Teaching Reflection: Week 5

  1. Finish what you started. An activity may not have worked out the way you wanted it to, but you gotta see it through. You can adjust as you go, but students don’t know what you had in your head and most likely don’t know you messed up.
  2. Critical decolonization for children: Sometimes you just gotta start with exposure. My 6th graders only reference to Polynesia was Chick-fil-a sauce. Maybe instead of thinking about decolonizing their perspective I can think of it more as heading off some of the propaganda. Like I don’t have to define cultural appropriation when I can say, “Don’t get a tattoo from a culture that you know nothing about.”

3. Neoliberalism: The neoliberal drive in K-12 is STRONG. Like I knew this, but seeing these babies be told to think about what they wanna do for their careers is ridiculous. They’re still figuring out what music they like and what emotions are. The adults around them are still figuring things out (cause do we actually ever figure shit out?) and healing from the trauma of our childhoods. Why put children’s value into careers they don’t have when deciding when, where and how you work is only one part of life and dependent on so many other things besides what subjects you like in school. Also the career paths presented to students are SO limited. Cause neoliberal ideology prioritizes/idealizes only certain careers and lifestyles.

4. Living in a neoliberal system: I hate all the neoliberal stuff, but I have to work to both teach students to not take the world as they’re told it is AND teach them how to navigate the structures in place. I can’t 100% control what they take away from my class, but I can work so that they have opportunities. That they aren’t limited as much because their families don’t have access.

5. France & Algeria: Like I was planning to get here so it is by design, but I’m a little surprised by how much Algeria is coming up in the class. I guess that’s just what happens when you colonize.


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