Like I have mentioned before, when I was in school I, unfortunately, did not get the chance to learn about Treaty Education, or First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people and/or culture. Because of this I still feel as though I have unconscious biases towards people of these cultures and others. I also grew up in a home where one of my parents reinforced these biases and stereotypes. By educating myself and others around me to the best of my ability, this will allow me to see every person and student as a blank slate versus a stereotype. Also making a point that every student that walks into my classroom starts with a blank slate, and also emerging myself and the classroom in all of the different cultures my students have to offer.
Thinking back to my experiences I do not recall any “single stories” being present in any of my schooling. However, reflecting on whose truth mattered, I would have to say it was white males and females, also known as settlers. I often remember books being written by white males and/or females, as well as having pictures in textbooks of white children, adults, and families. (specifically a mom, dad, son, and daughter) I do not recall a time that we were shown diversity through what we were reading in classes. Reflecting on my experience with learning about First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people/culture, I do not have much of an experience as I really only remember my Social 30 class discusses the history between settlers and First Nations. I do remember being very confused when our teacher would address certain events that had happened that I had not learned about prior. However, the lack of knowledge and education reinforced my stereotypes and biases because I really did not know anything else. Because of this, I am dedicated to educating myself further on Treaty Education and First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples perspectives so I am able to instill that knowledge into my future students. I want them to understand and know the culture behind our land, I also want them to be aware that these “single stories” are not telling the full truth if any truth. I want them to be able to see and understand the different cultures and not believe in the biases and stereotypes I grew up believing in.
I believe that teachers are discriminating students but often only teaching students one way to solve problems. I took a mathematics class in university and we were taught multiple ways of solving different problems, this helped me a lot because I always found a way that worked for me. It is hard for me to understand that teachers believe all student will learn in mathematics from only learning one solution to a problem. I feel like my mathematics teachers taught to the students who understood math easily. I always struggled with mathematics growing up and I felt I never got better or confident until I had a teacher in high school. She allowed me to come into her classroom during break times and really helped me, she also would teach different strategies if one did not make sense.
After Reading the article “Teaching Mathematics and the Inuit Community” I learned that three ways in which Inuit mathematics challenges Eurocentric ideas are through oral teachings, oral numeration, and measuring length. For example, they do not use papers and pencils like I am used to using in math classes, instead they learn through oral communication with Elders. Their oral numeration is different because they use a base 20 system versus a base 10 system, which I what I am used to using. They use a base 20 system because they have 20 toes and fingers combines, which makes sense because we have 10 fingers and use a base 10 system. I think it would be neat to see these base 20 system some how implemented into our schools because I have found our mathematics curriculum lacks in diversity. They also have a different way to measure lengths, they often use body parts. Which I think is a good idea and I often use my body parts to measure things when I do not have a ruler or metre stick around. However, I was never taught in school that measuring with a body part is a form of Inuit mathematics. There are many ways in which Eurocentric mathematics differs from Inuit mathematics, but I believe we should be introducing both to students during mathematics classes because I think that both ways support one another.
I believe it is important that we are teaching Treaty Education or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit content and perspectives in the classroom, regardless of what students are in our classroom. Teaching this to students, no matter who is in the classroom will allow students to become more educated in Canadian history. Because First Nations, Metis, and Inuit culture is such a large part of our history it is important we teach students this. Growing up I was not offered Treaty Education and I think that left me in the dark. I also believe that teaching Treaty Education will decrease prejudice and racism in students. I believe that students who are in a classroom with few or no First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people will not be able to fully see and understand their culture and our history we do not teach it.
We are all part of the treaties that were signed, which makes us all treaty people. Whether we live on a certain treaty or signed it, we are apart of it. Like Claire mentioned in the lecture, Treaty Ed has been in the curriculum for 10 years now, so as educators we are all responsible to educate ourselves so we are able to teach our students. I think it is important that we learn and teach all of the treaties in and around our surrounding area, as well as the treaties we may be apart of. I do not think that very many people see themselves as part of a treaty which is why it is so important that we continue this education. I believe the most important thing is to educate our teachers and staff so they can feel confident in teaching it to their students.
Week 7 Blog
Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing
There are many examples of Reinhabitation and Decolonization throughout the article. The youth and the elders came together to learn about their land as well as learn from one another. The elders taught the youth by telling stories and oral teaching. The article shows the importance of our land and our environment and how it participates in shaping our lives. This creates a connection with the land and the environment around them. The elders taught and reinforced the language to avoid loss of language and decolonization. This article emphasizes the importance of passing down knowledge from another for reinhabitation and to avoid decolonization. Not only does it do a good job at explaining it, but it also gives many examples.
Adapting these important ideas into the classroom
In high school, we often got the decision to go and work outside (depending on the weather of course.) I personally enjoyed this because it allowed me to get a different perspective on things. I would like to give this option to students because I think it allows them to really take in and appreciate the surrounding environment. I would also try to bring in elders into the classroom to further educate my students and myself and information that I may not know and cannot teach to its full ability. I also believe that it is important to introduce all cultures into the classroom, every student has a different background and culture and I believe it is important to embrace that.
I often remember our school participated citizenship education. I often participated more in high school than I did in elementary school. Looking back, I think the schools I went to often participated in the personally responsible citizen and participatory citizen. Our school often played a role in Telemiracle and would raise money by having students buy and sign the Telemiracle hands. Every year we would do a Terry Fox Run and raise money. We also did Operation Christmas Child, sometimes we did it individually and sometimes we would do it as a class. In the article we read, participatory citizenship is referred as “Other educators see good citizens as those who actively participate in the civic affairs and the social life of the community at local, state, and national levels.” I believe participating in fundraisers such as Telemiracle, The Terry Fox Run, and Operation Christmas Child are examples of participatory citizenship. The schools I went to all participated in collecting trash in and around the surrounding neighborhood. We brought food to donate to the Foodbank. We sold magazines and chocolates to raise money. I believe that these are examples of personally responsible citizen. I believe involving these types of citizenships into education does help students and may benefit them by giving them a sense of how to live their lives by being involved in the communities around us. Something that may be a limitation is that I only really recall learning about these two types of citizenships, but there are three. I think it is important that we teach all and try our best not to emphasize on one more than the others.
Before the Reading:
I thought that curriculum was based off of teachers and board members ideas of what they think is essential for students to be learning. I thought that they as a group would come together and come up with the outcomes that are in the curriculum and create the curriculum itself.
After reading the article “Curriculum policy and the politics of what should be learned in schools” I learned a lot more about how the curricula is developed and who creates it. The government plays a large role in the process of making the curricula, which I am a little surprised to find out. I am surprised because as educators we see what students go through over the years and what they have learned in the past and I think that is important when creating curricula. I also think that having the government so involved in the curriculum is causing the curriculum to become political, which in my opinion it should not be. This may also reproduce an inequality in students and schools. Don’t get me wrong, I do see the importance of the government being involved in the making of the curriculum, however, when I read the article I took it as the government for the most part is in charge, and teachers, educators and support staff have some say in what happens throughout the curriculum. “Teachers, principals, senior administrators and elected local authorities where they exist- are almost always involved in curriculum reviews and decisions.” (pp. 16) I do have to say that it does make me happy that teachers and schools are being involved to some extent. Unfortunately, I am not too sure what a good alternative to this would be for now, but I will definitely keep reflecting on it.
According to common sense, a “good student” demonstrates good behavior, often follows the rules, and rarely gets in trouble. They are usually ready to learn and create a welcoming learning environment for the teacher and the other students. I think “good students” are often willing to help other students who may be having troubles with their work. A “good student” listens to teachers and to anyone who may be in charge at the time. A “good student” has norm behaviors. I think that teachers have this idea of what a “good student” is and what they should be.
I think students who are privileged by this are students who may be included in the norm ideas. Students who are of the middle class to upper class may be more privileged to become a “good student” because they have grown up with the values that are required from a “good student”. When I went to school students who could learn from the traditional teaching methods of sitting at a desk and listening to the teachers would have been considered “good students”. I think now there are more modern ways of teaching this may not be the case in all classrooms.
I think this creates a belief that not every student can be considered a “good” students, when In fact they can. Every student is different and they all have different characteristics and personalities. This may also creates the belief for students, that they are not all “good” students. I think as future educators it is important that we focus on the good in every student as best as we can. I think this will benefit us and students more than we know.
Three things I learned.
Something else I learned was about how principals take part in instruction leadership “Principals use data, evidence, and inquiry to analyze student learning and instructional practice. Principals use a research-based framework to observe teacher practice, engage in cycles of inquiry, and plan for on-going and effective coaching and professional development.” This really showed me how much work principals are doing in the schools. It is never something that really came to my mind before this.
In class, it was mentioned that if a teacher has a problem with or has seen another teacher do something unprofessional they are not to speak to the principal about it but confront the teacher about it. This was something that caught me by surprise because I always just assumed that principals were left to deal with those kind of things.
I learned that principals play a large role in creating the school mission, vision, and culture of the school. This is something I thought the school board took care of and was in charge of. It does make me happy to hear that principals are doing this type of work because each school is different, and I believe each school would benefit from their own mission, vision, and culture of their school.
Two things I connected with.
Something I connected with was when we talked about good qualities our principals had in the past. I went to an elementary school that had over 300 students in it (in Moose Jaw that is a lot) and I remember the principals always went out of their way to make sure they knew who everyone was. A lot of the principals I had were very interactive with the school and students which made going to school that much more welcoming.
Something else I connected with was the fact that principals oversee creating missions and visions for the school. I connected with this because I believe it is important that in my classroom we come up with missions and visions for the school year.
One question I still have.
What level of education do you need to become a principal? How many years of experience do you need?
Three things I have learned.
I did not know what a discourse was before this class. A discourse can be explained as “a socially accepted association among ways of using language, of thinking, and of acting that can be used to identify oneself as a member of a socially meaningful group or ‘social network’” (Shannon, 1992, 21). As a future educator t is important that I understand what a discourse is.
I learned how popular discourses may affect some people’s understandings of what it is to be a teacher. Often, I tv shows you either see a “good teacher” or a “mean teacher”. When I was in elementary and high school I only ever talked about teachers as a good teacher or a bad teacher, there was never really any in-between. I think that this affects peoples ideas of what a teacher should be and may give unrealistic expectations for teachers to meet.
I learned that past experiences can shape a teacher’s identity. There are many ways that past experiences can do this, whether its experience in a classroom or outside of a school. It is important for me to relate as much as I can in my life to becoming a teacher because it allows me to see so many different perspectives.
Two things I connected with
Something I connected with was when we were asked “What is a descriptor you have been proud to identify with/as, and what is a descriptor that is difficult to identify with” Growing up there were many descriptors that I would have been proud to identify as and most of the time one of them was that I am adopted. However, in elementary school that became something that was difficult for me to identify as because I was never sure how other students would react. All my friends knew, but sometimes people made a big deal about it which was hard for me.
I also connected with learning about teacher identity in general. It was something I was not aware of before this class. It is important that as a teacher I create a professional identity for myself but still have it really show I am as a person, whether that is in or outside of the school.
One question I still have.
How can I create a professional identity for myself, but still have it showcase who I am in and outside of the school? I want my students to understand that do enjoy things outside of the school and I really want them to be able to connect with that.