“Canadian researchers Katz, Porath, Bendu and Epp (2012) defined academic inclusion as all students having full participation in the academic experiences of the classroom, including learning experiences with peers that are not separate or parallel to those of their classmates and that are not based solely on interactions with adults. Likewise, they defined social inclusion as each child being a full and respected member of the classroom community, including feelings of belonging, of being cared for and of being a part of something larger than themselves.”
” Wholeness is like a flower with four petals. When it opens one discovers strength, sharing, honesty, and kindness. Together these four petals create balance, harmony, and beauty.” ~ Leroy Little Bear~
“To redesign social systems, we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions. The silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking about equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred dominance by making these taboo subjects.” ~ Peggy McIntosh~
Yesterday was a bittersweet day as I attended my field placement for the last time. Although I will have more time to focus on my studies without this placement, I will miss it dearly. The field placement was not only good experience and hands-on learning in the classroom, but it was also a time that was used as a motivation toward my studies. I looked at my placement as a destination that if I put my mind to it will soon reach that point and be able to work in my own classroom. I am very pleased that I was given the opportunity to be in a classroom in my first year of university! I am now sure that this program is where I want to be.
The kids were sad to see my partner and I leave. Through these short seven weeks, we were able to make strong connections with most of the kids, so when it was time to say our final goodbyes we had a few kids in tears. I never realized how strong of connections we were making with the students until it came time to say goodbye one last time. Luckily both of our placement teachers said we could go and visit anytime we would like, so if I need some inspiration throughout my schooling I will be sure to contact the teachers.
Through this opportunity, I not only got experience in a classroom, but I have already begun taking key concepts from the placement. I think the biggest take away that I will use throughout the rest of my education and in my future classrooms is the concept of knowing your children as individuals and not as a class. When dealing with such a young age group it is more beneficial to focus on the student’s lives, personalities and well beings rather than focusing on the curriculum. Another key concept that I will bring with me is the sense of community throughout the classrooms and the school. It is very important to build a community with the parents of your students and understand their family dynamic to understand the individual child fully. I also need to understand that things are not always going to go the way I planned, so I need to be able to adapt to the changes that occur through my work day that will accommodate the students in the best way possible. These are the main concepts that I am going to keep, but there are many other concepts I will always think about as well. Some of these concepts include co-teaching, use of technology, movement in the classroom and class management.
I did not think I was going to learn so much in my first-year placement, but I have learned many valuable lessons that have shaped me as a person as well as shaped me as a future educator. I will remember my first placement as being an amazing school and I will remember the little grade ones and twos who ensured me that I was in the right field. I am beyond grateful to my placement teachers and am excited to see where my education will take me.
But what if equality, instead, were to provide the point of
departure? What would it mean to make equality a presupposition
rather than a goal, a practice rather than a reward situated firmly
in some distant future so as to all the better explain its present
infeasibility? ~ Jacques Ranciére~
When I look in the mirror, I not only see the physical characteristics that I am composed of but also all the intricate details both physically, mentally, and emotionally that have made me the person I am right now. When I look in the mirror, I am astonished of the person I’ve become. Who would have thought a little blonde-haired baby girl would have turned into the caring young woman that I am up to this point?
I am a daughter of two loving parents that have raised me to shoot for the stars and to become anything that I aspire to be. Their continuous support has made me the person I am today, and I will be forever grateful for all they have done for me. I am a granddaughter to two sets of grandparents and two great-grandmothers, along with the ones who have passed and who are watching me every step of the way, being my inspiration and drive to become this young lady. I am a niece to my aunties and uncles that have helped me find myself when I was lost. I am a baby sister to my brother who taught me how to be tough both physically and emotionally. I am a friend to many people I have met throughout my life who have picked me up when I was down and have shown me the true happiness life has to offer. I am a partner to my boyfriend who only sees the best in me and has never stopped me from pursuing my dreams. All these individuals in my life have formed me into this young, happy, eighteen-year-old girl.
I am a small-town girl who moved to Regina, Saskatchewan to become a student at the University of Regina. Pursuing a degree that will result in receiving my dream job; a teacher.
I am a future educator. I will never be able to put into words the love I have for children. They warm my heart where no one else can touch. Teaching is my dream, and I understand I am not yet at the final step to becoming one. As I look at myself in the mirror I see myself as an educator that will be able to reach out to so many students and not only teach them but allow them to teach me.
I am dedicated. As I begin to see myself for who I am, I acknowledge all the hard work I have put into my studies, relationships, jobs, and extracurricular activities that have made me the strong, independent women I see standing before me. With each new experience, I endure I can add another piece of myself that has been missing.
I am beautiful. As I sit here, thinking about who I have become I can finally say that “I am beautiful” which I have never been able to say that before. I am beautiful on the inside and the outside. I am openminded, accepting to all that I meet and have learned that everyone is beautiful in their own way. I am happy with who I have become and looking through the lens, I can finally say that I am proud of myself.
After uncovering the past, the future, and now the present it amazes me how they all connect. All these images and self-reflections I have made throughout this course have allowed me to see why I am the way I am, what brought me to this point, and why I aspire to be what I have explained for my future.
The past relates to the present and future. My experience that I mentioned in my regression is the biggest drive to becoming a teacher. Knowing at that moment I did not want any child to feel the way I felt at that very moment is why I am here at the University of Regina receiving my PreK-5 education degree. As I look back, there were many pivotal moments that have shaped who I have become, and those moments cannot all be recognized in one class. I also recognize that my dreams I have for myself regarding my career and family have also shaped who I am now.
I have formed an individual image of myself and as I move through the rest of my life I hope I am able to look back and realize how I got here and remember the amazing people I have met for me to reach this part in my life. This paper was challenging in the sense that it allows you to think personally about yourself, something that many people try to avoid at all costs. I know I have avoided it up until this point. However, now that I have looked back in the past, looked ahead in the future and looked at myself now at this very moment, I can understand how I got here and why I have become who I am now and where I want to end up. I feel enlightened about how much I have learned about myself and am excited to see where this new-found knowledge takes me throughout my life.
“Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one’s inwardness, for better or worse. As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our way of being together. The entanglements I experience in the classroom are often no more or less than the convolutions of my inner life.” ~ Parker J. Palmer~
“I am a teacher at heart, and there are moments in the classroom when I can hardly hold the joy.”~ Parker J. Palmer~
I was very intrigued with the assigned reading for the week. I have never really had to think about inclusivity in the classroom or even in society since I personally have never been affected by a disability and no one close to me has been affected by a disability. This reading and the week’s lecture has helped me understand the importance of being educated on inclusive education and how we, as future educators, need to uphold it in our classrooms.
A key component I took from the reading was the lack of classes future educators are taking to understand the importance of and how to manage an inclusive classroom. After I thought about how little I know about inclusive education, I could understand that for me to be a successful teacher, I need to gain experiences that will help broaden my horizons and assist me in helping include different individuals that I will meet in classrooms throughout my career.
To succeed in an inclusive classroom, teachers also need to understand that changes must be done to suit the best quality of learning for all students. In the reading, it states that the curriculum needs to see changes for all students to be accommodated. I learned that this doesn’t mean to make the workload easier for all students, but rather broaden the assessments and make changes to the assignments which will allow students to go above what is expected and allow students to go under the grade level when it is fit. An example of this is in my placement when my teacher had an inquiry assignment for the students and the students she has this year were not at the same level as the students last year. This resulted in her having to make a completely new booklet. This time she decided to make the booklet so that all students can use it throughout the classes she will have year to year, and to help with the diversity in the class she has this year.
From the reading, the presentation, and my weekly placement, I have learned about many techniques that would benefit an inclusive classroom. Co-teaching and smaller classrooms may be more beneficial to the child’s academic and social needs and allow them to grow faster than they would if they were being secluded in a private classroom with an education assistant. My placement teachers use the technique of co-teaching and it works perfectly when there are some kids that need some extra attention. I also find the pyramid that was mentioned in lecture to be a very suitable way to allow inclusive education. The pyramid allows all the students to be taught at the same level and when further teaching is needed for some students, they can move up the pyramid and get the one on one help that is needed.
The question I am left with after the reading is: Is it more suitable to place children in an inclusive classroom with children the same age or is it more beneficial to put children in an inclusive classroom that matches their social and academic ability, even though those abilities may not match their age?
I am left puzzled over the word “disability”, how are we supposed to form a completely inclusive classroom when we still view people with varying abilities as lesser than the “norm”?
To conclude, I now understand the importance of inclusive education and the importance of allowing all children to be in the same environment no matter their skill levels.
For this week’s assigned readings, the class was asked to read the introduction and first chapter of “The Ignorant School Master.” I found this week’s reading challenging. Although I found it a challenge I was able to get some key points drawn from the two chapters. As well as make some connections with the reading and in-class discussion.
A big thing I learned about from the chapters was the concept of universal teaching. Universal teaching is thought as a teaching method that allows students to be able to teach and learn themselves without someone explaining the content. I find this form of teaching very interesting and a good way to allow my future young students to gain some independence within in their own learning. Humans have used the Universal teaching method since we were infants. The teaching method was used when we were beginning to walk and talk. Humans are a lot more capable of teaching themselves basic knowledge then we think.
After learning about the universal teaching method, I looked back throughout all my schooling and realized that independent learning was discouraged. Instead of being able to read silently either our textbook or a novel we were studying in class, we were forced to read and listen to our teacher. The reading called these people the explicators. The explicators are the experts on the subject and the students are supposed to learn the information only from that specific source. I think the role of the explicator is good in some situations but, as a future educator, I also need to understand that for my students to gain independence and a good work ethic they need to be able to solve problems themselves without the help from the expert.
After reading the chapters and discussion in class I learned that the role of the explicator plays a huge role in society. The explicator can make the student feel powerless and unintelligent by going past their knowledge, thus making a hierarchy in the schooling systems. I can even use this reading as an example, the reading was past the classes knowledge and vocabulary and left most of us more confused over the reading than learning anything. This method does not support equality and freedom of speech, it does not allow for diversity in learning nor in the natural thought process of each individual student.
I question I have from the reading is when is it a good time to use the explicator method of teaching and when it is a good idea to allow your students to self-teach themselves? Does it depend on the student, the subject, or the class? I believe that self-learning is a great technique, but when should that type of learning be incorporated?
I am left puzzled after the article to why the explicator method is used primarily in schools? Are we not as teachers trying to allow the children to gain independence so why do we take that away from them during their prime years of learning? Taking the sense of self-learning away will do more harm than good once our students get out to the real world and have to figure out problems themselves.
Although this reading was slightly challenging I was able to pull out some key concepts from the text and learn more valuable information towards my role as a future educator.