Close Community

I am now amazed at the fact how all sorts of people can connect with one another. Yes, this is a realization that I think I’ve made a while ago but this recent incident made this concrete.

An educator blogger named Shane from New York mentioned me in a post and linked my “About” page to it. See the article here. He talked about me and what I taught in my internship and mentioned my interest in technology in the classroom. It’s so neat to have my blog mentioned in another person’s — and for an amazing reason! Reading his post made me realize that through technology and blogging, we are closer than we think to others around the world. We can share ideas and thoughts.

I thought it would be nice to mention him in a post, too. And he expanded my professional community by mentioning two other unique edubloggers in his post! Thanks, Shane!

This has been another thought process from Helyn.

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Just…write.

This past Friday, I found out some stressful information in my personal life. So after discussing with cousin about it and she asked me over and over, “How do you feel, Helyn? What’s going on in your mind?”

I kept repeating, “I don’t know.”

She finally went and grabbed a few pieces of paper from the printer and handed them to me. She produced a pen moments later. I stared at them, unsure of what to write.

She encouraged me, “You’re a writer, Helyn. I know you can write.”

Finally I gripped the pen and the words began to flow. I wrote down my feelings about the situation and the questions I have. The words poured onto the page and I just let my mind take over.

So if you’re ever feeling stressed or worried or afraid about anything in your life, grab a piece of paper, a napkin, a box, anything and just write.

Write until your hand cramps and your brain turns to mush.

Padlet in the Classroom

I was introduced to a bunch of useful teaching tools that use technology. I was immediately drawn to the first one – padlet.com — where you have a wall and can post anything on there. Whoever has the link can post on there, too.

This would work great in any classroom because it would give students all students a chance to contribute to a class discussion. You could easily use it for brainstorming. For an English classroom setting you could brainstorm story ideas in a fun and unique way. For my first wall, I decided to do a “bucket list” style. Anyone could contribute their ideas on what would make a fulfilling life for them. I added a few ideas and I believe I’ll ask some of my friends to contribute their ideas. You can view and contribute to my wall here. Below I’ve posted a screenshot of what my wall looks like!

BucketWallStarting off a unit in English would be easy, too. You could have students brainstorm at the beginning of a new novel about what it was like to live in the 1930s (if you were doing Of Mice and Men). It would also be a neat to do as an ice breaker at the beginning of the school year.

I will definitely use Padlet when I am in my own classroom. Even if students are doing their own independent research project, it would be a fun way to display the information they find on the subject. It’s an awesome program!

Slam Poetry

On Friday I was asked if I wanted to participate in another slam poetry event put on by the Education Faculty. The due date is extended until tomorrow. However, I have no idea what to write about. My one friend gave me different, professional slam poets to check out. This one really hit home:

This one is titled “Pretty”. 

And, as we’re all told, women are painted a certain way in the media and society. We’re told to look a certain way and act a certain way. We’re told to fit in this certain mold and come out looking the same even though we can’t reach photoshop perfection. 

On the other side, though, men are painted a certain way, too. They’re told they have to be strong and tall and handsome. In the Disney movies, the princesses fall for the handsome and rich princes who protect the fair ladies which gives everyone false expectations. Men expect women  to look like photoshopped fakes and women expect men to look like Prince Charming. 

Perhaps this is just a rant about the media and what it’s done or maybe it’s the beginning of a slam poetry idea.