“good” isn’t always good enough

For this weeks submission, I’ve been asked to reflect on what it means to be a ” good student”. I think if I were to ask a handful of strangers their definition of a “good” student, they would all be pretty consistent. I feel that many people (especially those who are not teachers) have it in their heads that “good” students should be submissive, passive, and obedient. This is a very “common sense” way of thinking. From the “common sense” train of thought, these so called ‘good’ students to come to school, sit and listen,  never talk back, never struggle academically/socially, and are quite passive.

I definitely think that the common sense way of defining what a ‘good’ student is sets limitations and privileges the majority group of students. This way of thinking overlooks minority students and social issues.  It does not foster growth and the ability to experience uncomfortable learning.As we learned in class, being uncomfortable in learning is what allows growth and changes to happen in our schools/society. Because of these common sense ideas, many social issues are being overlook and students are not given the opportunity to learn and grow. Being overly obedient and passive while learning will lead to an end product versus a unique body of knowledge. It is impossible to notice each child’s unique strengths/weakness, backgrounds and personalities when teaching to the common sense’s definition of a “good” student. When I think of a good student, some elements of the common sense definition pop into my head but in a small amount. I do hope that one day my students listen to me and are obedient. I do hope they are attentive and follow instructions. What I do not hope, is that they are afraid to speak out and grow as a student. I do not hope that my students feel like they are silenced and afraid in my class room. I want them to feel like school is a welcoming environment where they can learn and grow, receive constructive criticism and explore each other’s differences.

 

 

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