Week 12: Travis

3 Things I learned:

  1. From the Ted Talk I got to hear an account of how Dan’s son was able to be included in general education and while doing so he succeeded at a high level. Throughout my high school career, I had only seen disabled students in separate learning environments never in any of my classes. This caused me to believe that all students that had any sort of disability needed special attention and were not capable of learning in a general classroom setting. The Ted talk made me view this information differently.
  2. I learned how important it is to talk to the student who is in need of modifications to tests or lesson plans. A lot of the time we believe we know what is best for them when in reality it is the individual who knows what adjustments will be the most helpful for them. It is important to know that they have a great understanding of what works and doesn’t work.
  3. I learned that it is vitally important to not look at these students disabilities but to look at them for all of the great things that they can do. Every child has a talent and it is up to teachers to help them discover it.

2 Things I connected with:

  1. In high school, I had a classmate who has cerebral palsy. This week I connected with the idea of how those who have a disability want nothing more than to be included in the class and in social activities.  And that is just what my classmate did, he was in all of my PE classes playing sports with everyone, he was always with us for lunch and other school events. He wanted to be treated like all of us. This is a desire we all have as humans, a wanting, a craving just to fit in.
  2. The teacher plays a huge role in helping someone fit in. In my example, the classmate I talk about was helped in large part by a couple teachers who simply treated him like we were treated. This lets us, the students know that, hey he’s just like us nothing is different.

1 Question I have:

  1. Are there cases where students with disabilities need to learn in a separate environment?

Week 10 reading: Travis

3 things I learned:

  1. In the article How Schools Play “Smear the Queer” I learned just how important schools are in the effort to create a positive environment for those outside of heterosexual lifestyles. Schools are also able to create toxic and harmful environments for. I always believed that it was simply bullies who created these environments. That by spewing hurtful names and constantly verbally and physically assaulting those who belonged to the LGBTQ community the school environment became an unwelcoming place to those this community. I never took in to account that teachers and administration played a huge role in either squashing these bullies or empowering them by doing nothing to stop it.
  2. I was not aware of the impact that a lack of sexual education concerning the LGBTQ community can have. By not having it in the curriculum many students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and are sexually active may not feel that they have anyone to ask about safer sex options, without coming out and enduring ridicule. This is linked to high numbers of HIV/AIDS in youth. By not having a safe place to ask about safe sex it poses a health risk that can be easily prevented by the schools.
  3. “Can We Learn Queerly?” provides an insight on how parents can provide a negative impact on making a safe place for the LGBTQ community. This occurs when a school tries to be more inclusive with the LGBTQ community, which often leads to a backlash from parents who oppose these views. Some parents may be uncomfortable with their kids learning information about the LGBTQ community, this is often because of prejudices. This backlash from parents can ultimately limit the knowledge of a student and cause them to form their own prejudices towards the LGBTQ community.

2 things I connected with:

  1. I connected with the idea of a strong support system regardless of sexual preference. It is vitally important that students feel that they have a place/someone to talk to when they’re having a tough time. I had a counselor in high school who no matter what was going on I always felt safe to take my problems to him and just have someone to talk to about them. Every kid in school needs someone like that because let’s face it life gets tough sometimes especially in high school.
  2.  I was never fully aware of how complex the LGBTQ community was, now that can definitely be linked to a lack of knowledge presented to me in high school. I learned so much more in university than I ever did in high school.

1 Question I have:

  1. How do I leave my religious principles out of a conversation like sexuality?

Week 8 Reading: Travis

3 Things I learned:

  1. I have always been curious on what part of the hiring process is the most important for in the goal of being hired. The reading gave an insight into the hiring process even though the answer was very vague with no clear answer given. For example, on page 191 the reading states “some evidence suggests that this varies just as the authority for hiring varies” this is speaking to what is important in the hiring process. So when reading this it gives many different aspects that are important but ultimately it varies with each school and each district where it depends on who is the authority in charge. I looked at this as motivation to be as well rounded a teacher as possible to give myself the best chance to be hired.
  2. In the reading, I learned that contrary to my prior beliefs of teachers being large and in charge, in the school community they actually have very little power over what occurs. They do not have the power to pick which grades they teach, what subjects, or who is their classes. This was eye-opening information.
  3. The reading talked about the dying need for teachers in urban areas. This was news to me as in my hometown of Medicine Hat (which I consider urban) is going to be facing a shortage of teachers in roughly four years. Because of this, I’ve always just assumed that throughout Canada no matter where there is a need for teachers, so the news unsettled that narrative I had made for myself.

2 things I connected to:

  1. One thing that connected with me in the reading was the idea of hiring the right teacher. For me in school, I had two different History teachers in two separate years. One of them was by far the most intellectual History teacher in our school he was very knowledgeable in the subject I faced the problem with not being able to connect with his very rigid teaching style which caused me to struggle in his class. The next year I had a different teacher who might not have been as accomplished in the subject as the prior teacher, but she was able to find a way to teach me the subject and relate to me which made it a lot easier to ask for help. Both were great teachers but I believe it is important to find teachers that have the ability to find a way to connect with different students and make the learning work for them.
  2. I connected with the idea of a charismatic leader, I have always seen this style of leadership as the most effective. This is also the leadership role that I see for myself within the school system.

1 question I have:

  1. Is subbing beneficial for gaining employment?

Travis Week 7

3 Things I learned:

  1. After reading “Exploring Teacher Identity” I was really captured by an idea I have known all along. Teaching is so much more than just a job. You don’t get to clock in at 8am and clock out at 5. Teaching goes home with you after school is done for the day. It is a profession that drives you day in day out constantly changing and shaping you through the interactions you make. In teaching, you have to constantly look to improve in your profession. This is something I’ve always known to be true in teaching and one of the main reasons I have always been driven towards teaching. This reading reminded me of that.
  2. I learned the importance of being aware of who is watching you. When teaching you have a lot of eyes on you throughout a given day and they’re watching to see you act in any given situation. That is why it is essential to display the type of professionalism that the reading describes. Given a teachers authoritative position many students will look up to their teachers which just increases the importance of displaying professional traits.
  3. I was shocked when reading Yerks description of her first lesson that she taught. I had no idea teaching can cause these types of stress levels, I have never been in a position outside of coaching sports where I have to teach something to multiple people. I can imagine teaching something like History (my major) to thirty high school students will be a stressful event and I anticipate I’ll feel stress much like the type Yerks experienced.

2 Things I connected with:

  1. The first connection I made was to the idea about how no lesson plan is impervious to going off the tracks. As Murphy’s law dictates “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” this is often the case with lesson plans. Your activity may not be a hit with the students and you have to be quick on your feet and find a way to make it connect with them. Or maybe a lot of your class is missing so you have to adjust to that. I connected with this idea because over the summer I was leading a group for a football camp. The night before the first day I figured out a great schedule along with drills to accompany it. I was all set. Then the day came and my times were shorter than I had anticipated, I didn’t have the equipment I needed to run many of the drills, so I threw my plan out and had to improvise. And if I do say so myself, I killed it.
  2. I connected with the idea that teachers need to care about the students own each learning needs. Rather than seeing students as just another kid you’re teaching it is important the think of them all separately and build a relationship with each individual to help understand how they learn. I connect with this because throughout high school I always found that I learned best from a teacher who would go out of their way to connect with me and see if they could do anything to help me understand something better.

1 Question I still have:

  1. How do I manage my own expectations and recover when things don’t go as well as I want? I have always struggled with not achieving what I set out to do.

Travis: Week 6

3 Things I learned:

  1. In the reading, I learned about the variety of teaching styles. Now it’s not as if I was not aware of there being different teaching styles. I was not aware of their intricacies and how they looked. Between Perrianialism being a very rigid conservative teaching style, which is compared to that of Reconstructionism which is a very forward-thinking, pro-student learning style.
  2. I learned why knowing the history of teaching is important. It’s essential to know where education has come from, not so much as to learn how education was conducted so we can replicate it. Rather so we can learn from it and continue to improve in how teachers operate in the classroom.
  3. The learning on residential schools was a different approach then I’ve learned about it before. I have never looked at that bit of history from the perspective as a teacher. When looking at it in this way it is shocking at just how wrong and backward the approach was. It will forever be a black mark on the history of the Canadian and Saskatchewan education system.

2 Things I connected to:

  1. I connected with the school curriculum selection being a cultural and political act. I’ve noticed this throughout my learning career, the ideas of both the curriculum being affected by both the teacher and the provincial curriculum, this is especially evident in social classes where political ideologies come into effect.
  2. The Hidden Curriculum that a teacher puts forward is very important. It can drastically impact how a student grows as a person in an overall sense.

1 Thing I still wish to learn:

  1. With education being in a constant state of changing and improving, how can I continue to stay up to date with all of the changes once I’m well into my career as a teacher?

Travis Reading #3

3 Things I learned:

  1. The first thing I learned from the reading was the different stages of Observational Learning. The first being Attention, as a teacher it is crucial that students maintain attention when you are attempting to put across an idea. The second being retention, one way to ensure retention is by reshowing crucial points in different ways and then getting them to actually practice it. Production will come from repeated rehearsal. Motivation comes into play by making some incentive to use the behavior and then reinforcing it by building the student up for using it.
  2. The two different types of motivation that can be used also stuck out to me. One being extrinsic where something must be completed and that it is essential to do so. The other one being intrinsic, with a goal being set where a goal is wanted to be completed.
  3. Self-efficacy is crucial to success, it is key in improving a students motivation. By completing something by yourself your confidence rises. As you continue to improve in a task and can see yourself getting better at it, you will be driven to continue this upward progression.


2 Connections I Made:

  1. The Triarchic reciprocal casualty connected with me because in all of my years as a student I’ve realized how big of an impact all three influences can affect my learning. If my environment is filled with my friends, for example, I have a noticeable lack of focus in the class.
  2. The idea of how observation greatly improves learning struck home to me. In football, for example, I understand a play or skill much better after seeing it happen in front of me. Rather than if the play was simply drawn up.


1 Question I have:

  1. How can we make sure our teaching environment is perfect for each student’s individual needs?

Travis Week 2: Biological and Cognitive Development

3 Things I learned:

  1. When children are in their early years of learning, like preschool they learn to perfect their motor skills. This is an essential skill that they pick up. One of these fine motor skills that they learn is that of which hand will be the dominant. Will it be left-handed or right-handed? Now, this decision is largely impacted by genetics as well, but it is in school where they learn to fine tune this decision through activities such as arts and crafts.
  2. I learned that in the early years of childhood children are in vastly different phases of growth. Children vary in how tall and large they are, and they are publicly viewed and judged based on their size. This can create body shame early in their life which can have psychological ramifications later in life.
  3. One of the more interesting things I learned in the readings was the information on the different parenting styles. I knew that not all parents parented the same way, but I was not aware of how vastly different the styles were. As future teachers, it is essential for us to be aware of these different styles and use that knowledge to best benefit children in the classroom.

2 Connections I Made:

  1. A connection I made was to the staggeringly low number of children that reach the 90mins of physical activity a day. The number is at a low 23%. This low number can be linked to the rise in childhood obesity and the many cases of ADHD. The text explains that with even just 15 mins of physical activity children can become far more attentive in class. This makes complete sense to me, in school I always felt far more focused after a break from class or gym class.
  2. One thing that I truly connected to is how not paying attention prevents you from learning. This sounds simple enough and as a student, it should be easy enough for me to fix this and pay attention. But even with this knowledge I constantly find myself drifting off in class if I’m not constantly engaged by the lecture. This knowledge will help in the future when I need to help keep my class focused.

1 Question I Have:

  1. How as teachers are supposed to know by just looking at our students if they’re actually absorbing what we’re teaching, or just blankly staring at us and not taking in the info.

Travis Semenok, Week One

3 things that I learned:

  1. Vygotsky’s approach towards private speech and its importance when it comes to cognitive development. It was interesting to learn why he believed children do talk out loud to themselves. He believed that these self-mutterings were not, in fact, a sign of cognitive immaturity but rather it is an important role in a child’s cognitive development. Private speech helps a child move closer to self-regulation. This new information to me, as I have always seen this behavior as just children being children.
  2. The text brought up the idea of how a children’s early experiences can impact their behaviour in social settings like the classroom. Now, this is not new knowledge to me, I had never looked at this idea through the lens of a teacher. This idea can affect how a teacher designs their teaching techniques for different students.
  3. The idea of nature vs nurture is presented in the text. How and where you were raised both play huge factors into students attitudes and behaviours.

2 connections I made:

  1. One connection I made was to the necessity of “play” for a child. I always vaguely knew that children needed to play but I never had a full understanding of why it’s so important. Many essential life skills are first developed through the act of play, it impacts children on an emotional, physical, and social level. Many skills are developed in all three areas.
  2. As a student, I would on occasion become frustrated when a fellow student would not pick up a learning concept as fast as I deemed acceptable. But the text showed that all children learn at a different rate and a different speed. It is the teacher’s job to help maximize their learning as much as possible.

1 question I have:

  1. As teachers how do we go about implementing this knowledge into the classroom?

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