Last week (I think) I was challenged by Aviva Dunsiger to think about my five things that we have to stop pretending in education (You can read her post here: http://adunsiger.com/2015/04/21/makeschooldifferent-what-we-need-to-stop-pretending/).
I am finally getting around to writing it. These are in no particular order.
1) That differentiating for each student is not possible:
I know that this may seem like a pipe dream statement but I think that as teachers we need to think about each of our students in the classroom. I know that we do but we truly need to think about how we can teach to each student and meet the needs of each student. Fosnot makes a great statement in one of her books, “[Teaching and learning are often seen as synonymous words and ideals but] without learning there is no teaching.” This statement has made we really think about how I am meeting the need of my students. It has made me think about the philosophies, strategies and assessments that I use in order to teach. Not every student is the same, so why is our teaching styles?
2) That students are vessels in which we impart our knowledge to:
I know that this is a very hot topic but to be honest most if not all people learn not from listening but from a combination of listening and doing. I love this picture from Syliva Duckworth.
This last one is an important one as it is something that I have been dealing with personally this last week. I teach my children about diversity and inclusion. I teach my children all about the ism’s, everyone of them. I teach my children that we need to love one another, allow others to have opinions and honour those opinions; whether you agree with them or not. I teach my children that just because some one is different then you (whether religion, believes, physically or racially) you do not discriminate, you do not hate and you do not make public comments about it. You may at home believe many different things but in the classroom and out in the world we need to be tolerant, loving and accepting. I teach these things because I want to make sure our world is loving and peaceful. I don’t want wars, I don’t want hate. However, I am constantly reminded and moreso this week then ever, that this needs to be done more in the classrooms. I feel this because this week I have seen close friends bombarded by hatred and slander because people don’t believe the same thing as they do. I have seen people lash out at me because I stand up for anyone who is being discriminated against. Unfortunately it is never the children we teach but one day those children will become adults and I want to make sure that they know that hatred is hatred. That even though you may not believe or think the same as the person next to you, when you make that comment or thought public you are crossing a human rights line. That you are perpetuating further war and hurt. No one has the right to judge as we ourselves are not perfect. It is okay to have differing opinions and believes but there always needs to be discernment and tolerance in what we say and do.
Again these are my thoughts and observations about teaching. They are always up for discussion and I would love to here your thoughts on how we can make school different.
I am now calling on:
If they have not done so. Of course I would also love to hear from anyone and their amazing ideas.