ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Teacher Professionalism and Pay.

In one of our readings “Understanding Canadian Schools,” I noticed on page 7 in bold print “Is Teaching a Profession”? I have always thought being an educator was a true profession. When I read those few words it got me thinking, I wonder if some people do not think of teaching as a profession. I then went out to ask my friends and family if they all thought teaching was a profession. They all said yes but I was hoping to receive at least one no because different opinions on matters are always a positive thing. I think everyone thinks of teaching as a profession because it is an essential service and we are dealing with youth.

A very controversial area for educators is what professional is and isn’t professional behavior. When I was a student, a huge new area of discussion was what is right to put on social media and what isn’t. Personally to me, if you have a nice photo of you and your friends having a fun night out and have drinks in your hands, there is nothing wrong with that. Educators can have fun just the same as everyone else. A very comparable profession is police officers. I know a couple of officers and they also cannot post photos of them drinking for some reason. I do not understand why certain people can live their lives freely but some are restricted due to their career. I understand if there is a photo of you puking drunk in the toilet, yes that is a little inappropriate.

The final thing I got thinking of during these readings is teacher pay. How much do educators get paid? I went looking through several websites and collectively found that starting wage of a secondary, first year, 4-year degree educator is $54 000. This made me remember a time back in highschool when one of my teachers told me how much she got paid and I remember thinking that wasn’t too bad of pay.

One question I have after reading is how much do teachers get paid after 10 years of teaching to 20 years.

 

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ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 9- Hierarchy in The School System

One great point I remember is how the school system can be compared to a factory. I never thought about it this way but it is extremely comparable. Students come in at a certain time, sit in certain rows and do certain jobs. Factory workers do the same, they show up to work at a set time, they go to their stations and do their jobs. Students also get a lunch hour and get one or two breaks during the day. In a factory, the workers get a lunch and two breaks as well. Students are also put into categories sorted by age and graduate in batches. In a factory that produces biological goods, it comes with a packaged date and they come out in the exact same batches. When I look back on my high school experience, this strikes me as 100% correct. I had to do all of these things. I think school systems are trying to change this way of education due to it not being effective to everyone.

Another thing I noticed in the reading was how there is a hierarchy in school systems. I believe the hierarchy is the complete opposite. Students are at the bottom, where teachers are second and principals are third and so on. I personally believe students should come first and have a huge say in how they would like to receive their education and how they want to collectively participate. Teachers also should have a huge say because they are the ones at the forefront. Teachers are the infantry of education and the most important. For example, we have people in the high up ranks planning curriculum courses and school hours when they have never actually been a teacher. One subject lacking is physical education. In Canada, one in four Canadians is obese. Our physical education requires 30 minutes of education a week. We wonder why 25% of our country is unhealthy and obese. Instead of blaming the problem on Mcdonalds, we should blame these people planning our curriculum who are cutting out physical education.

I also hate why teachers get blamed for ‘bad teaching’. Yes, there can be teachers who struggle to teach the majority of students. If I had to guess, if teachers had some room to play around with their curriculum and teaching time; many of those ‘bad’ teachers would be great ones.

One question I have is why our government keeps cutting physical education hours. It is a huge problem in society. We can focus on making math majors and scientists all we want, but if they have a heart attack at age 30-40 due to them not knowing how to be healthy, how much can they really contribute to society.

ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 8- Racial Tolerance and Brainwashing Students

We had a couple readings this week and they were both really interesting. The first one I read was on Racial Tolerance and Anti-Racist transformation. This talked about the two paradigms and it had categories to talk about. Some categories were ‘Assumptions about the sources of racial problems and conflicts’ and ‘working with parents’. They offered ideas and explanations on both Racial Tolerance and Anti-Racist transformation.

The second reading was actually an article. This article really interested me because I truly believe there are positives and negatives to teachers getting their students to strike or preach peace. A couple of positives for teachers getting their classroom time to get into the media would be if a school shooting happened and the teacher gave them the choice to leave the classroom to talk to media. In the United States, whenever a classroom leaves the classroom to pray and show respect for a school shooting or something, it is always broadcasted. This can help unify the county and possibly help mend certain emotions. It could also be a really strong platform for better funding for education. It is hard to ignore a problem if it is affecting the future of your country and if everyone is upset.

It can also be an extremely negative thing. Teachers can use their students to push their own political agenda and there is evidence of this almost weekly. Once again, I am more so talking about the United States because this happens more frequently. There was one event in Toronto that took place in May. A grade 3 classroom went to protest with signs and a papier-mache oil pipeline to protest the pipeline in Western Canada. This bothers me because they are grade 3 students. They do not have the slightest clue what the pro’s and cons are to this pipeline. But due to their teacher having a political agenda, he/she used their students to push it. This is completely unacceptable because this is brainwashing those young children. They should be free to accept the pipeline if they want to. I personally support the pipeline, that is my opinion and I respect yours if it differs from mine. But I am not putting my hard earned money into paying/funding for someone’s political agenda that is pushed in an extremely inappropriate manner.

A continually repeating example of political discrimination is with Trump supporters. I want to make this clear, I do not support Trump, but I support equality and the right to exercise your personal views however you want as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone’s basic rights. For example, within the past week, there were two Jewish women who support Trump was kicked out of a restaurant just because they were wearing Trump supporting clothing. This is political discrimination, I feel like everyone should be able to show their support as long as it isn’t in a disrespectful way. These two girls were refused at the door and they did nothing wrong but wear some clothing.

 

ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 7- Residential Schools and Philosophical Systems

One point that really stuck out to me is in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, how teachers actually became teachers. In the 1880’s, you needed no formal education to become a teacher. In 1888 you finally needed some sort of training. The training consisted of only a few classes a month. Later on, they made full courses on education that took 2 years to get and now it is a 4-year program I remember my grandma talking about this because she is a former educator. In her time, she had to take the 2-year course. I think this is extremely weird how educators did not need any form of education. I see myself in the second year and I still do not trust myself to be a truly effective educator.

Residential schools was also a main topic in these readings. I actually read something new in this reading. I never knew that once a residential school was closed, those indigenous children were then without any form of education. The First Nations community then had to provide their own form of education. I don’t know how a community could possibly put together such a large task of putting an entire school together. I have coached volleyball in the past and to simply put together a volleyball team and educate them in that is hard enough.

Another thing I learned was the four major philosophical systems. These systems are idealism, realism, existentialism, and pragmatism. I learned that there is no single right philosophical system to use in a classroom. A combination of all four is the perfect mixture for a learning environment.

A question I would have liked to ask those educators in the 1880’s is if they felt they were properly trained to teach youth. Also what other struggles they faced due to their lack of education.

ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 6 -Culture and Diversity in Schools

This week’s reading was focused on Culture and Diversity in schools. One thing I learned was the 5 dimensions of multicultural diversity which was thought of by James Banks’. I think that using a more inclusionary based teaching strategy instead of a mainly ‘white culture’ based teaching strategy will benefit the learning of students severely. Another thing I noticed is how success in schools can be largely based off of one’s socioeconomic status. It is proven that a student with money who receives proper health care, books, nutrition and a place to sleep, will be more successful than a student who does not. Also, there are many connections to someone’s skin tone or culture to their success.

I look at my high school experience for many of these responses because all these points I mention lay true to my experiences. The way I was taught through high school was a very linear way of teaching. There is only one right answer etc. This way is a more ‘white’ based way and in my oppinion, it needs to change. In my ECS 110 class, I had to do a presentation on socio-economic status. It was amazing to learn the true facts on this topic. An example of this is a school in a poor area with low funding and low-income housing; their marks can be anywhere from 5-20% lower on average compared to a wealthy public school.

One question I have after reading is why do some schools get more funding compared to others even though the population is the same.

ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 5- Culture and Diversity

Battiste’s reading was very interesting in the ways of Indigenous culture. He talks much about how they learn and how their culture is honored. The First Nation culture is very rich in the spiritual world. Almost all of their views are based on the spirit world. They believe that everything is interconnected on a spiritual level. This causes their culture to be very rich in language, ceremonies, traditions, prayers, customs, and beliefs. This relates a lot to my KHS 231 class. I recently had First Nation dance, to be more specific we did hoop dancing. All of their movements are connected with mother nature. For example, when they move forward, backward, etc; it is to move in all four directions to respect mother nature. Once they do a movement to the right, it must be reciprocated to the left. Also, many of their movements are to resemble animals.

Another point I noticed in the readings is how schools primarily focus on only the visual ways of the First Nation people. These visuals may be art, dance, and what is found in museums. I noticed this is a very Western way of teaching. European teaching has always been very linear and to the point. This would not be very effective in teaching the First Nation Culture because the two different cultures have completely opposite ways to educating.

The Final thing I noticed in the readings is how linear thinking people such as scientists and engineers are now beginning to accept the more spiritual view of First Nations people. The key word here is “beginning”, there is still much more work to do to move away from the fully developed Western mindset.

One question I have is how can we teach First Nation culture using Western society’s linear approach of educating to teach such a spiritual culture like the First Nation’s.

ECS 200, Weekly Reading Responses

Week 4- Social and Cognitive Development

What I got out of this week’s lecture and reading was about how everything connects. The reciprocal influences, how our social influences which are environmental variables, our achievement outcomes which can be behaviors, and our self-influence (personal variables) all interconnect to one another. I also found Brandura’s concept of self- efficacy, “The greater the self- efficacy the greater task initiation, and persistence… the greater the likelihood of success”. I have never thought of it that way before so it was interesting to me on the concept and one that really made sense. It was also interesting to read about all the different kind of “Self’s” and understanding what they mean; self-concept, self-perception, self-confidence, self-esteem, self- efficacy, and self-regulation.

The connections I was able to make this week was, on the different influences that people or I have and how they can affect self- efficacy, and development. I know that to this day there are certain people who I try to make happy or follow their strategies on how to do things. I live in residence so I have roommates. I have to change the way I would ideally like to live just to suit them more so we get along better. Another connection I made this week was on feedback. When I used to play HVC, feedback was always critical and gave me ways to improve. Feedback can be both positive and negative and is extremely important to make you better at anything.

One question I still have from this week is how would I be a coach or teacher, give feedback to my students or athletes without being offensive and blunt. How could I construct my sentences so it is both building their skills and not being offensive.