My parents were both raised in Cristian homes and my father was even a pastor for most of my childhood. Church was a very common thing and even after my siblings and I were old enough to make the decision on if we wanted to go to church in the mornings, we still would out of respect for our parents.
We didn’t do much apart from church for any type of spiritual enlightening. It almost seems boring to compare sitting in a building for 2 hours compared to the hands-on teachings that the First Nations beliefs and relationships with the land where they have a more hands on approach to their teachings.
The closest thing my family might have to our own spiritual tradition would be when we would go out through our trees and relocate the smaller baby trees to a location that doesn’t have as many so that the little ones aren’t killed by being so close to the large ones. After we had relocated and watered them. We would sit on the grass looking at them and talk about all the benefits that come with having trees and all the things that the trees do for us. Though it was only really a summer thing for us, it was still something that we all enjoyed and was “our” thing.
My family lives on a large acreage. It’s surrounded by trees and grass and is really a beautiful place. Growing up all I knew about it was that it was my grandparents before ours but never came to the understanding of “who owned it first?”. I had never thought about how the government allowed my grandparents to buy it or who the government took it from before my grandparents bought it.
The “space in between embodied feeling & making sense” and “moments of relearning & unlearning”. I believe are the places, not physical but mental ones, where we feel the happy. Not the same happiness you feel at the end of a movie or a book with an ending you like but happy in a peaceful sense. Like walking along the ocean shore and looking off into the ocean, or walking through a path of trees and stopping to admire the size and beauty of it all, or if you’ve hiked up a hill, a cliff, a mountain and you reach the top and feel like you can see the whole world and all its beauty. You almost don’t even have a thought you could put into words. It’s just a feeling of happiness you get when you see the earth in all its beauty. I believe that is what Ho’s paper is trying to explain in those 2 sentences.
Throughout all the English classes I’ve had, whether homeschooled classes or high school classes, the books we read have all been written by the “Pale, Male and Stale” writers. The books we had to read were all from the white (usually male) persons views without much for diversity included. The closest I think I ever ready in a class including people who weren’t white was the court section in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Harper Lee, 1960) but apart from that, we didn’t have much for diversity in any of the books we read once I had entered high school. Living on a reserve for a few years and with our extended family including many African people, these “Pale, Male, Stale” books never affected my views on white being “better” in anyway. Though if you’ve gone through your whole schooling reading those books I could see how that might affect the views of those who may not come from an accepting home of most culture. If we could find a way to expand our English classrooms from sticking to the “Pale, Male, Stale” books and bring in more worldly or cultured books, we might be able to start our small steps towards making schools more accepting of different cultures.
As a homeschooled child through most of my education, we were encouraged to be very open-minded when it came to mathematics. There were ways that I would should my work or did my questions that may have been different than the “one way” that some teachers taught math. Once I had entered our high school in grade 10 though, I learnt very quick that the way I had been doing things was considered “wrong” even though I would still get the right answer. I struggled with this in other classes that involved numbers like chemistry where the teacher actually had me stand in front of the class holding my work so she could point out how “wrong” and “stupid” my way of doing the work was. I started to hate doing anything with numbers until I took a math and physics class that was taught by the same teacher. He would explain multiple ways to do things and if you showed your work, he would look at the work and as long as he was able to follow the way it was done then he would mark it as correct. Even if everyone did the work differently he was very open-minded when it came to how the math was done. Not as broad as the ways the Inuit children learn their mathematics (using base 20, or switching the language they count in) but as a future teacher I believe the Inuit way of learning is a perfect example of how open-minded we have to be towards our students
“There’s so much grey to every story – nothing is so black and white”. (Lisa Lang)
Our project was about raising the awareness of our carbon footprint and was we can eliminate the damage we do to the earth starting with the simple things in our everyday lives. This quote to me gives me the confidence where I myself had doubt in my ability to reduce my carbon footprint. Many of the people in my group already had many things they had incorporated into their everyday life and to someone who had just started, it was almost discouraging to look at myself and see how much I wasn’t doing. I viewed them as being the people the earth needed while viewing myself as the same as all those who don’t care for the environment. Though I do try I felt like if you were to take those helping the earth and those who are not, I would end up in the group who does not compared to the rest of my group. This quote to me made me think that there doesn’t have to be just “black and white” but the shades of grey in between. Perhaps my shade of “grey” is darker than others, but I can keep working towards me own personal goal and not compare my “shade” to the others.
Blog post #7
Growing up in a home-schooled household, my citizen education was limited to the beliefs of my parents. The stereotypical religious household where most of what we were taught was based of the Bible and what we were told how God wanted us to live our lives. Even when entering high-school in the 10thgrade, I still never learn much about what was expected of an everyday citizen other than morals and getting a degree after school. I didn’t even know what the different beliefs of political parties were which made voting almost impossible. My high-school had also never taught us anything about eco-literacy which, up until taking my environmental education class, meant that all I knew was the basic things like recycle and reuse.
Educators that do try to teach students personally responsible citizenship, usually focus on the acts that students individually make, focus mostly on the traits that help the students make good choices in life (which is also good for kids to incorporate in their everyday lives) but also make their jobs easier. Traits like respecting those in authority, listening to other, being respectful, being kind to one another, being and completing things on time, and working diligently. These are important things that people should aim to apply to their everyday lives but there is also much left out like collective social action and pursuit of social justice. I was taught the individual traits, mostly through my religious parent’s teachings, at a young age. But, I (and other students I’m sure) never learnt about residential schools or the shared land that we live on. All of this was never taught in my high-school which is what I believe should be much more common knowledge then what it is today.
After what was experienced in the lecture, learning about what those students had to experience. My thoughts are the same as those children. Why? As much as I think about why that needed to happen. In the back of my mind I know the answer. Racism is, and has been for a long time, a problem. Schools will have talks about equality but all we can do as future teachers is guide our students. One of the first things I learnt in an education class is that “kids are not born racist”. If you can teach children to be accepting towards everyone as a child then they will soak that up and believe that whole heartedly. Factors that can negatively affect this comes from students’ lives outside of class. That is where the teaching of personal responsibility is needed because if a child is taught in school to be accepting of everyone regardless of race, religion, statues, or personal responsibility, but goes home to a family where their parents may view anything not like them as lesser or below them, the student still has the choice to believe the lies they are told from their family or friends or they can make the personal choice to ignore the negative, degrading comments and make the choice to see all as equal.
After my last year of high school, I spent the majority of my summer working at a camp out on lake Kipabiskau. Though I was working throughout the day surrounded by kids, I enjoyed getting up earlier than my campers and taking a walk down to the beach. The camp had larger paths for easily getting around the camp but, early in the morning, I would take the longer, narrower, and less traveled on paths. It was through these paths where I would enjoy the moment almost more than the view of the sunrise. It sounds odd and I don’t quite know how to explain the feeling, but being surrounded by nature while listening to the animals, feeling the dew on the leaves, and looking at all the beauty that nature has to offer. The way I could attempt to explain it would be peaceful, as in feeling literally at peace. There is nothing quite like that feeling and if given the opportunity to find that peacefulness again would be a great way to escape the pressure and stress that students, myself included, go through.