Teaching Reflection: Week 15

The surprises are constant. Like the students who never look engaged making progress after so much time encouraging and pushing them, or leaving them alone (cause hovering can also not work). There are so many limitations on how I can support my kids, it’s frustrating to see them fall behind when I know there’s a lot out of their control contributing to that.

But they’re learning! Now I just have to figure out what I can do to help them not fail (in the eyes of county testing system).

Also just like, burnout. Like the teachers, the students, administration. Thank goodness for winter break because us dealing with each other so much is draining.

Teaching Reflection: Week 14

I was reading an article about mentorship a while ago, which specifically commented on how people need to be better trained as mentors. The author was highlighting the issue of how many people who get into mentorship programs with various organizations aren’t prepared for how hard mentorship can be–that your mentee isn’t always going to do what you think is best, listen to your advice, be in a good mood, etc.

I think that’s one of the many difficult things about teaching. I tell kids that doing their homework will help them on quizzes, and they still don’t do it. I tell them to use their resources and notes, and they still throw papers away.

Teaching Reflection: Week 13

I need to detach myself from the weight of testing and quantitative data.

I have 2 purposes (for myself) as a teacher. They are coexistent but don’t have to relate to each other–

  1. Engage my students in critically analyzing their world.
  2. Develop their French proficiency according to standards set by the county.

The second is *secondary* and while it is important, I need to work on stressing myself over it less. For my personal sanity, I cannot invest so much into a purpose I don’t believe in.

Outside of my issues with teaching a colonial language, language learning is a natural and cultural process. It shouldn’t be packaged and commodified to demonstrate intelligence/value. And that’s exactly what our education system does.

I don’t have a choice in my being inside of this system. But I can continue to work to distance myself from it, and towards one that does not seek to crush me or my students.

I can choose to not willingly take oppression home with me.

Teaching Reflection: Week 12

  1. Responsive pedagogy: The kids love anime/manga. I knew this, and made a conversation assignment using a manga strip. My 6th graders FLIPPED OUT. Adorable and hopefully will help them actually do their homework.
  2. Teacher identity: I’ve gotten the attention of a random 6th grade Caps fan after he noticed my Flyers gear in the hall. I learned that his middle name is Gretzky while he showed me his Gretzky hockey card and told me about his dad’s collection and his Jari Kurri card when he was definitely already late to class 🤣
  3. Queer teacher identity: I’m beginning to suspect I’ve become the *queer* teacher to the queer kids after I knocked over my very gay hydroflask and one of my (suspected) queer students yelled, “Not the sacred bottle!”

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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.

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