Facing Our Fears


For months, I have followed and been inspired by educators on Twitter and in the blogging world. Teachers such as @gallit_z @hughtheteacher and @mrsdkrebs have thankfully provided me with an avenue to explore teaching and learning through collaboration, inquiry, and innovation. I have spent countless hours devouring educational blogs and articles only to feel as though I have nothing significant or original to contribute to the conversation. However, since attending the Digital Learner series offered by #sd36learn at the end of September, I have found a new source of inspiration.  Through time, I have  found the courage to face my fears and to share my learning experiences with others.

Dean Shareski (@shareski) shared with us the importance of viewing and representing in today’s society, two areas of language learning that are often undervalued. He explained that there are two types of photos: those taken by archivists and those taken by photographers.  Both capture a moment in time, but only one truly tells a story, implies a before and after. The sheer genius of adding only six words to one of these photos allows for incredible stories and powerful messages.

As a Late French Immersion teacher, my first thought was “Yes, my kids can do this!” At this point in the year, my students often lack the vocabulary necessary to fully transform their thoughts into words.  Six word stories were the answer!  Using the Layout app, these stories have now become a weekly tradition, one that we have done in both French and English, individually, in groups, and with kindergarten buddies.  It has allowed my students to develop a sense of artistic freedom and to have fun playing with language.

I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be inspired each and every day through what I do; through storytelling in all its creative forms, my students are beginning to feel the same way.  Sometimes it is the simplest ideas that turn out to be the most inspiring!

Fear holds us back all too often yet those things that frighten us are usually the ones most worth doing. Starting this blog is now one of many fears that I can check off my list!

What have you tried lately that frightens you?  How did it work out?


3 responses to “Facing Our Fears

  1. Congratulations on your first blog post! You’ve got a lovely, calming layout, and I look forward to visiting you again in the future.

    I’m teaching immersion for the first time this year – which was something I feared, having taught core French (just one period a day) for a number of years. I’m really enjoying it! A big factor is that I have given myself permission to not be perfect. I am always striving to learn and improve, so that’s a little tough for me, but I had to look at my adventure as an opportunity to grow, and I do not regret my decision.

    Tammy Aiello

    • Thanks for sharing, Tammy, and congratulations on accepting the challenge of French Immersion! I am also working on giving myself permission to not be perfect. It is thanks to my perfectionist tendencies that I have put off blogging for so long! I think that when we learn to let go of certain things in our classrooms, we allow our students the freedom and the pleasure of engaging with their learning in a meaningful way. It also tends to teach us a lot about ourselves!

  2. Beverley,
    Thanks for starting this blog and sharing your learning. I like to look at my blog that way too. If it’s a place to share my learning, I don’t have to take it personally when the traffic is light. 🙂 I always benefit personally from getting my words, thoughts, and learning experiences down. I’m glad sometimes my words help others too.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your ideas about genius hour. I used some of them in my Genius Hour Presentation here.

    I love your six-word stories. Are you publishing them on Flickr or some other site? I don’t speak any French, but I think this story is something about being gone so quickly. I don’t quite get it, though. It would be neat if your students published them online with a translation.

    Thanks again for sharing!

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