Teaching Reflection: Week 11

    1. Decolonial pedagogy: We’ve been talking about Canadian residential schools in my 8th grade classes and the students have been a lot more interested and reactionary than I thought they would. Curiosity, anger, questions about whether it happened in the U.S. Assimilation and contemporary connections to immigration. This all engaged students who I never would’ve thought would care.
    2. Pre-made second language critical lesson plans: SO THANKFUL to all the people who have created critical lesson plans (especially the ones I found in French). Lesson-planning is already so much work. So those who are doing that critical work–especially in languages other than English–PLEASE KEEP DOING IT (and make your materials accessible online). I want to at some point put my own lessons online, after I have time to revise them and provide detailed instructions.

3. Translanguaging: I love translanguaging with the little Spanish I know. I love hearing Latinx students talk about where their families are from and hearing them make connections between what they already know and what they’re learning. Hopefully they’re beginning to understand that my class is not about shutting out languages besides French, but connecting French to their worlds.

4. Queer teachers & students: I don’t broadcast my queerness to my students, but I also have a rainbow flag and hydroflask that are both prominent in my room. I’ve honestly answered questions about my sexuality when asked, all with the priority of being a visible queer adult for my queer students. I was reminded this week of that visibility. I hope I’m doing good by them. I hope they feel seen, but not thrust into the spotlight. I hope they see a future where being queer is just one aspect of themselves.

5. Developing relationships: Respect. I’m trying to focus on emphasizing respect when I have to call out my students. They’re not learning in ideal conditions at school (not the worst, but they deserve the best). They may also not have the ideal conditions at home. So I don’t want to make it seem that *they* are problems. I want to help them understand that they are part of a community in my classroom, and that requires thinking outside of their own needs. Which is hard. They’re children 😂

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