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Showing posts from September, 2013

Teaching, White Privilege, and Curriculum Control

I'm a a white male of privilege. I am acutely aware of my privilege as I teach mostly marginalized Aboriginal youth and other disenfranchised students. I was reading Paulo Freire's great book "Pedagogy of Indignation" the other night and the words in the preface (written by Donaldo Macedo) struck me quite hard. He said that critical pedagogues must be challenged to eliminate the savior mentality from white teachers who teach disenfranchised youth. He gave examples that we must challenge educators who take their youth to conferences to "show them off like trophies of accomplishment" and tear down the mindset where educators have an over inflated ego because they're "helping" youth who are living in difficult circumstances.

This hit me incredibly hard as I am a white educator working with at-risk youth and have recently taken students to a conference. Over the summer, I assembled a team of 3 students to help me develop a workshop about poverty a…

Becoming a Teacher - A Lifelong Dedication

Teaching is tough.

Teaching is hard.
Being a teacher is the best job I could ever have. 
The first week of classes has been one of the most difficult in my short career. I have classes with too many students and not enough desks, which is causing major frustration for both myself and students. I have been overwhelmed by administrative paperwork that has kept me from individualizing and assessing my new students work. In a nutshell, it has been a tough, hectic, and exhausting first week of the school year. 
However, teaching seems to be one of those rare jobs that can give you highs and lows all in the same day. In the midst of juggling everything that was thrown at me last week, I was able to experience the first real learning moment of the year. In my overcrowded grade 10 social studies class I have had difficulty creating a learning environment that is going to work in the small space I have. After rearranging the desks and chairs and creating alternative work spaces outside the cla…