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First blog ever Inspiring elementary teacher. Favorite color is blue

Monday, December 5, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Random Thoughts

So all in all the education system is not perfect to say the least. Changes need to be made and teachers need to be one of the ones to start these changes. Yet change takes time and sometimes a lot of effort. A lot of the problems we have in the system are things we have been doing for a long time and to try and change these things and introduce a new way of doing things is scary. People do not like change and regardless of if it is for the better they will fight you on it.
So I definitely agree that some things just are not working anymore and need to be changed but I guess the question is how? Should we totally boycott the old way and full force the new or slowly incorporate new ways into the old? But the major question is how far should one go for change? If it costs me my job is that really worth it? Yes I would be making a point but without my job I cannot help anyone regardless. What buttons are okay to push and which not so much?
I think a lot depends on the individual but still something to think about.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ira Shor "Education is Politics"


Shor suggests that teachers should teach against the myths and common standard of teaching. Encouraging teachers to invite students to examine subject matters in depth, not to just learn fact after fact.  Challenge the status quo; let them be able to connect academic learning to their personal life. Doing this encourages teaching in and beyond the classroom.
He believes that we need to get away from the habit of a teacher just spitting out knowledge to their students and change to a more dual approach with more student interaction.  I agree this approach works a lot better. In this FNED 346 class alone just being able to have an open discussion about the material has allowed me and my classmates to have a more personal and better understanding of the material.  We get to experience others view points on the subject and get to share real life examples. This helps a lot so unlike some classes were you sit there and wonder when I will ever use this, we already know and I personally pay more attention. Shor agrees and says "A critical and empowering class begins by examining its subject matter from the students' point of view and by helping students see themselves as knowledgeable people. I wanted them to take, from day one, a critical attitude towards their knowledge, their writing habits, and their education."  Students should be involved in their education, it not only helps them but the teachers find what does and doesn’t work.
However in most of my other classes the teacher just spits out information to you and you remember it for the exam but then soon forget.  I can remember things I did in this FNED 346 class and the lesson learnt from the beginning of the semester but I can barely remember that far back in any of my other classes. The whole “just memorize it approach” does not teach anyone anything but how to memorize for a test. Education should be more than that; memorization is not going to help you later in life in the real world.

Extra:


Blog post on Shor
http://mkowal-mariah.blogspot.com/2011/04/education-is-politics-by-ira-shor.html

Interview with Shor
http://louisville.edu/journal/workplace/issue7/parascondola.html

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Talking Point #9 Connections

Kliewer brings up a lot of good points in this article, some new and some very familiar. Some of the new ones were about people with disabilities and how people treat them. Just because someone needs a little help in certain areas or with certain things does not mean that they deserve to be treated any different than anyone else. I totally agree with this and tried not to treat the students with disabilities in my high school indifferently, but a lot of people did and it's truly sad. People that have disabilities did not choose to have them, they were born with them for the most part and the fact that people judge and make fun is not okay to me. In the article Kliewer talked about Mia a girl that has Down syndrome, not being able to take certain classes because of that and being stuck in special education classes. This amazed me; she has just as much right to take a journalism class as anyone else if she wants to. People need to stop judging people, especially those with disabilities; just because someone is disabled does not mean that they are stupid or incapable or having the same cognitive thoughts as anyone else.
Kliewer also touched upon a few other topics that we have previously discussed as well. When talking about the little boy Issac in Shayne's school reminded me about Promising Practices and the Afterzone. The Afterzone is a place for students to go after school and cook; they make all sorts of different foods and research the different cultures that they come from. So not only do they get to have fun cooking but they incorporate math, writing in journals, science, etc. In Shayne's school they have learning at heart but they are making it fun for the children as well with such things as "Where the Wild Things Are" play. I find this very important; learning should be made fun for the students even if it is in an unconditional way.
The article also relates to Finn as well when talking about students being separated based on abilities. Just because someone does not score well on a test does not mean they are dumber than someone who scored significantly higher. They both talked about how school should be more of a community where everyone works together. In Shayne's words "Don't think, that those special needs kids drain anything. That class would not be half what it is if anyone of those kids got segregated. We're all together in there."