This week I’ve kind of realized how uneducated I am about First Nations in Canada. My schooling never really touched on many issues or even facts about First Nations history. My schooling focused more on the European aspect of our history. Not knowing very much about First Nations makes me a little nervous to teach about First Nations. I guess I don’t want to offend anyone because I am so uneducated in the area. I would like it a little more if this class was linked to a class that was mandatory for education students. The class would teach us how to teach treaty education and helpful tips. It is stressed so much about how we have these biases and how we have to teach about diversity and treaty education. But how do we that successfully? I feel a little thrown into all of my racism, biases and lack of education in First Nations information..but I don’t know how to work around it and incorporate more non-bias ways into my lesson plans and teaching. If there was a class that was linked to this class or even became half of this class, I think that would be something really important. Instead of just informing us, the class would really show us ways to teach and techniques about being inclusive.
The definition of the purpose of treaty education given by the government of saskatchewan is described as “The Constitution of Canada recognizes and affirms the existing treaty rights of the First Nations peoples and the Aboriginal rights of Métis people in Canada. First Nations peoples have a unique historical relationship with Canada that is reflected through Treaty Numbers 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10 and are governed by the Indian Act. The province recognizes the contributions of the Métis people to Saskatchewan through The Métis Act.” Generally it is important because people need to be educated about First Nations culture just as much as Canadian culture because we exist as one being in Canada. We share the same environment and government. It is important to be inclusive. I think this also explains why we are “all treaty people” because we are all impacted by the treaties and our relationship with First Nations, Indigenous, and Inuit people.
These processes of decolonization could help to change our ways of thinking because it bring in other opinions from people who are more well informed about Indigenous issues. It goes right to the core of the emotions by bringing in elders and incorporating that second opinion. Reinhabition may occur through changing the classroom environment and taking students to a pow wow or other indigenous activities. You should adapt these ideas considering how much the students already know about. For me personally, I could probably attend a grade six level of information on First Nations because I feel like my schooling never addressed First Nations issues in the classroom. If you had students who knew a lot about First Nations and Indigenous issues, they could perhaps feel more comfortable taking part in a ceremony or asking harder questions to elders.
Curriculum has shaped the teacher I am today by giving me some guidance entering my teaching career. It has laid out my expectations and shown me some predictions as to what I will be doing. Hidden curriculum will shape me as a teacher because it is just as important as applied curriculum. Issues such as dealing with kids coming hungry to class are going to be scenarios I’m put in and I’ll have to know how to confront hidden curriculum. Teaching kids to be polite and genuine people don’t come with outcomes and indicators. It is up to me to guide and be there as an example for students. I think it’s important to be honest with my own flaws I bring to the table. Once you know your weaknesses you can address how to handle them. I’m not always the most patient person but I know that, and I know when I’m being tested. I know when to step back and look at the situation. I need to be aware of my own biases and opinions in order to create an equal curriculum.
Given the complex relationships between formal curricula, political power, and the social order, what agency do classroom teachers have in enacting curriculum?
Teachers do not have a ton of power when it comes to making curriculum or implementing it. Some teachers may be asked to help have a say in parts of a new curriculum but curriculums are not designed but strictly teachers. Teachers have about 50% of the say in implementing curriculum because they can follow the indicators to their own discretion. They may have other ideas on how to set forth the outcomes.
A “good” student is considered someone who sits and absorbs information given to them. They do not question ideas or thoughts of the teacher. They simply assimilate into their student body. In earlier times, the good students were those white in colour and of European decent. Chinese and African people were frowned upon in the educational platform. These commonsense ideas made it hard for people to create their own ideas about the world, it supported racism and created an unequal opportunity for learning.
“We as educators need to reconsider our roles in students’ lives, to think of ourselves as connectors first and content experts second.” –Will Richardson
This quote explains that as a teacher you do not show up and teach the curriculum. There is much more to becoming a teacher. You become invested in your students lives and begin to care about more than their educational well being. The students teach you as many things as you teach them in the classroom. Being a teacher is about building relationships with students in order to have mutual respect and a successful school year. In order to teach your students content you need to be able to connect with them. Relationships are the foundation of their education. If you are able to have that relationship understanding the curriculum and content follows afterwards. The students are able to trust what you are teaching and trusting that they can confide in you for help with more than just their homework. This quote relates to my understanding of school and curriculum because when I was in the classroom I felt I was able to help the students learn more once I had established a relationship with them and they felt they could ask me questions about their work. The relationship I built with them meant more to me than the content I was teaching. Their success in more than just school was my priority.