I’m 2/3 finished my pre-internship 3 week block. This past week I had a moment in one of my lessons where a student challenged what I was teaching and felt that I was wrong. It was on the topic of colonization and First Nations people of Canada. Immediately I froze up. As soon as I heard the student say “that’s Bullshit” I froze. It scared me, I thought to myself Oh no what do I do? I tried to explain my point further to the class and asked the particular student why they felt that way. The student continued to argue with what I had been teaching about and eventually my co-op teacher stepped in to help. I am so thankful that I have such a great co-op teacher because I completely froze up. The co-op had tried to see the student’s point of view and also tried to help get my point of view seen. The student eventually stopped arguing, but I could tell that they were only giving up because they were sick of talking about it. The student felt opposed to something and I feel like I should have maybe took the time to figure out why and dig a little deeper into their opinions and feelings.
Looking back on this moment I feel like it could have turned into such a great lesson on white privilege.
Maybe the reason I felt afraid is because:
- I didn’t have a strong enough base relationship to talk about those kinds of things with my students yet
- I had no idea as to how the students would react to the idea of white privilege
- I didn’t want to bring up such a tough topic in someone else’s classroom.
- Or because I am new at this teaching thing and have no idea what I am doing yet.
I feel like a baby fawn trying to walk for the first time. Teaching is new to me, it’s sort of awkward at times and can be a struggle when you have little experience.
I am looking forward to the day that I will be able to have those great moments with my classroom. Sometimes the best lessons to be learned are those that weren’t supposed to happen.