What’s your name and what school and/or district do you work at?
- Victoria Woelders
- Dorothy Peacock Elementary School in Langley, British Columbia, Canada
- Langley School District in British Columbia, Canada
- Just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
How long have you been working in education and what drove you to your profession?
I have been working in education for over 17 years, and I was driven to this profession when I was 10 years old. My mother was an elementary school teacher and I remember vividly walking into her classroom and thinking to myself I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Helping and encouraging others is my strong suit and I enjoy the process of seeing children being empowered by learning and I love seeing the excitement that comes along with the learning journey.
What are the top 5 (or so) apps or digital tools you use on a regular basis (on computer or mobile device)
I would say the Camera app is the one I use the most on my Android phone. I use Office 365 Applications at school, so it is hard to pick 5. Google Photos and Google Calendar are regularly used by me. I am a fan of watching and using Minecraft, and educational apps such as Understanding Maths – Addition and Subtraction app, as well as Understanding Maths – Times tables. I guess I have given you more than five, but it is hard to narrow it down.
What do you feel is most important in building a positive school culture?
I am a huge believer in Empathy and the importance of building healthy relationships in our schools. Schools should have a united vision and move to build into that vision. I truly believe that our culture of our schools starts with our staff and goes throughout our classes and influences our children. Forming a school mission statement together is important and crucial for a healthy community to flourish and grow. An action plan; people buying into the collaborative vision and making people feel like our schools are our homes, are very important to build positive school culture.
What trend or technology excites you in the realm of education? Do you think it could have the power to revolutionize education?
I believe that integrating technology in our classrooms to build connections is important. I am truly excited about the power of Skype in the Classroom because the availability to Skype with educators, museums, authors, musicians, scientists and other individuals and groups with specialties can have a huge impact on our children. Empathizing with different cultures, viewpoints and perspectives is essential if we are to build a better world. For example, one of the Skype in the Classroom experiences is connecting with a Holocaust Survivor and what an amazing experience to have first hand accounts of an individual who experienced the Holocaust.. Also, in the past we would have to take out big encyclopedias to research, now we can Skype experts, scientists, doctors and researchers within unique fields. The Science Fair can go to a whole new level, if students can connect with a real life scientist that is practicing in that field of science.
How do you most easily connect with other educators? Do you attend conferences? Go on Twitter or edchats?
I connected with Twitter over 3 years ago and I haven’t looked back since. Twitter is an amazing tool for educators. I am involved with #bcedchat and other hashtags like #camp21 #mieexpert and other educator related hashtags. I attend local conferences such as through Microsoft, Google and through my local school districts – such as Langley and Surrey – but most nights you’ll find me going on Twitter and reading and connecting with other educators globally. I have attended #globaledchat for two years in a row and enjoyed tweeting educators across our globe. Twitter is a wonderful way to learn, thrive and build understanding and connection on educational issues locally, provincially, nationally and globally.
Do you have a website or social media profile(s)? Share with us!
My website on Apps, Digital Literacy Resources and Life Blogging
Social Network Platforms you can find me in:
From the interviewer:
Thank you, Victoria for sharing your story with us! It was a pleasuring hearing about your background and perspective on education!