I really appreciated receiving peer feedback from 2 peers about my journey about my engaged active citizenship pledge! I think that peer feedback is more powerful and encouraging than teacher feedback sometimes so this is something that I want to incorporate in my future classroom.
Firstly, my pledge is clear to Person A and B who gave me feedback. Person A summarized my pledge, “Her pledge was to pick up garbage around her community and hopes to build a greater connection to the land. Her hope is to better the environment and connect with nature in attempt to also connect with Indigenous Peoples.” And Person B summarized my pledge “to pick up litter in her community and surrounding areas.” I’m glad that my pledge has been shared clearly with others as this is foundational to understand my actions, blog posts and seminar discussion on November 20. I am also surprised that my pledge is understood by others because I am not so sure that I am fully aware of my pledge at times because it can be, and is, more complicated than just picking up litter. This is a meaningless action if there is not meaning behind it, but I think that Person A and B understand the meaning behind my pledge. It can be difficult to explain to others why they do what they do, especially with something like being an engaged citizen. This reminds me of my Week 3 blog post when I questioned why we engage in our community and why we feel must explain ourselves, “do we perform citizenship for the sake of others, or to validate our actions? Or do we do it for personal gain?” (An Alternate Representation, Zinger).
The suggestions for improvement from both peer evaluators were very helpful! The suggestions ranged from connections in my future classroom with students to collecting data and observing litter in rural vs. urban areas, which I think is a great idea, and the timing to notice this has been perfect. While I spent the long weekend during Remembrance Day at my cabin, I noticed there is a lot less garbage than in the city. In the city, the garbage may not be obvious in some areas other than the odd plastic bag swirling in the wind, but litter is actually hidden in every corner, dimple, crevice and crook on the streets, between buildings, behind houses, etc. I noticed this mostly in areas of lower socioeconomic status. Is this because people don’t litter in areas with a higher average socioeconomic status? I highly doubt this. Are there more resources and money in higher SES areas put into cleaning up and picking up litter in the area? I hope to either notice this in various communities in Regina or research it. At my cabin there is less people, the environment is more desirable by many (calm, relaxed, chose to be there) which aligns with less garbage. However, there is bigger properties and more land at my cabin, so maybe I just could not find the garbage. Perhaps the instinctual connection to the environment at my cabin, perhaps due to value and farming, does this encourage people to not litter or litter less there? This may be a small window into how Indigenous Peoples view and value the land.
Furthermore, one of the suggestions was to “see how to connect to the land beyond littering” (Person A) and as much as I would like to attempt to do this, this would change my pledge for ESST, so it will be a professional goal in my future.
Lastly, another suggestion is to “deepen what [I] want to do” and I didn’t realize it until now, but I am struggling with that aspect. I think it may be in the nature of my pledge, it isn’t very “deep” but I don’t want to use that as an excuse so I am hoping that I can change this for the last couple weeks of my pledge.