All About Me.

All About Me.

I almost never fill out the “All About Me” sections on profiles. If you were to look me up on Twitter or Facebook you would see that I really haven’t written much actually about me. I guess it is because every time I try to write about myself I feel stuck. On one hand, I’m so average it feels like there is nothing to say worthy of writing down and yet somehow there also seems like there is way too much to say. How could I possibly express why I think what I think and believe what I believe if my reader doesn’t know all about my history? In the end I usually decide to write very little or nothing at all and go on to living my life instead of commenting on it.

This whole thing hasn’t been much of an issue before. I mean, not having your life story on Facebook is hardly an important problem so it was easy to avoid. Easy to avoid until I got this bright idea to start a personal teacher blog. See as I was thinking about the first few days of school I thought up this whole activity around getting my students to write a draft for a blog all about them. This seemed like a great idea, it’s a real thing because bloggers often write a page about themselves AND it was a great way to get to know them. Except I forgot that I would need to do one too. So, here it goes. After some planning I think I can tell you a bit about myself and possibly be somewhat interesting at the same time.

As you might be able to tell from my first two paragraphs I’m a bit of a thinker. I’ve always been like this. It can be a great thing but it can also be an awful thing. I have lots of deep interests. I am passionate about social justice, have lots of opinions and believe that we all have a duty to make the world a better place than what we came into. I love to learn about the human brain and what makes each person unique. I like to be aware of youth culture and current events. I spend a lot of time thinking about the world’s issues and sometimes it can make me feel overwhelmed but mostly it fills me with a sense of purpose. I need to educate my students and children so they can find a way to make it better.

It is my firm belief that education is the key to helping to solve many of the world’s problems and my interest in youth and youth culture that brought me to teaching. My mother tells stories of me playing school and always being the teacher and I do remember frequently taking on teaching roles as I grew up. I changed my mind a few times on the way to my current role as a teacher but I always came back to it and I think it is likely one of most perfect jobs for me.

Another area of my life I care passionately about is my family. I have a young family, my daughter just went into Grade 1 this year and my son is 2 and a half. I always wanted a strong marriage and family. Its very hard work and somedays it can be a lot to juggle with a demanding job like teaching but it is very fulfilling. I am very grateful I live here in Canada where I can have this privileged life. I try really hard to find a good balance between work and home but I still find it hard.

I guess my young family and career are big reasons why I don’t currently have too many hobbies. I use a lot of technology and find it interesting so I try to keep aware of new advances but since I also like the outdoors and try to get my family out and hiking or spending time at my camp when we can. Before we had our children, I was learning to skydive. It was great fun and I’m glad I tried it. Perhaps someday I will do it again but I think I would also like to get my pilot licence, or maybe learn to rock climb, or maybe I could learn to play the bass guitar or drums! There are so many things out there that seem like they would be fun to explore!

And so, that is a start to me. I can think of much more to talk about but I’m sure there will be lots of time to touch on that in future posts! Feel free to ask more about anything I talked about or maybe something I didn’t in the comments below!

Ms. K. Baker

Welcome!!!

Welcome!!!

Dear: New Students

Hello! It is the night before the first day of school and I am sitting in my living room, a little excited and a little nervous as I think about tomorrow and the up coming year. I have so many questions. What will you, my new students, be like? Will I do a good job guiding you through your learning over this year. Will I be able to help you think about the world and help  you ask critical questions about the ideas we will explore? The new year is a time of possibilities and risks, opportunities and challenges. The whole year is ahead of us and tomorrow we will take the first step together.

Each year I try to be a better teacher than I was the one before. If you have visited room 19 before you may have noticed that I have changed it around a bit. You are a big class and I wanted to make sure we were able to move around the room and use the space in the best ways possible. Our room has a library where I keep books, a couch, three tables a computer and a desk area. These are all open to you at the appropriate times. Please respect the space by keeping it neat, picking up after yourself and being sure not to write on or deface any of the tables, books or desks. Each year I am always frustrated by the amount of students that leave garbage around the classroom or who don’t put back books borrowed from the library. It’s everyone’s space, don’t we want to work in a clean, organized area?

This year I have many great plans. Each year I run a Learning Skills Economy in room called Baker Bucks. If you’ve asked former students you may have heard of it. Soon I will give out your Baker Bucks and explain how they are used and how you may gain or lose them. This year I am exploring another interesting thing called Class Craft. I don’t yet know a lot about it but am learning and will soon introduce you to it. It is a video game we play as we learn together. Also this year I hope explore using more movement in my lessons to help those of you who like to use your body when you use your mind.

Also new this year will be a bigger emphasis on blogging. I will be using this blog to write personal thoughts and feelings on ideas we are exploring together in class. Over the next few weeks I will help you set up your own blog where you too can write about your understandings and questions. Blogging is an interesting way of reflecting and it is through reflection that we think deeply about concepts. This blog is my personal writings and reflections, don’t confuse this with the room 19 blog where I may post classroom materials, video and other media through out the year. Listen carefully in class to be sure you visit the correct blog.

Blogging is one of many things we will do on a computer or tablet this year. If you have a computer at home it will be useful this year and if you do not, be sure to be in close contact with me so that I can help make sure you are getting time outside of class to complete and submit assignments. I believe a firm understanding of new technology and its applications is very important to your future. I will make sure you know your school email address and we will use several programs regularly in our learning.

One very nice thing about technology is that it allows you to get a hold of me outside of the classroom. The following are two ways you might be able to get a hold of me many nights after school. (One note, I am often not available to answer until close to 9pm as I have small children)

Email: ksbaker@hwsb.on.ca

Twitter: @Ms_K_Baker

Rm 19 Blog (although, I don’t check this unless I’ve got something specific up): http://rm-19.commons.hwdsb.on.ca

I’m sure I have so much more to tell you about the year and the kinds of things we will do together. I am very excited to begin this journey with you. I hope that you are also excited. Keep checking in on this blog and feel free to ask questions or discuss ideas in the comments section below! See you soon!

Ms. K. Baker