Updated: Feb 7
I chose to focus on topics that would help me in the future. The 3 topics I chose were Creating Classrooms for Social Justice by Tabitha Dell'Angelo, How Community Service Supports Students in Though Times by Sean Cassel and Empowering Students to Change the World by Chase Mielke.
What I learned from Creating Classrooms for Social Justice:
Social justice is "recognizing and acting upon the power that we have for making positive change" (Dell'Angelo, 2014). In order for there to be social justice within a classroom, teachers need to understand their students. A way to do this is to connect to their lives by learning a bit about their cultures. Another is by providing diverse perspectives since it will provide more than the textbooks, which are usually written by white men. A third way is by creating a classroom environment in which the students feel safe to voice their opinion.
What I learned from How Community Service Supports Students in Tough Times:
This article talked about how the pandemic has revealed that in some cases students deal with mental health issues from a day-to-day basis. It also covered what signs can give away if students are dealing with mental health issues. The signs include "poor grades, poor attendance, facial expressions, body language, and substance abuse" (Cassel, 2021). Since some students may suffer from mental health issues, community service might help them. Students who participate in community service are able to take a break and clear their minds. The problem is that at first, it might be hard to get them to participate and get them out of "their homes and back into the school buildings" (Cassel, 2021). Thankfully, they can be offered opportunities such as having them spend time with the elderly, packaging collected/donated food. These opportunities help them go back to school.
What I learned from Empowering Students to Change the World:
The article goes over how to get started on empowering students through immersion in 21st-century skills. The overall idea in the article was to get students to work together on projects in which they get the opportunity to choose their own group of 4 to 6 people. An important factor in these projects would be to give students the freedom to choose their own topic, which means that we, as teachers, would give them a broad topic/question to get their minds flowing. From students participating in these projects, they will be able to learn things such as creative problem solving and communication skills. A final thing that stood out to me was how the article talked about how important it is for students to focus on the process and not their grades.
Cassel, S. (2021, March 22). How community service supports students in tough times. Edutopia. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.edutopia.org/article/how-community-service-supports-students-tough-times.
Dell'Angelo, T. (2014, September 29). Creating Classrooms for Social Justice. Edutopia. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/creating-classrooms-for-social-justice-tabitha-dellangelo.
Mielke, C. (2015, November 18). Empowering students to change the world. Edutopia. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/empowering-students-change-the-world-chase-mielke.