The “Good Student”

A “good” student, according to the commonsense article, starts with a classroom where the teacher is in control. There is an incredible amount of pressure from schools and society to produce a certain kind of student. Our commonsense model looks a little like identifying what we want the students to know at certain times through the curriculum, standardized exams and pre-chosen readings. “Good” students are well behaved, listen and follow instructions, thinking specific ways, and do not voice criticisms of their teachers. The privileged students are students that are capable of learning in a traditional classroom. A “good” student listens to wells to the teacher and does not have to be asked more than once to follow instructions. Teachers think that their students should not get distracted and sit still at their desks while they are getting taught to or doing their work. This view only relates to the students in (usually) the higher social classes and those who can learn in this strict, conforming way, which is potentially only a select handful of our potential students.

I believe that these commonsense ideas make it impossible for students that cannot work in a traditional classroom. The education system is failing these students. Children should be allowed the freedom to learn in a way that best suits them to seek their best knowledge. There are different ways that individuals can interpret lessons, and different ways of communication does not always mean misbehaviour.

A classroom should provide learning for every student’s needs, even if it isn’t the easy way of teaching. I know this is a bold statement. I do not personally know how to make this possible. With only two small classroom placements in my experience, I know that I lack knowledge that could lead me to make a more informed opinion on this idea.

As future educators, if we only look at our students with the commonsense lens, we will miss out on so much of our students and their potentials. We need to see the diversity of our students, and see what they are capable of achieving. It is essential to understand where our students are coming from and try to provide teaching that fits their needs.

This post is written based on the following articles:


  • Jennifer Cullleton

    It is so hard to know how to serve the needs of all the students, especially with what little knowledge we have. I am excited and a little nervous to learn with you and all the other Education students more ways to do this. It seems like you really care about each future student, and I am sure your classrooms will benefit from that caring.

  • Meagan Flunder

    Hi Danielle,

    Great post! I agree with your statement surrounding a “good” student, I feel like teachers have so much pressure put on them to produce these types of students, and students that don’t fit this mold are seen as the trouble students; even though this is completely wrong. But you are right we are still learning with only a couple teaching placements so far, I am so glad our classes are educating us about this so we know that we need to change the way of thinking and work towards adjusting our lessons/ environments so each student is able to learn. I also think you are going to be a great teacher, because you are working on learning and understand you still have a lot to learn.


  • Riley


    Students do deserve the opportunities to learn in a way that best suits them. I think you hit the crux of the problem, how do we as educators do this? We have gone to school in a particular way and will often have observed similar ways of teaching/behaviour management. How then do we learn what’s best for our students and how to meet all of their various needs? Teaching is about relationships, communication and flexibility. It becomes easier to adapt to our students needs when we know them and they know us. I agree with what you are saying about how the system itself is geared towards this common sense in schools. So many questions on how we can change this model.

    Thank you for your response.

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