Excursion 1

After reading through my peer’s questions, I have concluded that we are driven by the desire to develop the perfect education to meet the needs of all middle schoolers. Sometimes some may forget that teachers do not just teach subjects like math, English and socials students, for they teach more directly towards what the student needs. Teachers build relationships with their students, so they feel comfortable coming to them when there is a problem or if they want to talk. As teachers, we act as stand-in guidance counselors for our students. It does not matter if it is within the curriculum or something completely unrelated to academics; we are there to help our students.

It is quite simple to state that success as a middle school teacher will be determined by both pieces of knowledge of young adolescents and the ability to respond to all their needs. In other words, we as middle school teachers need to be able to understand the changes and stages that our students are going through in order to respond accordingly. Middle schoolers are going through a rough and exhausting time since this is where students start going through puberty. The text says, “Young people undergo more rapid and profound personal changes between the ages 10 and 15 than at any other time in their lives” (page 5). We as teachers need to be prepared in the approaches we take when teaching or designing the classroom in order to create a comfortable environment, everything we do is in response to the needs of our students. We are expected to take into consideration where they are mentally, physically and emotionally in order to create a classroom that makes them feel safe and supported during such an interesting developmental time. The text also stated, “Changes in the patterns of thinking become evident in the ideas and questions middle grades students express about the world and how it functions” (page 6). This by itself shows a new capacity of thinking and how middle schoolers are adapting and growing as students through puberty. It is our job as teachers to be able to develop conversations and questions to help students practice and grow on their new thinking skills.

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Marissa,

      I really enjoyed reading your reflection. You are clearly powerfully engaged with the ideas and principles raised in this text.

      I wanted to respond to something you said, namely:

      We as teachers need to be prepared in the approaches we take when teaching or designing the classroom in order to create a comfortable environment, everything we do is in response to the needs of our students.

      I find myself bumping up against the word comfortable. I think I know what you mean, but sometimes I worry that teachers focus on I (which is certainly valuable) as opposed to providing an autonomy supportive learning environment. I guess I am wondering whether the relationship between the two.

      Does that make sense?
      What do you think?

      • Marissa Burke
        Marissa Burke

        Thank you for pointing this out! I am also realizing that the word comfortable was not the best to use. I think I meant a safe supportive learning environment. An environment in which students can thrive based on their needs. 

      ED 524 Spring 2020

      ED 524 Spring 2020

      This is the online home for ED 524 Spring 2020.

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