Education should not be a debt sentence. #StudentLoans #OWS
Education should not be a debt sentence. #StudentLoans #OWS
“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
Writing yet another lit review for yet another class:
Wondering if anything is any good:
Revising to the point I hate it:
Finally, resigned to turn it in to just get it over with:
- GIF source: Pretty hard love
- GIF source: I feel the malice in my veins
“Students have a right to think, and teachers have an ethical obligation to teach them to think and to provide them with meaningful content to think about. Schools and districts are responsible for creating cultures of thought that will empower students to engage in academic disciplines and American democracy.” (14)
It is my responsibility to make the curriculum I teach my students both relevant and thought provoking. I find this interesting because often times I question my motives when planning or day dreaming about my future classroom. I wonder if I try to make things relevant simply to, as my sophomores would say, “Have swag.” I realize after reading this chapter that I absolutely agree with what Plaut has to say about my responsibilities as a teacher. And, if I really believe that all students have both the ability and the right to learn (which I like to believe I do), then Plaut’s words resonate even more. I think it is interesting the gap between what I read good teaching is and what I see in my field placements. No offense to the districts I have worked in or the teachers that I have had the privilege of working under, but I don’t think that they necessarily think of teaching as a democratic responsibility. I think if more teachers thought this way, as students being our future in a more realistic sense, we would take our curriculum planning more seriously, and maybe others would look at our profession as more than just a glorified type of babysitting.
” This study makes it clear that high schools need to teach students how to think in order to make then ready for college and the world.” (15)
I get so frustrated with my high schoolers. With middle schoolers, I can pose a question, wait for a few moments and someone will at least tempt to answer. They will take a wild guess, an educated guess even…with my high schoolers, you would think that there are crickets in the room. You would think that a sea witch stole their voices and we were all in The Little Mermaid. There is more whining and complaining about the fact that they have to actually use their brains to form a question than I have ever heard about anything in their lives. I wonder who taught them that they didn’t have to think? Who taught them that, if they waited long enough, someone would give them the answer? I think about the fact that many of them are not prepared for the real world and I get really sad because when I spend the extra 15 minutes to poke and prod them to think…they do a really great job. During my unit I am planning on having them work in small groups. I am hoping to eliminate their learned helplessness by creating a culture in which my students HAVE to think.
Today we did a poetry explication as a district assessment. One of my seniors said, “Miss Pierce, I don’t know how to do this. Right now my brain is thinking about fun, not about this stupid poem.” She continued to call me over throughout the course of her explication and ask me reaffirming questions. She was unsure about what words meant and wanted to ask me if her answers were right before she even attempted to type them in a word document. I was getting frustrated, thinking, she is so paralyzed by having been fed the answers for so long, she cannot even construct a sentence without me affirming that she has created the correct answer. What a disservice we have done to these students…who can currently vote, but cannot think. Awesome.
“We talk to them about how they should act maturely, be responsible for their behavior, and not be influenced by negativity, but rather choose a path toward success. Rarely are students given ample opportunities to practice meeting these expectations.” (31)
Today we did a poetry explication as a district assessment. One of my seniors said, “Miss Pierce, I don’t know how to do this. Right now my brain is thinking about fun, not about this stupid poem.” She continued to call me over throughout the course of her explication and ask me reaffirming questions. She was unsure about what words meant and wanted to ask me if her answers were right before she even attempted to type them in a word document. I was getting frustrated, thinking, she is so paralyzed by having been fed the answers for so long, she cannot even construct a sentence without me affirming that she has created the correct answer. What a disservice we have done to these students…who can currently vote, but cannot think. Awesome. I have asked my students to do something but have not given them the time to practice what it is I’ve asked them to do.
It’s interesting how, after twenty-three years of life, I still have the ability to discover so much about myself in just three months. Throughout the last three months, middle schoolers have brought out some values and qualities in myself that I never knew existed. I have found that I value the knowledge of my roles and responsibilities. I value the completion of goals and the feeling of accomplishment. I have found that I am observant, caring and empathetic and I have learned that these qualities both shape me as a person and, more specifically, as an educator.
I want to know exactly what is being asked of me where ever I am. What is my role? What are my responsibilities? What part do I play in the community I am a part of? How can I serve and model authentic caring and enthusiasm to all around me? In the classroom, those who have taught for a while may say that my role is to simply to teach. I am, after all, the teacher. However, if it were that easy, I don’t think that the field of education would be where it is today. A dear friend of mine recently shared a quote with me. The quote is by Fred Buechner. He says, “Your place is where the world’s greatest need meets your greatest love.” It is all about a blend of these two things for me. What do my students need? What is my greatest love? I really found the balance of these two things to be extremely challenging during my experience in the middle school over the past two months. I believe that every student has the ability to learn. I also believe that it is my responsibility to do anything and everything within my power to make learning happen for my students. I am constantly watching students, observing their behavior in class and with different assignments so that I can analyze their needs. What am I providing for my students that is aiding them in the learning process? What factors am I able to control with their learning? How can I do something differently in order to get the best results from my students? These are all questions I ask every day when I am writing lesson plans. I think about how I phrase everything I present to my students. I think about how they interact with one another and how they interact with me. I have found that the belief that it is my responsibility to cater to each students’ need, to be close to my heart after taking a class on inclusions. There it was brought to my attention that there are such a broad arrange of needs in any one classroom and although it is my responsibility to take my entire class to point A to point B or C, I cannot possibly do so without catering to individual needs of my students.
Also, due to my struggles to please those around me, I have found that I have an incredible work ethic. I had no idea that I was willing to work so hard to achieve the goals I set before myself. I am able to reflect on what I have done, make changes and try again. I am flexible, knowing that I will constantly have to learn and grow as my students and this field learn and grow. I am willing to take a look at myself: my attitude, my creativity, my education, my communication, my relationships and see how I can makes changes in order to better both myself and the effect I have on my students.
I found that I find great value in the ability to be comfortable. I believe that when I am comfortable, I am willing to take risks and show my students and coworkers my authentic self. I have a need to feel safe in my community and I believe that my students have this same need. I have also found that in order for me to be comfortable, those around me have to feel comfortable; they have to feel safe. Because I am a very intuitive person, I am constantly gauging the energy in each room I enter. I want to know how the words and actions I portray, can create a specific mood or environment in the classroom. This reinforces the value I place in a powerful sense of community in my classroom. I know I will need to build this environment in the beginning of the year and have opportunities throughout the academic year to reinforce that community. I have the strengths and ability to do that through empathy, care and
I found that it doesn’t matter what age of youth I am working with, that I have the ability to relate to them. I have a personality that is easy to get along with. I make people feel like they belong…and I like that. Along with this ability to make people feel like they belong, I am all about second chances, forgiveness and letting students know that today is a new day…everyday is new and that they have the ability to start over. I am a positive person and show students that everyday by smiling and caring.
In my development as a teacher, I know that I will continue to learn and grow. I am curious. I want to know what resources are available to help me help my students. If I don’t know something, I am on the web, in the library, researching and doing whatever possible to get the information, gain the skills I need to assist my students.