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Week 12: Inclusive Education

Kelsey Culbert spoke to our class today about Inclusive Education.

Three Things I Learned

–       One of the things that Kelsey said to us that really stuck with me was to, “Ask Questions, Listen More, and Talk Less”. I think this explains a lot since we do not really understand what it is like or what is wanted from people with disabilities. We must listen to learn, and this is a step we must take.

–       Kelsey brought up the fact that we must stop using one’s physical and/or intellectual limitations as a defining feature. Also, we cannot view anyone as a diagnosis because they are human as much as anyone else. These do not define who a person is but does help shape who they will become.

–       Many people are intimidated of what they do not know or understand hence why some people are afraid to go out of their own way to talk to people with disabilities.

Two Connections

–       My biggest connection I made was to my own sister who also has disabilities. She has both intellectual and physical disabilities so when Kelsey spoke to some of the challenges her and her family had I could relate. While my sister’s physical disability has improved to the point where she can walk without assistance she still struggles but is more then capable of doing things for herself. She strives for independence which is something Kelsey has also done for herself.

–       I seen the production that Kelsey and other students put on called “Neither Heroes nor Ordinary People”. In this she talked about her challenges as well as other students talking about the challenges they have overcome. My drama class also assisted a class with students who had disabilities create a play. It was an amazing experience that changed my view.

1 One Question

–       How can we as future educators create an environment that feels welcoming to all learners, including those with disabilities both visible and invisible (intellectual)?

Week 11: The Secret Path

Three Things I Learned:

–       Only 66% of Canadians have heard or read about residential schools. This was brought up during the discussion panel. This is problematic and we as future educators need to increase this number to as many students as possible.

–       During the 60s there were 20 000-50 000 children taken from families and sent to residential schools

–       If parents refused to send their children to residential schools, they could be arrested or fined.

Two Connections I Made:

–       I made a connection with the statistic of only 66% of Canadians hearing about residential schools. I was apart of the statistic until my first year of university where I learned about residential schools.

–       I found the silence in the animated part of the video powerful. It left me to believe it was to symbolize how First Nations people voices were not heard or were not acknowledged.

One Question I Still Have:

–       How do we as future educators integrate information about residential schools into the classroom if we are teaching subject areas not related to the subject (such as science or math)?

Week 10: Gender and Sexual Diversity

Three Things I Learned

–       “Thirty percent of all youth suicides are committed by gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. They are three to five times more likely then heterosexual peers and more likely to succeed when they do” (Kourany, pg.59)

–       Within schools,40% of gay, lesbian, or bisexual students experience physical violence in schools. Also, with another 40% of students that say that their school work was affected by their environment.

–        ‘Queering’ is the idea “re-educating parents” who object to teaching children about homosexual families

Two Connections

–        I have a friend who recently ‘came out’ as someone who is bisexual. He has been dealing with the idea of sharing it with people for about 4 years. Everyone he has told has been supportive and he’s glad that he has told people.

–        Last term we had a transgender person who came to our class and gave a story of the journey they had to go on. They told us why they did it and the things they had to go through since much of society does not want to acknowledge the situation. It was a sad story but impactful.

One Question

–       How can we make classrooms/schools feel more open to students who maybe struggling with the idea of being LGBTTIQ?

Week 9: My Final CBSL Placement

          Being finished my CBSL placement I can talk about my time with Street Culture. When looking back on my initial thoughts from my first experience they have changed slightly. One of the things I thought I would have done more of but sadly did not get to do was work with the youth. I worked with the youth three times which was enjoyable but besides that I was helping more with the operations of how Street Culture works. This was interesting to learn about to, but it was not what I was expecting.

One of the things that surprised me was how much Street Culture does as an organization. These things include:

       Mentorship Programs

       Housing via The Shelter

       Providing Meals to Shelter Youth

       Celebrations on Holidays

       Educational Programs: Music Night, Pit Stop

          I believe my greatest learning experience received were the days I was working Pit Stop. I was able to get to know who the youth were if they we’re willing to open up. Pit Stop had things like cooking together, working out, and other skills useful for life outside of the Shelter. Since it was in more of a social setting the youth would usually relax more and talk to me more.

          Overall, I had a great experience that was unlike anything I had done before. I highly recommend checking out Street Culture and I hope I get to do more work with them again.

Week 8: Teachers, Administration, and Schools

3 Things I Learned:

  1. There are 3 different kinds of authority typically found within the school system. These would include Legal Authority, Charismatic Authority, and Traditional Authority.
  2. “In 1987, British Columbia became the first Canadian province to make its teachers self-regulating when the Teacher Profession Act (1987) established the British Columbia College of Teachers.”
  3. The table which shows how teachers are paid was something I had not seen before. The table shows the amount you can make with the number of years of school along with the number of degrees you have.

2 Connections I Made:

  1. When going through the code of ethics and reading about the high level of professionalism that teachers should carry on outside of the classroom it made me think of a past teacher. This teacher did not carry the level of professionalism outside of the classroom since in public places they would be seen intoxicated. However, they never seemed to receive any punishment or consequences since the behavior continued. There actions never affected anyone, but they were seen like so on weekends. This was surprising considering the code of ethics cover many things.
  2. When trying to hire a ‘good’ teacher I do not think that there is a right teacher to hire. Every teacher has their own qualities that are both good and bad. I’ve had teachers who I thought were great at first but as the term when on there teaching and attitude seemed to change and was not for the best.

1 Question I Still Have:

  1. I have heard a rumor that sometimes schools hire based from the cost to have a certain teacher rather than if they were a better fit for students. Do you think this is true?

Week 7: Constructing Teacher Professionalism

This week’s readings were focused on Constructing Teacher Professionalism. One of the first things I learned about was were the different kinds of collective bargaining procedures such as meditation, lock out, arbitration, and work to rule. The second thing I learned is that professions and professionals vary in meaning far more then I knew. Professionals are someone who has a high level of expertise in an area of study or a skill of sorts. A profession has a few terms which include: an essential service held in high regard in society. Also, it means to possess a unique body of knowledge. The last thing I learned this week was discussed in lecture and it was about hidden curriculum. I never considered how much we learn even though it is not apart of curriculum yet it can be useful and important.

During the reading I was also able to make connections to other things I have learned. The first connection I made was to the reading on professions and professionals when it speaks of self-regulation. We discussed self-regulation in class and how students and people need this to help them be successful. The reading talks about how teachers should have self-regulating authority. The second connection I made was to the identity that teachers present inside and outside of school. Teaching does not stop once you leave the classroom it is a continuous journey. Once you become an educator you must keep a level of professionalism inside and outside of the classroom. You become a role-model whether you want to or not so that must be kept in mind.

One question I still have is what are some parts of hidden curriculum that you believe helped you in some way or enjoyed?

Week 5: Philosophy of Education

This week’s reading was focused on the Philosophy of Education and Sociology of Education. Since there was a lot of reading I learned many things. The first thing I learned was that Perennialism is a belief system where you believe that human nature is unchanging, which means, eventually you always come back to how things once were. The second thing I learned was that Idealists argue that classics in literature, music, and art and transhistorical and should form the core of curriculum. This is surprising since these types of art in today’s current education are viewed by many as a ‘side class’ and not apart if the core classes such as English, Math, Science, etc. Thirdly, what Essentialism is and how it represents education as going “back to the basics”. It focuses on learning basic skills and mastery on content.

Two connections I made this week would include that in my classes in the past I notice now that teachers followed parts of some of each of the philosophies. For example, in some science classes I noticed that some professors follow Progressivism for the idea of experimentation or Perennialism since they taught with an emphasis in art. The other connection I made was to my own teaching philosophy as I was creating my paper. I noticed parts of Perennialism, Progressivism, and even parts of Existentialism appearing in some form as I crafted my philosophy.

One Question I still have is: How does your own personal teaching philosophy connect to some of the readings from this week? Do you think it will change or remain the same?

Week 4: My First CBSL Placement

Today was my first CBSL placement with Street Culture. Even though it was shorter experience I still learned some new things. The first thing I learned was that even if you want to get to know the kids you must give them time to get use to you first. The girl I worked with today had anxiety and my supervisor said to just give her time and she may or may not want to get to know you. For the first part of the placement we went to the YMCA to go workout and while we were there the girl did not really want to talk. After everything we had done me and the other placement student were outside with her and she decided to start telling us about herself without us prompting her to. I assume she became comfortable and wanted us to get to know her.

The second thing I learned is that the kids also have a big part in helping with the Street Culture organization. When we returned from the YMCA the girl we were with for the day helped us prepare lunch for the staff and youth on site. Even though she was one of the youth in the program she also had a part in running some of the things which I did not know happened. She showed us where all the supplies were to cook and gave us tips on how the food preparation was normally done. I find that when you are working with the youth doing similar things you get to know each other better and they feel more comfortable with you.

The third thing I learned was that Street Culture has multiple programs that happen across the city. The program that I was apart of today was called Pit Stop and what happens with this program is that youth learn valuable life skills as well as gaining work experience to help prepare them for life outside of the program. Also in this program with staff and the youth you go to places like the gym or swimming pool and spend time being physically active with the kids. Street Culture also has programs like mentoring which you spend one on one time with one of the youth or group mentoring with more than one kid usually with other placement students. While mentoring you support and guide the kids to develop independent living skills. Another great program the organization provides is emergency youth services such as housing if kids need it.

One of the connections I made with this experience was back to my first experience in a classroom for my ECS placement. All the kids on the first day were not sure of who I was and did not converse but as time went on and they got to know me they began talking to me. This was like what happened with the girl today who did not know me but the longer we spent together the more comfortable she became and told me about herself.

The second connection I made was to the topic we covered in our seminar about the different approaches to parenting. In class we discussed Authoritarian, Permissive, Authoritative, the Uninvolved/Negligent approaches to parenting. Since I am unsure if I can say what kind of parenting this youth described for reasons of confidentiality, I will say that the material covered in class was accurate. Based on parents actions this youth’s characteristics aligned with what the material said would happen. Since I was seeing in person what we covered in class I made this personal connection which I did not have before.

One question that I still have is: Are there better ways to try to connect with youth besides trying to make small talk and giving it time? I understand it is important to give them time to approach you but are there ways to make yourself more approachable than others? I will continue to give them time but I am curious of how other people approach this situation.

Week 3: Socio-Emotional Developement and Motivation

This weeks reading was focused on Socio-Emotional Development and Motivation. While going through the text I learned many things. The first thing I learned was that Observational Learning has four elements: Attention, Retention, Production, and Motivation & Reinforcement. While I did know our brains followed some process I did not originally know these were the elements followed. While all the steps are listed in a logical order the one step that I never considered was Motivation. While it may be easy to learn all the steps you still must be motivated enough to keep practicing it. Students may be bored if it is too easy and give up if it is hard so as teachers we must find some medium which challenges and is rewarding which leads into the second point I learned.

There are five possible outcomes when it comes to Observational Learning. These outcomes are: Directing Attention, Encouraging Existing Behaviours, Changing Inhibitions, Teaching New Behaviours, and Arousing Emotion. I feel that these outcomes tend to mix when they occur. For example, if two students see someone playing the piano they may want to take lessons to learn how (Directing Attention), however, when they go to learn one student finds it easy while the other finds it difficult. Both students will feel differently about wanting to learn piano (Arousing Emotion). The reading does not talk about outcomes combining but I feel all the outcomes will arouse your emotions to some capacity.

Lastly the other thing I learned was that there are five approaches to motivation. These approaches are:  Behavioral, Humanistic, Cognitive, Social Cognitive, and Sociocultural. Every learner will be able relate to one type of motivation but as teachers we must find a way to connect with them. All students can be motivated but they must be willing to try as well. In the classroom using aspects from each could beneficial to teaching as well as learning.

            One connection I made to the reading was that back in high school I had a Social Cognitive view of motivation. I set goals and had expectations but when they did not happen it was very discouraging so I would lose motivation. While progressing through high school and now university I also take being realistic to who I am as a learner into account which helps me achieve what I need to do.

            Another thing I connected to was while I was elementary school I learned best by being an observational learner. Some students could just start and figure it out without direction but I learned best by watching how to do it the first couple of times. Even today I still learn best by seeing some form on instruction before engaging with assignments.  

            One question I still have is there to combine all the approaches to motivation to get every student involved? I know it is hard to please every learner but I would like to hear other people’s thoughts.