Childhood Memories Are Never Lost

Teaching the Undertow: Resisting the Pull of Schooling-As-Usual-  (43)

–          Gregory Michie

Michie outlines his perspectives as a beginning teacher to childhood memories of the dangers and beauty of the ocean, which parallel teaching.  As a new teacher we must “never lose sight of that spot on shore” (51) because often putting theory to practise is the most challenging.  Adapting our vision to excel in reality is a constant struggle when going against the current.  Accepting the flow of the current and learning how to stand against the current, without struggling to overcome the current, is essential because the current is much stronger than we think.  As a new teacher, our task is to apprehend the inequalities than run through school systems, and to realize we cannot drastically change society’s ‘hidden’ rules by ourselves, or in one lesson plan.  Using our colleagues to help gain perspective of our spot on shore and taking loads in small steps, rather than in one big lunge, we can start a foundation of teaching social justice.

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2 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Are Never Lost

  1. If a teacher meets resistance from colleagues, what can they do to resist the pull of schooling-as-is instead of teaching for social justice? What resources could help them keep sight of their spot on the shore?

    • Thank you for your challenging inquiries and feedback! I believe throughout our teaching journey we are bound to come across resistance because it naturally happens. People will not always agree with your ideas and methods. In my opinion, the best way to resist the pull of ‘schooling-as-is’ is to always keep an open mind toward colleagues’ perspectives. Asking questions like, ‘why do you not agree?’ and ‘what benefits do you believe your perspective offers?’ or ‘would you like to listen to my perspective?’ can help both you, and your colleagues. As of finding resources to support to help keep your ‘spot on shore insight’ is up to you. Holding on to what you believe in is essential, but being flexible to other peoples’ perspectives or looking at the reality of the challenge you are facing, is a good place to start. Resources such as, your personal mentor, or the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (they are there to provide support) and external resources such as; other educators with similar beliefs to yours- who can be connected with you through online interaction (blogs/twitter)- are great places to start toward the direction of social justice. All in all, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’!

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