The classroom starts with two main pieces. The first is the students, who should be the focus of all teachers, and the second is the curriculum, which provides a standard for teachers to use to deliver a full education.
The classroom is built by students, their needs and requirements should be the foundation of all classrooms, with adaptations and management strategies that benefit and work with the students. The way to achieve a productive and strong learning environment is by having a safe, open communication with the students.
The students are the block of the classroom; the curriculum follows closely with being the filling that keeps the blocks strong. The curriculum is what needs to be taught to students. The curriculum may include separate outcomes based on what is deemed valuable for the students to learn before entering the next grade. There is a curriculum for all subjects; however, the curriculums are designed to be taught cross-curricular, using inquiry and student-centered education. The “traditional” teacher thinks of the curriculum as separate units, subjects and textbooks; I see the curriculum as a guide that includes treaty education, digital citizenship, citizenship education and other curriculums that are vital and beneficial to the students’ holistic education.
Treaty educations along with cross-curricular connections are the focus of my teachings. Treaty education provides students with the unique opportunity to participate in history as it is being made, at the true objective of treaty education is to understand a living promise that is still being worked on to fulfill. The rest of the curriculum, while necessary, lacks the same importance as having students understand treaties and promises that affects Canadians daily. Using broad themes and essential questions allow students to see treaty education connected to other subjects through well designed cross-curricular lessons, activities, and inquiry questions. The knowledge and passion I have for the curriculum allows me to pull it in unique directions, allowing for ultimate learning to occur.
We live in the 21st century, technology and social media are a dominate piece of students’ lives. Embracing this allows me to challenge students to use technology in a way that forces students to find use and productivity while using devices commonly thought of as being for enjoyment more than educational. The amount of knowledge is much greater when you use technology as a tool for learning. Technology is a welcomed tool and asset in my classroom.
Teaching is a full-time career; it does not end when the final bell of the day rings. Teaching requires heart, patience and dedication. The students we teach today need to be prepared for the future. Teaching from the past limits the education students deserve.