Week 12: Principals and Admin

Three things I have learned

  1. We learnt what it means to be an affective principle. To be an affective principle you are the heart of the school community, establishes a healthy learning environment, they have a vision and a mission for the school and are a leader.
  2. We learnt that the job of the principle is to “Principals engage in critical processes of planning, implementing, advocating, supporting, communicating and monitoring curriculum, instruction and improvement planning. Principals create supportive environments that include professional development and time and space for collaboration.” as said in the lecture. Here we gained an understanding that the principle is so much more than just being the “head” of the school.
  3. The relationship between the principle and the rest of the school community including students, parents, teachers, and other admin is critical to maintain in order to have successful students.

Two connections I have made

1.During the turn and talk portion at the beginning of the lecture we talked about the good qualities which you have experienced in the past. Here I talked about a principle that held a lot of the qualities that we talked about to be an affective principle. She was a principle that loved the school she was working at and created a school that felt like a community. With this, she indeed did establish a healthy and exciting learning environment.

2. The other connection I have is in contrast to the above example. I had a principle who was very biased and therefore, created an uncomfortable and negative learning environment for the most part. He was biased towards people who were athletes and saw them as higher up than other students. Along with this, he was known to bring down other staff members for their sexual orientation. If anything, this set out an example of what not to be as a principle.

One question I still have

1. How much can you truly “lean on” the principle of your school as a teacher?

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Week 10: Teacher Identity

Three things I’ve learned

1.Teacher as Identity

This lecture was based around the concept of shaping a teacher identity. We were taught that your identity is all things that consist of you. This can be your title to someone such as being a mother, wife, or sister. Your religion and ethnic background is included in this. Lastly, a huge part of your identity though is what you do for a living. In all of our cases in ECS 200, having a teacher identity is crucial to our overall identity. This got me thinking as to how I want my teaching identity to be. Thinking about this ahead of time is very important because its gives you a head start to start being proactive and making yourself who you want to be.

2.Discourse

Prior to this lecture, I had no idea what discourse meant, let alone know that teachers were apart of this. A discourse is defined within our lecture 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). Essentially, a discourse is a shared way of knowing. So for example, there are teachers in popular discourse like in movies. There is the cool teacher as a discourse, the aspiring teacher, or the mean teacher. These discourses frame how we think, feel, and understand as a whole.

3. Ambiguity

Prior to this lecture, I did not know what ambiguity meant or why it would connect to me studying to become a teacher. After talking in groups in the lecture I was able to understand that it means dealing with events that one is uncertain of and to remain open minded to more than one interpretation. As a new educator, there will be a lot of uncertainties especially within the first year of teaching. With that, it is important to keep an open mind and solve these uncertainties or problems head on. Using this as a learning experience will help one grow as an individual and as a teacher.

Two connections I’ve made

1.Emerging themes shaping you as a teacher

I connected to the part of the reading Teacher Identity by Yerks where it talked about emerging themes as you are becoming an educator and how these themes such as anxiety, loss, and relationships surrounding you shape you and your teacher identity. This made me think about how these emerging themes affect me as a student and as a becoming teacher. With the relationships I have made with my friends in the Education faculty, I believe will allow me to be a better person and educator. I think this because they have such positive energies radiating off of them and they all want to succeed as educators with that, I get that positive energy and makes me even more so want to succeed.

2. Question in the conclusion of lecture “what philosophies or ideals are important to me as a (becoming) teacher?”

Another connection I made was when the question “what philosophies or ideals are important to me as a (becoming) teacher?” was asked at the very end of the lecture. This made me think back to the beginning of the semester in ECS 210 where we had to write an in-depth essay on what our teaching philosophies are so far. Noticing more and more that having strong philosophies and ideals are crucial as being a teacher. This is something that will shape you into a better and stronger teacher.

One Question I still have

1.How would a tragic, life threatening event affect someone as a teacher? Would it shape you to become a stronger educator or would it in someway, take you a step back?

Week 9: the STF

Three things I’ve learnt

1. STF code of ethics

Prior to this lecture, I knew teachers had to hold a standard of professionalism but did not know that there was a precise guideline. With having this very important knowledge, I can now refer to this code of ethics when I officially enter a classroom next semester. This is something that is very important to know for the fact that it can make or break your career if you do not properly follow this code.

2. Professional resources on STF

I learnt that on the STF, there are professional resources available for you to refer to. If I am looking for professional development, I can refer to the Saskatchewan Professional Development Unit within the Professional resources tab. Here I can gain an opportunity to grow as an educator. Furthermore, there is also a professional growth network section in this same area. This is has the same idea where there is an opportunity for professional growth in your field. Overall, it was interesting and insightful to learn that professional development resources are this easy to find!

3. Salary of Teachers in Saskatchewan

Although I certainly did not go into education for the money, I am wanting to be a teacher because I teaching children and watching them grow to their fullest potential. It is important to know though what you will be making. This is a world that revolves around money so therefore, you almost need to have a plan with your future money. Especially if you are someone like me who has student loans to pay off. I learnt that currently a first year teacher makes 55,474 in Saskatchewan.

Two connections I’ve made

1. Saskatchewan women in Education

While we were in class scrolling through this website, this article caught my eye. It is an article essentially going through the years of education in the 1900s-200s stating the growth for women within the education field. In 1910 they were disappointed to learn that you were a female applying for a teaching job since their advertisement stated they were only looking for male teachers. This essentially started a movement from here on out that allowed women to strive for face in the education field and greater rights. Currently in present day it is of course much different and the acts of women who were teachers in past, paid off. In the present day there are so many women in the teaching field, are given parental leave for a year, and many women are the face for the STF. I related to this because being a fellow women in the education field, it truly made me proud to see how far women have come in the last 100 years. Certainly makes me a proud feminist and future educator.

2. Beginning teachers

This was another article/ section that caught my eye within the STF website. This section essentially gives some guidance to starting teachers to help with the transition from learning about being a teacher to actually becoming a teacher. Within this it has links to professional resources, pension and benefits, collective bargaining, and advice and assistance. This first initially caught my eye because in 2 years, I too will be making this transition and will more than likely will be wanting any and all advice and resources I can get my hands on.

One question I still have

1. What is one of the big differences from province to province for teachers federations?

Week 8

Three things I’ve learnt

1.Reproduction theory

This theory’s name Reproduction says it all, it is on the basis of the structures that transit social inequality from one generation to the next. Very based on how future generations are affected by previous ones. Also puts emphasis on how schools work to reproduce status quo social, cultural and economic power relations/structures. With that, saying that schools do not create equal opportunities for all students. Rather, only gives opportunities to those with higher social class. Overall, excluding those with social inequalities from the same opportunities as those who are higher up in the social class and are privileged. Prior to this class, I would not have known what this theory was. Now knowing what it consists of and the meaning behind it, it is something that I think about quite often but never knew that there was a theory behind it. This is something that has become detrimental to our society. It is unfair that just because you were born into a lower class or a second world country, for example, it means you do not get a proper education.

2. Implicit Bias

This is the first time I have ever heard of this study. It was a study where pre-school teachers were asked to look for challenging behaviour. They used eye tracking software that showed where teachers were looking. A lot of the teachers looked more at black children, especially the boy. This goes to show how many teachers, sometimes even unknowingly, develop a bias. This study goes to show that educators need to go into their job as unbiased as possible and see all their students as equals.

3. The Silenced Dialogue  (Delpit)

Prior to this lecture, I did not know what the Silenced Dialogue was. I now know that it is essentially issues of power within the classroom and how educators of colour vs. educators who are white have different teaching philosophies. Therefore, have different ways of teaching children. Teachers of colour believe that how they are being pressured to teach minority students in such ways that are seen not to effectively work. Overall, the “culture of power” is emerge because there is this struggle to officially decide what the proper and correct way to teach should really be.

Two connections I have made

1. Universal Eduction and what it means to me

I connected to this discussion because I so strongly believe that every child deserves a quality education. There are so many countries where some girls still cannot go to school or the country is too poor in general to afford schools so they do not have any schools all together. Without a doubt there is enough money in this world to have every child educated. It is a matter of dispersing this money to where it is needed. There are many people who are very rich and have hundreds of millions of dollars or even a billion dollars. No single human needs that much money, there is no doubt in that. With some of that money, people can donate it to have all children receive an education. After all, the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow.

2. Video: Changing Education Paradigms

In this video that I watched in class, I connected to the part where it was talking about how children get so easily distracted and how this is more than likely because of various technologies that are readily available to them causing them to become more “zombie” like and to pay less attention in schools. This is something as when I am going forward in my teaching career that I am concerned about. Once I get into the classroom, I worry how I will keep my students engaged and interested and want to come to class. I don’t want them thinking while I am teaching “wow, I cannot wait to go home and play on my iPad” instead I want them to be critically thinking about the content that is being presented to them.

One question I still have

1. How can we, as future educators, create universal education for everyone? Is this possible without a large budget?

Week 7 The Hidden Curriculum

Three Things I’ve Learnt:

  1. Hidden curriculum — do we drive the system or does the system drive us? Who’s morality are we teaching? What status quo are we upholding? These are key questions that were asked during the lecture to make us think about what hidden curriculum is all about. Going into the education field, I never knew that something was called the hidden curriculum. Now I understand how the hidden curriculum shapes students and teachers. The hidden curriculum is essential a side effect of normal education. These are lessons that are learned unintentionally through everyday standard curriculum teachings.
    2. Campus Regina public — Prior to this lecture, I did not know about Campus Regina public. This is more than likely because I went to school in Alberta all my life. This program is a career centred program that makes education exciting in a way that will prepare students for the workforce. From Campus Regina Public’s website it states that “Campus Regina Public provides two-credit comprehensive programs that demonstrates how subjects such as math, science, and English apply outside of school” (https://campusreginapublic.rbe.sk.ca/core-strengths). This is something that I wish was applied in my schooling. With this program it seems that more students would be able to take education and apply it to their lives in meaningful ways.
    3. Africville — The horrific events and the concept of Africville is something I have never heard before the lecture and this is more than likely because Canada wants to keep a good reputation and not shine light on their negative past. Not saying this is right, because after doing some research, most if not all residents of Africville after it was razed never received compensation. Africville was a town by Nova scotia where the residents were all African Canadian. This town did not have running water, electricity, paved roads, and so many of the other basic necessities that should be given to a town. This should have never happened especially a town within Canada.

Connections I’ve made:

  1. Philosophy of education — In this lecture, we talked about how important it is to have a strong idea of what your education philosophy is as an educator. Having this sets a foundation for how you will teach and why you are teaching. This is obviously something that in our second year should start developing because not only was this brought up in ECS 200, but also in ECS 210. In ECS 210 we had to write a paper on it and I found this to be rather beneficial because it got me thinking about what kind of teach I want to be and will strive to be.
  2.  Hidden curriculum— I made a connection to the hidden curriculum within my own schooling experience. In the early 2000’s there wasn’t a huge push for gender equality within the classrooms yet. Therefore it was subtly taught through the hidden curriculum that boys are stronger and better at sports than girls. This was taught through the boys always being chosen to move tables and chairs or boys always being the captain and leaders within sports teams. I never really realized that hidden curriculum effected me until I was taught what it was and reflected on my own experiences. This made me realize that as an educator, you really need to think about your actions and examine how they might effect all students.

Question:

  1.  Do you believe the dress code apart of the hidden curriculum and upholds the status quo? If so, specifically for girls, does it positively or negatively affect them in the long run?

Culture and Diversity

Three things I learned:

1.) During the lecture, there was a point made that poverty and the achievement of the child are closely tied together and are dependent on one another. This is something that now makes sense in hindsight for the fact that a middle class child will more than likely get a good education in secondary school and therefore, will be going to university or college to get a degree. In comparison to a child in poverty who might not even be able to go to any school because their parents cannot afford for them to go to school or they might need the child (if this child is a teen) to work. In reality, it should not matter if a child is in poverty or not, all children should have the right to a quality education.

2.) Similarly, we also talked about how the school environment has a huge effect on the child. The video that was shown at the start of class shows the extent to which a teachers attitude towards a student can make a huge difference in their schooling experience and education. When the teachers were shown to be angry or to not care about the children, it seemed as if the children were not excited to be at school and were sad. The students seemed like they were not getting the most out of their education and it was seen that learning and being at school was not fun at all for them. When the second scenario was shown, the teachers were more nurturing to the students and the teachers themselves were excited to be there. This excitement and healthy environment rubs off on the children and they reciprocate it. They need to be in a place where it makes them want to learn and furthermore, be taught by someone who wants to be there and wants to give them a great education in order for them to succeed.

3.) In the reading and the lecture, we spoke about multicultural education and the five dimensions of multicultural education. The five dimensions were:
Content Integration
The knowledge Construction process
Prejudice Reduction
An Empowering School Culture and Social Structure
An Equity Pedagogy
Overall, these five dimensions better ensure equity for the schools and this has a positive effect for all children. As future educators, it is important to understand these five dimensions so we can make sure that there is equity within our classroom for our students. Furthermore, these dimensions help to:
Integrate content
Helping students understand how knowledge is influenced by beliefs
Reducing prejudice
Creating social structures in schools that support learning and development for all students
Using teaching methods that reach all students

Two connections I’ve made

1.) A video during the lecture I really related to was the one that talked about labelling. During high school, like for most people, there are certain labels put on yourself from irrelevant people in your life. These labels are often harmful and as vulnerable teen, can really get you down. Throughout the struggle of being labelled, I learned in my later years that the only label that matters is the ones you put on yourself. I discovered that peoples opinions of you do not matter and with the positive opinions you have for yourself, will only build yourself up and establish you as a strong young adult. This is something that is crucial to realize early on or else many will continue to allow these labels to define them and hinder their lives.

2.) Another connection I made was through the textbook and in the textbook it stated that gender roles should be “expectations about how males and females should behave – about what is masculine and what is feminine” (Woolfolk et al., 2016, p. 209). I connect to this because of my strong belief that children should be able to play with or wear whatever they please. They should not be forced and confined to their gender roles, this restricts them of being themselves and doing what makes them happy. This sets out a bad example early in their life. As they progress they will not be able to express themselves for who they truly are because they simply will not know how to.

One Question I still have:

1.) With minority students rapidly increasing in population and with that so are conflicts between these students and other students, how can you as the teacher properly introduce these cultural differences in an appropriate way so you do not offend anyone but also effectively show students that these differences are okay and that they should be accepting? There has been various ways that this has taken place but obviously, is not effective enough since it is still a common occurrence.

Social Cognitive Views of Learning and Motivation

Three things I’ve learned:

1.) Stacey pointed out a very valuable lesson for us as future educators during this lecture that I have not taken into consideration or knew about prior. She stated that the feedback that you give a child is very influential. This part I did know but what I learnt was that praising the effort put into something the child did is more efficient than praising the end product. This allows the child to feel as though their effort and handwork as a whole is recognized. This also makes the child think about what they have accomplished in an abstract way, they think about how they did it and the steps they took to complete it. Furthermore, I learnt that self-efficacy is being able to succeed at certain tasks independently and that this concept is crucial for children development. The praising of effort type of feedback is something that increases self-efficacy.

2.) Prior to this lecture, I have seen variations of the marshmallow test in other education classes. What was never mentioned though is what were the results of children after the experiment. It has been proven that once the children are up, the ones who waited for the second marshmallow and did not eat the first one got better grades, lived a healthier lifestyle, and did not have commitment issues. Overall were seen as very successful in their lives compared to the children who did not wait and ended up eating the first marsh mellow. This left an impact on my thinking of delayed gratification and on how powerful it truly is. Learning implies control is very important and is a crucial thing to teach children at a young age once they do, it is like you are setting them up for success.

3.) I learned what co-regulation is and how to use this tool as a future educator. As said in the lecture this is a process where you, as a teacher, work in collaboration with a student to plan, monitor and evaluate the work of the student. This, in my mind, would be extremely beneficial for building a strong relationship with the child and also through this, the teacher can better understand how the student learns.

Two connections I’ve made

1.) As I was reading chapter 11 in the educational psychology textbook, there was an example of self-regulated learning that I related to. In this example, it said that this student saw studying as anxiety provoking and therefore, would cram study the night before or a few hours before the exam. Therefore, would result in not doing well on the exam. When I got to university though, I developed Zimmerman’s cycle of self-regulation and through this, I was able to better grasp concepts and develop a deeper understanding of them.

2.) During the lecture when we were talking about the influences on self-efficacy and development I instantly thought of my parents. They 100% are the reason I am successful today and the reason I even am in university. They allowed me to believe in myself to achieve great heights and to strive to be my best. The confidence I have towards my intelligence is because of them and their support.

One Question I still have:

1.) Once a student has completely lost their self-efficacy, how can you assist them to attain it once yet again? Not only within the classroom but also beyond that?