Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Happy Easter, friends!

I considered taking today off from writing a post; however, an issue concerning digital literacy occurred in my classroom this week that needed to be addressed. There are two ways that I process things, by talking and by writing. In fact, today on the Two Writing Teachers call for Slices, there is this quote, “Writing floats on a sea of talk.” Britton. This weekend my sea of talk was with my father and with my Voxer writing group. Both helped me think in a deeper and more logical way about what happened.

My students use Kidblogs daily. They have since the first day of school. As a teacher of multi-grade gifted students, blogging is the way I encourage individuality and independence. One of the many advantages is that students can continue to work on their writing projects outside of class and when I am not at school. Last week I had an inservice, so I wasn’t at school. When I checked the blogs, I discovered that one student had “hacked” another student’s blog and wrote a post about it. I know she was just being playful, but I took it seriously. I commented to this student personally and removed the post. I also had a conversation with the whole class about trust.

When we read posts, we assume that the person who owns the blog wrote the post. I explained that I get an email whenever there is any activity on our Kidblog. I am watching, but more importantly, hacking is wrong. It breaks our trust and messes with the community we have built.

Another more serious incident occurred. As I have mentioned, I teach different grade levels, so my students have social lives with their grade level peers that our class is not a part of. There is safety in our community to talk about and write about things outside of our class. One student wrote a post about a conflict she was having with friends. Fairly typical sixth grade social issue; however, a 5th grader decided to take the matter into her own hands. She printed the post and gave it to one of the sixth grade girls. This post made the rounds all the way to the assistant principal. Not the intended audience of the original post.

When we write on a blog, the world can take our work and use it for any purpose, whether or not it is our intent. This is the reality of digital writing. This reality hit home this week. No real harm was done, but trust was compromised. Our classroom community was broken.

My father (wise as he is) pointed out that my students were able to fail in the safety of my care. Making mistakes is part of the learning process. Breaking trust is part of life. We will all do it at some point. What better way for my students to learn the dangers of digital writing than in the safe environment of school and class blogging?

I could make new rules: no hacking, no printing, but rules will not keep kids form being kids. My friend Julianne talked about the reins of control, how we let them go and then tighten them up. Push and pull. This digital world is amazing and wild and wonderful. We need to be able to fail and pick up the pieces, move on, and be wiser.

Trust is a powerful word. Trust is fragile. Trust is difficult to build and easy to shatter. Luckily, my students were not harmed by their breaches of trust, and they learned an important lesson. These are not the kinds of lessons teachers can design or plan on. My first reaction was disappointment. How could they do this? In reflection and conversation, I realize that all will be well as my little ones maneuver their way through this digital world.

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Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts.  Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Click here to read more #spiritualjourney posts. Thanks Holly for hosting this roundup!

Holly invites us to reflect on our spiritual journey each week. Today’s theme is Trust.

Trust quote

Maya, weaver of illusions,
how is it we trust the web, the nest,
the roof over our heads, we trust the stars
our guardians who gave us our alphabet?
We trust the turtle’s shell because
it, too, says house and how can we read
the footprints of birds on shoreline sand,
& October twigs that fall to the ground
in patterns that match the shell & stars?

Excerpt from House Spiders by Judith Vollmer

Read more of this poem here.

Trust is essential to living in this world. Embedded in the word trust is the word truth. One must be true to himself before he can be true to others. My One Little Word for 2014 is Open. Being Open is all about trust. Trusting my heart to lead me. Letting go and letting God. Giving over my need to control.

Prayer is at the center of trust. If I put my trust in God, I speak that trust in my prayer. “Not my will, but yours be done.” There is power in giving trust in prayer. I believe that power can influence the universe, move mountains, and heal.

Judith Vollmer’s poem speaks of trust in nature, the goodness of things such as house spiders. Her poem concludes with these lines: “I feel less and less like
a single self, more like
a weaver, myself, spelling out
formulae from what’s given
and from words.”

As I grow older, I feel less like a single self. I feel more a part of the family of things. I open myself to experience the world around me, and worry less about what it has to do with me. A few weeks ago, I stood by and watched a young student of mine bury her mother. I watched as she cringed at the sound of the casket being pushed into the mausoleum. This was not about me. I trusted God that I needed to be there. In the days that have followed, I realize that I had to share that experience with my student so that she would know that I know. She has complete trust in me. Sometimes trust is about giving up ourselves. Trust is about being present.

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