There have been a lot of huge things happening this year, and those things reminded me that even though I love to learn, there is still so much that I don’t know.
As an elementary school teacher, I have the opportunity to watch young humans learn to navigate the world every day. Kids are so creative and so full of life, and somewhere in the process of growing up, we forget how to be curious.
I tell my students that learning is not something that only happens in school, and that you don’t stop learning when you graduate high school or college. Most of what we learn as human beings is learned through life experiences.
For example, we never learned how to file taxes or do laundry in school–those are things that we learn by doing (or by calling and asking a parent when you accidentally shrink your favorite shirt). I wanted to use this space as a way to continue learning myself.
Sadly, our education system has a LOT of flaws. It’s underfunded, underappreciated, and a lot of curriculum is seriously outdated. We focus so much on testing, that we don’t allow for time to talk about things that really matter.
There are things that teachers don’t always get the chance to talk to their students about, but some of those topics are extremely important. With everything going on in 2020, topics that weren’t discussed are being brought up, and some of those topics are things that I wish I knew more about before this year started.
When I taught in Georgia, we taught a whole science unit on the different areas of Georgia. I can honestly say that I still do not know the areas in Georgia because I only taught it for one year, and in my opinion as someone who no longer lives in Georgia–IT DOES NOT MATTER.
Instead of spending the seven or eight weeks on the areas in Georgia, we could have spent that time talking about why people of color were treated differently, or what the word “racism” even means. We could have talked more about social skills, or just had more time to learn more about the diversity that was in our classroom.
One of the language arts units that I had to teach was about Susan B. Anthony and Hillary Clinton. The students had to compare and contrast the two women, and explain how they impacted history. What the district didn’t consider was how this would impact a community of immigrants. Since the 2016 election was still fresh in their minds, it was impossible to talk about Hillary Clinton and not the election.
A majority of the kids that attended that school were immigrants from Central America and Asia. As a first year teacher I had to reassure my third graders that Donald Trump winning the election didn’t mean that they had to leave the country. They heard so many things on the news that scared them, including their president and other white supremacists saying extremely racist things. How do you explain that to a kid?
Looking back, I wish that I spent more time talking to them then about deeper issues in society, instead of glossing over it to power through the material that I knew wasn’t going to benefit them. What would have benefited them more would have been more discussions and time to understand why they are treated differently.
Foster Curiosity is Born
I created this space to fill in the gaps that we weren’t taught in school. I want to challenge myself to continue questioning things and finding out answers.
This website is for people to read and learn more about events going on, topics that weren’t covered in school, or just to read about things that are interesting to them. I don’t plan on sticking to one subject, so I hope that you can find something that you are curious about.
Honestly, this website is a way for me to remember everything that I’m learning. That, and I hope to show my students that I practice what I preach, and that I am truly a lifelong learner. I hope you learn something new with me!