Blog 1

I know we are suppose to do the 3-2-1 format for the blog posts but I just so many questions that I will be doing 1 new thing I learned, 2 connections, and 3 questions.

One new thing I learned is that forces outside of the school environment affects your “resilience” to academics. I never would have thought things such as relationship with your parents and ethnicity would have any impact on academics.

The two connections I made are related to the new thing I learned. My parents never really cared much about my academics. Perhaps it was their faith in me and my abilities to do well in school that they never payed much attention to me, or perhaps they were simply too busy with caring for the family that they couldn’t. It may also be the fact that their English skills were far inferior than mine so that they felt that they couldn’t help me even if they wanted to. Whatever the reason, I had to rely on myself to do homework and school work. Perhaps if they showed an interest or expected more of me, I would have done better in school.

Another connection I made was about my ethnicity. In elementary school, I was not happy with the fact that I was a visible minority, specifically an Asian. I attended three different elementary school in Canada. The first school was a very welcoming school and I credit that welcoming environment for improving my English to a fluent level in such a short amount of time. While I wish I could have stayed there, the school moved to a bigger building, much farther away from where I lived so I had to transfer to a new school. It was at this school that I was constantly bullied for my being a visible Asian descent. By the time I moved to a new school, I had become self conscious of being Asian and tried to reject it as much as possible. I tried to assimilate myself to the White culture as much as possible. Now that I am older, I am more secure about my ethnicity but now that I learned that pride in ethnicity may have improved my academics, what would have happened if I had stayed at the first school, a place where they welcomed my ethnicity.

I had many questions from the table 6.2 on page 215. The first was “Why should teachers be held accountable to produce results?” Teachers who are underpaid, underfunded, and underappreciated? Yes I know it is the job of teachers to teach students so that they may have a brighter future or understanding of the world, but why put so much responsibility on teachers without making sure they have the resources to achieve that goal? Before making teachers accountable for making students achieve they best they can, why not make sure the teacher has all the opportunities to be able to give their students all that they can?

My second question was “Why an emphasis on academics?” It said that now there is an emphasis on the resilience of students but how about making them a morally better person? If I was a parent and HAVE TO choose between my child being a genuinely good person but lacking academic skills or an academically well achieved but bully (in nice terms), I would choose the first option. If teachers can create an environment filled with only of good, kindhearted, and selfless students, there would be no need for students to have a “resilience” to the school environment. There would be no discrimination, thus everyone would be able to have pride in their ethnicity. Teaching students to be morally good and if they retain that sense of good to adulthood, they will be better parents, aunts, grandparents, etc, thus creating a better social support and interpersonal relationships. The textbook said that with pride in one’s ethnicity, a good social support, and a good interpersonal relationships makes for a more resilient students, and that resilient students thrive academically.

My third question was “Why ‘WEED OUT’ misbehaving students?” Should teachers not try and make an effort to find the reason why the students are misbehaving? Should they not try to help the students? What if the student is having troubles at home or is the victim of bullying and is acting out because they don’t know how to deal with the problem? Do the teacher just cast them out simply because he/she is misbehaving? The student doesn’t have family to talk to, friends to confide in, should the teacher just abandon them too? I believe the schools “weed out” the bad seeds because they are so focused on producing results academically. They want to ignore the students they deem as a lost cause and focus on students who has potential to do great and, in turn, make the school look great.

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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.

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