also started doing a run or two extra per week as I learn to like running more and more. It’s actually not even really about the running, it is about how I am deciding to spend my “down” time and being proud of making a healthy choice in those moments.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am aiming for 58 km this month and while I won’t give away my exact numbers (you can wait til my final post for that), but I am inching closer and closer with each run, which has become motivating. I think I will continue short-span goals to keep me motivated in different ways.

For documenting this week, I tried a few different things out. I am trying to be ‘on trend’ with what the running peeps are doing on Tik Tok, because, you know, I’m a runner now, duh. For my first video of the week, I did a picture per km, like the Tik Tokkers do (example here). I was highly disappointed with the fact that the viewer cannot see how much more I am sweating with each km picture – it makes it look like I faked it and I assure you I did not…the sweat satisfaction was real but didn’t transfer to the shots.

My second run of the week was an utter fail. I was pushing a stroller, which always makes me slow, and on top of that it was so windy, making it extra difficult. I was so focused on how difficult the run felt that I forgot to do any recording. Fail. In my defence, it is really hard to run with a stroller and record any footage at the same time. You can see my reaction/emotion to forgetting to record here.

For my last run of the week, I brought my oldest son, Casey. He scootered alongside me and loved every minute of it. This was my favourite run of the week by far. You can watch the video here. After my first video from this week where I came home from a run and immediately had to read his bedtime story, he asked me how my run was and had a few follow up questions. I liked that he was interested in what I was doing, so I figured I’d invite him along for one this week so he could get the inside scoop. I think it is so important for kids to see their parents make healthy choices and to see their parents being physically active. I used to go to two different personal trainers who both allowed kids in the gym because this was part of their core values as well. Kids will do what they see, plain and simple. It is a piece of the pie as to why I chose this for my learning project too; I want to have healthy habits and hobbies to model that behaviour for my kids. This run also solidified the fact that I can multitask all day every day, except when I’m running…I can only have one job when I’m running and counting kms with picture/video obviously isn’t for me. Self-awareness is key in the learning process, I guess!

Motivation for Casey “running” with me: this video. I do not anticipate this to be our future, but I definitely want him to enjoy runs with me in the future!


Taking you guys theough my BEST RUN EVER and soilling the tea on a new technique I accidentally figured it that seriously CHANGED THE GAME. 🏃💨 #beginnerrunner #runningforbeginners #midsizerunner #biggirlswhorun #nonetorun #runningworkout #couchto5k #nonetorun #nikerunclub

♬ A-ha – Take on Me – rifat anjar nur rochmat

I find there is less technique videos for me to watch for my purpose, rather I am catching and absorbing tid bits here and there in the running videos I watch. For example, in the above video, I can definitely relate to how she is feeling but I also learned that it really does make a difference (placebo or not) to shake your legs out between run and walk sets. I have no idea about the science (or not) behind it but she is right that it mentally makes a difference, so I’ll keep that one in my practice. I have also found that I am building mental toughness, as she mentions, with each mini-goal or with each extra running minute versus walking minute per run; it is a mental exercise as much as it is a physical one.

This week, I clocked over 13 kms. That is a huge accomplishment for me and I feel really excited about how that gets me so much closer to my monthly goal!

Opening up about open ed

The topic of open education and the culture of sharing is so interesting. My blog today is a mix of thoughts that have been pacing in my brain for years and there are also aspects that are fresh from class earlier this week when we discussed open education. With the videos I watched to supplement my thinking, I could go on for days, but I will stick to a few key points of these topics.  

The culture of sharing in teaching: 

Sharing is caring symbol. Wooden blocks with words 'Sharing is caring' on beautiful white background. Businessman hand. Business, sharing is caring concept. Copy space.If it wasn’t for awesome teachers who so kindly shared their “stuff” with me every time I taught a course that was new to me, I would not have a) survived those semesters and b) become the teacher I am today because how and what I teach today is a patch-work quilt of all of the things that someone else and their content has taught me. So, even though they might not see this (although I’m hoping at least one of them will – you know who you are), THANK YOU. Thank you times a million. You are the kind of goodness I hope I am for others who are just getting their bearings or need a helping hand. By being the grateful recipient of sharing, I try to mirror this behaviour because I think it is important and we have to start somewhere if we want to create a particular culture around it. As we discussed in class this week, lack of reciprocity can be frustrating, no question about it. One piece of advice I received for life in general that I constantly keep in my back pocket is that I cannot expect me from others; if I am willing to share, I cannot expect others to share with me or for them to pay it forward as it was paid forward to me. Despite this, I will continue to share because typically those who ask for help are asking for survival purposes and for that I will not judge them because I’ve been there. In support of creating a culture of sharing, I often share things I produce with my department in case anyone could benefit from it; this is not in a conceited effort, but it is about being able to lighten the load for someone else and the ability to share my creativity for someone to ‘remix’ it, as Lawrence Lessig says, with their own creative spin and purposes.  

The idea of open education: 

Thoughtful dreaming ethnic woman doing paperwork at home
daydreaming of open ed collapsing text book industry

Through the discussion in class this week and through some of the available videos, one theme I found that ran through the topic of open ed was access/accessibility, in both support and critique of the concept. On one hand, the possibilities are endless in what information (and from where and when) you can offer your classes (and colleagues) because the options are expanding exponentially. The Why Open Education Matters video shares a few of the open ed resources available for multiple purposes, such as Khan Academy. On the other hand, there is the critical piece of the cost of access. This is in reference to our discussion about what information becomes accessible to certain people based on affiliation (access to articles because a student at a university = privilege) or other aspects of privilege (access to Wi-Fi, devices, etc.). I will say though, speaking strictly from a Saskatchewan perspective, the insufficient funding for education is putting teachers in a position of reliance on open ed. Although the funding situation is absurd, I am not saying this forced reliance is a negative, in fact maybe open ed will eventually implode the politically driven texts book industry creating more money for ed funding…a digression for another day…

Online book store. Audiobooks. Colored flat illustration. Isolated on white background.
changing the way accessing information looks

In my particular context of teaching high school English, open ed is great because there is no text book, per se, for an English class so every semester I essentially create one, albeit untraditional. Open ed resources have been amazing in creating flexibility and accessibility for my students and me. Being able to access entire novels as PDFs or audio recordings, or being able to use certain free programs for creative projects puts us in an unprecedented time of education and we should use this advantage to our (and our students’) benefit. I use resources that are free to access that “celebrate amateur culture”, which is not to be interpreted as “amateur-ish culture…[but] people producing for the love of what they’re doing and not for the money” (7:41-7:52), touching on the advantage and benefits of a culture of sharing. There is also an aspect of not trying to reinvent the wheel with concepts I teach; if someone out there has created something that says what I am trying to say but in a more creative and appealing way, I’d be straight up silly not to let them take the stage. Ultimately, I am certainly glad I teach in the era of open ed resources and I wonder how they will continue to shift education in the future. 

Leading doesn’t happen on the sidelines

Can online social media activism be meaningful and worthwhile? The short answer is yes, absolutely. But, here are my thoughts about it… 

With social media (SM) being an integral part of our current society’s means of influence, there is no doubt that using SM platforms for activism is a meaningful and worthwhile venture. This point is underscored when “regular” media is highly politicized and prioritizes stories based on the ratings it will get them. ANYWAY, whether we like it or not, we are all influencers on some level on SM…some of us just don’t get paid to do it, unfortunately. Even in a small SM network, what we choose (or choose not) to post, share, comment on, and support all tells our “people” what we stand for and against, “increasing visibility”, making it meaningful and worthwhile. Will this sometimes rock the boat? Will this sometimes change others’ opinions/perceptions of us for better or worse? Should you stand up for what you believe in anyway despite the possible repercussions? Yes, yes, and yes! Taking it further, if people in positions of societal power (referring to those with a lot of followers therefore a longer social reach) attach or associate themselves with a certain cause, there is a positive domino effect that results, proving it to be a worthy act. A Time article I read asking if a celebrity’s SM activism makes a difference, the ultimate answer is yes celebrities help by sparking awareness and mobilization, proving my point that SM influence makes online activism a worthwhile and meaningful act.  

In addition to the influence people on SM can have in calling attention to certain topics, there is an entire avenue of visibility and community that spawns from different aspects of SM. For example, hashtags create notably vast communities, taking a topic/cause to the global scale. Hashtags can also provide visibility in terms of pictures posted to portray the lived experience of those experiencing the inequity/injustice who do not have the privilege of SM, as noted in the Maryville University article. Even if someone only goes so far as to support a social justice campaign online, there is still positive that comes from it because it may be the catalyst for another person to become a participatory citizen and be involved offline.  

Is it possible to have productive conversations about social justice online?  

Internet trollConversations and interactions about social justice is the hard work about caring or spreading awareness about a cause because you will constantly be met with opposition and criticism…and trolls. This hard work is tough enough in the physical world, let alone the online world. Some of the trickiest pieces of online conversations about social justice (or any online interaction) is
  a) intended tone is sometimes difficult to read
  b) we have the ability to NOT respond because it is not F2F, yet, if we are involved with something it is clear we are passionate about it and therefore it is difficult to not be on defence. And, in addition to the fact that not responding will justify the naysayer’s comment, not responding or following up removes us from doing the hard work of creating change and understanding. 

Having said this, it is possible to be respectful in interactions when met with differing opinions and experiences. The comment thread on Katia’s blog post is a great example of this; in the end, there are people with views and perspectives that do not align, nor will they, yet a respectful conversation can in fact happen.

Just a little tip: if a troll happens to throw a toddler-like tantrum in the online conversation, don’t get ‘mad like troll’, maybe just direct them to a youtube video for breathing exercises to calm down. 

Our responsibility as educators to model active citizenship online:

I have said this before, but our critical thinking skills when using SM is absolutely crucial. Being able to decipher what actions will help rather than hurt a cause is important too. As we discussed in class, sometimes intentions are good but isn’t reflected in the action (with the example of #blackouttuesday inundating the hashtag/cause not in a somewhat harmful way to the purpose). We also have to be careful as to not performatively align ourselves with a cause because it “looks good” for a teacher to do so. With having the free will to create our own online world and persona, if nothing else, authenticity must be at the core of our actions. For modelling active citizenship, I don’t consistently voice my opinion or support social justice movements on SM, although after reading Katia’s blog post, I think I should. I chose to become a teacher, knowing the implication of modelling behaviour both at and outside of school. The progression of SM has simply expanded the platform and privilege for teachers to lead by example and inform. I don’t need to psychoanalyze all my reasons for not being a fully active digital citizen up to this point, rather simply shift my mindset away from fear of being active to “look at all the good you can do” by being an active digital citizen and remind myself that part of my job as a teacher and as a person is to lead by example and leading doesn’t happen on the sidelines. A focus of mine going forward will be to expand the social justice accounts I follow on personal SM and to speak up more.

Goals change, but habits remain.

Okay, this week was just plain hard. No way around it. The hard-hitting factors this week include multiple assignments to complete (most with overlapping due dates), managing a household (even with a lot of support), and the heat (not ideal for running outside). BUT, I got it done with no excuses – I completed my runs and continued resourcing from Tik Tok.  

So, here is a little update on my week of running: 

one of my running stats as a slow runnerMy running partner, Jordan, and I extended our standard distance to 5k. The first run of this distance was difficult, I’m not going to lie. However, I am very happy, proud, satisfied, etc., that this is now our standard because it was a goal of both of ours. We have also increased our minutes of run-to-walk ratio to 3:1. This is another big leap for us (well, for me). 

For the first time since starting this project, our schedules didn’t align for a run, so I did a solo run with our new distance and pace on Sunday. My strategy for completing the run as planned was to adhere to pace and to run 2.5k away from my house so I had no choice but to trek 2.5k back. One thing I did to keep myself accountable when running alone to keep the 3:1 ratio is the mentality that NOT adhering to it won’t make running with Jordan easier (this is why having the accountability of a running partner is great), and I won’t get or be better if I don’t push myself a little at a time. 



several days later 

Our Thursday run this week was a struggle in so many ways, but we did it, and for that and my running partner, I am happy. I just ran so slowly! Jordan was so kind in slowing herself down to keep pace with me. A few factors to my turtle pace today was the heat and time of day (11 am and 30 degrees), I was pushing a stroller, and I think it was just one of those ‘bad’ running days. Dr. Casey Guthmiller on Tik Tok made me feel a bit better about my slow pace, but it was a humbling contrast to my run on Sunday.  

what it feels like to organize all aspects of my life right now

I am finding with the end of the semester nearing and my ‘assignments to complete’ list a mile long, I am looking forward to my “homework” of running as a bit of an escape, feeling accomplished, and a pause in my constant overthinking and time management. One of the Tik Tok videos I saw while scrolling for resources this week, mentions exactly this as one of the benefits of running. This video felt a bit like a breakthrough moment in my learning project because I related so much to it, including the implicit notion that a hobby should be a space for clarity and escape. I thought, “if I feel the same way as the video about running, does that mean running has ACTUALLY become a hobby for me?! Did I succeed in this simple but time-consuming end-goal?! By George, I think I’ve got it!”  

Sweat satisfaction smile

One unintentional resource of motivation this week was from Instagram. An acquaintance I follow began running a few years ago and posts about their journey with running. I recently saw their post of their monthly running distance – they set a lofty distance goal and accomplished it. So, a thought started swirling around in my head; for the month of June, I am going to set a personal goal of 58k, which equates to approximately 13k/week. Will I do the same for July? Tough to say, but I will now be determined to accomplish it for this month. Like I have been saying, I am doing this for fun, so I am okay with setting little goals like making 5k our norm, June distance of 58k, and anything else I feel motivated by. I don’t mind if the goal changes, but the habit remains. I’ve even had the idea float around in my head to do a 10k for the QCM in the fall…but let’s just focus on June for now! 

I will leave you with another video/account that made me legit LOL as someone who uses an Apple watch to track my runs. Enjoy!




This is not a Twitter diss track

When I first started teaching, Twitter was all the rage. So, I created a professional account to get involved and post some of the stuff my classroom and school was up to. Even with similar features (likes, reposts, replies) to other social media at that time (Facebook and Instagram), I felt I didn’t really get any satisfaction from other people seeing/liking/retweeting my updates as I did from the other platforms. Fast forward to now where social media has exploded and in being reacquainted with Twitter, I find I am feeling the same way I felt all those years ago. I’m not sure I can pinpoint why I don’t feel connected to it; I think it comes from a few places/reasons:

  • perhaps it is that I am currently away from teaching
  • perhaps it is that I typically selectively participate in social media so with Twitter I feel the pressure of participation
  • perhaps I feel I miss out on too much if I am away from Twitter too long and I’m trying to minimize anxiety not perpetuate it
  • perhaps it is because I am connecting it to my early career and a ‘that’s not who I am anymore’ mentality
  • perhaps it feels like an overwhelming resource pool, etc.
  • perhaps I feel I don’t have the time to commit to it and I don’t ever do anything haphazardly  

I wish I had an answer.  

Now, this is not to say that I am not benefiting from reintegrating it into my social media rotation. I am connecting with teachers I never would have been aware of otherwise (and learning from them), I see how relevant it still is (I thought it was passe, but that is not the case), how it can create a sense of community in so many ways, etc. Another benefit to building a PLN on Twitter is that I have followed a few key accounts that I will check back on once I return to the classroom as professional development. One of these accounts is @DitchThatTxtbk . There are some practical and innovative resources this account shares that are helpful in the high school setting, which I find rare across social media (most things are usually geared toward elementary). For example, I love their post of students creating a podcast and can see a few different ways I could use this in different English classes. 

I have engaged in one Twitter chat so far and I will say that I had no idea what I was doing but did it anyway for the sake of learning and participating. I think I did okay for a noob; I gave my on-the-spot opinion to a couple questions (I didn’t answer them all) based on my experience in the classroom. One thing I know about Twitter chats is that you can participate after the fact, but I participated live (is that what you call it?) – I know and am confident in my thoughts and opinions, so I wanted the authentic experience of my first Twitter chat with #SaskEdChat. I say authentic because I understand Twitter to be candid thoughts and engagement rather than meticulously planned out and polished answers/content. I will participate in at least one more Twitter chat before this class is over because  

  1. Everything deserves a second try and  
  2. I really like the exercise of connecting with like-minded people and keeping my brain in the teaching game discussing the different explicit and implicit facets of education. 


To end, I think, based on my current reacquaintance experience with Twitter, I will continue to use it as a professional development source and resource for implementing new ideas in my classroom, but I don’t think I would have students use it for and in my future classes. This post is not a Twitter diss track and there are many aspects to this app that I find appealing. This is just my honest and personal expression of how I will/will not use it going forward.  

Eminem's Rap God versus MGK's diss track Rap Devil

Am I a content creator?

Here is a link to my vlog for my Jog Log update.

Links & commentary:


CapCut logo
free online editor

 CapCut – I have found this tool to be extremely user friendly and helpful in the process of documenting my learning project. Like I said in my video, creating content involves so many layers, and I have found that using CapCut is a very important layer to producing content. This app could be an option for putting together their summary of learning.

Warm up inspo – I understand how important stretching and warming up is, so I have been looking at some warm up videos this week. I used the linked video as a framework for the warmup in my video update. Like the ‘running for beginner’ videos, many of the warm up videos are similar. I liked the warm up from the linked video, but I will look into a few more and see if there are any warmups I’ll add to my routine.

stats screenshot from Nike Running Club appNike Run Club – I have really been liking the Nike Run Club app. I linked my Spotify account (or one could link their Apple music if using that for streaming), which is a nice feature. Once starting a run, it tracks all the stats you would ever need. In settings, you can set the voice cues (or turn off) depending on your preference. I currently have all cues turned off except for 1 minute cues so we know when to switch from running to walking as per our set run-to-walk ratio. This could be switched to kilometer cues of your choice as well. Once thing I will mention is that the time cues jump from 1 minute to 5 minutes (and then in 5 minute intervals after that), so I wish there was an option for one minute increments for beginners like me who are slowly working up my running time.

Iphone photo tip – I have watchedt a lot of great recording and photo tips from Tik Tok. I am far from a professional, obviously, but it has been fun to play around with different techniques and you can see a few examples in my video. How do people figure these neat tricks out?!


Jacquie’s Jog Log update…in action!


Really? You run for fun?

Here is the link to the vlog I create for this week’s learning project post.

The links (and minor info) I couldn’t tag in my video:
1. Tips for beginner runners
-I definitely keep the ‘go slower but go for longer’ in the back of my mind. I just want the habit to stick, so I’ll keep that one.
-I also have kept her breathing technique (2 breaths in, 1 breath out) as my #1 ‘just keep going’ hack and it works – it gives me something to focus on and definitely steadies my breathing.
-Like I said in my video, I have a running partner who is better than me at running and it makes a positive difference.
-got the shoes (also thanks to the other account I actually tagged in the video)
-physio isn’t necessary right now, but duly noted.
-this is the first ‘beginner tips’ video I watched and I actually found I learned and internalized the most from this video than all the other videos on this topic I watched

2. Running tips & humour combo
-She is my favourite. I’m not a marathon runner but I watch her videos anyways because she is funny, realistic, and relatable
-#1 thing I took from this video is NO COTTON and it has paid off (or at the very least it hasn’t been a hard lesson learned)
-maybe I should pick something to start counting and add that into my updates?

3. Shoe advice
-obviously shoes are a pretty important part of this whole thing, so I took his advice and my feet are happy (that’s all I know because I honestly wouldn’t know any better if they were making me a better runner or not)

4. Recording advice
-I just realized…I think I recorded my video on 1, not .5 …what a running recording fail. Next time…