The ugly floor


The other day I was walking through the College West building on campus and I took a picture of the floor:




Now, why, you may ask, did I take a picture of the floor? I guess it’s because the floor reminds me of when I first started at the U of R almost twenty-one years ago. So much has changed on campus since then, multiple buildings and residences have been built and the student population seems to have exploded. However, some things, like the floor, have not changed and serve to remind me of my journey as a student. When I started as an education student twenty years ago I could not have anticipated the changes that would take place in education and teaching throughout my career. I envisioned teaching the same way that I had been taught and in my head even pictured teaching at my high school. Thankfully, that is not exactly what happened and my journey as a teacher has been an interesting and sometimes bumpy one to get to the job I love today as a learning resource teacher.

I feel like I am starting with a lower baseline of knowledge than so many of the other students in my EC & I 831 class which is the class that this blog is for. Some of that stems from my age compared to the majority of my peers. We did not have computers in classrooms when I went to school unless it was chosen as an elective in high school (I was way too scared of computers to choose it as an elective!) That’s not to say that people my age and older cannot be technology experts, many are!

An incident that I remember clearly is writing journals in grade 7. I wrote a completely fictional story about a girl whose dad passed away from a heart attack. My audience was the teacher- one person. The only bad part of my story was that the teacher did not realize that the story was fiction and was shocked when my actual dad who was alive and well walked in for parent teacher interviews.

“..studies have found that the effort of communicating to someone else forces you to pay more attention and learn more” is a quote from Clive Thompson’s Why Even the Worst Bloggers are Making Us Smarter article. As a student I loved to write, I am quite introverted, but I have always loved to write since I have time to clarify thoughts that I might be too shy to express otherwise. Imagine if I had been able to write to an audience as a grade seven student? I think that I would have loved the opportunity and been able to run with the freedom.  

Going back to the floor at College West: even though the physical buildings that we teach in may not have changed, the way that we teach must be evolved from what was happening 5, 10, or 15 years ago or even last year. We need to develop digital citizens who have skills that are much different than the ones that we graduated with. It’s an exciting time to have the privilege of being a teacher!


5 thoughts on “The ugly floor

  1. Wow this is a really interesting perspective. Computers were not used very much when I was in high school either (and I graduated in 2008). It may seem intimidating coming into a class when people are tech-savvy but I also think it’s great to hear from people who do not have as much experience with it.

    I think we often assume that students know how to use technology (I know I make this mistake a lot when teaching since I do things without thinking). You are in a position to learn alongside your students, explaining every step of the way and learning from their discoveries. I think that’s really valuable, because you probably won’t always make the assumption your students know technology. Plus it will be cool for your students to see your growth with technology throughout the year; you can become digital citizens together. Gone are the days of only using transmission model of teaching and now we can learn from each other.

    Looking forward to seeing how everything goes!


  2. Andrea,

    Your blog posts are really interesting to me today. Isn’t it great how the simplest things never change, even when they aren’t the nicest thing to look at? When I think of the our classrooms now, I think it is crazy that they aren’t more different in comparison to 20 years ago. Most aspects of teaching and the classroom have seemed to, in the most parts, stay the same, but why? When, in the last 20 years our world has flipped itself inside out when it comes to realms such as technology. Why has the classroom not been completely flipped, as well?


  3. I feel very similarly to you Andrea in regards to being a newbie with technology, even though I graduated high school in 2007. It’s difficult to keep up with the ever-changing and growing field, but I know that in the end, it will be worth it.

    I can tell you have a writer in you with the lovely perspective and metaphor within your reflection. I agree that digital citizenship is key to education in our time, and although we may not understand all that entails for the future, we can at least prepare our students to develop the skills to help them with whatever the future holds. I feel as though my students actually have more skills in regards to technology than I do most of the time, but I can share what I know about being a good citizen online with them.

    Thank you for sharing your ideas and reflections with us! Made me reflect more upon my own teaching and ideals.


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