In Creating Classrooms for Equity and Social Justice, I really appreciated the section about Culturally and Linguistically Inclusive and empowering [classrooms]. I liked this section because I really love the concept of “it is okay to make mistakes” both student and teacher. This section discusses how as teachers we have to admit that we do not know everything, especially when it comes to cultures and races that are not our own. I never even thought about extending out to a parent of colour to ask them about their practices and what they believe that is different then mine. I love this idea because it is just like brining in an Elder from the Indigenous culture into the room. It provides for great learning experiences for both the teacher and the class. It also incorporates the curriculum into the “real world” and community. The benefits are endless.
I also loved the section Hopeful, Joyful, Kind, and Visionary [classrooms]. This section hit home for me because I was bullied in both elementary and high school. I want to be the teacher who eliminates bullying. I do not want that in my classroom. This section gave me hope for a bullying free classroom because if we as teachers do not have a room that is inviting both emotionally and physically then students will not share their true thoughts about something and they will not be able to care or trust each other. Building a community of trust, hope, and love I believe is the key to a bullying free room. Everyone has a story; we just have to listen to it.
In the question and answer section of My Students don’t bring back their homework. Should I keep assigning it? I found it to ask a lot of important questions right at the beginning. What is the purpose of homework? It is supposed to connect students to what they are learning and reinforce concepts learned in class. As teachers we want our students to be engaged and to always be learning something new. If a teacher does the same routine (ie: lecture and homework), how is a child supposed to be engaged in what they are doing? I loved when one of my professors talked about hooks to a lesson. Not every lesson needs a hook but at least one a day does so students are guessing what is going to happen next. It makes for a fun and inviting experience. If homework is assigned, I agree that it should be engaging. Even if it is an essay, have an essay topic that intrigues students so they don’t have the thought process of “I hate school” and “I hate English”. School should be fun and not boring. I dislike homework just as much as anyone and if I can somehow change this practice even slightly, I believe could potentially make a difference.