Support for #LGBTQ and #DigitalIdentity

Yesterday I decided to do an in depth Google search on my name.  As a pre-service teacher it is important to make sure to keep up a positive and appropriate digital identity. Through my sleuthing of my own digital identity I experienced the nostalgia of my hockey playing days, and discovering the my old school MySpace account.  However, this wasn’t the only thing that I had come across.  I was referenced in two articles for a tweet that was posted in April of 2014.

Some background, back in 2014 there was a issue of Peter LaBarbera, an anti-gay and pro-life supporter, coming to Regina to promote their anti-LGBTQ, and pro-life agenda.  Needless to say, they were not greeted with loving support from the University of Regina, faculty and students.  LaBarbera and his partner in crime (literally speaking), Bill Whatcott, were arrested on campus for trespassing.  Many students were pleased to have these men removed off campus for spreading an agenda that the many in the university community did not agree with.  I was one of them who tweeted in support of the Regina Police and Campus Security escorting these two off campus.

However, not everyone has the same ideals as the “liberal” community, as I am often labeled.  Many pro-life, anti-gay supporters backlashed and said that their arrest was hindering on their right free speech.  Some even extended their labels to the supporters of gay rights, as homofascists.  I was surprised to be one of the ones labelled in a couple articles as my innocent tweet began to make international attention.

Barbwire with Matt Barber, an American news and opinion blog/newsfeed that focuses on a biblical worldview. Barbwire decided to give me a shoutout.  They referred to me and many others as a homofascist. A label that is I felt was a wee-bit exaggerated.  As well as a gay activist on another article on the Israel, Islam & End Times, newsfeed.  However, in my eyes being labelled a gay activist is a much more appropriate than a “homofascist”.

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As you can see from my tweet above I don’t feel as I didn’t deserve the attention I did from the situation as it was grouped in with the following tweets.  At first I was a bit nervous of having my name labelled with these articles and being grouped with the following tweets, as they are quite aggressive.  I think if we were to play “which of these things is not like the other” I hope mine would pop out.

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The lessons I have learned through being a social justice educator, and a “homofacist”/gay-activist with regards to my digital identity.

  1. Anyone can pick up your tweets and refer to them without your permission.
  2. Expect backlash when supporting gay-rights, and anti-oppression.
  3. The amount of ignorance and inequality when it comes to privilege, and admitting the privilege that you have.  As a society it is improving but we still have a way to go.
  4. Stand-up for what you believe in.

Overall, the posts humoured me.  I did not find them overly intimidating.  Being a supporter of human rights is what I feel is appropriate and important as an future educator.  Our students need to feel as they belong.  Some of our LGBTQ students often already feel ostracized in our schools, and community, I believe it is important to stand with them.  I will continue to support all people and students regardless of who or what we identify as because we are people.



Reflection One: First Day of Teaching

What went well in your lesson?  Be specific.  Did you have great time management?  Were students engaged?  Did a struggling student have a moment where things clicked?  Don’t discount small victories!

  • In our lesson, we decided to do the the beach ball icebreaker activity.  It went well because they listened to our directions.  The kids for the most part were engaged.  We asked them a lot of questions that made excellent icebreakers and the students also learned about other students.  I think that majority of our activity was enjoyed by the class.
  • Some things that went well today was seeing the excitement on a student’s face when he got the right answer after telling me he was dumb and didn’t know anything.  I also helped students create their “wheelchair ramp” in math class.

What didn’t go as planned?  Again, be specific.  Which things did you struggle with in your lesson?

  • Some things that didn’t go as planned include, one student pretending he was someone else and students would get off task. Example, there was a pair of students who were arm wrestling.  Some students were very hard to hear, so it is important to maintain the classroom management and make sure that everyone is being quiet and respecting others.

How would you change the lesson if you were reteaching it?  What modifications would you make?

  • I think if I was re-teaching this lesson I would do it in a more open space.  The room has pods of desks in the middle, making it difficult to create a circle and to toss the ball without hitting the ceiling.   I also think that instead of allowing the students to ask us a question after every question they answered, the best way would be to get the students to pass the ball around and answer questions and not ask the teacher any questions just to keep the class moving and students on task.  I would then have the teachers introduce themselves by the students having to ask the teachers some questions on the sheet.

What did you learn about teaching or about yourself this week in the classroom?  This could be positive or negative.  Reflect on this learning.

  • I think that I have to really pay attention and not be afraid to tell them when they are not engaged, or tell them that they need to pay attention.  Making sure to keep the students on task and engaged.  As I am going to be teaching a physical education lesson next class I was told it would be a good idea to be prepared and have another activity planned “if one should go south”.  I knew teachers have to think on their toes, and even only after one day I can see why.  Our teacher had to be constantly make sure students were on task and if they were off task the teacher made sure that they would be back on task.
  • I am excited to teach a physical education lesson for next class because of the great ideas I was given in our EPE class with Kathy Fowler.