The Obstacles Teachers Face

There is a huge amount of experienced teachers retiring and that is increasing the demand for beginning teachers. Not only are the demands for teachers high, the demands for teachers that can teach subjects like math and science are extremely high. Schools are controlled by provincial governments and board members. Teachers have little to no say in how their lessons should be ran. They don’t have much of a say as to what should be taught or how it should be taught. With the cuts that government makes is making it difficult for new educators to find a job that works best for their studies. There are more people with a teaching degree than there is teaching jobs.

The year I was a teacher’s assistant was a year that there was major cuts for the rest of the teacher’s assistants. I witnessed a lot of stress coming from individuals. There was an individual who just bought a home and she needed the job to keep up with the payments. It was hard to see these people go through these hard times. It’s time for the government to see the importance teachers and teacher’s assistant are to a child’s education and create more job opportunities.

In high school there was a time where a student made a suggestion to read a book that fit in very well with what we were learning in English. The teacher mentioned it was a great book and would be amazing for the lessons that were being provided. She said that it is not in the curriculum and we couldn’t use it in the class. This shows that teachers cannot lay out options for the class and there is very little control the teacher holds.

Lessons need to be taught in a certain time range and teachers need to go through the entire curriculum. How do teachers make sure every student understands the content well and take time to help the students understand and still get through everything?

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Social Inequality in School Systems

During the past week I have learned a lot about what is wrong with surrounding school systems. I learned that schools follow meritocracy. Meritocracy is a system in which hard work and talent is recognized and rewarded. This is extremely unfair because not all kids have the same resources or support as others. For instance, it is shown that higher income parents spend more time with kids, like reading them stories before bed time. By age three these kids have a vocabulary 50% larger than other children with parents with a lower income job. It also doesn’t help that the minority within the classroom receives more discipline than the majority. This causes a higher percentage of dropouts and that decreases the percentage of minority making it to high school graduation.

This one time in elementary I had an incident in my classroom where the minority got in trouble for something the majority did. When the teacher found out they were wrong there was no apology given or anything. At the time I thought it was not a big deal. As a kid I figured that someone with higher power doesn’t need to apologize but now that I think about I realize how wrong that was. It disgusts me that some teachers give in to these behaviours.

When I become a teacher I want everything to be equal. If an incident happens in my classroom, I will not accuse people right away. I will take all sides of the situation and evaluate from there.

As a future educator I wish to achieve equity and equality. What is a good way to achieve this? What would be too far, what would push the limits?

ECS Reading: Week 8

A key principle of realist ethical education is to force young children to do things out of their comfort zone. For example, making kids share will, later on, help them understand the importance of sharing and fairness. Humans end goal is eudaimonia which is translated to fulfillment. Progressives want to promote the development of the whole child. Development should arise from the student’s interests, not the teacher’s goals.

Erikson’s stage, ego integrity versus despair, is when adults are in retirement and they are looking back on their lives. A person can feel accomplished in life but if they did not achieve their life goals then a person will lose hope a develop despair. This is why eduaimonia is an important goal, so we can avoid feeling despair towards the end of our lives.

In the Philosophy of Education reading, there is a section that points out the fact that teachers do not give students the knowledge but draws it out of them. In a way this is related to scaffolding. As you progress in school, the teachers start to provide less help and lets students become independent on their assignments. This is related to scaffolding which was developed by Vygotsky.

Through Progressivism there is worry that children will not learn the basics and this is a worry because the basics are needed to get a job. It is said that having a job is what leads us to success. I disagree, I think a successful life is a life you’re happy to be in. If a student learns and builds a future through development as a whole, why should we worry? Everyone has different goals, and I think it is wrong to label success in one way, and that is getting a job.

 

 

Enough with the labels… let’s create an equal education environment!!

Socioeconomic status (SES)  is basically a reputation created around money, power, and background. There are high-SES students and low-SES students. In a way this makes sense to me but I disagree with labeling students as high or low. I for one didn’t have the greatest financial support but I would not consider that to be something that should affect my schooling. No other “low-SES student” should let it affect their schooling either.

This reading contained stages on development of sexual orientation and what I found interesting were the facts that went against these stages. The stage, Acceptance, explains that young adults will identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, etc. However, the reading also brings up the fact that adults will marry the opposite sex, but some time down the road will perhaps seperate due to the fact a partner in the relationship is attracted to the same sex. These decisions change all the time and it shouldn’t be limited into stages.

Multicultural education promotes equality throughout a school for the students. Bank’s created five dimensions of multicultural education. These dimensions ensure for an equal and fair environment for all students and teachers.

Academic self-determination and Caring teacher-student relationship are two sections I can connect to. Entering university I would set goals for myself, like finishing two specific assignments on a certain day. I started to make choices for myself, I could either study for my quiz or take a nap. The goals I set for myself prior would help me restraint from a nap. Through ecs 200 I have heard “make a connection with your student” multiple times. I agree with this statement because not only is it important for the teacher, but also the student. When I was a high school student there was a few teachers I made a connection with and they really showed me they cared for my achievements and showed me I could do well in school and that really motivated me to work hard so I could become as successful as I wanted to be.

How do we, future educators, help low-SES students? How do we raise their confidence, academically? These students do not deserve to be affected by something that they cannot control. Low-SES students have great potential, they just have something dragging them down. How can I, as a future educator, help these students?

Creating a New Understanding

In Battiste’s article, I find the view on the learning spirit very interesting. I love the fact that there are so many perspectives when it comes to learning various things. As a future teacher it is very important to understand that many people have different thoughts on learning, and how people learn. These readings have really opened my mind to the fact that not everyone gets the education they wish to gain. In Battiste’s article, it is said and well known that Aboriginal people were not allowed to learn about their culture in the past. Even now, there are not a lot of options for people to learn about their culture and who they are. When I become a teacher I want to make sure all my students feel welcomed and I want them to have great amounts of knowledge based on who they are and where they come from. Everyone should get that opportunity. In this article it is mentioned that Indigenous education should be taught to all students and I agree 100%! I think it is important for everyone to understand not just themselves but the people around them!

In Valerie Walkerdine’s, “Beyond Developmentalism?” there is a section that talks about how mental development is a stage-like process. This also relates to Piaget’s work and his stages. I keep noticing “stages” in these ecs readings and I think viewing development in stages is a false way of studying it. Is development always evolving? Is it not continuous? Perhaps I am wrong but I don’t think development just stops then starts again.

Learning Through Observation

Chapter 11 is based around Albert Bandura demonstrating that people can learn by focusing on other people’s actions and the consequences that follow. This is also known as social cognitive theory. Children are more likely to copy actions of others who seem more powerful. For instance, if a boy’s/girl’s older sibling does homework in front of them, they will also start doing their homework. Bandura states that learning through observation includes four elements: “paying attention, retaining information or impressions, producing behaviours, and being motivated to repeat the behaviours” (Perry 372). For instance, if an adult’s child aces a test, they should be praised. This will motivate the child to keep doing a great job in school. Although having teachers guide students is important, it’s also important to free students from this guidance. This way students can learn on their own throughout their life, which Bandura calls it self-regulated learning.

When I was working as a teacher’s assistant, there was a child who could not tie their shoes. Throughout the year I would tie my shoes beside her and she would sit beside me and watch. Eventually, with observation and practice, she was able to tie her shoes on her own! It was such a surreal moment to know I had a part of her success!

As a high school student transitioning into a university student, I noticed how unprepared I was to learn more independently. As a future teacher I want to make sure my students will have the ability to learn independently after graduating high school.

With all of that being said, what if a student rebels against a teacher that is trying to help this student learn independently? Students get so used to being guided by teachers throughout elementary and middle school. How does a teacher slowly transition a student to become less dependent, when it comes to learning, without the student going against the teacher?

Spotting the Signs… Reading Response #2

For these reading response blogs we are supposed to establish three things we learned from the reading. In the reading there is a section on Indicators of Child Abuse and it’s broken up into three groups: Physical Abuse, Physical Neglect, and Sexual Abuse. Although these three groups are under one category I would like to pick these three groups as the three things I learned because I think this is VERY important for teachers to know. As teachers we are responsible for the children and if there are any signs of such darkness in their lives we have a place in their lives to help make a difference. I have posted a picture of the table, in the ECS 200 textbook, down below so you all can learn about the physical and behavioural indicators of child abuse. We can help make a child’s life better!

I think that everyone, not just teachers, should know about the theory of mind. It is very important to understand that everyone has their own “thoughts, feelings, beliefs, desires, and perceptions”. As I grew older I started to really grasp this concept. Whenever I would have arguments with my friends, instead of getting mad and thinking that I’m right and that’s all there is to it, I would try to see where they were coming from and what their thought process was. This tactic is a very important social skill for it can save relationships and open your mind to others.

As I was getting closer to the end of high school I had many questions come to me. Who am I? What do I want to do with my life? As the reading states, “this stage is identity versus role confusion”. As I was going through this stage it was a very confusing and scary time. I felt so rushed because it was built in my brain that I had to have it all figured out right there and then. Unfortunately I had to figure that out on my own. As a future teacher I’m going to comfort my students by letting them know it’s a common thing to go through and it is okay to not know everything straight out of high school.

My question is related to what I learned; If I as a teacher has suspicions of a student of mine being abused at home, what would be my course of action?

 

 

What I Learned About Cognitive Development (Reading 1)

Throughout this reading I found it interesting that physical exercise is a better way to prevent your brain from aging. As a person that contributes in games like Sudoku this really shocked me. I find it very interesting how a child can learn multiple languages at once. In a way it didn’t surprise me because if I think about it, a child’s brain has so much more knowledge than I ever thought. I mean, they teach themselves how to crawl, walk, run, etc. I learned that the human brain is more complex than I thought. A stroke victim regains brain function by making connections with new parts of their brain. I never considered the fact that there are “new” parts of our brains that we haven’t connected to yet.

In the section “Piaget: What Can We Learn” there is a line that states if we understand the way children learn, we can match a teaching method that best suits their learning abilities. As a past teacher’s assistant I could not agree more. As I was a teacher’s assistant, there were moments where the material being taught was not clicking with a student. I explained the lesson to the student in a way the teacher was not explaining it. It was the same material, just a different view of it and it made such a difference!!

Within this chapter there was a section where it stated that a student having trouble with the material paired up with a student that excelled in the material. It is a great way of processing information. Reading this, I connected it with the co-constructured method. These individuals are able to interact with each other and talk through what is being taught and lift each other help with mutual understanding. Sometimes students need to talk to their peers about the material being taught to fully understand it.

I found this reading very interesting and I enjoyed the chapter. I do think it is good to know the hows, whys, and whens in a child’s cognitive development. I enjoyed reading about their behaviours and thoughts at certain ages. But I do wonder why there wasn’t more about the fact that a child’s thoughts are influenced by many things around them. For instance, in class an individual is texting, that distracts another student. I think it’s important to know how a student’s mind is easily influenced.