When I first saw the assignment this week I had to admit I was a little nervous. I don’t like videotaping myself, hearing myself speak, or even taking photos. For my mother, there were many disappointing trips home from the photo developers from the pictures I had ruined. While I understand the value of taping yourself to view your practice or focus on how I use language I just don’t feel comfortable doing it. So, of course, I have to move out of my comfort zone this week if I want my students getting out of it because that is where learning takes place right?

I have seen the language teachers using Flip Grid all of the time and I would like to get into using it more. There are so many opportunities to build fluency of language, planning speaking skills, responding to new vocabulary, reflecting on a learning experience, debating statements, summarizing ideas about literature or numbers or helping them brainstorm ideas for maker time. But some students also hate recording themselves. They love to write their ideas and reflections on their learning journal posts, but will never record themselves as listening to themselves is “weird”. So again the question arises, how to get out of a comfort zone?

What I have also been thinking about Flipgrid after this week’s reading is how it could be used to bring about change. From simple questions about changing our classroom environment, to how you experienced bullying, to even how can we enhance service-learning at our school we can bring ideas of social justice into our classroom. We need to get out of our comfort zone, to be agents of change and break the cycle as we read about in Harro’s writing.

Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

I connected to Harro’s article this week during our family movie night. We watched the new Aladin movie. A film about three characters getting out of their comfort zone. They were breaking their cycle of socialization, one a victim, one an agent, and I am not sure what the genie is the catalyst? Is the carpet the vehicle for the change? This made me think about we can use examples from student-friendly media to address social inequalities. No Disney photos here hence the Persian rug.

I am part of the privileged group. I approach these conversations from the position of a white, heterosexual, middle-class, male and I understand my responsibility.  I remember Harro’s model from my undergraduate years ago. Examining social constructs through a Marxist / Feminist perspective helps us view the systems of oppression that are self-perpetuating, discreet, and inherent in a capitalist society. I wonder more about the economics at play in maintaining this system?

I can be an agent of change through how I raise my daughter, through how I coordinate service learning in the elementary school, through how I interact with students who feel disenfranchised and help others stand up. I guess I have to really get out of my comfort zone, speak up, speak out and create a whole new world.