I really enjoyed the SAFE conference. Again I was battled with what sessions to go to! The SAFE conference started off with a very passionate keynote speaker Chelsea Vowel. She brought up the idea of getting rid of Canada and that really stuck with me. What would that look like? It made me examine how my family farms and owns land. I felt uncomfortable thinking about giving that up. Then after thought and discussion, if that feels uncomfortable for me imagine experiencing it like the First Nations people did. She definitely gave some food for thought.
The first session I went to was Uncomfortable by Design. I left that session with a different way to look of things. Learning should be uncomfortable. I never thought of that before. They also brought up how for some students it is always uncomfortable. Someone brought the idea of making sure the students are feeling safe. But safe and uncomfortable do not correlate. I feel like as long as you make your classroom a safe environment these discussions can happen. This session really had me thinking about my whiteness and privilege. I found it also tied with what Chelsea Vowel was discussing with white people helping the First Nations and the roles that are played.
The second session was mindfulness. I loved this as we had just did this at our pre-internship class. It was a interesting to experience first with middle-year students and how they react then to do it for ourselves. It was good to have a discussion with a teacher who applies this mindfulness and her experience with how beneficial it was within her classes. It is a way to be more in the present moment. I feel like it would be beneficial for students because they have lives outside of schools. Students have stress, issues and pressure on them. By practicing mindfulness at the beginning of the class it could help bring them to the now and help them focus on where they are at that moment. I have already started to practice it at moments in the day or when I get too caught up in future or past thoughts. It definitely takes time and practice but I can see the benefits it would have.
For my last session I went to Global citizens but it unfortunately did not run as no one else came to that session. I was able to join in at the end of the gender and sexuality discussion. It showed a great speech from a trans man. He made it easier to understand the definitions of sex-gender-sexuality and how they are and are not related. I wish I sat in on the rest of the session but glad I was able to watch that video.
At the end of the day I was thankful for all the discussion and new perspectives I encountered. This event and Treaty Ed. had me constantly reflecting on myself and think about how I am going to teach. It almost seems daunting that there are all of these things we want to pass on to our students and it scares me. In the end though, I feel like if I embody all these concepts and knowledge that it will be a bit easier to let that show through my teaching practice.