Thursday, December 18, 2008


I am working on a few ideas in order to fit my reality (my work at present) with that of TLITE and all its inner workings.

1. collaborate (with another teacher-attempt #2) Possibly English-or playwriting (grade 12)
2. observe (not unlike the lone ethnographer of the past but without that smug notion of 'objectivity')
3. online learning (homelearning vs. attending school)
4. finalize into a term video to share

The TheatreLink idea is fabulous but I would need to have a school support the program as it is intensive and would require a whole semester to complete. It would work well in a grade 12 Playwriting/Directing class. Now to have that class!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


...its so surreal to drive with no wiper in the rain....

On the way to the summer institute for TLITE, my wiper on the driver side, just stopped moving, crashing into the passenger side one...while I was on hwy #1 going east in a torrential downpour! I believe this was a sign of some sort...(like how come the driver's side one?) i waited at the side of the hwy...pondering what to do....go home? wait? keep on going? I was not even in Burnaby yet! I saw that the sky looked clearer in the east so I went for it! To my surprise, the further I went east, the less it rained and the less I had to squiggy my windscreen...It was sunny all day.

Friday, December 5, 2008


so here it is...I am classless....invisible but not a 'visible' minority.... trying to allow my journey to unfold-keep on task and try to come up with ways to work with what I've got...for the moment-which could change at any given moment.."always an adventure" (teacher on-call slogan) However, the perks are the freedom I have: no prepping, no marking, no report cards....but on the other hand: no security, no regular paycheque, no longer term connections with the students except those who I have connected with already.

But, I do like the fact that I can share my knowledge in my TOC-ing. I go to schools and share my stories, my real-life dramas (-the play that I currently am working on, YouTube videos I've come across through others in the program and on my own, ProD workshops which I have integrated into my teaching, especially Drama, English,Art and Technology classes.)

So the reality of my current situation, of being 'on-call', has validity, even though at times I have felt unappreciated and expendible.

I bring with me my life experiences combined with my empathy and respect and merely expect to be treated the same way in return. I get so much pleasure from just chatting to students, asking them about what music they like, movies they've seen recently, what sports they play and school subjects they like or don't. I also sometimes ask them why-why some classes are more fun or interesting than others? Most tell me that its the classes where they have freedom and independence and opportunities to show what they know...These classes always seem to look like this: students in groups, collaborating, brainstorming, sharing, organizing, laughing, arguing, debating, creating, moving, thinking.....I live to travel extensively here.

So this is where I'm at for now.... meanderings mixed in with the wobbling and occasional angst..I embrace the unknown and go with it!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I am in a unique position of being able to stand back a bit and not have that 'connection'that teachers have with students when they see them everyday....I knew this going into the program, that i might not have my own classroom or classes in which to do my field work and adjusted myself accordingly. Here i am, almost like an earlier ethnographer-seemingly objective- remaining the outsider looking in. But, I have to remind myself that I bring 'me' into everywhere I go...

(pic: 1922: Malinowski "The Ethnographer" at work in Omarakana)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


i am now in mid october....where has time gone? i lurk...i wonder....i vote...waunder....and i lurk some more...and think of Mervyn Peake and "...the vastest things of are those we may not learn...."


I sat and watched a few teachers performing...some so simple in their approach and I wonder if sometimes engagement occurs inherently when learners are involved in a process of collaboration both with their peers and teachers? In classes where there is more teacher led 'work', the listeners can sink into their own thoughts. Drama is inherently a participatory subject....we need to shift our approach to make all the school curriculum more like a drama class.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

wobbles and shifts

Reflecting on something I read in Will Richardson's Wiki...'.teaching' and shifting-learning with students-something I have always believed anyway.  I have had the opportunity to have my own classroom only 3 times since beginning the teaching journey...and what I have found out is that all along i have had this approach to education:  that I was a learner too...that I wanted students to have meaningful and engaging activities in class and outside of class,  and that I wanted what they were learning to be something they felt linked to in some way-that they had some input into what they were studying.

Connecting students globally, students getting a voice, real work for real purposes and learning with students....this shift in education is also a shift in the word 'teacher'....I remember in the Education programme we ended up using the slogan 'life-long learner' or 'teacher/learner' who will constantly shift and evolve with their students, but how much of this do most 'teachers actually do'? I find most classrooms still 'teacher directed' and that most students will still tell you that recess is their favourite subject.  

By really shifting our focuses-we are then more mentors or guides-in the daily running of a real learning environment, where students can shine, whatever their learning style.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

TLITE reflection

So its now the end of our second Summer Institute and I feel a bit sad. I love all the 'face to face' meetings we have, being the social person that I am. I always get energized from being with people 'in the flesh'. Also a bit ironic: I left my camera at the library of Terry Fox and drove out yesterday....thinking that maybe somebody would be there, but alas....parking lot empty and no one in sight! Empty! oh well....

So now begins the journey of our 'field studies' and how I might integrate digital technology with a course like Drama or Acting 11...I get ideas constantly and while I find this exciting, trying to get them all down so that I can choose one, is my main challenge: FOCUS!

Ideas: (as I can grab them from my inner workings)

1. I have asked a grade 12 student, who I had in Acting 11, to be the director of the Drama 9's play we did called 'Ghost Girl' last spring, for MET FEST '08...What I would love, is to have her keep a record of her journey-which would be part of her credit for Acting 12. (Directing) 

2. Creating Wikis for the drama class. This could be a place for students to journal (or Blogspot) rather than in paper form which I always found a bit difficult to get all students to do.  I like the convenience of Facebook...too...but ...well....................

3. Video-taping students acting work for them to use and peers-for self-assessment. Having rear projection for our Met Fest performance...and a soundscape would be nice.

4. Possibly broadcasting improv. skits with other students in other provinces acting classes. Have to research this further. But I love the sharing/penpal options available now for students globally.