Are we all zombies?

                    

Common sense is doing what we “should” do not what we could do. It is what “everyone” else would do. An example is; if your thirsty find a water fountain or if a baby pukes on you then wipe it up, clean your clothes and have a shower…at some point during the day, because anyone living with a baby knows that the ten minute shower is a luxury that only comes at special, unplanned points during the day, like an impromptu nap. This just goes to show that common sense is slightly different depending on life circumstances, culture and other factors. However in summary common sense is comforting and sometimes we make these decisions without even realizing it, like a zombie. You do what your meant to do, you don’t even think about your choices because you don’t need it, you already know what you are going to do.

Educate to stop racism towards First Nations in Saskatchewan

The drop out rate of first nations students in Saskatchewan is  52.6%, that means that this percentage of First Nations, Inuit of Metis heritage between 20 and 24 years old have not completed high school. Treaty education recently became mandatory in all subjects, there are so many resources available, and even people who would love to speak to a class  such as elders. What is so disheartening is the lack of response on the teachers part. Very few teachers do treaty education justice, due in large part to the fear of disrespecting the culture or fear of the students reactions. First nations students don’t want to go to school because the schools do not want to try to teach about their history, the history of Saskatchewan before the settlers, this is such an important topic in our province yet students are uneducated and the teachers don’t teach the topic so they never truly understand what the fist nations students and their families have had to go through. Most students in Regina schools probably don’t know the last residential school to close in Canada was closest to this city, and that it only closed in 1996, 19 years ago. This subject is extremely important for our students to be educated about, not only for the sake of knowing but also to be able to make the connections between the history and the current culture , especially on reserves. . This makes it an unsafe, and unwelcoming environment for the First nations, Inuit and Metis students in our classrooms. That’s why I love the saying “we are all treaty peoples”, because we all live on treaty land, our “people” signed the treaties therefore we are all treaty people. Treaty’s are not only for the First Nations but for all Canadians. If only more people believed this, maybe we would live in a slightly better world, with less racism and more understanding and mutual respect. One can dream, Can’t we?

Diversity, Individuality and Personal Growth

Curriculum is an important part of being a teacher. It is the material you need to help the children learn about, transfer some of your experiences and knowledge and it is the base of your whole class. However I hope to be able to take the curriculum and to twist is around a little and make it my own to make it as fun and educational as possible while helping all my students excel at their own rate but to help each student individually, because each person has a slightly different perspective especially when it comes to certain topics.  A fist nations student may be more engaged and excel in a native studies class, and a child of a biologist may have an edge or a different perspective in natural sciences. A big part of teaching, in my opinion is how your students are doing, always changing what you do to and what works best, one way of teaching may work for one subject very well, but be completely useless for another. Its all about trial and error. Individuality and diversity is important to me. these are my main focuses for my fist years of teaching, but also in my day to day life I am continuously working on myself.

The God of the classroom

The teacher has all the power in the classroom. They decide what they are doing, when they do it, with who they do it, how long they have. They are the all powerful. Especially in the younger  grades the teacher is greatly respected and liked, hopefully. The teacher also gets to pick what they will learn according to the curricula. For each class the teacher must read through the curriculum and decide which outcomes and indicators are most important, prioritize them, figure out the order and timeline for each subject and figure out how they will measure their retention of the subject matter. The curriculum is not very strongly enforced, the administration of the school may check in periodically throughout the year, however they are not aware of the day to day routine in the classroom. And since there is not curriculum police, there is no one to ensure the students are learning what they are supposed to, except if a parent decides to look it up and read the whole document. The teacher is the all powerful person when it comes to the classroom, but that doesn’t mean the students have no power, a “good” teacher will give the students opportunity to make choices, but in theory the teacher is the god of the classroom.

     

The “good” student and Our Racist mindsets

Lets try to think about what would be considered a “good” student. Lets now be honest, you saw a young white girl sitting quietly in her desk. Did she have a book in her hand? Was she talking or looking around? now lets think about our expectation of this “good” girl; she did her homework, she is organized and clean, she is happy and asks questions when appropriate.

 

Now this may not be the “good” student to everyone but the majority of people would agree that this is a “good student” without thinking, its almost like it’s common sense or a stereotype. This is because the schools are meant to help the middle class  white student succeed, the students who represent the “majority”. These are racist, unfair and stereotypical statements. Lets now touch on the gender issue, the girl is the common idea of a perfect student because they are said to be quiet and obedient, but maybe the loud boy who’s fidgeting in his desk has the advantage when it comes to retention of knowledge and capacity to pay attention. More and more research is coming out that our societies idea of the perfect student needs to change. Students shouldn’t just sit all day absorbing information. They are people who need to move, need to explore to learn. Now lets play the race card, very few people don’t connects the “good” student to white culture. The black students are “too loud” or “not smart enough”, the Asian student is “too smart” and “quiet”, the first nation student wont graduate so why bother spending my precious time on them? Now most teachers don’t want to think like this, they don’t want to be racist. We all learn not to be racist, but we also learn from a young age all these racial stereotypes, hence why the white student is the “good” student.  My challenge to you is to give the other student a chance to be good before you put stereotype them, as hard as it may be don’t judge the student until you know the whole truth.