The #MyWorkflow series asks educators who are active creators on social media to share how they do their work. Today we speak with the dynamic Jam Gamble: educator, advocate, media personality. As someone with an interest and passion in special education myself, I’ve been an avid follower and admirer of Jam’s work for a long time. A tireless upholder of disability rights and equity, Jam uses dynamic media platforms to spread her positive message to all parts of the province and globe. Rarely have I seen someone use social media to exude empathy, compassion, and action as she does. I look forward to learning more from her unique experience and perspective as the years go on.
How do you pay the bills?
My witty original answer: Unfortunately with my money. I work waaaay too hard to be spending my money on that! Fortunately, my husband’s money is available to use as well.
The real deal: I am an educator by day and my focus is in special education. I’ve been in the field for 16 years but in the school board for 5. I absolutely love the students and the families I work with. My relationship with them is what makes me so passionate about the work I do. By night, I wear several hats (it’s amazing how they all fit!) I am the proud host/producer of “A Voice For All” on Rogers TV Peel. It is the only show on Rogers that solely focuses on disability awareness and education. I’m starting season 5 and it’s a really exciting time. I interview parents, people who are differently abled, community organizations and front-line staff as they are playing a vital role in educating our community.
I am also a motivational speaker, event host, and community educator. I present workshops on a wide variety of topics such as personal branding, burnout/compassion fatigue and mental health.
What regular activity brings you little money but loads of happiness?
Hmm… I’d say my vlogs and my online radio show. There’s no red tape that I need to worry about when I’m expressing myself or interviewing a guest. We speak freely and are able to help others learn and feel connected to our content.
What’s your current phone? Which phone do you miss? What will be your next one?
My husband hated my Samsung (ok, I did too because I had constant battery issues and couldn’t do cool things like his phone) soooo he bought me an iPhone 6 for my birthday. I will never forget my first Nokia with the snake game and having so much attitude in the mall when I had my Motorola Razr. (Yaaas!) Next phone will have to be something that can sustain all my videos and photos so I’m guessing a bigger iPhone lol.
What’s your current laptop? Which laptop do you miss? What will be your next one?
I’m not a big tech girl but I’ll miss my old bulky laptop I had in college. Money was tight and my mom’s friend was generous enough to give me one of his old ones. This thing was as heavy as a kettlebell but it got me through my classes and really kept me humble. I was grateful to have something to get my work done. Now I have a Mac (the one with a big screen (see I really don’t know the names of these things and my husband clearly wants me to embrace the Apple life) Next one will be a bigger/faster Mac and something I can carry around with me to presentations.
What apps and/or methods do you use to stay productive?
iMovie has turned me into a little director. I’m now able to make my vlogs look cleaner and smoother. Totally love it. I also like Google Keep for my checklists. Twitter is my social go-to app. Absolutely love the connections I’ve made there.
Which apps do you check persistently, even if you wish you didn’t?
Ugh….Facebook and IG. Do you know how much data IG uses? I should use that as a motivator to keep me off. *gives IG cut eye *
How do you carry your gear?
Lol in my hand. I only need my phone.
What other hardware rarely leave your bag?
Portable battery. Always gotta keep my phone 100%.
What piece(s) of analogue technology is a must in your life?
Post-its are life! Oh, and bright coloured pens, fresh sharp pencils and agendas with big enough spaces to write to do list in. Based on this answer, it is clear I have an obsession for stationery items.
What drink, snack, or food sits next to you when you’re being creative?
Lol all food! I like chips, fries, apple slices, ohhh cantaloupe! Drink can be water, tea, or mojitos lol.
When working, do you prefer the cafe, library, couch, office, kitchen table, or other?
My couch or office. I’m easily distracted and prefer my own noise. I get to caught up people watching if I’m out somewhere.
When working, do you need quiet, ambient noise, speakers, or headphones?
I like music for sure. Doesn’t matter how it is being heard, either way it keeps my thoughts grounded.
If it’s one of the latter two, what’s on your playlist?
Usually, I’ll put on something indie or folkie. Coldplay, Mumford and Sons, Monsters and Men are my must listen to when I’m working. I love hearing drums and chords.
Morning, afternoon, evening, or the witching hour?
Whenever creativity hits OR when I have time.
How do you get from idea to shipping that idea?
I think of what I can achieve if I help this idea blossom. That’s my momentum.
What’s one piece of advice you have for people that have difficulty with their workflow?
Breaks are meant to be taken. Don’t feel bad if you lose your groove for a second (just don’t pause for too long!) Sometimes taking a step back gives us a clearer picture of what we need to do.
How can we find and connect with you online?
Love to keep the connection going!