Saturday, July 21, 2012

Anti Bullying Week

CBC Connect with Mark Kelley
Pink T-Shirt Day
Feb 29th 2012
My interview with Mark Kelley, Feb 29 2012.

 A Moment of Truth.
A Moment of Vulnerability.
A Moment of Risk.
A Moment of Courage and Strength.
A Moment of Doubt.
The Moment of Change.
This could have been quite possibly one of the hardest weeks (emotionally) I experienced this year, but at the same time it was one of the most powerful, enlightening, courageous, and moving weeks I have ever experienced so far in my teaching career.
Early in the fall I had approached my principal about wanting to host a Pink T-shirt day in our school. To my surprise he had already been planning to have an anti-bullying committee organized and run by teachers and support staff. This committee was made up of staff and teachers where we would collaborate and brain storm ideas in making our juniour high and high school a safer place to attend.
My effort in running Pink T-shirt day stemmed from a university paper I had to write for one of my classes. During my research I stumbled upon the Pink T-shirt day website where I became very enlightened and eager to run such a program in my future school. 
However, I never thought for a second that my efforts and that of principals would be recognized world-wide. When Mr. K announced that Mark Kelley with CBC Connect would be coming to our school I knew right then that there was no escaping the cameras for me. I knew that Mr. Kelley would be interested in speaking with me for two reasons; first was for the fact that I had previous experience with being bullied and second was because of my involvement with bringing Pink T-shirt day to our school. Although very anxious about this experience I am very glad I took part.
I truly believe that this whole experience has really changed the dynamics of our school. It has certainly changed the way my students perceive and treat me in the classroom. I hope that students become more self-aware of their actions and the consequences they have on others after seeing their fellow peers and teachers speak out about bullying. I will forever cherish this experience and I thank Mr. Kelley and his crew for doing their part in stopping BULLYING in schools.  For, UNITED WE LIVE.
The Bully Booth
At the beginning of the week before I had my interview with Mark Kelley I took the oppurtunity to speak in the BULLY BOOTH. The booth was set up in the front foyer for the whole week. At the beginning students were apprehensive in speaking in the booth, but by the end of the week it became a very popular spot in the school. I am very glad that I and many others took the oppurtunity to speak up about bullying. It's about time for change to occur.   

The moment these students shocked the nation.
Mark Kelley had previously asked who had been bullied before as they raised their hands, later he asked who here has been the bully, and almost all the same students had raised their hands. I think this was the moment our students changed for the better. As one student described it’s like getting your power back, feeling empowered, but for us it is now in a different context.
There was one student that I was so impressed at how well-spoken she was speaking up about the importance Pink T-shirt day is.
“I think it’s a great way to get students to open their hearts and their eyes as well. We talk about bullying all of the time , but this is a time to really think and reflect on it, open up our own story about it and really think that this has a big impact on us whether we know it or not.” Princessessa

The experiences and moments shared this week will forever be in our hearts. For United We Live.

"I say VOICES, you say SHHHHH!"

This saying quite possibly saved my career. As you must know, the art room can be quite chaotic with regards to the noise level and students being deeply involved in their work. I have always known that I needed to find a really good and unique tactic in getting my students attention when I need to deliver instruction or announce clean up time and closure. This bay far has been the best one I have found yet. At first the older students were apprehensive to my use of such a tactic, but I knew in my gut that it would work and be very successful in getting students attention. I just needed to stick with it and to never give up. All it took was persistance and constancy. I took it serious so they took it serious. I haven’t looked back; it has been great! It works so well in my classroom. Whenever I need their attention I am often able to get quietness as soon as I say the work ‘voices’. I make sure to never over use its use within one class period because if I did the reaction and attention from students wouldn’t be as well received and or be as effective as it is. 

Messenger Board

I set up the messenger board at the beginning of the year for students to leave their names in cases where I was unable to get to them during class time to help them with their art work. Having students’ names on the board is a great indication to me as to who needs my assistance. This way I am able to address their needs at the beginning of the following class. Students didn’t always remember to do this, but I hope to make this a habit for years to come. Generally there should be no more than two students per class, as I feel that I do a pretty good job at circulating the classroom to address questions etc. It was challenging finding a name that would meaningful and catchy. I took the word most commonly used in social media. I knew that my students would be familar with this term and because of that they might be more likely to use it. It is important that my students know that their learning and success is important to me. Therefore I want to ensure that each class I am able to assist them in any way I can, effectively and efficiently.   

A Year in Perspective

I created this collage for my 2011-2012 growth portfolio to display images of my year in perspective. Some of the images you see here are popular art projects ranging from grade 9 to 11, anti bullying week with Mark Kelley, my involvment with the set design for our high school musical, and the wordle images were found on the internet. I wanted to display my most memorable moments, works, and events of the year as I am very proud of my accomplishments and wanted to display them in a design like manner.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Welcome Note!

Caricature Created by Chelsey Eaton
It's about time! I have been meaning to set this Blog up for a long time now. I guess this is what Summer Holidays are for. ;) Welcome to Phileonia Artonian. You may ask, how on earth did I come up with the name?!?!?! Well, as a first year teacher I've tried to spice things up and keep things interesting. Throughout my blog you will discover some of the interesting titles I've given things around my classroom. Actually, the name stemmed from an Ethics Utopian project I did with my ERC grade 10 students this year. We had created a new world on the planet of Phileonia Wrightonian, named after our school ofcourse, Philemon Wright High School. I thought it would be an interesting name for this blog and especially apealing to my students. At this age it is so important and crucial to try and make things COOL! I look forward to adding photos of projects I've done this year and I will do my best to note where I got the ideas from. I wouldn't say I'm the greatest at coming up with my own ideas. Pretty much all my ideas come from lessons from books or other sites and blogs. If you're interested in how I taught a lesson please don't hesitate to ask. I look forward to this new and exciting adventure using blogspot. Thank you for your interest. Enjoy!