ECS 210- Reading the World

I grew up in a small town called Tisdale which is about three hours north east from Regina. There are two schools in the town, an elementary school from K-6 and a middle/secondary school from 6-12. My graduating class was together from the very start and we always had each other’s backs making for a very positive schooling experience. I also was lucky enough to have strong relationships with my teachers and I am fortunate enough to still have those strong relationships today. Since I went through school with such a close-knit group, I had a very positive experience. I would not call our town “perfect” but when I was younger, I definitely had that mind set. I think I had this mind set because I never really faced any major problems or hardships; I had two happily married parents, 3 younger sisters, a roof over my head, food on the table, etc. I have been away from home for three years and in those three years I have realized that the type of life I had growing up is far from typical. I have met so many people that have really opened my eyes to how different we all are. Since being here and taking various education classes, I have learned that I will have students that come from very different walks of life and I have to put my own experiences aside in order to provide the best education possible for all of my students.

In the TED Talk, Chimamanda Adichie mentions how impressionable children are, and the more that I think about it, the more I realized that I was that impressionable child thinking that everyone lived the same life as me. I had the impression that everyone went to a school like mine where there were around 20 students in each class, and you knew everyone, and everyone knew you. Like most small towns, Tisdale was a very white community. This effected our schooling as we only learned about Europeans and their ways of life. It was very odd if we did learn about other cultures. Although, in grade 9, students from the Kinistin Saulteaux Nation (located south of Tisdale) join our high school. I remember being in grade 9 and being introduced to these students and hearing how different their schooling up to grade 9 was compared to ours. Although treaty ed became more prominent after these students arrived, it was still brushed under the rug and European ways were still superior because that was the schools “single story”. This TED Talk really made me realize how impressionable children are and how there are various different ways to look at life and teachers really need to take that into consideration.

2 thoughts on “ECS 210- Reading the World

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  1. Very neat to see the perspective of what you learn and how things are growing up in a small town, coming from a region of 500k population I thought every city and schooling were the same as well. It is interesting breaking that barrier to see everything isn’t as you make it out to seem what I think you addressed nicely. Perhaps could have included a little more content, and include more on the article as well but overall I feel you addressed things well and gave us a good look from a personal perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Hi Hayley!

    I agree with your reflection that children are very impressionable. As they begin to ‘read the world’ they will read it through the lenses placed in front of them. This is why it is so important to not only share a single story so children are immersed in many diverse views of the world. One thing I think differently about is when you said “I have to put my own experiences aside in order to provide the best education possible for all of my students.” I agree that we must realize the biases and lenses we bring into the classroom from our lived experiences and not let these control how we view our students. However, it is important to remember that we can not ignore our life experiences, but rather we should use them to have a better understanding of our students and ourselves as teachers. Students themselves will have biases and lenses they have grown up to see the world through and using our life experiences to connect to students and try to deconstruct these biases is beneficial for everyone. Because we can not fully put aside life experiences, we must gain what insight we can from them and use them in developing our pedagogies beyond them.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic!

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