Chantilosophy Issue 3

I asked the students what might have happened had Beauty’s parents not destroyed all of the spinning wheels in the land, but instead, taught Beauty to use them proficiently.

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Throughout this term, my Year 6 students are conducting a study on social media. Essentially, this theme came out of the need for my class to trial e-folios and my need for them to understand internet privacy and security.

So far, we’ve begun with blogs. All students must research different blogs, choose the one that suits them best and sign-up. Each week, for homeowrk, they will be required to write a blog post. Sometimes the topic will be their choice and sometimes it would be my choice.

All my students now have a blog and I have recieved a new insight about their personalities. Students have blogged everything from sheep to ice-cream. Some students  have used a pseudonym and some have included partial images of themselves. Some blogs are short (more like a tweet) and some are over 100 words. I give every post feedback.

In addition to the blog, my students are required to contribute to our class wiki and forum on Moodle each week. I’m not contributing to these at all but am enjoying the colourful banter.

As we attend a Christian school, my students are also conducting a project on a chosen Bible character. By the end of the term, each student will have a mock Facebook, Twitter and Myspace page (re-created in paint) which will give others and insight into their Bible character. This activity has allowed students to put their research into more than just and information report and in some ways demonstrates more depth.Mock Facebook

Yesterday, I explicitly taught about Internet safety and privacy. I showed a www.youtube.com clip about Sleeping Beauty. I asked the students what might have happened had Beauty’s parents not destroyed all of the spinning wheels in the land, but instead, taught Beauty to use them proficiently. Then I related this to the Internet. Powerful analogy.

Today students used www.glogster.com to create a poster advertising Internet Safety and Privacy to other students.

And in our class meeting today, the students made particular reference to their enjoyment of the imedia unit so far.

Love teaching.

Chantilosophy Issue 2

Love over hate wins everytime.

Last night I began my first volunteer shift at the Wayside Chapel. Within the first 10 minutes of starting, one of the “visitors” (AKA Homeless Person)  asked me if I had once been a “user”. When I responded with a ‘No’, the visitor looked surprised and said ‘I thought only ex-users volunteer here… why would you help here if you haven’t been an ex-user?”

In April, I spent much time in the city of Sydney. Walking through the busiest intersection one day, I noticed a filty, displaced man with a scrappy cardboard sign and a hat in front with a few coins inside. I stood and watched. Within the space of a minute, approximately 200 people walked past the man. There was not one acknowledgement. Not one look. Not one dollar.

At the point, I remembered that this man was a human being… displaced from our society for some reason… but a person, nonetheless. And I realised that… something had to be done… and I had to do it.

I started small and had a (very) short conversation with a displaced man on the street. I then began to research charities and organisations who let epople voluntarily work with the homeless. I stumbled upon the Wayside Chapel and fell in love with their slogan “Love Over Hate” and their ideals of service without hidden agendas. I signed up for  the Volunteer Information Night.

Whilst I waited for my opportuntiy to serve, I began to notice displaced people more frequently. Once, whilst sitting in McDonald’s having dinner, a displaced man walked in and stole some fries off a tray. I knew my heart had changed because I could no longer sit there and watch a hungry man go without food and not do anything. I offered to buy him a meal. He accepted. I smiled. He smiled. Life changed… mostly mine.

It is now July, the coldest month of the year, and I have begun serving at Wayside. My life has changed… and is changing. I’m letting it.

Love over hate wins everytime.