ECS 200 Posts

Week #12 –Reading

For week number twelves reading I decided to do my blog post on the article about “Exploring Teacher Identity” by Krista Yerkes. When I was reading this article I came across three things that I learned. The first thing that I have learned from this article is how becoming a teacher is a long journey and patience is key to success when become a teacher. Your continually learning  and world of teaching is full of the unknown. You teach from who you are. Some people think being a teacher and becoming a teacher is not a hard thing but the reality is that there are lots of obstacles and work and people to deal with when becoming a teacher and when you are a teacher. The second fact I learned was your identity is always changing and the changing aspect of identity is affected by the people you surround yourself with as a teacher. The third fact I learned about was how the profession of teaching is very personal and teaching comes from who you are. No teacher will teach the same because we all have different personalities. You can’t put on a mask and someone tells you how to teach. You have to figure out who you are in order to be comfortable in the teaching profession.

The first connection I had to this article was how becoming a teacher is a long journey. You can see it now through university and the classes you take. There is a lot of work to those classes and some of them are difficult but it is the proper preparation you need in becoming a teacher. The second connection I have made to the article is how every teacher is different in their own way. I won’t teach like any of my other teachers I have had in the past because they don’t have the same personality as me. Will I take certain aspects and things I like about how teachers taught me in the past? Absolutely. A lot of the ways teachers teach you helps shape your personality in a lot of ways.

One question I have after reading this article is how hard is the transition from a student to becoming an actual teacher? What are common struggles new teachers have to face?

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ECS 200 Posts

Week #11 – Reading

For week number eleven’s reading, I chose to do my blog post on the article, “Teachers, Administrators and the Schools”. When I was reading week eleven’s article, I came across three interesting facts that really stood out to me. The first interesting fact that I learned was how the number of men in the teaching profession has dropped from 41% in 1989-90 to 35% in 1999-2000 according to statistics Canada. As a future male teacher it’s a little concerning knowing the drop because schools may be looking to hire female teachers over male teachers as time moves on and maybe that’s why the number of male teachers have dropped. It’s obviously not a for sure thing but the drop is concerning because schools need male teachers. I think it’s necessary to have a balance of both. The second interesting thing I have learned from this article is how we are in such a big movement of age In profession of teaching. The article talked how 45% of current teachers will be eligible to retire by 2008. I think we are still in that movement right now and that makes a better opportunity for younger teachers to get a job as you see a lot the older ones retire. You do see on average if you walk into a school a younger teaching crowd in recent years. Old teachers are retiring and young teachers are taking over for the majority. The last thing I learned from this article was how people think that oversized classrooms are a big reason why young teachers quit within the first couple years of teaching. In Ontario they have a rule that a maximum class size of 20 students per room to lessen the work load for a teacher as big classrooms create a lot of stress on teachers. Most classrooms in Canada have started following that trend and it seems to be better.

The first connection I have made to this week’s article was how in my placement last year I was at an elementary school and majority of the teachers there were female teachers like the article was saying. I think I maybe saw two or three teachers that were male walking around the whole time I was there. The second connection I made was how reduced class sizes are starting to become a thing in the education system. I was placed in a grade three classroom last year and I was in like one of three I believe and each class had around 23 students. It is good to see because it does create less stress for teachers especially at that young of an age when they can be crazy.

One question I have about this article is are genders favored in different grades for teaching? Example: Schools want more males for middle school and up and females for elementary and preschool.

ECS 200 Posts

Week #9 – Reading

During week number nine’s reading on the online article about why schools are brainwashing our children, I came across three interesting facts that really caught my eye. The first interesting fact I learned from this article was how Canadian faculties of education are preparing their student teachers to weave social justice throughout the primary school curriculum in math, science, language arts, social studies, drama and gym as well as into a range of cross-curricular activities, events and projects. We are trying to implement social justice into everything classroom related. This idea is to encourage kids to become critical analysts of contemporary issues, empathetic defenders of human rights. The second fact I learned from this article is that there are some pretty soft schools out there. For example I read that there was a school in the U.K which banned the word “best friends” because it made kids feel left out apparently. I think that is very unnecessary and you can’t take that freedom away from someone. You can’t control a person’s thoughts on who they like and favor. I get that we want to encourage inclusiveness, but we can have best friends while still respecting everyone and be inclusive. The last fact I learned was how brainwashing is implemented at such a young age in the education society. I saw in the article how a parent was upset how there was a poster in his son’s classroom about PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) who was in grade one. It explains how this isn’t right because what if you’re a kid that comes from an agricultural background and suddenly you have to explain why you kill cows for a living as a parent. Schools have no business discussing hot-topic things like this. There is no point because kids don’t understand at that age.

The first connection I made to this article was how much schools and the education system are changing. Just with things as simple as gender neutral bathrooms. As a kid, I was never exposed to things like that growing up and now students these days will be educated on it instantly. The second connection I made to this article was how in my ECS 100 placement last year, it showed how much education has changed in the elementary system since I was a kid by actually implementing real world problems into a grade three classroom. It was never really like that as a kid but no you see it more often how students are becoming more robot like. Sometimes I think the education system tries to shape kids too much rather than let them be their own person.

My question to this article is why and how has the education system become so much softer than when I was I kid.

ECS 200 Posts

Week #8 – Reading

For week number 8 reading assignment, I decided to do my reflection on the history of education in Saskatchewan considering I am from Saskatchewan and hope to one day teach in this great province. With hoping to teach here, I think it is very important to know the background of education in this province. When I was reading, I came across three interesting facts that stood out to me. The first interesting fact that popped out to me was how it was thought that U of S was the first university established in Saskatchewan in 1907. This was not correct as it was technically Bishop McLean University in Prince Albert established in 1883 which was operated by the Anglican Church. Bishop Maclean never really developed into a full on university and was supposed to become a part of the new U of S in Saskatoon but never succeeded. The second fact that I learned was before 1888, there was no formal teacher-training programs. The supply of teachers came from upper-level students who were passed into service. It is basically saying that the smarter students where used to teach other people and that there was no degrees you had to get. The name Normal School was a place where students were taught the norms that were necessary to teach which established in 1888. In Union Schools, there were dedicated rooms where students were taught to be teachers. The last interesting fact that I learned about this reading was how prior to 1907 education in Saskatchewan used the word “standard” to indicate the level of grade a student had got to. Since 1907, the grading system has evolved lots as it showed in the charts and the grades or grading systems continue to evolve each year to meet efficient needs for students and teachers.

The first connection I made to this article was when they were talking about the Indigenous university or college programs that are available in Saskatchewan. My mom attended Gabriel Dumont Institute in the nursing program. The GDI is a Metis institute that has a location in Regina. My mom really enjoyed the program and she said the teachers were amazing there and learned so much. Also a teammate of mine is in the SUNTEP program and says he really enjoys it. The second connection I made to this reading was the grading level and how much it has transformed over the years especially in the elementary system. I remember in my ECS 100 placement my teacher I was working with told me how they have gone from using letter grades (a’s & b’s) to using words such as “excellent” or “average” as a baseline for how a student is performing. Those weren’t the exact words used but it is along those lines.

One question I have after reading this article is, as education and teaching is always changing, will there be any changes to the way people teach the university education program in the near future?

ECS 200 Blog Posts

Week #7 – Reading

During week sevens reading response from chapter six (Pages 189-224), I encountered three very interesting facts that stood out to me. The first interesting fact that I found interesting was under the ethnic and racial differences in school achievement category. What I read up on this category that was interesting was how a big concern in schools is how some ethnic groups consistently achieve below the average for all the students. This pattern of results tends to hold for standardized achievement tests, but the gaps have been narrowing over the past four to five decades. Before, with this being below average, you will see higher dropout rate from certain ethnic groups, but as the gap narrowed the less dropouts occurred. I think a big part of this is because people coming to North America don’t know what to expect when entering a classroom or they may not speak English well and there is a language barrier that hold students back from knowing what is going on. Previous education may be not so good either depending on their background. The second fact that stood out to me was how there is lots of research made on the treatment of male and female students. Most of these studies have focused on white students. Most of the studies show that teachers favor boys over girls. Studies have shown teachers ask boys more questions in class and known to give more feedback to males than females. Schools are now trying to destroy “boys culture and force “feminine, frilly content” on boys. A reason why boys tend to struggle in school more than girls is because of the expectations that are brought with being a male and how schools don’t fit the way males learn. The last fact that I gathered from this reading was under the poverty and school achievement. I read how one in seven children live in poverty in Canada. For different groups this rate is higher. Canada is ranked at 24 of 35 richest countries. It basically talks about a country being this high on the wealth chart should have more of the poverty situation figured out. It is a vicious cycle because if kids aren’t able to perform in the classroom due to poverty they won’t have an education to contribute to the economy. If things on the outside are distracting students it won’t get them to the place where they want to be at in the future. The rate of children poverty is higher than the general population which is a huge problem. If the poverty situation becomes better it can only help the economy even more. I personally have never dealt with a student who is struggling to make ends meet but I would like to know what things you could provide to a student that is struggling.

The first connection I have made to this reading was how in one of the paragraphs it talked about how students who dress or look poor are thought to be less intelligent which is totally not true. I have been in classrooms who have had teachers who have made opinions or not asked questions to students based on their look and those students end up to be one of the smartest in the classroom. It doesn’t matter how a student looks it is what inside that matters.

The second connection I made was just on certain ethnic groups being behind in school as it talked in the reading. I have been in classrooms where students have trouble comprehending things because of a language barrier. You see them struggle and you almost have to go help them figure there work out as a fellow classmate. I think the language barrier is a big thing why certain ethnic groups struggle in the classroom.

One question I have about this reading is how you help a student who is dealing with poverty out. What things can you provide within professional boundaries?

ECS 200 Blog Posts

Week #6 – Reading

For week number 6 reading assignment (Blog post number 4) I chose to do my reflection on Marie Battiste’s article called “Nourishing the Learning Spirit”. In the week 6 reading assignment I came across three very interesting facts that stood out to me. The first fact I learned from the article was learning back then for Aboriginal people focused their learning on holistic, lifelong, purposeful, experimental, communal, spiritual within the language and culture. The most important of those was spiritual or the “learning spirit”. For Aboriginal people, the spirit enters this earth walk with a purpose for being here and with specific gifts for fulfilling that purpose. The spirit has a hunger and thirst for learning and during this process the spirit learns what is useful and what is not. The Aboriginal people believe the spirit guides everything and that the spirit can guide you to learning that lasts a life time. The second interesting fact that I learned in this article was how Indigenous people around the world continue to feel the tensions created by a Eurocentric educational system that has taught them not to trust Indigenous knowledge, but to rely on science and technology for tools for their future. We can’t keep indigenous knowledge in our back pocket we have to continue to grow it and preserve it, not strip it away. It is Vital to protect Indigenous knowledge, not only for the sake of Indigenous peoples in their own environments, but also to raise general awareness of the vitality of indigenous knowledge and its dynamic capacity to help solve contemporary problems. The third fact I learned was how important Indigenous knowledge has become to the education system. Before we were moving away from indigenous learning but as time moves forward we are starting to learn about indigenous knowledge and value or really listen to what they have to say and apply it to the education system.

The first connection I made to this article was taking a Cree class last semester. Just seeing that the class is offered is showing how we are trying to value Aboriginal studies in University and preserve a language. The second connection that I made was how we rely on technology so much now days that we forget how we got to who we are now. We weren’t really recognizing our past but we are starting to realize who we are through our ancestors.

One question I have is, as we try and teach aboriginal history in our education system, out of all the teachers in the system what percentage of the teachers are Aboriginal?

ECS 200 Blog Posts

Week #4 – Reading

As I was reading the articles from this week’s reading, three interesting facts stood out to me. The interesting facts came from the Educational Psychology book pages 420-424. The first fact that I learned from this reading was that curiosity is one of the 16 basic human motivations and schools should target developing an exploratory orientation in a student’s major goal. Also, interest and curiosity are related. It talked about how curiosity is a tendency to be interested to be interested in a wide range of areas. The second interesting fact that I saw was that anxiety interferes with learning and test performance at three points. The three points are focusing attention, learning, and testing. Students who are highly anxious divide their attention between new material and their preoccupation with how worried and nervous they are feeling. The last interesting point I learned from the reading was how students with learning disabilities or emotional disorders may be especially anxious in school. When students get put into stressful situations such as tests, they can use three kinds of coping strategies which are problem-focused self-regulating learning strategies, emotional management and avoidance.

The first connection I made to this reading was how learning and information processing are influenced by emotion. Reading that made me think of how when I learn when I’m upset or not feeling to well. It triggers your brain to not be focused and motivated to learn. When you are in a good state of mind it makes it easier to learn and your more focused. The second connection I made with this article was the guidelines with coping with anxiety under the category of using competition carefully. The second point under that category was, “during competitive games, make sure all students involved have a reasonable chance of succeeding. During my ECS 100 placement, I noticed that my teacher was really good at educational games and making sure every kid had a chance to succeed. It was really good to see because there wasn’t much arguing or kids picking on other kids. It just made phys. Ed or classroom games run more smoothly and it is definitely something that I want to take into my classroom.

One question that I have is how do you help a kid with anxiety that struggles with writing tests on or assignments and what is the best thing you can do for them to get them help or to teach them to try and have less stress?

ECS 200 Blog Posts

Week #3 – Reading

In week three’s reading I came across three very interesting facts that I could not stop thinking about after reading that I think people should be aware of. The first fact I stumbled upon was in the area of how important it is for kids to have physical exercise and recess strongly encouraged in a school day. In the reading, I read that researchers have noted that students in Asian countries outperform North American students consistently in the departments of reading, science and mathematics. These students in Asia have more frequent breaks throughout the school day which translates to a better performance in the classroom. The second interesting fact that I picked up on was that studies show that kids who have longer than 15 minute breaks for recess or just in general are listening and more behaved in class. People think if there were more breaks provided in the school system there would be less students who have ADHD. Going forward as a teacher I think it is important to let kids be active to maybe decrease the development of ADHD. The last interesting fact I learned was how obesity of teenagers in Canada has tripled over the 25 years. The current estimate of obesity for kids in Canada is 32% who are obese. Obesity in North America has always been a hot topic.

The first connection I have made to this reading was about the obesity. During my ECS placement last semester at the school I was at you could see obesity develop in some of the snacks that the kids are eating. The bigger kids would be eating things like chips or cookies during snack time and the kids who were less bigger always had the healthier snacks. I think obesity trickles down from parenting and eating right and exercise has to be taught at a young age in order for the obesity percentage to go down. The second connection I made was through the puberty part of the article. Just growing up you see the differences in each person and how quickly or slow peoples body develop. I have seen all sorts of stages in development as a kid, some people hit their growth spurt earlier or developed acne earlier or later on. Kids at young ages have awkward bodies through puberty but eventually it wears off as you get older.

One question I have that reflects this article is as teacher, how do you help or support a kid who maybe has an eating disorder or is anorexic? How do you be there for them?

ECS 200 Blog Posts

Week #2 – Reading

During my reading of the articles, there was three interesting facts I picked up on that made me think hard on and realize that other people may find these facts just as important as I did. The first fact I picked up on was how important the word ‘grit’ is to the word of education now days. I really liked how the article describes grit and I learned grit means “perseverance and passion for long term goals”. This means, despite even failing, you have the determination to keep going even though you have failed once or maybe even twice. You have a strong internal drive. This brings me to the second fact I have learned and that’s interesting and that is making sure kids know that making mistakes is a part of learning and not a reason to quit. Making mistakes is a part of life and is something we have to deal with and everyone makes mistakes. Kids need to realize this at a young age to increase their internal drive. Lastly, the third thing I learned is that there is this theory that some people are born into privilege and only those people can succeed. Which is totally wrong. Like being talked about before grit and internal drive can overcome these types of theories.

Two Connections I made to this reading was that it is very crucial to let kids know that failing and learning at a young age is fine. I can remember being young in school and doing poorly on a project or something and thinking it’s the end of the world but really it’s just a learning process to maybe studying harder or taking more time do something instead of rushing. As a kid you just don’t know and it’s important to let your students know that failure is okay because you can always redeem yourself. Another connection I made to the article was how the teacher I was shadowing last year for ECS 100 internship was very good at telling her students that being wrong is okay and that they are young and learning.

One question I had about this article was how to tell a student to keep going without pushing the student hard enough that they quit? How hard is it to find that happy-medium line in a kid where they can be successful and recover from failure with confidence that they know it is okay to fail?

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