A little about me…
Hi Everyone! My name is Hillary Strain and I am in my final semester of my Education Degree, specializing in Secondary Education, majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Core French.
I grew up in Swift Current, Sk where I was in the French Immersion school program from K-12. I have been fluent in French since grade 4. After completing high school, I knew I didn’t want to lose my French so I decided to minor in Core French. Competitive speed swimming, lifeguarding, teaching swimming lessons, taking piano lessons and hanging with friends were major priorities in my life while growing up. My daily routine in high school would consist of the following: School, piano lessons, swim practice, work, friends, repeat. I had a jammed packed schedule every day but wouldn’t change it for the world. This schedule helped discipline me to become aware of time management, organization and dedication, which I believe helps me in my teaching today.
I’ve been swimming and playing piano since the age of 5. Swimming was something that came naturally and my parents would fight with me to leave the pool. As I grew older, I continued to swim competitively but I would also help guide and give tips to the younger swimmers to improve their skills. Seeing the younger swimmers improve, succeed and look up to me at swim meets that we would attend on weekends lit a spark in my heart and made me feel really good about myself. Eventually, my body couldn’t handle swimming anymore and I began coaching. Like stated above, watching the swimmers improve and succeed due to my help was one of the main reasons why I decided to become a teacher.
While coaching and teaching swimming lessons, I remember using the internet, mainly youtube, to help get different views of teaching swimming techniques. I never thought of actually including it while teaching at all, which was my same view entering university and using it in the classroom. I knew of using the classic SMARTboard in my lessons but never thought of any other apps or devices that could be used. In my first year of university, I got the opportunity to take the class ECMP355. This class focused on different apps/type of technology that could be used in the classroom. Being in my first year, I wasn’t that focused on the class and didn’t see the point of how technology could be used in the classroom. I was still focused as being the traditional lecture and assignment teacher and felt very uncomfortable with the thought of technology in the class. I believe that was my view because that’s what I was so used to growing up. In high school and elementary, we had computer labs that we could go to and use but we never had smart boards/ipads/laptops/cell phones/etc to use in our classroom. Now that I am older and have had classroom experience, I can now see how beneficial using technology in the classroom is. During internship I found it a challenge to include technology into my lessons. I had a SMARTboard in my class, which I used often, but I didn’t know how to incorporate different kinds of technology. I tried a few times using others, like Kahoot.it, music videos, tutorial videos, poll everywhere, but I realized that I either used too much of it and it was overwhelming, or used too little of it and it had no impact/benefits from it. Although I am quite nervous about incorporating technology into my lessons, I know that it will help my lessons be more engaging and interactive for my students. I am looking forward to learning different ways to help include technology into my classroom