ECS 200 Blogs- Mar 29th

Mar 29th Supporting the Principalship in Saskatchewan Schools

3 things I learned

  • Research confirms the significant role of the principle in achieving successful outcomes for students and relationship between the principal and the school community is a critical element of that success.
  • Effective principals. The vision, mission and culture; principals play a vital role in establishing the mission, vision and culture of the school; it is a role that is focused on the learning success of each student. Through collaboration students, staff, and community can share in the vision of success for each student.
  • Being a principal is a multifaceted and complex role. They are responsible for setting personal goals and objectives for successful professional practice while considering the particular teaching and learning environment, and the needs of students, teachers and the school. The role of principals creates and assure an environment conducive to student learning, collegial dialogue, high-quality teaching, staff development and that an effective alignment of resources with academic goals exists within the school community.

2 connections I made

  • In high school, I had a great school principal. He was extremely friendly and would always welcome us at the door. He seems more like a friend than a principal but it made it much easier to go to him for problems we were having in the school. Many of us students developed a good relationship with him and felt comfortable enough to talk to him when we needed something or there were problems in the school.
  • During the Turn and talk in lecture, we were asked to talk about the good qualities of a school principal which you have experiences in the past. Some qualities that came to my mind was being friendly, being able to solve problems, being accepting, and being able to form relationships. I think a lot of these qualities are also qualities you need in a good teacher as well. We also talked in our turn and talk about if any of us had any desire to become a principal or vice principal in our future. Personally, I would not want to become a principal because I want to be in the classroom teaching children rather than trying to solve problems, worry about staff development and so on.

1 question I still have

How do you become a principal or vice-principal? (What extra schooling, qualifications do you need?)

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ECS 200 blogs- Mar 22nd

Mar 22nd Construction of Teacher Identity

3 things I learned

  • Your identity includes ethnicity, race, SES status/class, gender, sexuality, ability, religion, geography, occupation, family status, political beliefs/ affiliation, education, interests/hobbies, personality.
  • A discourse is “a socially accepted association among ways of using language, of thinking, and of acting that can be used to identify oneself as a member of a socially meaningful group or ‘social network’. Discourse can also shape the “conditions of possibility” for identity. Another definition of discourse is “a body of thinking and writing that uses shared language for talking about a topic, shared concepts for understanding it and shared methods for examining it.
  • Classrooms itself shape the teacher’s identity by past experiences, curriculum, architecture, students, other teachers, administration.

2 connections I made

  • One connection I made is that when thinking about being proud about an aspect of my identity I thought about how I am often very proud to be a Canadian. I especially feel this when I travel and tell stories about Canada. I am also extremely proud to be a woman. I often look up to women who have stood up for gender equality and it always makes me proud that we are so powerful and fight for our rights and beliefs.
  • Another connection I made is the idea that different aspects of our identity overlap. For example, I think because I want to be a teacher and a part of my teacher identity, I often look for the best in people and think that when people lash out or have problems it is because of other aspects going on in there life. This often overlaps with my personal life. For example, I have found myself making excuses for people not treating me with respect because I often think there is something else going on. But I also think I have more compassion and caring for people in my personal life because of my teacher identity.

1 question I still have

  • What are negative concepts that shape teacher identity? Is there any way to reverse your teacher identity you create?

ECS 200 Blogs- Mar 15th

Mar 15th Saskatchewan Teachers Federation.

3 things I learned

  • The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) is made up of 13,000 teachers from Pre K to Grade 12. The people in charge of the STF and everyone making decisions within the STF are all teachers.
  • Under the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation teachers are offered any benefits. These include dental, health, pension, maternity/paternity, life insurance, disability, teacher well-being, and sick leave.
  • I also learned that the Saskatchewan teachers federation has other resources for teachers. These include the McDowell Foundation for Research into Teaching which is a foundation that provides support for research that impacts teaching and learning in the province. Another resource they offer is the Stewart Resources Center which is a collective of over 28,000 books and audio-visual resources, as well as e-journals and newspapers and a collection of teacher preparations units.

2 connections I made

  • When Sharlene said that “you should take what you can get when you become a teacher”. It reminded me of my Grade 12 English teacher. We got into a conversation about how he journey to become a teacher went. He originally got his Secondary Degree with an English Major and Science minor. When he finally got offered a job after his degree he got offered a job as an early elementary physical education teacher. He was hesitant at first but decided to take the job just to get his foot in the door. He told me that even though it wasn’t his specialty he really enjoyed the physical education job he got.
  • Another thing I really loved about the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation is that they offer opportunities to travel. I have always loved t travel so to know that I can take my two passions and do both of them is awesome. I was even reading up on their website about the professional development program they are offering this year in India and it seems very interesting. I hope I will one day get the opportunity to travel and teach.

1 question I still have

  • Is it going to be more beneficial or less beneficial for me to finish my second sociology degree before I get a permanent contract?

ECS 200 Blog- Mar 1st

Mar 1st Constructions of School Systems (Philosophy of Education, Hidden Curriculum,

3 things I learned

  • The four philosophies of education are: Perennialism- the focus of education should be the ideas that have lasted over centuries, rooted in realism and idealism, teacher as an expert. Essentialism- tries to instill all students with the most essential or basic academic knowledge and skills and character development, focus on the basics, purpose to teach basic skills and mastery of subject matter. Progressivism- individuality, progress, and change are fundamental to one’s education, rooted in pragmatism- knowledge constructed through experience, the purpose of education is to develop the whole child. Social Reconstructionism- emphasizes the addressing of social questions and a quest to create a better society and worldwide democracy. Rooted in existentialism- knowledge is subjective, individuals make meaning. Purpose of education is to challenge inequality and create a better society. Teacher as a facilitator.
  • The traditional views of the hidden curriculum include ways that help pass on social norms and values, such as dress code, following instruction, punctuality, organization, hard work and school as social reproduction. A contemporary view of hidden curriculum stifles creativity and promotes passive acceptance or norms such as helps reinforce the status quo, conformity, respect for dominant ideas and cultures and authority of the hierarchy.
  • Before the European education came into motion in Canada, education included: the tribal education system, rooted in celebration and spiritual practice, elders served as teachers during daily life, no formal institutions or classes. The purpose of this education system is about culture and community. This school system then turned into the factory school system we are apart of today.

2 connections I made

  • Behind every teacher and every school, there is a set of beliefs that influence what and how the students are taught. This is a teacher individual Philosophy of Education. It also answers questions about the purpose of schooling, teachers role and what should be taught and by what methods. This statement made me think of my previous education core studies 210 course. In the course, we explored how our society and the stereotypes in our society can influence our classrooms. For example, we talked about how first nations are often seen in society as trouble makes, drugies or drunks and if we carry this same stereotype into our classrooms we are going to cause future problems for our students and our selves.
  • The hidden curriculum is the idea that we teach our students a curriculum other than the formal Saskatchewan curriculum. One example that I thought of was when I was in Grade 8, my teacher loved science. Because of this we spent most of our time doing science and focused a lot of major project on science. Even though it was a part of the curriculum to teach science, because of my teachers love for science, he made me believe that science was more important than any other subject we were learning because it was our main focus.

1 question I still have

  • Since education practices and change takes shapes through the intentions and actions of particular historical actors that are influenced by actors, organization, and structures, how do other school systems around the world differ from Canada’s school system?

ECS 200 Blog- Feb 15th

Feb 15th Indigenous Perspectives and Diverse Narratives

3 things I learned

  • When considering different narratives as teachers we should be considering the connections, resonances, tensions, and gaps between narratives and shift our orientations in order to view something or act in a different way. Example: if we see developmental learning in a different way then our classrooms may look a different way.
  • The idea of a “good student” is extremely complex. It could be about orientation based on the perspective of a theory or teacher for example. However, this is some basic principles that most people would agree is a good student. These may be the normative narratives that we are told. Such as a good student being someone who sits at their desks and does there work without disrupting the class.
  • There is a lot of reconceptualize scholars that are questioning the truths about individual and groups of children. They are not trying to say that some older scholars are wrong, but instead, they are thinking about the ideas in a deeper understanding. For example, they may look at Piaget and challenge whether he took into account race or gender during his discoveries.

2 connections I made

  • When I was in my ECS 210 class last semester we were talking about how we should be always telling more than one story. We talked about how harmful it is to only tell one story about a child’s development. For example, if all of our stories we are telling about family is about a mom and dad, a child with two dads or two moms might feel as though their family is not normal because it is not the story they are being taught in class. This very much relates to the idea we talked about today in the lecture when discussing developing narratives.
  • In both this class and ECS 210 we looked at the idea of “the good student”. In ECS 210 I wrote a blog response about the good student. I first googled what a good student was. The results that came up included students that listened well, did all their homework, worked well with other students etc. But when I flipped to the google images I noticed a new take on “the good student”. I was shocked to see that in the pictures most of the students were white. This narrative automatically excluded students from different backgrounds of being a good student.

1 question I still have

  • What are ways that we can encourage students to look at and change their normal narratives in order to challenge them?

ECS 200 Blog- Feb 8th

Feb 8th   Culture and Diversity in Education (Poverty and SES)    

3 things I learned

  • Culture is not just an individuals background but also includes the knowledge, skills, rules, traditions, beliefs, and values that guide behavior in a particular group of people. Culture also affects a lot of a individuals life. Including socioeconomic status, achievement, confidence, etc.
  • There is a significant link between socioeconomic status, mental health, and education. If a student is dealing with poverty they often carry the stress with them and this will affect their education. For example, it is often difficult to deal with the math problems in front of them while they are starving or worried where they will sleep tonight.
  • Socioeconomic status is a term used in sociology for variations in wealth, power, control over resources and prestige-section. The SES is determined by several factors and often overpowers cultural differences.

2 connections I made

  • When the video talked about the connection between mental health and education I thought about Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. If a student is struggling with their own mental health it would be hard for them for focus on stuff going on in school or in the classroom. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs, we need to address the mental health in order to move up to the “next level” of the student’s needs is their education. Personally, if I am struggling with something outside the classroom often find it difficult to focus in class and also do my own homework or projects outside of class.
  • In my previous sociology 208: inequalities in Canada class, I did a research paper about how poverty in Canada impact students. This reminded me a lot of what we are talking about now in class and how it related to my paper. In my paper, I talked a lot about how the middle and upper class have unfair advantages in education. for example, in places that have standardized testing, the tests are written from a middle-class perspective, therefore, putting an unfair advantage to those who struggle with poverty.

1 question I still have

  • If I am in a school that struggles with poverty, are there resources in Regina to help students get supplies, breakfast, etc?

First Reflective Assignment

First Reflection: Ongoing and Culminating Reflective Assignment

Kacie E. Morin

ECS 200

Dr. Sharlene McGowan

University of Regina- Education

February 7th, 2018

Paul Dojack Youth Center

            My volunteer placement for Education Core Studies 200 is The Paul Dojack Youth Center. It is a center for youth ages 13-18 who have been charged and sentenced for a crime or have been charged and are awaiting sentencing. When I originally did my first meeting with the volunteer coordinator, the only thing I knew about the facility was that it was a jail for teenagers. I learned that the center has five different areas and each area contains a different level of care. I also learned that the center holds 5 girl and 58 boys, but this number is constantly changing. As a tutor, I would be placed each day with a student outside the classroom and help them work through assignments. Although I had some idea about what I was walking into the first day I was looking forward to seeing how my first three hours would go.

Summary of my first experience

            Going into my first day of volunteering I was extremely nervous. Just walking into the building was difficult trying to figure out how the door alarm and lock system worked. Once signing the visitor book I made my way to my dorm unit, number 2. I meet with my cooperating teacher Kevin who informed me that he had me set up with a 15-year-old boy who was working on a Grade 10 Mathematics unit. We began doing basic multiplication and then worked our way up to more difficult questions. I mostly sat with him and confirmed to him that he was doing the questions right and helped him work through problems when he got stuck. I did notice while working with the student that he is behind a normal 15-year-old on his basic mathematic skills and general problem-solving skill.

Initial impressions and my feelings

            As I was working with the student today on math he said something that really stuck with me. He told me that he really enjoyed being there. My initial thought was “why would you like to be locked up in a place like this?” For a few moments, I was confused until I realized that for some of these teenagers this center is a better, safer place for them to be than at home. Whether it is parent problems, financial issues or gang related issues, for some of these students being in the Dojack is a safe place for them to be. The student I was working with was also telling me about how he loves to read but have already read all the books available to him there. That comment really touched my heart and made me want to bring him hundreds of books myself. I noticed that my teacher instincts kicked in and I wanted to encourage his love for reading and help him in any way I could. This made me feel hopeless that there is not much I can do but also happy that I have those initial teacher instincts.

Concerns and hopes moving forward

During my initial meeting the volunteer coordinator, Jeff, warned me about the students being aggressive, inappropriate, and having boundary issues. The thought of having a student around my age asking me personal questions or saying inappropriate comments made me extremely uneasy going into the classroom for the first time. Although the first time I went nothing bad happened, it is still a concern of mine that someone will say something or ask me something to make me uncomfortable. My hopes moving forward with this volunteer placement is that I continue to be able to help as much as possible and have a positive educational impact on a few of the students. The cooperating teacher discussed having me with the same student each time so I hope to be able to form some sort of a relationship with that student and help him work on his problem solving and limited mathematics skills.

Closing

            This initial experience has been an eye-opener for me. Even having just been there for three hours I already have a new outlook on the way I view my own life and others around me. Growing up in a wealthy household with my parents and my younger brother has made me really appreciate the way I was raised and how lucky I was. I also look at others around me and wonder about their story. We all have struggles and this experience has really made me aware of the hardships and struggles other are going through. Overall, I can’t wait to be able to go back next week and learn more about myself, the students I am tutoring, and the future teacher I am going to be.