Reading Response 4

School Placement

At first when I heard that I would be placed in a classroom when I have learned nothing about actually teaching, I was surprised, but at the end of my placement it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I have learned so much just by being in the classroom setting as an educator, not a student. I have a newly found admiration for teachers now. The teacher I got placed with handled the class in a stern but loving and caring way. She would demand respect from the students and, in turn, gave respect to them. She had given me an opportunity to teach the class something and I was ecstatic. I had planned to teach about the water cycle by taking them outside and moving around. Sadly, the day that I was supposed to teach was a very windy and cold day that I did not get to teach them. During my time I had learned many new things about the students. When I first came to the classroom, they thought I was a Roughrider because the Riders were doing a presentation on bullying later that day. For a few days after, they still thought I was a Roughrider when I told them that I am not. This taught me that children can easily be manipulated into thinking something. The trust they put in adults and how readily they believe what they are told or think is something I need to be very cautious about. At the last day of my placement, the teacher threw a chocolate party because they were reading the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. I had believed that the amount of sugar they would be consuming will make them wild and uncontrollable. However, they are no more energetic as the rest of the time and were very respectful when I was handing out the chocolate and snacks. They had surprised me at how mature they were for a grade ⅘ class. I had not given them the respect that they deserved. I was also surprised at how friendly they were with me. I want to teach high school students because I always thought myself as awkward around the younger kids, but some of the students decided to come sit with me instead of with their friends while they were eating their chocolate snacks. I had not realized I had become so close with them in such a short amount of time. When they were hugging me and saying goodbye, I think I had a bit of a “aha!” moment. It made me so happy that they were giving me hugs instead of high fives or handshakes because a hug is more emotion to me and it was their choice to hug me when saying goodbye. It also raised the question of how many physical contact I can have with the students. When student was hugging me longer than the other students and the teacher had to tell her to stop. Later I asked and found out the teacher uses a 2 second rule for hugs. I will have to figure out where to set the boundaries with physical contact with the students. Overall it was an exhausting experience, but it was just as rewarding. I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle teaching elementary school students but I am starting to think that I can.

Advertisements

Reading Response 8

How Glee and Anti-bullying Programs Miss the Mark

Talking about Glee reminds me of my high school days. While on the topic of being gay, I remember the end of my grade 12 party normally know as a stag. A stag is basically a huge party for all the grade 12 males while the females have their own stagette. The reason this memory is prominent is because there was one guy who did not attend the stag, but attended the stagette. I am really proud of my peers because nobody talked bad about it. There were pictures of the stagette posted and saw the male student there but nobody said anything about him other than “Yeah he went to the stagette and not the stag” with no malice behind it.

Thinking back on this memory, I believe we should teach students to treat others the way they want to be treated. I have a disabled friend who doesn’t like it if you try to help him with something that an abled person will be able to do with ease. He didn’t want to be treated like a disabled person, just a regular human being. Each person will have a preference on how they want to be treated. I  believe teaching kids to understand that and teach them how to talk to them about how they want to be treated will be a powerful tool against bullying.

The article also talks about how Glee “misses the mark,” but I believe that the fact that Glee shows a gay student as one of the main characters, the fact that this gay student finds other gay students to fall in love with, is more than what other programs do. It has been a long time since I have watched Glee, but during the time I watched it I do not remember any other TV programs that showed any of the LGBTQ community. Therefore, I believe Glee is doing a wonderful thing representing the LGBTQ community, even if it “misses the mark” a little.

Silent Reading

It continues to surprise me. It surprises me to see the students wanting to read books. A student likes to read books about World War 2, but never books about World War 1. There is a student who likes to read WW1 instead of WW2.

There was a book fair the last time I went to my placement. I was surprised once again to see students buying actual books instead of the cool knick-knacks they always sell. A lot of the male students seems to be interested in the series called “Friday Night at Freddy’s. Although I wouldn’t really call it a school appropriate book (but I have never read it before so I may be wrong), it gave me a warm feeling to see students actually interested in books. In the age where technology is taking over playing outdoors or reading from paper, not a digital screen, it assures me that books will survive the test of time.

I have not been reading as much as I should have been reading lately, mostly due to technology taking up most of my time. However, seeing the young students read so passionately, motivates me to read more often.

Reading response 7

Response 7 Oh Canada: Bridges and Barriers to Inclusion

With the current grade system, the very idea of equality is difficult. There will always be students with varying levels of intelligence, needs, and everything else that makes each students an individual. I was thinking about how we can combat this and the only solution that I could come up with was to get rid of the grade system currently in place. Instead of having to graduate elementary school to be able to go to high school and graduate from high school to be able to go to university, what if you just had to meet the subject requirement? What I mean by that is to get rid of grade 1, grade 11, etc. and just have levels of each subject. For example the subject math will start from level 1(grade 1 level) all the way up to the university level so instead of having to graduate from elementary school to attend high school classes, you have to graduate from the subject. This will allow students to learn subjects at their own personal pace. A student may be taking a university level of English but may still be in a high school level in Math because this student struggles with Math. By doing this students are not hindered to thrive in the subject they excel at simply because they struggle with other subjects. Universities and high schools (although it is more restricted than universities) already function like this. The problem with this is attending classes. If a student is in a university level English, high school level Math and elementary school Social Studies, it will be very difficult to move from school to school to attend the different level classes. The only solution to this problem will be to have just one combined school that teaches subjects of all levels but that has complications too.

Each students are different and will learn at a different pace for each subjects. By restricting the students to grades, they are hindered in their progress on subjects they thrive at simply because they cannot pass the math class they need to graduate their grade. I know for myself, I excel at Math while my English and Social Studies skills are heavily lacking compared to my Math skills. While elementary school was easy, there were some difficulties in high school. I would avoid taking English and Social Studies classes as much as I could because they were difficult for me and would have preferred to take more Math classes. If it was possible for me, I would have taken university level Math classes if it was available to me.

Reading response 4,5, and 6.

Response 4: Leroy Little Bear – Jagged

In the article, it talks about how the Aboriginal language differs from the English language. It also talks about how honesty is an important Aboriginal value. Keeping these points in mind, it is easy to see how the Aboriginal people were taken advantage of while making treaties. Having to speak a language that they are not familiar with and differs from their own language, there will be many miscommunications while making the treaties. The Aboriginals trusted the Europeans to be honest and stay true to the treaty or their word. The Aboriginals were kind enough to share the land but the greedy Europeans wanted it all. The Aboriginals’ honesty, kindness, willingness to share, and their language barrier were taken advantage of.

 

Response 5: The Heart of a Teacher

“The techniques I have mastered do not disappear, but neither do they suffice.”

I strongly agree with this quote from the article. I believe that there is no “right” way to teaching; you can always improve your techniques. Teachers should always be striving to find new and innovative ways to teach. As the times change, teachers need to change along with it. For example, the new generations grow up with technology at their disposal. Although technology in class can be a distraction, teachers should not ban technology but try to integrate in to their teaching regime. It may be hard for the teacher if the teacher had grown up at a time where technology was not as advanced, but the teacher should learn and take advantage of the benefits that is available. Although looking for new techniques to improve your teaching methods is good, you should have a core structure to your teaching. You should develop your own style of teaching and strive to improve it.

Response 6: Ignorant School Master

While Joseph Jacoto’s students may have thrived on their own, not every students will be able to achieve what his students achieved. Every student is different, their learning styles are different, their intelligence is different. You cannot assume that students will all learn the same way just because one group of students achieved greater than expected knowledge on their own. I know for myself personally I learn better when I see someone doing it. I learn to ride a bike by watching other people riding. I learn math equations by watching other people solve it. I learn better from other people’s experiences rather than trying to teach myself. In cases like math, I believe that you need some sort of knowledgeable source. Unless you are a genius, you will not be able to produce the formula that saves countless hours to arrive at an answer. You will be solving equations the long way. The formulas used are complex and often times not explained why one formula is used for specific equations while it will not work for others. To learn the knowledge to distinguish, explain, and understand the structures of the formulas, will be hard to achieve by learning by oneself. Trying to solve an equation by oneself is extremely difficult without a second pair of eyes. Often times when a mistake is made, it is hard for the person who made the mistake to realize he/she made one; an instructor or a peer will be able to see the mistake with more ease.

Reading response 1,2, and 3.

Response 1: Shattering the Silence

The phrase “Silence, it really is deafening.” really speaks to me. The fact that the First Nations were silenced from talking about their past in the residential schools because it was frowned upon. The fact that First Nations people who go missing are not broadcasted. History is repeating the discrimination against First Nations people and the outrage of the First Nations is not always heard and acknowledged. Although the nation as a whole is moving forward, the process, to me at least, is too slow. As a future teacher I hope to live in a time where the discrimination against First Nations people no longer exist. If not I hope to be a part of the change.

 

Response 2: Muffins for Granny

When Roy Thomas talked about how when he first walked in to the residential school, he said that he noticed the Jesus on the cross. This is a prominent figure in the Christian religion but as a person who has never seen it before said he was terrified. He thought Jesus was getting punished for something he did and that he will suffer the same fate if he misbehaved. The Whites thought that the First Nations people were savages but in the eyes of Roy Thomas, the Whites were the savages. It is very ironic that the Christians wanted to make the First Nations more civilized in a very uncivilized manner. The fact that Ralph Johnson thought that an eternity in hell would be better than living with the memories of residential school is appalling. What is more appalling is the fact that schools neglect to teach students this prominent and very recent piece of history. I was taught that all of this happened in the distant past but this movie states that the last residential school closed its doors in 1996. That is within my lifetime. I am glad the ECS classes are teaching students that this is an important part of Canada and hope that this will lead to future teachers taking an interest and strives to teach the history of the First Nations people properly.

Response 3: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

While Peggy McIntosh makes some very good points in her list, they are still from the point of a White person. As an immigrant, I can immediately add another point to her list.

 

  1. I can live my life without people constantly trying to guess my ethnicity and guessing it wrong.

 

For as long I can remember, numerous people had assumed that I am Chinese. There has been only one person who correctly guessed my ethnicity throughout my days in elementary school and high school. Even in University, I am assumed to be Chinese, even by the professors/instructors. While I believe focusing on the history and the discrimination of the First Nations people is very progressive, University of Regina is still lacking in the awareness of the Asian ethnicity. I am not sure about the black community and how they are represented but I believe it is relatively similar to the Asian community. I hope that by the time I graduate, I will be able to see some change. If not, as a teacher I will do my best to make a change.

The individuality of students.

Another school placement day has passed and this time I noticed something.

A student drew this!

I was so shocked at how amazing this students sketches was. She is in grade 4 or 5 and she draws better than me.

Then a question popped in to my mind. If she’s drawing in class instead of, let’s say silent reading, do I hinder her progress towards her possible future and make her read or do I let her continue? Not all students are interested in the same stuff. Not all students excel at the same stuff. This girl who is a talented artist clearly shows interest in art but if she is drawing during her reading time, what do I do?

The answer I came up with was to designate personal times instead of silent reading. During this time students can do anything they want as long as it is silent and not distracting the other students. During this time the artist student can draw while students who likes books can read. Students may abuse this time to goof off and not do productive activities during this time, but I think that is okay too. Not all students have the mental capacity to focus on school work the entire time they are at school. I know I get distracted multiple times during my 50 minute classes, I expect younger students have the same problem as me. They can use this time as a break from school work. I believe this will let them relieve some stress of the workload and have a easier time focusing on the upcoming school work.

The student’s individual talents and interests are going to be hard to accommodate for when there is only one teacher and multiple students. I believe giving time to themselves will be a great way to let students let their individual talents and interests bloom on their own.

Being in the Classroom

It has been my third time at my placement school and I have never known that trying to teach a grade 4/5 class is mentally exhausting. My first time there, there was a anti-bullying rally at the gym and took up majority of the time, but even then I was drained afterwards. It does not feel like we did much today, but my placement partner and I both said how we could use a nap after.

It renewed my admiration for teachers cause I have experienced what it is like for them, even if I am only there for 3 hours a week. Teachers are under-appreciated and taken for granted. With the recent budget cuts to education, I don’t know how teachers will survive the burden of trying to raise the leaders of the future with such limited resources. I believe that with proper education, the world will become a better place, but the leaders don’t seem to see it that way.

Although I have only spent three afternoons in my placement class, I have learned a lot.

Technology is Taking Over

Technology is taking over.

But not like robots dominating over the humans or anything like that. I mean that the use of technology is so readily available for us that it has become a part of our daily lives. I am sure that most people cannot go a full day without checking their phone.

Teachers are using technology to teach in classrooms now, but students are also getting distracted by their phones in class. You can search on the internet for help on your homework, but it can also be used to search harmful things.

Technology opens many doors for both teachers and students, but how can we regulate it?

In my ECS 100 class the instructor asked us how we would deal with students using their phone when it is clear they are not using it for the class work. There were no answers that fully stopped a student from doing so. The best suggestion was whenever a student is caught with their phone, the teacher doesn’t say anything, just records it and it deducts marks from your attendance/participation marks. The problem with this was that what if the student was using it to help with his class work? Are we going to penalize the student for using a resource?

With the technology continuously growing and taking over, it will only get easier for students to have access to one and harder to keep students focused on class.

So, my question is, what can we do? Is there a way we can stop students from using technology to distract themselves or is it something we are going to have to let be and let their marks be their punishment.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑