The Pinterest Sign Lanuage Challenge

Over the course of the semester, my Pinterest had been filling up quickly with ASL related posts showing up on my feed. I was usually accustomed to the regular vegan recipe along with exercises for target areas, so I was getting slightly annoyed by all this extra ASL stuff showing up in my feed. This week I decided to embrace it. I incorporated my Pinterest and ASL and made a challenge for myself!

Rules:

  • I had to learn whatever popped up first in my feed
  • I didn’t get to look ahead of time
  • I learned to motions on the spot in front of a live recording that would not be edited
  • Film using Screencastify
  • Have fun

 

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This challenge allowed me to learn stuff that would not normally sit within a weekly category, as well as signs that I would not normally be learning outside of this video. This also allowed me to break from my boring routine and try learning ASL a different way.

As mentioned above I used Screencastify, which is an amazing chrome extension that allows you to film on your laptop with both you and your screen in the same picture. Check out my video below!

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Panel of Teachers

This week in ECS 100 I had the privilege of listening to a panel of six teachers at various points in their teaching careers. They answered questions regarding their journey as a student, choosing their ultimate careers as teachers, their passion for education, and much more. The experience was really eye-opening and I hope I get another chance to hear encouragement and stories like theirs.

As someone who is in the early stages of learning sign language, I found the young panel member who was convocating in the spring to be the most interesting. She took the initiative to learn sign language, and in a conversation later with her I was able to learn some tips and tricks associated with learning the unique language and the practicalities of learning it.

I was also able to learn about each panel members’ mistakes. I find that mistakes are best when they are learned from, and admitting faults to a room of judgemental eighteen-year-olds takes a lot of guts.

Lastly, I was able to learn about the joys that come with teaching. Each teacher spoke about specific experiences they’ve had in their careers that inspired them to keep going. To hear each person talk so passionately about teaching was amazing. Sometimes I find myself over-estimating the amount of joy and reward that one gets from teaching, but listening to the panel reassured me that the career would be more than meeting my expectations.

Like all students, I have questions. Some can be answered simply, while others are more complex and can’t be answered in a single, hour-long session with the panel. My first question is about the job market. When applying to education I received a lot of discouragement because it would just be impossible to get a job afterward. How true is that statement? Will I find myself unemployed with an education degree in four years?

My next question is about getting involved in schools. What is the best approach for a student to take if they seriously want to stand out from their peers? And then how do you stay involved after and stay part of your school community?

Lastly, I’m puzzled over the push from faculty members to take whatever job I can get. I don’t understand how taking a position that could make me regret becoming a teacher would help my career in the long run?

Half-Day Placement

Throughout my second semester as a pre-service teacher, I spent half a day, each week, in an elementary school classroom. This was my first opportunity to experience life in a classroom in the role of a teacher. I learned a lot about myself in this placement because it allowed me to observe the classroom.

You can read about each of my times spent at Albert Community School here.

#TreatyEdCamp

I attended #TreatyEdCamp at the University of Regina in October of 2017. This was an event designed to aid teachers and student-teachers in developing their knowledge about Indigenous people and history. I was able to learn how to incorporate treaty education in the classroom in all subjects and grade levels.

The Mighty School Principal

Thinking back to elementary and high school, we all had principles throughout our academic careers. Whether they were a big part of our school life or a small part, their presence seemed to control the very atmosphere of the school. This week, I was able to learn a lot more about what being a principal actually means, and what that means for me transitioning from a student to a teacher.

To be an effective principal means more than just enforcing rules. A principal must establish the mission, vision, and culture of the school through each of their words and actions. To me, this sounds difficult since you are your words and actions. Essentially you must become one with your school.

Principals are also responsible for funding. Deciding where the money for your school is going to go is tough. Obviously, you want to give every club, sports team, and classroom money to see them thrive and reach their potential. With school budgets shrinking and shrinking principals have to make the tough decisions. Do you give money for the SRC to hold a pep-rally or buy the volleyball team new jerseys and equipment?

The role of a principal is always changing. Principals are now supposed to be approachable as well as enforcing rules. Principals must look after the well-being of students, staff, and community. I learned that principals must act as the mediator between school community members and students and staff within the school. This adds even more responsibility that lies outside of the principal’s jurisdiction.

I was able to connect with this weeks lecture on principals in unique ways. Throughout high school and elementary school, I served on my school’s Student Representative Council. We planned each of the school-wide events such as dances and pep-rallies, and I experienced first hand the heartbreaking news of a small budget. This news would often result in events being cut and resources dwindling.

Another connection I made was having all types of principals throughout my life. I’ve had easily approachable principals, ones that didn’t leave their office, others got involved in everything around the school. I’m very lucky that I’ve had such a diverse set of principals in my life because the variety has helped me pick out good quality and bad qualities of a principal.

My one question is to do with the changing role of the principal. How exactly has the role principals have in schools changed throughout the years?

Winter Weather – Let’s Eat Together

This week I set out to learn how to sign some basic food and weather words. Little did I know I would learn much more than that in exploring ASL resources on the internet.

 

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To learn food I used an app called SignSchool. This free app provides dozens of different categories to learn from. Categories range from clothing to deaf culture. I can’t wait to explore the more abstract areas on this app as it will provide me with a better understanding of the language and the people who speak it. It also features a sign of the day, which encourages me to learn even on busy days when I will not have time to sit down an learn a dozen new signs in a row.

In order to learn signs for ‘weather’ I came across a free website called Dummies.com. It is an online extension of the famous book series “Blank for Dummies” which teaches anyone basically anything. In this case, this dummy was learning about the weather. Not only did a learn simple vocabulary, but the online article also provided sample sentences that could be used for weather vocabulary such as “It’s sunny outside”.

This was when I learned ASL does not follow English syntax. ASL uses fewer words and arranges words differently in a sentence.

 

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Aside from the epic mind boggle this week I managed to create this video:

Stay tuned for next week because I will be trying something a little different… possibly a challenge… possibly could go viral… Only time will tell.

Tickled Pink to be Learning Sign Language

I’m officially halfway through my ASL journey! WOOHOO! With that being said, I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I feel like my knowledge of this language is growing larger by the day. I can not wait for the next five weeks of this challenge to come and I will try my best to absorb all the sign language that I can in such a short amount of time.

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This week I turned to YouTube to learn emotions and colours. I found the cutest video of a little girl on the channel Smart Hands. She sings about the colours in Sign Language in such a memorable way that definitely helped me in remembering each colour. I also used a channel that I have been using for most of my learning called ASL THAT. Their straightforward tutorials allow for maximum learning in a short amount of time.

In order to learn emotions, I turned to YouTube channel FUNTASTIC TV – Kids Songs and Nursery Rhymes. As childish as the video Feelings Sign Review – American Sign Language was it was very helpful. The instructions were clear and the actions were much more animated and exciting to imitate.

Briefly, I experienced a moment of doubt in my signing. Upon reflecting, I realized I was really only learning from a singular source – YouTube. I felt that I was not utilizing the amazing resources at hand to learn ASL. It was in this mopey time that I found an amazing video that really inspired me to keep going, while also giving me ideas on how to learn ASL from different platforms and resources. Thank you to thedailysign, specifically her video How I’m Learning Sign Language for inspiring me to keep going on this journey and never giving up.

Thank you for all of the people out there providing resources that allow a newbie like me to learn ASL.