TDSB BT = Toronto District School Board Beginning Teacher
(Summer Institute [August 21] and Teacher-Librarian Support Session [August 22])
What did I do? I spent a large portion of my non-presenting time reconnecting in the vendor hall with some wonderful people that I rarely get to see. If I try to name them all, I know I'll forget some. It's such a wonderful feeling to turn one direction and see someone hurrying to greet you, and then turn another way and see a different familiar face smiling at you.
I gave a presentation called "Making Media Literacy Fun and Relevant". Thank you so much to all the participants. The educators in the room really got their creative juices flowing with the activity where they tinkered with making school-related memes.
On the 21st, after my talk, I spent some quality time with Andrea Sykes, the new TDSB Program Coordinator for Library and Learning Resources (and Interdisciplinary Studies) discussing the plans for the next day's New Teacher Librarian professional learning. Andrea really helped me understand the vision, mission and flow for the day. Conceptualizing it as a collaborative inquiry gave it concrete purpose. Chatting together with Andrea (before picking up my son from video game development camp) was time well spent.
The new teacher-librarian session, in my opinion, was very successful. What made it great was how the focus was centered on the new TLs and their needs. Andrea assembled several experienced teacher-librarians in the room and offered them as human books to browse in the quest for answering the novices' most burning questions. It felt very rewarding to be a part of those conversations, which ranged from maker spaces to reigniting the passion for reading in middle school students. I really hope that I can stay in touch with several of those TLs throughout the year. Sadly, I had to leave earlier than I would have liked, so that I could make it to my other commitment.
PB4T3 = Pedagogy Before Technology
What did I do? During the afternoon of August 22, I facilitated a session with Michelle Solomon on "Media Literacy and Social Media". This was my first time presenting with Michelle and my first official function as an executive member of the Association of Media Literacy. Presenting with Michelle was delightful; we found a comfortable rhythm and supported each other as we reviewed the eight key concepts of media education with our large group of attendees, sometimes in unorthodox ways.
(3rd Annual Conference [August 22] and Minds on Media Session [August 23])
The next day was "Minds on Media", a cornucopia of options for educators to explore at their own pace. The list of options can be seen at bit.ly/mompb4t3 and I worked with Michelle Solomon and Neil Andersen discussing all sorts of media topics. What I absolutely loved about this format was similar to the new teacher-librarian session the day before; it was an opportunity to go deeper with fewer, as opposed to a traditional workshop in which we often go shallow (in terms of ideas and implementation) with many (audience members rather than one on one).Thanks to all the #PB4T3 #pb4t participants that attended the social media & media literacy session by @msolomonteacher (and me). Didn’t get consent (can we still say that word?) to post faces except for our own! (Notice I chose happy face emoji covers for the audience, not sad!) pic.twitter.com/dWahJxLX2S— Diana Maliszewski (@MzMollyTL) August 23, 2018
Here we are at #pb4t3 #pb4t - @msolomonteacher and @mediasee (and me) from @A_M_L_ chatting with educators about all things media at Minds on Media pic.twitter.com/IQH7OQuCx9— Diana Maliszewski (@MzMollyTL) August 23, 2018
I appreciated how we didn't feel rushed to cover specific outcomes. For instance, I spent a lot of time chatting with "N" from York Region (despite being in different boards, we are actually pretty geographically close to each other) and together we brainstormed and plotted both integrated and stand-alone media lessons for her Grade 6s that I also want to use next year.
Similar to the TDSB event, PB4T also afforded me the chance to talk with people. I was so happy to see how many great supply teachers and LTOs I know now have permanent contracts. After Minds on Media (and spending 4 hours in the car driving all over the city to collect my son from that aforementioned camp, getting him home, and returning to the conference site!), I was blessed to spend time with several of the presenters at dinner and afterwards with some of my favourite people (Michelle Solomon and Alanna King) sharing stories.Didn’t get to post this yesterday from #pb4t3 MoM but studying media can be playful - can you tell which is the selfie & which is taken by a 3rd party? How do they differ? How does the message change? Thanks N for letting me post pic.twitter.com/y9IUT01SbZ— Diana Maliszewski (@MzMollyTL) August 24, 2018
So what's with the bread, you might be wondering? This incident blew me away. I was in the vendor hall of the TDSB Beginning Teacher Summer Institute when my friend, Marianne Bartkiw, approached me. After our initial greetings and pleasantries, she said, "I have something for you" and out of her bag, she pulled out a loaf of bread. She told me (and I'm paraphrasing here because halfway through her explanation my heart impeded my brain from a proper recording) that her very first presentation to educators was with me. I remembered our session well - it was in 2016 on inquiry and the two of us did a great job on it, if I do say so myself. She said that it was her very first workshop of that sort and she appreciated the planning and presenting support she received from me during that time. Now, as an Early Reading Coach in the board, she gives workshops all the time. She explained that she couldn't recall if she adequately thanked me back then and so she wanted to show her appreciation. She did it by baking a loaf of homemade sour dough bread for me.“There’s a lot of Fs in life. I choose to focus on family, friends, fun and food” - quote from @anahita_a at #pb4t3 MoM - having fun talking memes, puns and learning here pic.twitter.com/RvZa5ODq1z— Diana Maliszewski (@MzMollyTL) August 23, 2018
You have no idea how much her gesture touched and impressed me. I nearly cried. Do people realize the positive impact they have on others? Her action inspired me to copy her example and I baked red velvet cookies for my Cross Fit coach (whom I wrote about here) because he made our first week back to training (after that three week hiatus) an easy transition. Marianne, thank you for being a wonderful human being. (My family has enjoyed the fruits of Marianne's labour.) Thank someone who's not expecting it, if you can. It'll make their day.