Excursion 1

After reading through peer responses and having my own questions, I instantly see how all of us have our questions rooted to trying to figure out how to be the best educator and advocate for our young students. The stages of early adolescence can be exceptionally tricky for educators because of the various conditions and developmental stages that can be in one classroom. Becoming a teacher is to be able to wear multiple hats at the same time and be able to distinguish the appropriate one for the individual circumstance. As a middle school teacher, one must be able to empathize with the various and overwhelming situations that can take place for a student in a single day. Adolescents that move out of the elementary setting and into a middle school will often struggle in their ability to manage the various changes that take place all at once with their significant physical changes and their increased independence at school. I believe that given their new independence, students need to learn that their education will be what they make of it and that they need to be their own biggest advocates for their education. “Thriving now and in the future requires becoming a lifelong learner…It requires the ability to apply sophisticated skills in a variety of settings and solve complex problems individually and in collaboration with others.” (National Middle School Association, pg. 4)

As an educator, I would want to establish an understanding with my students that they will be encouraged to challenge themselves but to also be honest about their experiences both in and out of the classroom which could affect their ability to learn. During this stage, an adolescent may feel like things are drastic and unique to them, but I would want to create an environment where differences are accepted, things are seen through empathetic lenses, and encourage collaboration with myself and their peers. In the context of social studies, I would want my students to begin to realize that an open way of thinking is the best way of learning our history but that an open mind encourages them to avoid repeating the same historical events. I want to teach students that history is driven by human nature and that their own experiences can help them understand how things came to happen as well as the driving thoughts and ideas that pushed events to take place. “Changes in the patterns of thinking become evident in the ideas and questions middle grade students express about the world and how it functions. These shifts may be apparent in the questions they pose each other and to trusted adults…. they reveal new capacities for thinking about how they learn, for considering multiple ideas, and for planning steps to carry out their own learning activities.” (National Middle School Association, pg. 6) As an educator in a middle school, the students going through their early adolescent stage, each must be seen as an individual in their progression and development. I hope to connect and teach them with compassion and mutual understanding that we all seek their success as students and future members of their communities.

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Stephanie,
      You did a terrific job with your response to the reading and to your colleagues postings from last week.

      This, in particular, knocked me out:

      As an educator, I would want to establish an understanding with my students that they will be encouraged to challenge themselves but to also be honest about their experiences both in and out of the classroom which could affect their ability to learn. 

      It's the word honesty that really got my attention. Honesty, which you mention, and authenticity, which is not lurking too far behind it.

      I would really knowing more about the specific actions you take to establish a climate in which students can be honest and authentic about their work and about themselves as learners. Please share that with us.

    ED 524 Spring 2020

    ED 524 Spring 2020

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