Are you a good student? Blog Post Week Four

What does it mean to be a “good” student according to common sense? Which students are privileged by this definition of a good student?

According to common sense, a good student is referred to as someone who is able to listen, do well in school, be respectful and has a good behavior. Their good behavior is seen as someone who is happy and who is motivated always striving to excel both inside and outside the classroom. They don’t act up in class and never give teachers a hard time. They are usually ones who have specific goals in mind and who are always trying to do better. They are referred to as always having a positive attitude and always doing better. Teachers use them as examples for students to look up to and have them become role models for other classmates. Good students are portrayed as coming from a good family setting where their parents help motivate and support them. However, there are also students who come from an abusive or bad home life that also excel and are able to leave their home problems once they arrive at school. Regardless of the type of circumstance a student is in they all have the potential to be considered “good students.”

What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these common-sense ideas?

Any person who is seen outside the confinements of “common sense” would be considered unacceptable. Our society now days has a strict view about what common sense should be and how everyone should be able to live their lives that way. Relating back to my elementary schooling I distinctly remember one of my male classmates named Mak who had a very hard time focusing in the classroom. He would cause disruptions and try everything to make the teacher mad. He also came from a bad home life and was being raised almost below the poverty line with a single mother and four other younger siblings. He tried to act out every chance he could in school and would try to get the other students to play along with him. In essence, the teacher that we had could either send him on a timeout outside of the classroom or simply send him to the principal’s office. They usually gave him three strikes before the teacher threatened to phone his mother when he hit three strikes. Trying to use his mother as a motivating factor to focus and listen only made it worse. He ended up acting out even more because of this which made the teacher even more upset with him. Thinking back to that time from a teacher’s point of view the main motive for her was to get him to be less disruptive. She tried to isolate him from the classroom in order to get him to stay more focused and get him more on track. However, as I have learned through my education classes so far, this strategy doesn’t always work for all students. Some students don’t improve their behaviors at all even if they are isolated from their peers.

It is very hard for many teachers to deal with individual students who don’t fit the criteria. I believe as a future educator it is important to adapt to new strategies if needed in order to teach for a wide variety of students. It is important to know that not all teaching strategies work the same for all students. We need to understand that students need different perspectives and that some need a different way of teaching. Having an open mind is a way for our future students to stay engaged in the classwork.

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