Please enjoy the Learning Story Video created by Ivy and myself!
One thing I learned from the TedTalk this week is how having inclusion in the classroom can help students to become more accepting, understanding and compassionate. Watching Dan’s TedTalk he mentioned how a teacher had explained to him about a student who had come from a war torn country and how the students were accepting and wanted to help her learn because of his son.
Another thing I learned about based on reading Kelsey’s blog about one of her blog posts was about how homework could make students with a disability feel frustrated. I think this goes back to treating each student as an individual. If a student was struggling with math a teacher would modify an assignment for that student and it should be the same with a student with a disability.
One last thing that I learned is you don’t have to be ashamed to make a mistake while speaking to somebody with a disability. In Kelsey’s one blog post she mentioned the example of saying “see you later” to a person with impaired vision. I think it’s important to know it’s okay to make mistakes as long as people aren’t doing it on purpose.
One connection I have made is to my past school experience. When I was in grade three we had a new student who was blind move to our school. One thing I remember clearly is how he was held to the same standard in the way of how assignments were supposed to be completed. We were always supposed to write in complete sentences and when this student answered questions he would have to answer them in complete sentences.
Another connection I made was in terms how it can make students more accepting and compassionate. During recesses with this same student other students would offer to walk around and talk with him. It was always a lot of students who would want to do this at recess as we were all accepting of him and wanted him to feel welcomed in our class.
One question I still have it how can we help other students to become more accepting to a student with either a physical or learning disability?
This week in order to complete our blog post we were required to watch The Secret Path by Gord Downie. “Chanie was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to walk home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor know how to find it, but, like so many kids – more than anyone will be able to imagine – he tried. I never knew Chanie, the child his teachers misnamed Charlie, but I will always love him” (The Secret Path, Gord Downie).
One thing I learned during the panel discussion of the video was about the 60’s Scoop. This was something I just learned about only about a month ago. Tasha, who was apart of the panel discussion, was a survivor of the 60’s scoop mentions her parents were survivors of Residential Schools and were not fit to take care of her. Her experience was one that was not a common one as she had a very loving home she was placed in but she was taken away from her culture. One thing I didn’t know was how many children that were taken as there was as many as 20000-50000 children taken.
Another thing I learned is that just talking and listening isn’t reconciliation but there needs to be to understanding and a deeper impact to help to move on and learn about the past.
One last thing I learned is how when this panel discussion occurred that only 66% of Canadians had heard or read of Residential Schools and that only 40% of Canadians had hear about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It is mentioned that well this is a problem and needs to get to 100% it is a little encouraging as 90-95% of Canadians express interest in learning about the Indigenous People and Indigenous Culture.
One connection I made was with what Tasha was saying how she didn’t learn about Residential Schools until her late teens when she met her birth parents. While I learned about Indigenous People and the Indigenous Culture I didn’t learn much about Residential Schools until high school and even then it wasn’t a lot. I didn’t get much knowledge of the topic until I took Indigenous Studies in University.
Another connection I made is that fact that this is still happening. There are still people in our society that are directly and indirectly dealing with the affects of Residential Schools and we keep trying to say “Oh this happened a long time ago and we should move on.” As we saw the people on the panel discussion we some way indirectly or directly affected by Residential Schools so it’s very much prominent today and needs to continue to be talked and learned about.
One question I still have is how can we continue to be part of the resolution and how can we better incorporate the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into our classrooms?
This week had very interesting an relevant readings. Through this weeks readings I learned:
- In the “Smear the Queer” article it is said, “schools must also realize that some high school students are not settled in their sexual identities. The messages they receive today may affect how they see themselves in the future.” (195) It is crucial for schools to help students to be accepted for who they are and for them to be comfortable to be comfortable with their sexual identities.
- In the “Smear the Queer” article it is said “The silence in the classroom can also have deadly consequences. Students who are not able to be out in the classroom or in the school, often have difficulty finding someone safe to ask questions.” (195) The example provided is, “In the case of HIV and AIDS education, gay, lesbian. and bisexual students who are sexually active may not feel that they have anyone to ask about safer sex options, without coming out and/or enduring ridicule.” (195) It is important as teachers to make sure our students know that they can come to us and be accepted for who they are.
- The last thing I learned for this weeks reading is, “Because internalized homophobia is so insidious, it is a sad fact that some of the most virulent homophobes in junior and senior high schools are those students who later realize their own homosexuality. (195)
Two connections I made in this weeks readings are:
- One connection I made was one I have made many times throughout the semester with the importance of a strong support system. Having a strong support system could help students become more comfortable and feel safe to talk to somebody.
- I think in my own experience how I was not made aware of the issues and different aspects of the LGTBQ community until I was in university education classes and how that may affect some teachers in teaching these students as they may not know how to properly help them.
One question I still have is how can we help these students who are at-risk to become more comfortable in situations where they need to talk to somebody when they don’t have somebody who is exactly like them.
Before I started my CBSL I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous about starting my CBSL experience when I heard what it was all about. If you recall I am working at SCEP which is a therapeutic training and play Centre. Most of the students that go here are students with either learning or behavioral problems. My initial impressions were that the students wouldn’t want anything to do with me and that it might be a bit of a challenge to connect with the students. In a way I was correct and in a way, I was wrong. Some students wanted nothing to do with me as they have their favorite staff and are pretty connected to them. Some students really enjoyed my presence and wanted me to play and work with them. Each time I have volunteered I have seemed to bond with a different student. I have become more confident each time I have volunteered. One thing that kind of surprised me was how willingly some of the students wanted me to work/play with them. One of my greatest areas of growth with my placement is realizing that you can’t always please everyone and you can’t let it bother you too much.
With this CBSL experience I have learned many things. The top three things I have learned are:
1. It is sometimes best to give students space if they are upset rather than trying to talk to them right away. When students are upset they don’t want you constantly asking them what is wrong but would rather have some space.
2. Its okay if students don’t want anything to do with you sometimes. Students wont always like having you around especially if you are telling them they are not allowed to do something.
3. You can’t always please everyone. Not everyone will be happy with the decisions you are making but you can’t let it affect the way you teach.
Two connections I have made are:
1. Once again the importance of a strong support system for students.
2. Another connection I made was how making school enjoyable for students can help them want to actually come and participate in the classroom.
One question I still have is how can we help students with an unstable home life overcome that adversity and want to come and succeed in school.
The first thing that I learned about through this week’s reading was about women and administration. On page 193 of the reading it is said, “Currently, more women than men complete advanced degrees in educational administration, yet their numbers in administration positions overall are disproportionate to their representations in the field of education,” (British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, 1996; Gill, 1995, 1998; Reynolds, 2001). I found this interesting even though more women than men have higher schooling more men are in the administration roles. I have often noticed this throughout my own schooling, especially in high school, as most administration in schools I attended were all men.
Another thing I learned in regards to Academic Freedom on page 208 in the reading it is said, “As employees of a school district, which is governed by provincials regulations and curriculum requirements, teachers are not free to teach whatever content they want. In universities, professors are recognized as having academic freedom, which means they are able to teach their classes the knowledge they consider to be most important and worthwhile, even if these ideas are controversial or unpopular.” I think that this shows in how in university how even if two people are taking the same class with different professors the students may learn different things depending how what the professor finds important.
One last thing I learned is about how some schools are often giving a new teacher a sort of orientation to help them. I found this interesting and thought that it was a good thing because at least the teacher would feel more comfortable with their new job and allow everyone in the school to be on the same page.
One connection I made can be related to one thing I learned as well as my own school experience. On page 194 of the reading it is said, “For instance, women are more apt to hold assistant positions (vice principal or assistant superintendent) than they are to hold chief positions (principal or superintendent). They are also more apt to hold elementary principalships that middle or high school principalships,” (Wallin, 2005; Young & Ansara, 1999). This is very relatable to my own school experience as the only time I had a female administration was in elementary school. All of the high schools where I grew up had an all-male administration where there is more female administrators in elementary schools.
Another connection I made was about the evaluation of teachers. I think that this is similar to how students are being evaluated. Both teachers and students are evaluated on their performance. I think sometimes students forget that teachers are also being evaluated have they do have more things in common then you would think.
One question I have is how come there are more male than female administrators is females have more education?
This week’s readings really stood out to me. I think a lot of it is similar to my beliefs and covered some scenarios and concerns I could potentially have.
One thing I learned was about the Collective-Bargaining Procedures. Although I did know that this existed I wasn’t sure what it actually entailed. It surprised me how often it is renegotiated. This is something that is a very useful thing to have as it determines wages and benefits with your job.
Another thing I learned was about control. In Yerks’, article she says, “Control was something even today I still have problems overcoming,” (16). I think this is and will be a big concept for me. I like to have control and when I don’t have control of a situation I get stressed out but again it’s something I need to learn to deal with because I am unable to control every situation.
One final thing I learned was about teachers and authority. It discusses the statement of what happens if you disagree with something for example in the curriculum. This is something that is a large chance of happening and could cause a problem depending what it is you disagree. This could for example have a teacher disagreeing with something from a parent or from administration and then requires you to find a balance on how to deal with the situation.
One connection I made was in regards to the private lives of teachers. What I liked that was mentioned in the article “The expectations of teachers as professionals do not stop at the entrance to the school,” (Ross V. New Brunswick S D, 1996). I think this is very important as teachers need to show professionalism constantly. Currently I’m taking an educational technologies class and it discusses the importance of building a positive online presence.
Another connection I made was in the Teaching Identity reading in regards to Perfectionism. I can relate to the statement, “When I began this year, I knew I would make mistakes, but I was not prepared to make them.” (Yerks, 16). I think that for myself personally I am a perfectionist and I struggle making mistakes and I must learn mistakes are going to happen and be able to move on from them.
One question I still have is what to do if you do disagree with either a parent, administration or the curriculum? How do you go about dealing with the situation without offending anyone and find that common ground?