Week 10, Shaelyn Knudson

Three things that I learned:

  • Sexist or racist comments are addressed and prohibited in schools and classrooms but inappropriate comments towards lesbian, gay, and bisexuals are not as commonly addressed and are most often avoided and condoned. This leads to the image that homosexuality is to “be feared, odd, and fundamentally different.” Unknowingly, teachers can promote or create homophobia in their classrooms. An example of preventing this would be creating examples of homosexuals in various assignments, and not all heterosexuals.
  • One in five lesbians and one in two gays admitted to being victims of hate crimes in their schools. It is interesting to me that half of the males admitted to being a victim of hate crimes and that any so-called feministic trait or action would be called upon immediately by peers, whereas for girls, any masculine trait or action is simply seen as tom-boy. Also, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, thirty percent of all youth suicides are committed by gay, lesbian, or bisexual youth.
  • Safe schools label the bully as the perpetuator and those bullied as the victim, and never as both. They fail to focus on the factors or problems that developed the bully and assumes privilege, power, and superiority of the bully. This can relate to the assumption that problems arise in a school due to individuals not acting towards the social “norms” and therefor are victims because they are in the Other group.

Two connections that I made:

  • The game “Smear the Queer” was used in an elementary school. This is most often where the phrases such as “that’s gay” are used without ay knowledge of the word being used. Personally, I grew up with many of my peers, particularly the boys, using phrases without truly knowing their misuse of the word. Elementary schools should be educated on basic terms and meanings to words and how to recognize when they are being used inappropriately.
  • As you may see from one of the things that I learned, I was caught by the statistics in the article”Smear the Queer”. However, after reading the author’s revisiting article, I realized that these are broad and do not tell us anything about these youth and what their circumstances were (such as alcohol abuse, depression, or victimized experiences). However, it still impacted me as a future teacher to realize the impacts that I can have in a classroom to prevent individuals from being victims of hate crimes.

One question that I still have:

  • Does the tolerance of homosexuality prevent from use of various phrases such as “that’s gay” and acknowledge that homosexuals are equal to heterosexuals, or does it simply “allow” them to exist as inferior beings to heterosexuals who remain homophobic?
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CBSL, Shaelyn Knudson

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Moose Jaw Literacy Network

Three things that I have learned:

  • From my initial impression, I have learned the importance of giving resources to rural towns. While I attended the Gus Bus, we brought things such as fine motor skill development, craft and activities, a puppet show, car seat checkups, and much more for children from ages 0-5.
  • From walking around the other stations at the Gus Bus in Briercrest, I was able to learn a lot about specific risks and issues in parenting children from the ages 0-5. For example, I was given information about the effects of spanking and the thin line that can be crossed between discipline and violence, and the results of this in the children.
  • Another one of my tasks with the MJLN has been to write a monthly article to be sent to local parents with kids enrolled in the school systems in Moose Jaw. My article was specifically towards the importance of reading in teenagers and how a certain literacy level will be needed once entering post-secondary schooling. After researching, I found many benefits to maintaining a strong reading level and setting a good example for your kids.

Two connections that I have made:

  • Being in charge of the craft, I was able to take from my experience of working with grade two and three students over the summer in order to create something that the children would enjoy and the parents could be involved. My goal was to ensure that the parents had to be involved in the activity and could gather ideas to do at home with their kids as well.
  • From attending the strategic planning meeting for the MJLN, I was able to understand why we were reaching out to these rural communities and our goals when we went. While making it an enjoyable event for everyone, we wished to give resources and knowledge to the parents that small towns do not provide. Also, we were able to reach out to a mother about starting a Moms and Tots group for the other moms in the area.

One question that I still have:

  • At our strategic planning meeting, we discussed the option of bringing the Gus Bus to various Hutterite colonies in the area. I was curious if anything would change in our event to adjust to the kids and parents as well as how we advertised it as well.

Week 8, Shaelyn Knudson

Three things that I learned:

  • Canadian education in the past few years has had an increase in retirement, resulting in an increase in job openings. However, in most subjects and areas of teaching, there remains a surplus of more teachers than teaching positions.
  • Teaching is an isolated, uncertain job that has conflicting roles of controlling behaviours as well as building a love of learning within their students.
  • In Saskatchewan, salaries and fringe benefits are determined through collective bargaining between the provisional government and the teachers’ association. Salaries are based on experience and education, and most contracts include an increase in salary each year (called an increment) with a maximum limit.

Two connections that I made:

  • When the reading states that most teachers, administrators, and school board members are not of diverse cultures, I was able to relate this to my own experience in all of my previous and current schools. At the school that I coach at, there is a multicultural program (EAL), meaning that majority of the multicultural teens attend that high school, out of the five in the area. However, not one staff member is multicultural and the curriculum has not been adjusted for the majority of the students at this school.
  • Teacher’s working conditions can be based on the developments outside of school. For example, the school I went to for my ECS 100 placement had students who were very clearly wealthy and had laptops, iPads, and even cellphones to conduct their work with various videos, photos, PowerPoints, and more (in a grade six classroom!). However, the two schools that I work at over the summer has students that do not have access to these technologies, meaning that the teacher has to be much more creative and use alternatives for the students assignments.

One question that I still have:

  • If professors in Universities have academic freedom, are they still able to be evaluated formatively if their ideas are controversial in an unprofessional or bias way?

Week 7, Shaelyn Knudson

Three things that I have learned:

  • Catholic schools boards have dismissed some of their staff due to violating their religious teachings. Also, the reading discusses cases of being dismissed due to divorce, but have been upheld in court. This was shocking to me for the fact that many of these examples would not have effected their quality of teaching and could have been addressed in another way.
  • Along with recognizing and controlling anxiety as a teacher, Yerks also point out the importance of relationships. They are vital to our own lives as we support one another in our experiences, and also help our students in giving them support and encouragement to be successful and well-behaved in our classroom.
  • The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is built to encourage and support teachers in the province to create and carry out professional development plans. Also, this is a great place to get information about certain codes that we may need to know as we step into our field. Other than being mentioned in class a few times, I have never heard of this federation and think it is great that we are learning about this early on to ensure that we have a knowledge of these things before entering our internships.

Two connections that I made:

  • The Alberta’s Code of Professional Conduct relates to the discussions we had in ECS 110 about the topic of teachers and colleagues. Just as the article states, teachers are expected to follow clear procedures if they wish to criticize one of there colleagues styles. In ECS 110, we discussed the issue of having older colleagues who may not know how to use technology in their classroom, and the proper ways that we can approach them in order for them to benefit from this new knowledge.
  • As Yerks talks about the anxiety that she experiences each day within her classroom, I am reminded of my coaching experience. As I plan each practice, I worry about whether it will be productive enough, fun enough, and fast enough. However, it is something that I believe I can overcome before it gets to a serious degree. Just as Yerks says, we much learn to “recognize and control” anxiety as we step into the teaching field.

One question that I still have: 

  • What type of movements have been made towards teaching as a profession and the ability to form the provincial code of conducts rather than the government?

Week 6, Shaelyn Knudson

Three Things That I Learned:

  • Existentialism can be displayed in the film The Wizard of Oz due to the characters experiences on their journey to the wizard and once they all find out that it was all a hoax. Existentialism is similar to this in education because of the identity that students build in their educational journey, rather than at the end of it through a magical occurrence.
  • Conservatism believes that education should not have any rapid changes and has strict disciplinary standards, while Progressivism believes that education should be able to change and adapt to the students’ curiosity and self-expression, promoting the development of the whole child.
  • Education systems in the 19th and 20th century played a large role in the separation from British and French ties as well as avoiding assimilation from America. Also, education could encourage democratic participation which is necessary in order to build common social order in a country.

Two Connections That I Made:

  • As Lois Guss discusses his/her experiences in a residential school, I think of the film We Were Children and how the experiences in this film are very similar. The realities of the lack of freedom and individuality that these kids had is so important for teachers to recognize as we teach and learn from this.
  • When reading the topic of educational expansion after the Second World War, I am reminded of my family. On both sides, this is very evident in my grandparents decision to drop out of school in their elementary years, whereas my parents did not even consider this by the time that they were school age. It is incredible how they managed to create a positive enough image of education to get to where we are today.

One Question That I Still Have:

  • In these readings it became very clear that education is continuously evolving. I am curious as to how education is changing in the present day in terms of what new values and ideas are being brought into the system.

CBSL Initial Impression, Shaelyn Knudson

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Moose Jaw Literacy Network

Three things that I learned:

  • For my first several hours with the Moose Jaw Literacy Network (MJLN), I have been helping prepare various things for upcoming events in the community. This has helped me with my organizational skills as well as learning how to efficiantly plan an entire year of activities in just three hours.
  •  The strategic planning meeting that I attended began with an outline of the history and goals of the MJLN. This gave me a very strong understanding of what the purpose of the planning was of both new and preexisting events held in Moose Jaw and other rural communities. This helped me motivate new ideas and bring some suggestions to the table during some of our group activities.
  • Some of my other work has included creating slide shows, posters, and various advertisements for upcoming events in the community. This has taught me to appear differently for the parents that I am trying to reach. For example, the advertisements that are for ages 0-2, I put cartoon photos of ABC blocks and book worms, while the advertisements for ages 4-6 had real life photos of children reading to each other in previous programs. Once the events occur, I will be able to see which advertisements worked the best in order to adjust my strategies for the future.

Two connections that I made:

  • Being able to observe my peers at the strategic planning meeting encouraged me to learn through observing, just as we discussed in the social cognitive theory. Through observing how my peers presented themselves and how they brought forward ideas, I was able to contribute to the meeting more beneficially and effectively.
  • During one of the events, there will be a puppet show for the families to educate the children on behavioural issues. The age group is 0-5, so most of them will still be developing through either growth, maintenance, and regulation. This reminds me of the discussion on socio-emotional development and how the older children will be encouraged to try new things in their relationships, such as sharing or apologizing.

One question that I still have:

  • In my remaining hours of my community volunteer work, I will be participating in more community-based events. I am curious to see the different strategies we will use for the different age groups targeted in each event, as well as the family events that will address literacy to parents and caregivers as well.

Week 4, Shaelyn Knudson

Three things that I learned:

  • Creating more complex tasks for you students can help to achieving multiple goals at once. Rather than having assignments that are more difficult, by adding more content to the assignment, you can help your students gather more information about their learning progress and grow in their cognitive and metacognitive strategies.
  •  Intrinsic motivation is the encouragement to achieve a goal in order to satisfy ourselves. Extrinsic motivation needs a punishment or incentive in order to have motivation to complete the goal. Both of these types of motivation can be encouraged by the social cognitive theory. This is when you emphasize on the expectation of reaching the goal and the value of the goal to the students.
  • The self-determination theory suggests that a student needs competence, autonomy, and relatedness in order to have successful learning. Autonomy is a key factor to having successful learning through its ability to allow the student to feel authority over their behaviour. This helps the students take away the pressures of deadlines, rules, orders, and more.

Two connections that I made:

  • Giving students a choice is a way to share our control with them. In my experience in coaching high school volleyball, this is proven by how much more effort the athletes have when they feel they have made the choice to do the activity. However, just the other day I gave them a choice between two activities, and then decided that we were going to do the one that they did not choose. I immediately noticed the lack of effort and enthusiasm in the activity and it ended quickly and was overall unsuccessful. Nevertheless, now that I know why this may have happened, I can make a better decision for my players next time.
  • My grade four teacher is a perfect example of encouraging higher self efficacy within her students. Just like Albert Bandura discusses, students need to adopt short-term goals, use specific learning strategies, and receive rewards based on their achievements in order to have a high self efficacy. My grade four teacher displayed this through a points system for our behaviour, homework, and other efforts made in the classroom to “cash” in every two weeks when we had a snack party. Personally, this was very effective for me and my peers to set goals in order to be rewarded for our achievements (extrinsic motivation).

One question that I still have:

  • One of the factors of self-regulation is volition. Now, even if an elementary or high school student knows where they work best without being distracted, the classroom may not always be the best place to avoid distractions and allow for motivation to begin their work quickly. What are some things that a teacher can do to ensure that students have the best environment to work on their assignments and reach their goals?

Week Two, Shaelyn Knudson

Three things I learned:

  1. Early maturation is associated with emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. It also is associated with lower academic achievements, unplanned pregnancies, drug or alcohol abuse, suicide, and a greater risk of breast cancer. It is shocking to see the impact that an adolescent’s physical nature can have on their emotional state as well as their success in later life.
  2. The brain has the ability to grow in certain areas that are used more often in individuals who need a certain skill to preform their regular activities. The example provided for this was that taxi drivers hippocampus is larger than other individuals.
  3. Forgetting can be considered a useful factor in our memory system so that we are not overloading with memories and so that we can always continue to learn. Interference or decay can be the contributing factors to how we come to forget things. However, long term memories can be available at any time, given the right cues.

Two Connections that I made:

  1. As an adolescent, I was typically taller and larger than most of the males in my grade. This was always an insecurity of mine, but never seemed to effect my emotions to a serious degree, which I am thankful for. I believe that the only reason this did not happen is because my shape or size was never addressed by someone else, and was simply the way that I saw myself.
  2. Under the topic of divorce, I know many of my peers that have been directly effected by not having either a male or female role model in their lives. With leaving out one of their parents for a majority of their lives, they visibly missed the presence of that parent in their lives. For each individual, they were effected differently, but the effects never seemed to be positive in any way. However, as time passed, they became adjusted to the situation and accepted their new lifestyle.

One Question that I still have:

  1. What are some ways that an adolescent’s emotional state can be improved? If they are struggling with their self-image and possible bullying, what can we as teachers do to ensure that these individuals do not follow a negative emotional path as well as an unsuccessful future?

Week One, Shaelyn Knudson

This week, through exploring Bronfenbrenner’s theory, I was able to gain a further understanding of the various factors that influence an adolescents behaviours, beliefs, and knowledge. I learnt that there are many layers of a child’s environment that influence how they develop. These interacting systems include the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, microsystem, and the chronosystem. I also learnt the term agency, and that people in fact have the power to change their life paths, according to Bronfenbrenner’s theory. Lastly, through our group activity, I was able to examine the factors in a microsystem with some of my peers in order to understand how a neighbourhood influences a individuals maturity, behaviour, interests, involvement in the community, and much more.

In this weeks lesson, I was also able to make some connections to what we discussed. From personal experience of switching from a public school to a private Christian school for my grade twelve year, I understand the influence that a school has on behaviours, beliefs, and knowledge just as mentioned in the micro and mesosystems. Another connection I was able to make was that agency (the power to change) is possible through an action such as switching schools, through the new peers and surroundings that may benefit you in a positive way. However, I was not able to fully understand how a parent’s workplace could directly effect a child’s behaviours and would like to learn more about it. All in all, I learnt a lot of useful information this week and am excited for the weeks to come.