I smile a lot.
People ask me why.
I ask why a smile needs to have a motive behind it.
People become confused.
What a world!
(NOTE: THIS IS UNDER DEVELOPMENT - PRACTISE FOR MY RESUME! Feedback from qualified teachers is welcome!)
The Power of Education
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” ~ John Dewey
People often tell me that my job is useless. I have heard the phrase “I never learnt anything in school that I’ve used in real life”, so many times, that I have ceased to respond when I hear it. I am offended when people differentuate between ‘life’ and ’school’, because ’school’ IS part of ‘life’. As adults, we are often not aware of how much we use the knowledge we gained in education. We engage with various forms of literacy everywhere, numerical and otherwise. How do you do your taxes, if you can’t count? How do you buy food if you don’t understand money? How do you communicate via your mobile phone, Facebook, and email, if you can’t read or write?
The foundations school lay for us are the basis to enable us to participate in today’s fast-paced, modern and visually dynamic society. I believe that my job is to educate children on what they need to know, and teach them things they didn’t know that they didn’t know. I want to expose them to the issues facing our society, like poverty, injustice, and the biased power of the media, and I want to inspire. My aim is to create passion in the hearts of my students, about life and learning.
The Power of the Individual
“Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves.“ ~ Ernest Dimnet
We have entered an age of technology, where children are so engaged with the television and the internet that they seek their own information. They are so fascinated with the freedom this gives them, to learn what they want, when they want. Yes, kids love structure, and when specifying my classroom tasks, I keep it tight and concise. However, I also love giving my students time to grow in their own way – the opportunity to succeed in all areas.
Yes, students push boundaries, and they love to see what they can accomplish by this. I believe in working WITH students, and giving them the opportunity to be their own authority figures. At the beginning of each year, we set the classroom guidelines of conduct together and agree on consequences for our negative actions. When problems arise, I believe in talking it through with students, and reminding them that I believe that they have the power over their actions/choices, and that they have the ability to treat others with the same respect that they, themselves, deserve. They need only choose that route.
The Power of the Media
“I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.” ~ Walt Disney
I believe that the media has an astronomical impact on our lives, and that we greatly underestimate the consequences of its uses, both positively and negatively. Both girls and boys are affected through what they are shown. They are given examples of how they should/shouldn’t act, or how they should/shouldn’t look and dress. Magazines and TV are always showcasing unhealthy, photo-edited images of “beauty” to children, and teach them, from an early age, that anybody who fails to reach these unrealistic expectations is “ugly”. Children and Teenagers are more uncomfortable in their own skin than they have ever been in generations past.
We have entered a generation who are desensitized by the media, who are fine with insulting people over the internet, but who would be terrified to use those insults to the persons’ face. I have integrated a Digital Citizenship undertone to my pedagogy, and am building a unit on the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship with my class.