Topic- The Importance of Names and Stories
3 Big Takeaways, New Understandings
- A name is more than just a name. It has a bigger purpose. A name is the first thing we know about our students and this name can tell us a lot of important cues like; country of origin, gender and language. These are all really important because they provide the first insight into our students lives. Therefore, I feel students should be encouraged to use their entire name and not change their name as we see happening in the honour their names article.
- Students don’t care if you mess up, they care if you try. In both articles Honour Their Names, and On Behalf of Their Names, teachers choose not to use students’ names or pronouns because they are afraid of messing up. However in the article On Behalf of Their Names one teacher says she doesn’t use pronouns because she doesn’t want to mess up but the student reply’s by saying “ Messing up isn’t the problem, we know it’s hard to get used to, we actually just want you to try.” (Deych ) I think this is a key concept that I will try to remember as a teacher, just try that all the student wants.
- I believe you. This method is modeled in the article I Believe You. The adults simply start their response by saying I believe……..The article claims that the staff and students could both sense a shift in the classroom climate and their relationships with the teacher. As a future educator the I believe model is defiantly something I want to try to implement because I think it would be a huge asset for building relationships as a teacher.
- One connection I had comes from the article Honour Their Names. In the article Alejandro Jimenez discuss how the ESL teacher had issues pronouncing his name and instead just decided to call him Alex. Similar I also have a long name and often when I meet new people, they ask can I call you Amber. When I was younger, I would always say ye it didn’t seem like a big deal to me. However, on time I was asked what I preferred to be called in front of my Nana and to my surprise she got rather upset. She told the person “Call her Amberlee, if her parents wanted people to refer to her as Amber, they would have named her Amber.” From that experience I realized the importance of my name. So now when people ask if they can call me Amber, I just say no I prefer Amberlee.
- The second connection I made was to an experience I had at a school last week. I was in a grade 4 classroom working as an educational Assistant the teacher had the students working on an “about me” essay. This activity was very similar to the activity done in the “Seeing Ourselves With Our Own Eyes” where the kids where encouraged to create a list of “about me” things and then make it into a poem. I think both these activities are great to get students to look at themselves through their own lens.
What might be some of the best ways to learn students name pronunciation?
Topic- Becoming an Anti-Racist Educator.
3 Big Takeaways, New Understandings
- Don’t send “difficult or different” student to other staff to deal with. In the first article Dear White Teacher lots of the students are Mrs. Lathan’s classroom because she is the same race as the students so she will be able to help them better apparently. However, that’s not true at all and simply sending students away will make it very hard to earn or keep the respect of these students. Also if you are constantly having someone else deal with your students you are unable to build a relationship with that student, which will only lead to more issues.
- It’s important for students of all races to be treated equally. This theme appeared in various articles, but it was always evident that the students, parents and other staff wanted all the students to be treated equally. All the students are different and it’s important to examine each students needs and do our best as educator to give them what they need.
- Being an anti-racist educator. As we go out into our future as educators we can expect students with a variety of different racial backgrounds. As educators we understand that we need to love and support all students equally. We need to recognize that we are lifelong learners and we will learn alongside our students. Furthermore we need to search for ways to teach in a n inclusive holistic approach that makes all students see their value and importance. Anti-racist society begins in our classrooms.
- In the Dear White Teacher article it has tips for contacting children’s parents. It says if you need to ask how to say their name properly and then remember it. This stood out to me because last week we discussed the importance of a name and now we can see it reoccurring in this week’s articles. Furthermore, referring to students and parents by their name can help create relationships with parents and it is also a symbol of respect in my opinion.
- In a few of the article it discussed learning with your students and begin a forever learn as a way of starting with self in anti-racist teaching. This relates a lot to my experience as an educational assistant in a First Nations classroom I had this past spring. When I first started, I didn’t really know much about Nakota people but I learned alongside the kids and I got to see and learn the beauty of their culture.
What are some strategies to show inclusiveness in our classrooms that we can do without making the more diverse students feel on display?
3 Big Takeaways, New Understandings
- Punitive Discipline vs Restorative Justice- This was an interesting concept to me because when I went to school, I only ever experienced punitive discipline. I like that the restorative justice approach allows the teacher to approach the student and the problem on a mutual level. Restorative justice allows the teacher and student to work together to solve the problem as opposed to having the teach create punitive measures.
- Restorative Justice and Relationships- One thing I found really interesting in the articles was the connection restorative justice and relationships. They discuss how building a bunch of relationships or a circle of support for a student can support them and help them come to common grounds rather then facing punitive discipline measures.
- Restorative justice big picture- I found it very intreating to see how restorative justice needs to be understood and practiced by all members in order to work well. Like in the article they discussed how we couldn’t just have one PD day and then implement it because people won’t have the proper knowledge and it needs to be a transition. Also from my own experiences can see how restorative justice might be difficult to implement in a community or place that uses punitive discipline because the families and children won’t understand the process or the importance.
- I connected to the restorative justice article because my parents used a more restorative justice approach to parent me and my siblings when we were growing up. I enjoyed this approach because it allowed me to be part of the decision-making process.
- My second connection was in the video the women discusses asking children if they could have done worse instead of saying could have you done better which students and children often hear. My nana used to always say this to me and as I kid, I didn’t really understand but it always helped to not make me feel bad. Like if I was doing something and made a mistake, she would always say well oh well you could have done a lot worse and she would never really get upset which was super refreshing to me as a kid.
Is it possible to implement restorative justice in your classroom if the entire school practices putative discipline? What kind of barriers may exist?