This course gave me a perspective that I didn’t think I would have gotten. I was unsure as to what this course would entail, honestly, and I’m glad that the things we covered had a significant impact on how we treat children in the classroom.
One of the things that I think stuck out to me the most was how much we actually learn, from birth through the first year. As a secondary education major, I really did not expect to be learning about when we learn things, and how they are significant. However, the more we covered it, the more interested I had gotten. I never really made the connection that how we learn, and when we learn things can affect how we do so in the future. I also didn’t think about how complex the brain really is, in terms of how much information that can be retained through the first year of life.
Feeding off this point, something that interested me was the extensive time we spent talking about how much children are effected by their upbringing, and how that can be managed in the classroom setting. Specifically, the video of the rats and their mothers stand out to me the most, because it was insightful to get a different perspective on how families have a significant impact on their children. The way specific mother treated and cared for their youth played such a big role in the way they behaved in the future gave me an understanding that nothing else could. A lot of this, I feel, had to do with the fact that it wasn’t a human parent. This showed me that care and nurture really goes outside our realm as beings, but it also takes on such an important factor in others as well.
Bullying, as well as positive stress management were both other components that I really took to heart, because I think that these two both coincide within each other. Positive stress had a particular place in my heart, because I feel as though it’s so important to think about the good things that come out of the scenarios we stress ourselves out about. The TED talk we watched was extremely interesting to me, as it furthered my feeling towards positive stress. One thing about this topic that I hope to bring with me through my academic career, both as a student and a future teacher, is that there are always benefits that come from the stress of little things. Many of us aren’t stressing out about where we’re going to sleep at night, or what we’re hoping to eat the next day. We aren’t in these live or die situations. We stress over getting things done; this blog, for example, is something that gave me stress because I felt like it wouldn’t be done in time. Looking at it now, I realized that it wasn’t a tough task, and that having time management that’s improved from the beginning of the semester gives me hope that I’m doing the right thing.
Bullying, from a teacher perspective, is another thing that I believe is more important than most others, especially in the ones we discussed this semester. Bullying as a whole is something that I think we can avoid, but it’s also something that we can’t. As teachers, it’s something that you see every day, and whether you choose to handle it appropriately is a different matter. I think that just the notion that it was brought up in this class makes a huge impact, because we need to be aware of it.
Lastly, one of the things that I think we’ll use the most is how different ages are subject to different things. The ideal middle school project was informative, because it helped reiterate what different ages were supposed to act like. From birth through middle school specifically, children change so much, and we need to understand those changes in order to be respectful professionals in the academic field. That was something that all of the above ideas are focused off of. Bullying, positive stress, how children’s upbringing affects them, and everything in between correlate with the characteristics each age group has. If a seven year old who’s extremely shy and doesn’t want to go home after school, is treated the same way as a 15-year old’s identical dilemma, something needs to change. Knowing how different age groups respond to daily tasks plays a very important role in the education field, and it’s one of the most important things teachers need to know.
Doing these blogs helped me hone in the way I read. Knowing that I had to write about the reading made me delve into the reading more than usual, and for that, I wish we had more of them. The biggest problem I had was knowing whether or not we had a reading, and honestly, I would do a lot of the reading at the beginning of the year an hour before class. The one thing I wished we had done was get the blogs done earlier in the semester, because it would have set a rhythm for the rest of the semester. I enjoyed doing the blog posts, and I believe that all of them were done to the best of my ability. I think that two or three of them could have been expanded with more detail, but especially for the reflection blogs, I believe that I got the overall point of the reading across.
If I were to turn in by blog posts as a professional portfolio, I definitely would want to clean it up a bit more. Overall, I think that regarding the texts I wrote about, I did a good job reviewing what the point of each one were. I believe that as a whole, I was able to get the general concepts down, and was able to learn from them based on that. I was happy to use blog posts as a way to demonstrate my findings, because generally I can use my own voice to show that what I’ve actually paid attention. I really enjoyed this class, whether or not I portrayed that on a daily basis. There’s a lot to learn still, but I enjoyed using blog posts as a way to express my knowledge toward the course.