So, what’s your story?

Goofing off with my class
Goofing off with my class

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by! I guess I should start this off by introducing myself to all you fine folk. My name is Andres Araneda, but most people call me “Dre”. I am currently a grade 5/6 French Immersion teacher at Elsie Mironuck Community School. I love the kids I work with, and if I’m going to be honest here, sometimes I think I goof off more than they do. Go figure.

Elsie Mironuck Community School
Source: Elsie Mironuck

I am a first-generation Canadian, coming from a Chilean refugee family. My family arrived to Canada in the late 70’s due to political reasons involving the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship. Growing up, I had an interesting upbringing, speaking Spanish and learning about politics and social issues at a very young age.

This is my seventh year on the job, and I’d be lying if I told you it’s been a monotonous journey. Since 2009, I’ve taught everything from Phys. Ed., Arts ed., grade 2 and even high school. Although my career path has been somewhat unpredictable and a tad on the turbulent side, I’ve enjoyed growing and gaining as much experience as I can get.

I started my master’s degree this past September in hopes to “spice up” my career and explore my options. Not only has this kept me busy, it has also challenged me to new heights that I never thought possible. My new experiences have taught me many new knowledges that I’ve been able to implement in my own classroom. My teaching style has changed and evolved, which I am very confident will continue with all the cool new things I’ll be learning in this class.

A mural I made for the Boys & Girls Club in Yorkton, Saskatchewan
A mural I made for the Boys & Girls Club in Yorkton, Saskatchewan

When I am not teaching, I am writing music, cooking or creating some sort of artwork. Ever since I was introduced to spray painting and graffiti by my sister six years ago, I have been involved in dozens of projects throughout the city. I was heavily involved with a couple city projects and ended up making a handful of murals for the North Central Community Center program to revitalize North Central. I’ve painted murals all over Saskatchewan and have been involved with many other community organizations. I also make custom shoe designs on VANS skate shoes. Check out one of my videos below for a time lapse video:

Cooking is one of my other favorite outlets, probably because this too, requires a lot of creativity. I grew up cooking with my family and I always loved how it brought everyone together. My dad always taught me to never follow recipes and to cook with the heart. These things may all sound cliché, but they’ve had a huge impact on me. I’ve applied this attitude towards life, and it’s made me push myself in some weird, but very fun directions.

Cooking a traditional Chilean meal for my Staff with my grandma and mom.
Cooking a traditional Chilean meal for my Staff with my grandma and mom.

    I’ve been playing music in bands for the past decade, and am currently in two hardcore punk bands. Ever since my first experience at a live show, I’ve been captivated by the raw energy and positive aggression found in this type of music. I’ve been heavily involved in the local music scene and I’ve always enjoyed the positivity music can bring to people.

    That's me, in the crowd singing with one of my favorite local bands Life In Hand in 2008
    That’s me, in the crowd singing with one of my favorite local bands Life In Hand in 2008

    I’ve used my experiences and my personal background to shape my professional identity. I’ve always believed in breaking the mold and challenging the way we view society. Throughout my career, I’ve brought in a lot of my personality and interests to the classroom, in hopes to encourage my students to view life and the world through different lenses and perspectives. Whether I’m talking about immigration and racism, the history of rock’n’roll music, or the origins of fermenting foods, I always manage to bring in some of my experiences to the table.

    This is the first time I take an Ed Tech class, but I am quite positive that I will be taking a lot out of it. Technology can definitely be a tricky thing to integrate in the classroom, especially when your students are either Youtubing Illuminati videos or Snap Chatting their lives every time I turn my back. Over the past year, I’ve definitely made some progress as to how and when to use technology with my classes, but I’d like to push this further. I know how much our new generation of kids use and rely on technology, so why not use it to its full potential?

    I am really excited to see how the next few weeks unfold, and quite honestly, I’m pretty stoked to see how this Zoom app works with a full-on debate going down. Good luck to you all and I hope you all had a great weekend!

    Oh, and before I leave, check out my Twitter account!

    Cheers!

    Dre

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15 thoughts on “So, what’s your story?”

  1. Watching you make those shoes had me wanting a pair as well. Too cool.
    I hope you learn a bunch about Ed Tech in the course. I just took social media and open ed (eci 831) and it was very good… we talked more about Trump than Illuminati though.
    You mentioned that push for technology learning too. Guaranteed it will happen… but also stay true to your style and find YOUR balance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh! And be sure to switch off “moderation of comments” in your settings… allows for more comments (could leave you open to trolls but I wouldn’t be worried).

      Like

  2. Great to meet you! The masters journey will certainly be in interesting journey and you get to meet so many amazing teachers in the process. Amazing artwork! My husband also plays in a band and he talks about the energy the audience brings to the performance:) Looking forward to learning from your experiences.

    Like

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post! You are an incredible artist! Thank you for sharing your work with us. I was so amazed watching your video. It is a great reminder that art take so many different forms. I look forward to learning from you this semester!

    Like

  4. Oh man, you should secretly get Alec’s and Katia’s shoe sizes and create custom vans for your summary of learning related to educational technology.

    I wish I was an artist so I could do it, but I fear it would not have the same effect.

    Liked by 1 person

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