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Curriculum as a Narrative Community Part 2 October 10, 2013

Posted by jennienorgaard in ECS 210.
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From the ten stories, I would say that the story that resonates best with me would be the Teaching in the Undertow. This story not only is a great guide to becoming a first year teacher, but it also answers some of the many questions I have had along this journey of becoming a teacher. It explains how to go about starting off as a first year teacher, and that this journey will be a forever learning experience, which is important to take into consideration as this will be me in a few years.

It informs us as future teachers that it is important to include all the little things. It starts from the little things and you build on from there as a teacher. As a teacher we will need to know that not every lesson plan is going to go as planned, and need to know how to change our plans as we progress throughout each and every day. You don’t want to get frustrated if your plans don’t go as planned; instead you want to go with the flow. Like it says in the story, “the undertow was an invisible current beneath the ocean’s surface that, if you weren’t careful, could pull you down the coastline or out to sea before you knew what was happening” (P.43) As teachers it is our job to always be critically thinking so that we know what to do when things don’t go as planned. This way, when things don’t go as planned, we know how to deal with the situation so we don’t get ourselves into a bigger mess than need be. This story gives us the understanding that not everything will go as planned, and as future teachers we need to know how to continue on with our days when things like this happen. It is all up to the teacher to get things back on track when things don’t go as planned. So don’t think negatively about it or stress overly too much about it; just try and get through the situation as best as you can. I always thought the little things didn’t matter all that much and it was all about the bigger things in the classroom and the end result of things. However, I guess now that I actually think about it, the end results wouldn’t be the same without the little things in the process. From this story, clearly I was wrong and it all starts at the little things and goes on from there.

From this, I feel that it is good to look at the things that went wrong within our daily classrooms so we can see what we can do to ensure these same mistakes will not continue to arise. Everyone always sees the bad things as something to feel ashamed of and think negatively of. However, I believe that without making mistakes in life we will never know how to change our teaching styles/ways in order to improve. Just like the story states, “The best advice, I think, is to choose your battles early on, pace yourself, swim with the current when you have to, and never lose sight of that spot on the shore.”(P.51) To conclude, as long as you know where you want to end the lesson, and how you want things to turn out, the little things that don’t necessarily go as planned don’t matter as long as your point/lesson is still given across.

In general, I would have to say the story that was most necessary for all future teachers to take a look at would be Teaching in the Undertow as it gets us, as future teaches, ready for whatever experiences come along with our teaching profession. It allows us to realize that it is perfectly fine to make mistakes and have lessons not go as planned as long as we know how to deal with the situations as they arise. It ensures that we focus on the little things in teaching and build on from there. It isn’t always about the big things as the little things are what bring you to the bigger things in life. If things don’t turn out the way we planned that is perfectly fine and isn’t the end of the world. We can only learn and improve our teachings from the mistakes we make along our journey. 

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Comments»

1. katiahildebrandt - October 31, 2013

Jennie – you mention a lot in your first paragraph about things not going as planned, however, what else is the author saying about the undertow? How does it relate to the idea of teaching anti-oppressively? What is the current that he mentions? You bring up a good point about learning from our mistakes – this is why being reflective in your practice is so important.
I would have liked to see a slightly deeper analysis of the resonances that you experienced here. Also, were there moments of dissonance for you? Moments where you felt discomfort? We can learn a lot through discomfort.


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