The teaching profession, including the school as a whole, is one of the most scrutinized and criticized professions in modern day society. Teachers are expected to do more than just teach students what a textbook has written. Teachers and schools play a major role in the development of societies and what they believe in learning, human nature, relationships and wise living. The role of the school is one that extends far beyond the walls that create a potential community for learning and growth of individuals.
Is a school truly a community that we as educators have a role not only to teach the program of studies but also about lived experiences or should we be aware of how far we educate students? Jardine and Field state (1992) “to be educated is to know what depths await us underneath the surface of things” (p.302). The role that learning plays within a school is one that I believe is not only from a textbook or structured lesson plans that the teacher creates, but opportunities that uncover all types of learning and experiences for both student and teachers. The Jardine and Field’s quote expresses what I believe my role and a school’s role is, and that is to find the greatest potential in each student. This may not be in academics alone, but rather to assist the student in understanding that learning is a process that will continue throughout their lifetime and to guide them in pursing goals and dreams that they have.
One of the struggles I believe I will encounter as a teacher is showing the students that I am not only a teacher but also a person outside the classroom. How I will incorporate these ideas while still having classroom management? Aoki writes that when we are dwelling in the between both curriculum-as-planned and curriculum-as-lived-experience, that is the ideal place to be (Aoki, 1991, p.161-162) The plan will give me the guide I need to teach the program of studies to my students but the lived portion will allow me to plan according to who the students are, their interests, motivations and learning styles. Finding the connection that works for each class will be a constant change and trial. The program of studies will not change, but the challenge will be modifying the curriculum-as-lived-experience for each student and class. Will the balance between the two types of curriculum allow as Aoki calls is tensionality within the classroom and how do I continue to keep this positive learning experience in the classroom? I believe that educators must always allow for new ideas and new thoughts from students to guide the class and create questions and beliefs. As an educator I must also allow for the students to ask these questions and new ideas to prosper, while keeping tensionality in the learning process. As I grow as a teacher and continue learning I believe that I will find new methods to allow for the learning environment to prosper and I must be open to using new methods because no group of students will ever be the same.