• Current Connection #1

    This week my group (LC2) had the current connection learning experience. This was definitely a different look at learning than what I was used to and helped me focus better on the reading knowing I was in charge of informing the class of the information. Our LC focused on the main 3 topics we found important in the reading we were covering. Our first topic was diversity and inclusion, focusing on the key concept of how we are able to incorporate diversity and inclusion in the classroom. There were a lot of examples in Bob Peterson’s writing where many students’ cultures and races were ignored or put to the side. He makes it very clear that when becoming a teacher you need to think about a way you can balance your lessons to make sure everyone feels like they belong. Peterson explains a way we can add more diversity to the classroom: “It’s very important to have non-stereotypical posters and books about cultural and racial groups not represented in the classroom as part of the environment”(Peterson 36). The display of your classroom means everything which many teachers agree with as shown in the chapters we read. That is why we had our next main topic, classroom environment, focusing on the key concept of how the classroom environment affects how kids learn. Teachers are always hoping to create a positive learning environment, they want the room to feel safe, welcoming, and supportive to the students. Teachers seem to struggle with this task, never listening to what the students want or have to say about the way they hope for the classroom to be set up. Tom McKENNA does a very good job explaining the impact your classroom has on students. Our group mainly focused on the furniture in the room and the way seating goes a long way. Scott connects the way chairs are set up in a classroom to the outside world: “What I want to know is who sets up the chairs? I don’t mean here, but out there?”(McKENNA 31). If you see a student sit in the back of the classroom every day and then one day they move to the front they are taking a risk that day. This all comes down to the way you connect with your students and how you hope to impact them. This was our group’s last topic, teacher and student connection. The key concept we were trying to get the class to think about was, why are student-teacher relationships so important. That is what I made my current connection to knowing how many relationships I made with teachers must mean that so many other people had just as many experiences as me. This was a very heartwarming story which is why I want you to take the time to read my short summary so you will be able to understand the connection I was making to the book. In a class of 34 students, there was one that stood out to the teacher, a freshman in high school named Mark. The teacher had to constantly remind him to be quiet and respect who was talking which he would when he was reminded. Years later, Mark, now being a  junior, walked into the classroom again, this time a little shyer, just being there to pay attention and get the work done. After working on a hard topic all week the teacher realized all the kids were very down, tired, frustrated, and on edge with each other. The teacher asked them to take out a piece of paper and write everyone’s name on the sheet, listing one or more good things about that person. That weekend the teacher took everyone’s sheets and took each student’s name on another sheet listing all the good things people said about them. The teacher brought them to school the next week giving each student lists of everything that is good about them. The kid’s smiles were lit up, never knowing people thought this many amazing traits about them. No one ever said anything about those sheets after that day, but the teacher always wondered if the kids still had them. After coming home from vacation (living with his parents) the teacher’s father said that Mark’s parents called that day. He said that they called saying that Mark was killed while serving in Vietnam and that the parents would love it if his teacher would be at his funeral. Once they got back to Mark’s house for lunch after the funeral, his parents came up asking if they could show the teacher something. They opened his blindfold and took out an old folded piece of paper that had a list of all the things his junior year class had said about him. They told him how much Mark treasured that paper and other kids from the class were coming up to him telling him they still had it and looked at it often. He didn’t realize that students kept those for so long and that they left an impact on so many people’s lives. After being told that he sat down and cried feeling good about the work he has done. Being a teacher is not only about teaching the curriculum, it’s about incorporating life lessons into your teaching as well. Kids learn the best when they can find you relatable and trustworthy. I know in my teacher-student relationship I always took the life lessons from the class more than the actual school lesson that day. Words of wisdom stick with me far more than knowing how to solve a square route. Our agenda on the list for the day should be to lead and inspire. A good student teacher relationship is so important to the classroom as a whole. I think if we tried to incorporate a one on one relationship with each student, we will see them thrive in a multitude of different ways. The chapters that we read have so much to do with student-teacher relationships and it was so great to hear from other people in class, sharing all of our experiences and relationships that we have had with teachers. The teachers we had in the past are some of the main reasons that all of us are wanting to become teachers in the future. 

    Works cited

    Editors, Reader’s Digest. “Heartwarming Stories of Teachers Who Changed Their Students’ Lives.” Reader’s Digest, Reader’s Digest, 3 May 2022, https://www.rd.com/list/teacher-who-changed-my-life/. 

    Christensen, Linda, et al. The New Teacher Book: Finding Purpose, Balance, and Hope during Your First Years in the Classroom. 3rd ed., Rethinking Schools, 2019. 

  • About Me Survey

    1. Mel Keller (she/her)
    2. Aurora, Ohio
    3. Early Childhood Education (Kindergarten or First Grade)
    4. I am very into staying healthy and working out. I am currently training for a half marathon and am hoping to get into fitness clubs and classes.
    5. A movie I really like is called Prefontaine. A quote I like from the movie is, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” This movie means a lot to me because my dad and I have always watched this movie together and have talked about the meaning behind everything he says. This indeed has made me a better person today.
    6. For me to be as comfortable as possible in the classroom I like having a welcoming,judge-free environment. I like a quiet workspace where breaks are welcomed and we are not being lectured the whole time.
    7. A memory from my experience as a student would be when I was first getting my IEP testing done. This was an experience that changed me forever as a learner. If it wasn’t for my 5th-grade teacher realizing that I was a little more behind, I would still be struggling today. This has also helped me realize what I want to do in life and I will forever be grateful for that.
    8. How many people usually come out of their field experience no longer wanting to become a teacher?
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