Class Reflections

Class 1: September 14th, 2015

Several important things were touched on throughout Monday’s class. Not only did we witness several different teaching strategies, but we were able to discuss examples of how we as teachers could use them within our classrooms. Some of the different strategies used were lecture, group discussion, interaction, question and answer, and teaching through technology to name a few. Another thing that I noticed throughout the class was smooth transitions from topic to topic. This is something that I worry about as I enter my pre-internship year. I want to be able to make everything flow, and to have the ability to transition smoothly between topics in my classroom. I think that this may be a personal struggle for me as I first start out. I have been trying to paying close attention to transitions throughout my classes, and it is something that I hope to learn more about as the semester continues. I would certainly not consider myself to be good with technology, but I know that it is something that I need to improve on. This class is showing me all the different things that you can do with technology, as well as what an important resource it can be within the classroom. Even though the thought of it scares me, I know that I need to work through my struggles so I am able to give my students the best educational experience possible. I think that technology helps to move away from traditional ways of teaching. As a teacher, it gives me the opportunity to do things I have never done, and to teach in ways I was never taught. So though it is scary right now, I know that it will help me to improve myself. It gives me a chance to be creative, and my hope is that by the end of this class, I feel more comfortable to try new things involving technology. As an educator, it is my responsibility to ensure that my students have positive learning experiences. I am the one with the power to decide what we do within the classroom, therefore I need to take risks to better myself, so I can better them. I think that in our ESST class, everyone holds power. We all have the chance to participate, and this can determine what happens within the classroom. Though the professor certainly holds a certain amount of authority, we all have the chance to express our thoughts, and to share our opinions on the topics discussed. The education faculty is unique. It is not your typical University class that entails your professor lecturing to an enormous class while their students sit in their seats, silently facing the front. In that type of situation, it is clear that the professor is the authoritative figure. In education, I find that it is more of a partnership. We have a chance to have small group discussions, which is something that I personally benefit from. I find it so interesting and beneficial to hear the perspectives of my classmates in comparison to mine. In education, we have the unique opportunity to learn not only from our professors, but from each other as well. We all have power, and we all have some degree of authority. I think that we are treated like teachers rather than students, and that is what sets us apart from other faculties.

Class 2- September 21st

Today, we learned about power and authority within and outside of the classroom. If found it interesting to think deeper about how it is a part of everyday life, and this class showed me the importance of recognizing this. It caused me to think about the different power dynamics within my life, and how it might impact my teaching. It also caused me to think about what the words power and authority mean, and how they differ. Though they are similar, and are often used interchangeably, they are very different. Power is defined as ‘the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events (dictionary, 2002).’ Authority is defined as ‘a power or right delegated or given (dictionary, 2002).’ I think that as a teacher, it is important to have an understanding of the difference between these two terms. This class caused me to reflect on, and examine the words power and authority, and to think deeper about what they can mean.

American Heritage Idioms Dictionary. 2002. Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved from:    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/power

Class 3: September 28th

Throughout this class, several different teaching strategies were used. Some of these strategies include instructional, the use of technology, group-discussion, and questioning. I learned different ways to use technology within the classroom, and I also learned how this can be effective and useful. I think that they style of education classes differ greatly from other faculties within the University. Whereas most faculties involve several students sitting in a lecture hall being talked to, we get to have hands on, interactive experiences. Though our professor certainly has authority over us, it is not the same as other classes. We are a collaborative group working together to learn, and that is what sets us apart from other faculties. The power dynamic is different because though the teacher has power, the students share some of that power as well. Our small classes allow for class discussion, and that is something that is very valuable to my learning and growing as an educator.

Class 4 & 5: October 5th & 19th Presentations

I thought that today’s class was very beneficial. I enjoyed listening to each group, and hearing what they learned and took from each outcome. It was so interesting to see how unique, and creative everyone’s presentations were. I loved to see how many different ways there are to teach each outcome, and I think that these presentations really helped me to see that. I enjoyed how Skylar, Tori, Josie, and Taylor created a game with their outcome. I think students really enjoy interacting and engaging in their own learning, and this activity created opportunity for that. I learned more about what each outcome meant, and gained ideas on how to teach these outcomes and curriculum strands. I enjoyed seeing what my classmates came up with for this assignment, and I thought everyone did a great job!

Class 6: October 26th

This week, we had the opportunity to have insightful presentations on stereotyping, missing and murdered indigenous women and protocol. I found it very interesting to hear the different perspectives that were shared with us. I especially enjoyed hearing Lani Elliot speak about her story and experiences, and I thought that she was inspiring. She explained how difficult it can be while being surrounded by such stereotypes, and it helped me to realize the impacts stereotypes have. I think that having this knowledge will help me as a teacher. Knowing about these stereotypes will help me to be aware of them, and discuss them within my classroom. In order to eliminate these stereotypes, they need to be talked about, and this is something that this presentation helped me to see. In addition to this, I really enjoyed that we were taught how to present tobacco to elders. This is something that I have always been afraid of, and having this explanation was extremely helpful.

Class 7: November 2nd

I thought that these presentations were extremely helpful. Exciting sets are something that I have had no experience with. Having the chance to see several different ideas of unique and interesting sets from my classmates was very useful. I was amazed to see some of the ideas they all came up with, and there were several that I can see myself using within my classroom. I loved Sarah and Kaitlin’s farmer/cow presentation. I thought it was engaging, insightful, humorous, and exciting. I also thoroughly enjoyed Katie’s presentation. I think that it was very courageous of her to sing in front of the entire class, and I thought she did a wonderful job of introducing her unit! Jenna’s activity was very interactive, and I thought that it would be something that students would love! Everyone did a wonderful job, and I enjoyed learning from my peers, and seeing all the creative ideas they came up with.

Class 8: November 9th

I enjoyed our discussions about lesson planning and unit planning during this class. I think that since lesson planning is an essential component to every one of our classes, it is sometimes difficult to decipher what aspects of a lesson plan each professor wants. Our discussion regarding this topic was very helpful, and the different templates are something that will benefit me as well. It also gave me the opportunity to build and create some concrete ideas regarding my unit plan. The article discussions gave me some new perspectives on Aboriginal topics. The Story of the Bean had some powerful insights that I found very beneficial. I recently planned a grade three Plant Growth and Change unit in my ESCI class, and if I had read this story earlier, I would have tried to incorporate these views on plant growth into my unit. I found that the ways of growing a plant in this article was so interesting and effective, and I thought it was such a neat way to incorporate Aboriginal views into this unit.

Week 9: November 16th– Presentation in TPC

The presentation in the TPC was extremely eye opening. I expected it to be a seminar revolving around bullying, but it ended up being so much more. We learned about LGBTQ terminology and stereotypes. I am from a small, rural community where this was never discussed, so this was a very new topic of conversation for me. I think that as a teacher, it is important to ensure that everyone is being included and represented. This seminar showed me what terms are appropriate, and which are not. It also taught me the definitions within the title LGBTQ. She talked about several different things that I never considered, which made it a very valuable learning experience for me. One thing that she talked about that really saddened me was the female/male bathroom issue. I never thought about how challenging and emotionally scarring this experience might be for transgender people. I never thought about the discrimination that they might face in such a common, necessary place. A ‘male’ looking female gets ridiculed and judged if they choose the female bathroom, and vice versa. She said that several transgender people have bladder issues because rather than enduring this judgment and stress, they choose to hold it until they are in a safe place. I never thought about the value of all-gender bathrooms until this story was shared, and it made me really sad to think of the experiences transgender people have in this area. As a teacher, I think that realizing this will help me to pay attention and think about what my students might be going through. It helped me to open my mind to these types of issues within schools, and within society. It is important to be aware, and this seminar was a stepping-stone for awareness in LGBTQ terminology and awareness.