“The day you are willing to veer from the lesson plan, follow a kid’s lead, and learn with your students is the day you really become a teacher.” –Kristy Venosdale
This quote has been an inspiration for me since I started this journey to become an educator. It came up on my pinterest feed soon after I had started classes here in the faculty of Education. When I read it I thought that is exactly the kind of teacher I want to be. The kind of teacher that is flexible and responsive and willing to learn and passionate about educating and learning and developing relationships with children. So I copied it down on a piece of paper and have had it hung in my room ever since.
This quote sums up the importance of inquiry based learning but it also enunciates the importance of being flexible and allowing students to take the lead in their own education journey. This quotes and the teachers who follow it make it harder to standardize education. This is not the most efficient way to teach a large group of children a set of facts that would ideally prepare them for their future jobs. This method of teaching does, however, make it possible to inspire children to be the facilitators of their own learning. I believe it is the teachers job to follow the lead of the students and then find out how what they are learning fits into the curriculum.
This quote sums up what I hope to be as an educator. I hope to use curriculum as a guide but to not be afraid to veer from it a little in order to follow the student’s educational journey and to learn with my students.
My educational experience has been greatly affected by Tyler probably in more ways than I’ll be able to identify. In the article, Tyler is quoted saying “education is a process of changing the behavior of people.” This processes started the moment I entered the kindergarten classroom at Gladmar Regional School. There I was taught how to line up how to sit quietly, to raise your hand when you want to speak, and to ask for permission to go to the washroom. I remember being so con and socialize with my peers. These lessons continued into my high school experiences as fused by that concept. I had never had to ask to go to the washroom before, I just went. So I didn’t understand why I had to at school. I also learned how to share and workwell. I learned how to do well on assessments such as assignments and tests in order to convey that I was successfully being modified to fit the goal of the education I was receiving.
The Tyler Rationale is designed to be efficient and to create adults that are suitable for society. However it does have its limitations. Tyler’s beliefs do not really allow for diversity. The goal of the Tyler Rationale is to create individuals who are proficient in society. The goal is not to enhance creativity or problem solving skills. It is based on standardized testing and is product oriented without any emphasis on the value of the learning process. The goal is to modify behaviors to fit a model that works well in our society. This does not allow for uniqueness or diversity.
The concept of common senses has always been a concept that puzzled me. I have often heard people being described as “having no common sense.” This is obviously not a good way to be described and it bothered me because how was I to know if I didn’t have any common sense. What if what I considered to be common sense wasn’t common sense at all? What if what others considered common sense did not line up with my own ideas and actions? And who was to say what “common sense” ideas were correct and which were wrong? Where did this common sense come from? How did some people appear to have it while others did not? These are not questions that have easy answers and therefore, I have went through much of my life concerned that I had “no common sense.”
In the article, The Problem of Commonsense, Kumashiro defines commonsense as “facets of life . . . that many . . . take for granted.” She goes on to say that commonsense is “what everyone is supposed to know.” Commonsense is created by experiences and by cultural and familial expectations. Depending on where you were raised or what you have experienced you will have different ideas of what common sense. The people from Nepal have different commonsense ideas of what education and schooling then the people who have been exposed to the American schooling system.
Common sense ideas are important to pay attention because they reveal your biases and how your background has influenced your ideas. . Similarly my commonsense ideas about what education should look like is different then my own experiences with education. By consciously noticing my commonsense ideas I can address them and adjust them as necessary.
After reading this article it is clear to me that everyone has common sense. The issue is that common sense is unique and subjective based on past experiences. Instead of being worried about whether I have common sense, I should be worried about what my common sense ideas are and how they effect my opinions, my actions and my role as an educator.