Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

For those readers who are not in the COETAIL course, I invite you to get involved with our reading this week! Here is the QR code and link to our community Flipgrid. Our reading this week is around the Harro’s Cycle of Socialization. We ask that you read the chapter, and share with us one word, one phrase, and one sentence that impact you, or that you found significant. Please add yours and feel free to listen to others!

QR Code to Flipgrid and This Weeks Reading!

I have found Flipgrid to be quite a useful tool that I pass on to others at any opportunity. It is such a versatile option that can be used with students or fellow educators. The activity that we engaged in this week was new for me, but I really liked the way it allowed us to consolidate what we read and convey that through a video response. But, what I enjoyed even more was the opportunity to hear how others interpreted the reading and consolidated their learning.  All of us interpreted the reading in such similar, yet different ways. This is the beauty of a video tool like Flipgrid, as it allows us to quickly hear so many different voices, and respond to them. Beyond the walls of our classrooms and schools, Flipgrid can be a great tool for connecting with other classrooms and colleagues around the world. This can greatly enhance the real world application of Flipgrid. There are two resources that I wish to share. The first comes from Sean Fahey, Karly Moura & Jennifer Saarinen, called The Educators Guide to Flipgrid. This is the latest edition and a great resource for getting started. And this great resource from Ditch that Textbook on 15 ways to use Flipgrid in your class. It has some solid suggestions you might not have considered for using this tool.

Photo by Jordan McDonald on Unsplash

I now want to switch gears from Flipgrid to our reading this week. As I mentioned briefly in my Flipgrid video, my practice has always been impacted by thinking of those who are oppressed. I had my first racist experience when I was in grade 3 and since that time I have always been aware of my differences. Through every oppressive experience that I have had, it has strengthened my resolve to make the world a better place. As I started in education, these experiences helped to shape how I looked at my students, curriculum, access to resources, the teaching and administrative body of the school, or school board, and how the community impacts all of this and vice versa. In my first teaching role, I worked with at risk students, and I quickly drew connections with the socio-economic situation of my students and their placement in my program. For me it was an awakening regarding their access to resources due to no fault of their own. This consciousness has always been a part of my approach. 

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

I have been so blessed in my career with opportunity.  With every opportunity that I have had, I always take an equity approach. How are we working with marginalized groups, whether it be by class, race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or some other form of oppression. Where are the opportunities to inform and teach our students that inequities exist, and where are the opportunities to teach them how to use their privilege to help level the playing field. As educators we are in such a special situation to not only teach curriculum, but teach what makes character, and to me, this is just as important, if not more important than the curriculum, because we need more kind and caring people in the world.

7 thoughts on “Hearing All Voices

  1. Hey Ryan,
    Thanks so much for sharing part of your experience with oppression and racism so freely in an effort to extend the conversation and learning. I especially love how you have turned negative experiences into a catalyst for positive change.
    “Through every oppressive experience that I have had, it has strengthened my resolve to make the world a better place.”
    What a beautiful sentiment and courageous objective!
    One final connection for me was the fact that you are living in one of the most diverse places I’ve ever been, Brazil! I lived and worked in Rio (EARJ) and was blown away by the diversity I found there. Every shape, size, color, body type and style seemed to be celebrated by the culture and I never felt out of place like I often do in Asia. That’s not to say that there aren’t active systems of oppression there because that is certainly false, but I was curious about your experience in Curitiba and whether you run into similar experiences. Thanks again for the thoughtful post and I look forward to continuing the conversation over time.


    1. Hi Reyna, I am actually responding to you from Rio, as I am on vacation here with my family. It definitely is a diverse city with lots of culture! Being a big city in Brazil, it is definitely different than Curitiba. Curitiba is a smaller city with deep European roots, You don’t immediately see the diversity like you do in Sao Paolo or Rio. It does not mean that it is not there, but you have to actively look for it more.


  2. Thanks for this post, I really like the way you invited the rest of the world to join the conversation. I don’t really think of my blog as being viewed by people outside of COETAIL but is nice to think that maybe it is, and that more perspectives about a topic can always lead to a larger understanding. I hope others share their ideas.
    I connected to your thoughts on this week’s activity when you mentioned the value of hearing other’s viewpoints or interpretation about an idea. I think that this once again brings in the importance of hearing perspectives. I am excited to start planning on using this tool in my class and am now kicking myself for not starting earlier. I can see it as a great way to unpack a central idea to hear how others interpret it, and what questions they have. This could then be brought back to the class to be viewed, commented on further, or even linked into a learning journal and discussed further with parents. I really appreciate the resources and will be checking them out as soon as this final project is finsihed.
    I appreciate your personal connections to the reading for the week and how you have used this to facilitate change. I also struggle with some of the questions you raise in your final paragraph. Conecting to programs within the school that may exist already can offer a variety of opportunities to work with marginalized groups and to teach our students about the responsibilitiies that come with priviledge. I recently visited a school that heavily plans using the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By connecting these goals to our curriculum there are a lot of opportunities to raise awareness and promote action by not just thinking about the oceans and animals but to dig further into gender inequality, poverty and race. Helping students to recognize where they see examples of the goals can create fantasitc opportunites for service initiatives and groups, and then action.


    1. Flynn, we just started using the UN SDGs to drive our Social Science curriculum from ES though to HS. They really can be a powerful tool for conversations and authentic problem solving by our students. We are just scratching the surface, as we have just started, but I see a great deal of potential in using them. We are also trying to make our service projects more authentic. I would love to hear from any examples that you have, or are currently planning, which are tied to the SDGs.


  3. I also enjoyed the way that we could hear others interpret the reading and you were spot on about the beauty of Flipgrid. It allows us to quickly hear so many different voices and respond to them. There are many voices that are not heard in the cycle of socialization and this is a great tool to make it more equitable. Thank you so much for Educator’s Guide to Flipgrid and Ditch that Textbook link! It was exactly what I needed. I didn’t realize you could do so many things with Flipgrid as this is my first time using it. I can’t wait to share the Educator’s Guide at my next Tech Tuesdays with my teachers (although after all of the past few weeks looking at design, the layout of the pdf was making my head spin). What I really liked about the Ditch that Textbook was the fact that the list was very concrete. I find that teachers really need specific ways they can use something new before they are able to generalize it and use it in novel or new ways.

    Like you, I had my first racist experience as a young child and like you, it has impacted me in more ways than I can explain because it is in everything that I do – I guess it’s a consciousness in me too. I worked in NYC and I always tried harder to get the students who were in the same socioeconomic background as much of a leg up as I could because I knew their background from my own background. I knew not to judge too harshly if kids were parents weren’t there to read to their children because they were too busy trying to make ends meet and having multiple jobs. When my colleagues would complain about these parents, I always spoke up and defended a life that was different than their own. I couldn’t agree more with your ending statement – we need more kind and caring people in the world. Even to those who may be different than us. The talk show host, Ellen just posted a video recently asking people to do just that. She was photographed sitting next to George Bush and people couldn’t believe it. She stated that even though they have different beliefs, they were friends and that we should be kind to everyone.


    1. Hi Boramy, thanks for such an honest and heartfelt post. I really like what you said about parents trying to do better for their kids. When we don’t come from such backgrounds, it is easy for us to dismiss it as inferior to our way of life. Not until we have a chance to interact with these parents and understand their perspective, do we understand the choices they make. I too saw the Ellen post, and I know she heard both positive and negative feedback. What I can say, is that at least she is trying to bridge the gap in a country so divided and carry the conversation forward in a positive way.


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