Reading Response- Nov. 19

3 Things I Learned:

  1. Based on the reading surrounding Teachers, Administrators and Schools, the idea of teacher’s own jurisdiction was reinforced, while bringing up the individual and unique practices of schools based on a variety of factors. In the schools I have visited, I have also seen this difference in leadership and partnership. Within the school that my mother works in (a teacher of 27) years, there is a great priority set on the professional model of teaching, as discussed in this article which counters some bureaucracy I have seen within placements. The opening remarks in this chapter introducing differences in schools reminded me of my own experience, as well as awakened me to my feelings of how schools ideally should be run within the construct that the ideal teacher or school is hard to define.
  2. I have easily taken for granted the working conditions modern and unionized Saskatchewan teachers, especially in the south, but the reality of teaching as a female profession outlined in this chapter was a reminder of teaching as an ever evolving profession. Stipulations in contract, such as not being allowed to marry, would be unheard of today but were realities of this women dominated profession. Also surrounding gender in teaching, I was surprised to learn that the number of male teachers is in decline despite me having male principals my entire life. Based on the statistics of men in leadership however, maybe I should not be surprised.
  3. In the short article on Teacher Leadership, the idea of teachers as the “custodians of school culture” stuck out to me along with the importance of teachers sitting in roles of leadership through peer mentoring, and exploring new ideas in delivery of context and grading. I have seen practices such as this within my undergraduate degree being spoken of for music teachers within the Regina community who have come together to create joint workshops, festivals and professional development opportunities within the smaller sect of music educators. The article mentioned that although many educators have the “leadership itch” they do not want to move into a role of administration but rather move forward in their subject area.

2 Connections I Made:

  1. I connected to the discussion within the first reading on the topic of teaching in northern communities as it has been frequently discussed within my friend group and family. This discussion was sparked this September in a discussion with my uncle (the superintendent of a Northern Manitoba school board) speaking on the qualification standards for teachers in the north and isolation pay as well as his desperation to find teachers that are willing to move into northern communities. Although only briefly spoken on, I can make the assumption that factors such as teaching in a remote area would also effect administration and teachers relationship as well as support from the rural community and the curriculum that is valued.
  2. As previously mentioned, I have a great amount of admiration for my mother’s school and my own community that went through a process of restructuring the school system in a town that has issues with social class which previously determined the elementary school attended depending on the side of town families lived on. With new administration within her school, my mother was not afraid to begin the role of being in teaching leadership and now presents at professional development seminars with her work on the app SeeSaw and her experience with family engagement. At the same time, there is room for many teachers to be doing similar work, with new initiatives for behaviour and assessment being brought in by other teachers. These are examples of teacher leadership that I see to be effective and I can aspire towards in my upcoming career.

1 Question I Have:

  1. Statistics on under representation of visible minorities are continually brought up in readings. How effective are university efforts of welcoming minority teachers as well as ensuring equitable hiring practices? What does the culture of guidance counselling look like for minority students for fields that they do not see themselves represented in?

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