In regards to what I saw and heard, I was simply in an environment of agreement and mutual thought. It was also an environment that fostered growth and intellectual discourse focused on empowering not only each other as pre-service teachers but as learners and students. Through this learned creative strategies and action plans in regards to empowering our future students.
The feelings I had were simply open and expressive in an effort to grow and take in as much as possible from the experience. Sam and I were able to connect our learning from Dr. Mayer’s course “EDUC 160” in regards to Bill Ayers’ concept of “seeing the student” and aspects of critical pedagogy to further explore the concept of empowerment. We discussed the necessary background information to these ideas with Jason and then further reflected on these concepts as a means of empowerment through giving students the power to take full ownership of their understanding and mastery of the material and leading through example by cognitively working to further our own understanding of our content areas. While we will be teachers and we will be authorities to a degree on our content areas, there is always room to improve and it’s crucial that we communicate this to our students. Learning never stops and to fully take advantage of every opportunity in life we must always be learning and engaging with that which surrounds us both physically and intellectually.
To me this means that we are on the right track to not only empowering ourselves and our contemporaries but our students as well. But in order to do this we must always continually be pushing forward in progressive new ways and constantly challenging the world around us in a positive way that enables us to learn in every facet of our daily lives. From what I observed this is ultimately a positive experience that I hope to expand upon throughout my professional life. I highly enjoyed working with both Jason and Sam this semester and I feel I’ve developed life long friendships and professional relationships with them.
This information will be useful to me in the future as I now have action plans developed around empowering students, these plans revolve around taking into account the voice of the students and their expressed needs and wants. Furthermore it also allows for us to full engage with our students by communicating with them in a manner that allows them to not only express themselves but take full ownership of their education as they now have a hand in determining the structure of it. My recommendations would be simply to continually engage with the students and constantly striving to improve ourselves as teachers, intellectuals and people as a whole. Our students will only give us back what we give them and the more we put into their education the more they will be invested and ultimately the more they will get out of it. The best form of professional development is seeing our students for who they are and truly meeting their needs.