November 26th response

Three things I learned from this weeks reading was the three aspects of a similitude argument, that there is a unique body of knowledge, it is an essential service, and it is self regulated. I learned from the Cromer Vs. British Columbia Teacher’s Federation case, that as a teacher you must remain disciplined at all times, even as a parent, you must respect your fellow teachers at all times. The last thing I leaned from this weeks reading is that, the teachers code of ethics does no only apply from 8-4 and at school. It applies to every aspect of our lives. From what we post on social media to what extra curricular’s  we do outside of the school. We need to remain professional a all times, because schools are funded by taxes which means everyone has their own opinion of what should happen in schools.

The first connection I made to the text was about having to remain disciplined at all times. As a hockey coach and a hockey official, I need to be careful about what I say and act on the bench. When an official makes the wrong call, and I know it’s he wrong call, I need remain calm and respect that officials decision, because you never know who you could be working with the following night. The second connection I made was to the section on collective barganing. The STF baragins with the provincial government for all teachers in publically funded schools. I connected to this because m mother is a teacher so I have heard about the STF for years. However the mos prominant memory was when the teachers decided to go on strike, in 2012 (I think). This caused a huge outrage in normal citizens as they now had to pay for child care.

If education is such an essential service, why does the government continue to cut funding for schools?

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November 19th Response

The first thing I learned was about teacher supervision that there are several ways for this to occur such as cognitive coaching, mentoring, peer coaching, and professional portfolios. The second thing I learned was how tough it can be to be a beginner teacher. That at the start of the year you start of feeling great, but slowly as the year progresses it teachers (and students) may start to feel run down, and after February everyone tends to start feeling better. The last thing I learned was code of professional ethics. None of the information was surprising, although I had never seen the code before, so it is nice to see what is expected out of teachers.

The first connection I made to the text was the portion about mentorship. It is very clear that mentorship is crucial for success in all aspects of life, such as school, work, and extra curriculars. I have both been a mentor and a mentee. Right now as a coach I am being mentored by the other coaches. As an official I am a mentor for many young officials. I feel mentorship is the best way to learn, for both the mentor and mentee. It forces the mentee to learn from someone else’s experiences and the mentor has to reflect on their experiences, which is incredibly valuable. The second connection I made to the text was to the portion of professionalism. As it said in the text everyone has their own style, although as a collective we need to fit a certain mold. This goes along with officiating. Each official has their own style of calling the game, however we still need to fit a mold, involving player safety.

My question is, when everyone starts to feel run down midway through the school year, how do we get out of that “funk” bring ourselves out of it to be the best teachers we could possibly be?

November 5th Response

This week I learned what Meritocracy is, the power which the government has control over certain groups, which is modelled throughout schools in Canada. I also learned what it means to be a social justice warrior. It means to teach students to question the norm, to look at diversity, sustainability, global affairs, and issues of social class and race. This is a highly debated topic as it is subjective to each individual. The third thing I learned was that many universities across North America are teaching their student teachers to teach for social justice in the classroom. I did not know this, and it was interesting to learn that this is a nation wide push to teach all students to pus for social justice.

 

The first connection I made was to the YouTube Schools & Social Inequality by Crash Course Sociology. The narrator said that those who live in higher earning counties receive more money per student then those in lower income counties. I find that this is similar to what happens in Regina, even though each schools receives the same amount of money per student, schools are forced to spend their money differently. I grew up in a middle income community, with access to new gym equipment and lots of extra curricular opportunities. Had this privilege which came with the school, however I know there are schools in different communities who have to invest their money in breakfast/lunch programs, buying indoor shoes for students etc. The second connection came from the Macleans article, about social justice becoming prominent in schools. When I was a student I had the opportunity to see the transition that schools went through in the social justice aspect. By the time I was in Grade 12, my teachers were actively teaching for reconciliation, teaching Indigenous Ways of Knowing in the classroom, and encouraging us to use our voices on controversies which we felt passionately about.

How do we teach for social justice in a classroom, in an effective way, while not taking it to the extreme that some teachers do?

October 29th Response

From this weeks readings the three things I learned are Perennialism, Essentialism, and Conservatism. All three are philosophies of education. Perennialism is the oldest style, it says that human nature is unchanging and has always been the same, that education goes back to the source. Essentialism is education which goes back to the basics. Which goes back to checks and balances, and emphasizes basics skills and subjects. Conservatism is more of a political ideology, then an education philosophy. A conservative resists rapid change and supports basic skill learning, and testing to uphold academic standards.

The first connection I made to this reading was with the conservatism. When I was going through high school there was a new curriculum for maths and sciences brought into the school, as I was in the middle of it. I was for the changes because it gave students more choices in what classes and ideas they wanted to explore. However many people were in opposition to the integration of new curriculums made many people very angry, as it was new. That they were not open to change. The second connection I made was to the Essentialism, going back to the basics. I feel that there are many new ideas and things coming into schools which are really good for students and teachers, however there are some things which can be left as is. An example of this would be technology in the classroom. In high school I had two math teachers for all four years of high school. One had a blog posted all of her notes and used a memeo to teacher her lessons, and the other one only used a chalkboard to write notes. The one was very helpful for students who missed class, but more times then not the projector and memeo would not work. Living us sitting idilly in class doing nothing, while writting notes from a chalkboard helped me focus and learn better.

What is the best approach to take for teaching students?

October 22nd Response

This weeks reading focused on Culture and Diversity. The first thing that shocked me in this reading was that some ethnic groups consistently receive lower test scores then the average of all students. As stated in the textbook, over the last few decades this gap has started to shrink however this is still something that is still needs to change. The second thing I learned this week was the difference between Ethnicity and Race. I always assumed that they are synonyms for each other, and that they could be interchanged at any time. However Ethnicity are common cultural traits shared amongst a group of people, such as language, homeland, and religion. Although Race is more biological, more science based. A Race of people are people who share the same genes. Those who share the same genes have the same physical characteristics, such as hair texture and skin colour. Lastly, I learned that children start to feel confusion about the gender orientation by around age six. This would be extremely tough for any child especially at age six, when they hardly know how to tie their shoe laces.

The first connection I made to the reading was the fact that “community and mental health services often don’t reach students who are the highest at risk.” (215) I can relate to this statement because many of my uncles and aunts suffer from mental illnesses, and when they were young they did not receive any of the support they needed which has had negative consequences in their lives. It really hits home the idea for me how we need to watch out for those students who choose to struggle silently, those who intentionally fly under the radar, that those could be the students who need the most help. The second connection I made was to the section about Gender roles (209). For the past fourteen years of my life I have played hockey, which is a male dominated sport. When I was in grade three I was talking to a girl in my class, and I mentioned that I play hockey. To which this girl accused me of being a liar because girls don’t play hockey. It is shocking for me to think that already by grade three, age ten, that some girl already had gender roles defined in her life at such a young age, and that I couldn’t play hockey just because of my gender.

My question is, how do can we as professionals teach for acceptance? To have students treat each individual with dignity and respect, not matter their ethnic background, race, sexual identity, etc. and to teach for this in all aspects of life, not just at school.

October 15th response

This week we were asked to read Nourishing the Learning Spirit written by Marie Battiste and Reconceptualists written by Gaile S. Cannella, Beth Blue Swadener, and Yi Che. From the readings I learned many things this week one of the most shocking things to read was that we are expected to lose at least half of our living cultural heritage to disappear in a single generation, even though our population continues to grow, the chance that we could lose half, of the people who know the culture heritage of an Indigenous population, is shocking. The second thing I learned was that to develop a positive cultural identity, there must be a process of unlearning and learning. That for some they must unlearn the racism they have faced, and to learn new ways of knowing. The third thing I learned was that schools primarily focus on the things that are visual of Indigenous culture, such as their art, performances, and information found in museums. To me this is crazy, as Indigenous ways of Knowing are incredibly different from the western ways of education, however Indigenous ways of Knowing are still if not more effective then the model we currently use.

One connection I made to the text this week was the statement about how Indigenous Peoples in Canada are treated as if they are living in a third world country, that they suffer from isolation, unemployment, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and racism. I can connect to this state for several reasons, however the most prominent one in my memory was from when I was about sixteen years old. I was playing on a hockey team here in regina, and we had a girl on our team who is indigenous. In hockey some extraordinary horrible things are said on the ice. This girl on my team was targeted by an out of town team because she was visibly Indigenous, she was taunted with racial slurs, she was hit into the boards, all because of her race.

The second connection I made to the text this week was to the residential schools. In my grade 12 year, many of my classes centred around what had happened to Indigenous Peoples. The reason we focused so much on them, was that our teachers realized that we knew hardly anything that had happened, that was not apart of our education until grade 12. My teachers took the initiative to help further our education on Indigenous ways of Knowing, which I hope to be able to continue on with for future students.

My question for the week is, even though we are teaching students in schools not to bully, not to judge anyone for something that they can not change, how can we help these things stick to these students, even after they go home and they hear their parents use derogatory terms to describe others?

Week Three- Chapter 11

Three things I learned from the readings this week were:

  1. Modelling is a crucial part of the social cognitive theory. Students learn best when they can watch the activity being demonstrated properly, and can mimick the actions.
  2. The five aspects of emotional self-regulation are: self- awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision-making.
  3. I learned what influences self-regulation, and these are knowledge, motivation, volition or self discipline.

The two connections I made to the text were:

  1. The textbook stated that collaboration between students on complex tasks help students develop self-regulation. I connected to this statement because in my grade 12 English class, my teacher gave us extremely complex projects, however she always made us work in groups, and to work out our difficulties as a group. This helped us develop self-regulation.
  2. The other connection I made to the text was the triarchic reciprocal causality (social influence, self influence, achievement outcomes). As coaches we work with the girls on goal setting, team work, and motivating them. I see this model in many of my players, and how it influences each of them.

The question I still have from the text is:

  1. If the the most academically beneficial tasks for students are those that challenge, but does not overwhelm them, how do we find tasks that are not to easy, yet not to difficult? How do we find the perfect balance?