The school divide

There are three main cleavages between students and the school environment. In other words, the school environment is not representative of the reality of its students, does not meet the expectations of its clientele and, ultimately, limits their development when it claims the opposite.

1.  The student’s reality and that offered by the school environment

Does the school environment offer a world that resembles the one in which its students evolve? Does he adapt to it? Two examples immediately come to mind:

A- First of all, the integration of EHDAA into regular classes highlights the difficulties of this linkage. Teachers need to educate, socialize and instruct all their students but some need adaptive measures to achieve this. Where are the resources? We rely on teachers who have little training in this regard. Showing pedagogical flexibility is definitely an essential characteristic to develop in teachers. However, resources to support these teachers and students with special needs are necessary. The reality dictated by the Training Program is far from being modeled on the reality of students with special needs. It is moreover more improvisation than effective intervention!

B- Another eloquent example symbolizing this divide is certainly the fact that students evolve in a digital environment. They interact in several ways, including, again, via social media. They access all the knowledge of the world from the beginning of human consciousness via their smart phone, located in the palm of their pocket. How does the school environment react to this reality? It bans these electronic devices. Why ? There are two main reasons for this situation:

  • Because teachers are afraid of many things, including being judged (or ridiculed), through photographs, videos or sound recordings. They also fear losing their place in the class since they lose this monopoly of knowledge that they have historically held for ages. Also, their authority would be threatened by these devices. There are several other apprehensions which are
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Can we sincerely speak of school perseverance?

These are the days of school perseverance in Quebec. These days follow teachers’ week. Is this a coincidence or a nod to the teaching profession? It doesn’t matter.

It was while reading Le Devoir this morning that I learned that three dropouts will go on a crusade with school-aged children to encourage them to persevere on the school benches. It’s a beautiful story, full of otherness. What educator wouldn’t be moved by this act of bravery from I made a big mistake and don’t want others to repeat it . Sadly, too many young people have winding paths and face adult issues when they are still just teenagers. Sad observation of today’s society where children have adult responsibilities in families, too often dysfunctional.

So once a year, we go on a crusade to promote academic perseverance. We cannot be against virtue. However, beyond these beautiful words and these few actions here and there, do we take the time to sincerely question ourselves? Are we contributing to dropping out of school? How? ‘Or’ What ? Do we take the time to give ourselves this little respite to do our own professional practice analysis?

Learning would be favored by the pleasure that one experiences in carrying out a task. We must stop thinking about learning as a simple cognitive process. As we know, the emotional sphere is omnipresent among young people of high school age. To ignore it in our daily educational intervention is a serious mistake. Motivation and commitment are essential elements in shaping learning. A plethora of research exists on this subject, and teacher training clearly demonstrates this importance when it comes to meaning  : the why of learning. It’s a bit as if the teacher became a salesperson by selling the importance of carrying out a given task and integrating its pedagogical foundations.

Everyone is familiar with the concepts of extrinsic motivation and   Read the rest

Happy teachers week!

After nearly fifteen years in the world of education, I realize daily how the teaching profession is a highly ungrateful one.

Teaching is a profession that is practiced at the front at all times, directly in the field. You have to have a tough skin to cope with this level of action. Working with young people who are growing in every way is an achievement, every day. Few of the professions can claim to make a difference in humans every day and require such a level of altruism and otherness. Few of the professions allow an individual to play a direct role in the evolution of humans so frequently and directly, especially at such a decisive moment in their lives.

Vocation and duty
Today, there is nothing relaxing about teaching, despite the fact that cynical critics of the profession like to remind us that we have two months off, a break and two weeks at Christmas. Anyway, I always like to invite these detractors to come and spend a single day in class with a teacher… To date, no one has taken up the challenge, except a few CEGEP or university students who want live a typical day before making the decision to take the plunge into the profession.

The teaching profession is located halfway between vocation and duty. The call to teaching is vocational. You obviously have to love young people and their share of differences. We must appreciate this diversity and value it and not try to smooth it out in order to normalize their course. This vocation is also reflected in the skills of a charismatic speaker in most cases. You have to want to be creative and curious and above all, accept to continue to learn throughout your career. Not all individuals have the humility to accept this necessity. At a time when all professionals define themselves by   Read the rest

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