Unit 1a: What Did You Just Do?

Did you just ruin “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” for me?  As a child and an adult, it remains my absolute favourite Christmas movie.

Image result for the grinch, original

…And the Monkeys… I use to watch their television show when I was little.  Another Pleasant Valley Sunday was a favourite song for me as a young girl, however, as I sang the lyrics (think, a 5-year-old singing the lyrics), was I old enough to comprehend the meaning behind the song?  No Way!  I was just entering school and being conformed to the system.  To answer the title of this blog, what have you done?  Well, you have made me think!  And this is a good thing.

As a teacher, it is important to me that I try to place myself in my student’s shoes.  To do this, sometimes I need to think back to my own high school experiences in similar classes.  What were classes like and how have they evolved until now?  I grew up in a small city in Saskatchewan.  We were not poor, but we were not rich…we were comfortable.  My high school student body was predominantly Caucasian.  I only remember having a few non-white students in the school.  It was the type of school that you went to if you had family that had attended it previously, you know, to “carry on the tradition”.

Classes were robotic.  They still are!

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

Besides technology, not too much has changed.  We run on a bell system….WHY??????

We rely on marks to indicate how well our students demonstrate their knowledge of the subject matter ……WHY??????

Do the powers that be want to produce students that are so robotized that they are unable to think for themselves?  Until very recently my view of education through experience as both a student in the system and now an educator was that we were only expecting the 4 R’s from our students.  By keeping our student’s robots to the system, a certain control was maintained over the students – there would be no threat to the system because there would be no metacognition on the students part. And honestly, a lot of teachers, administrators and divisions still ask for this to be the way the curricula is taught.  However, it is not how the high school curricula are now written.

I also remember not having many female principals or vice principals in school as a student.  But going beyond this, the “star” athletes were heavily awarded to the male student body during athletic awards.  This “old boys club” mentality was not only viewed in boardrooms, but also in the administration of schools (a women’s job was to clearly be either a secretary OR a teacher in the school), but it also played out in our classrooms.  Meritocracy was seen being played out in many different levels of the educational system.  In some ways, it still is.  While we now see many women in power positions and having broken through the “club”, we have also seen many minority races taking their well-deserved places at these tables.  We now see male kindergarten teachers, now that is something that we wouldn’t have seen in the past!  However, it was my experience, that getting out of the administration position lost a lot of respect from colleagues, what a shame.  However, I often wonder if it really isn’t some form of admiration for actually being strong enough to stand up for myself and go for what I really wanted?

When did you make a change in your career that went against the system?  How did it impact you?

Its a new day
But it all feels old.
Its a good life
That's what I'm told.
But everything
It all just feels the same
And my high school: it felt more to me
Like a jail cell, a penitentiary.
My time spent there
It only made me see

That I don't ever want to be like you.
I don't want to do the things you do.
I'm never gonna hear the words you say
Cause I don't ever wanna.
I don't ever want to be.
You don't want to be just like you
What I'm sayin' is this is the anthem
Throw all your hands up
You. don't want to be you
Go to college, a university
Get a real job, that's what they said to me
But I could never live the way they want
I'm gonna get by and just do my time
Out of step while they all get in line.
I'm just a minor threat so pay no mind
Do you really want to be like them
Do you really want to be another trend
Do you want to be part of that crowd.
Cause I don't ever wanna.
I don't ever want to be you

Shake it once that's fine
Shake it twice that's okay
Shake it three time you're playin' with yourself again

Don't want to be just like you
This is the anthem throw all your hands up
Now that you feel me, sing if you're with me
You, don't want to be just like you

This is the anthem throw all your hands up
Now that you feel me, sing if you're with me
Another loser anthem [Repeat x4]







One thought on “Unit 1a: What Did You Just Do?”

  1. Hi Carla,

    Sorry if I just ruined your life…. please know that the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is also my all time favourite and annual must see. Also, please know that I am glad that I made you think! But obviously, you were already thinkg, or you would not have swum upstream from the administrative office to the classroom. The fact that it’s an outdoor classroom much of the time must be a wonderful place to be!

    Thanks for your thoughts and for the great video/lyrics that rage against the machine that schools too often can be.

    – Steve


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