DreamPirates DreamPirates

workplace often seems the antithesis of democratic

Author : emmittedie
Publish Date : 2021-05-19 07:10:14
workplace often seems the antithesis of democratic

This entire journal is dedicated to the theme of democracy. Exhibited are many teachers' and students' answers to "what is democracy"? I ask further questions: Why has democracy disappeared in our country? And can democracy exist in our schools? This nation is ours to shape, to create, to criticize, and to democratically raise our voices. As I stand in front of my class, the definition of democracy that was taught to me in my youth rings through my ears: a nation of, by, and for the people. This was a main principle upon which this nation was built. Unfortunately, those same forefathers were slave owning, misogynist, white men. Their idea of democracy was never to include all of the people. But they were onto something remarkable. I think the true potential of democracy, one where the people have an informed, legitimate, and constant say in the shaping of this nation, is something we should strive for. To that end, I have chosen to struggle to make my school more democratic. Indeed, my struggle begins within my very own classroom where I try to make my curriculum and my class environment democratic. I can't say this is an easy task. Our schools are over-crowded and under-funded. Add to that, a conservative need for artificial and superficial "accountability" causing congress people, district big wigs, and administrators to scramble for higher test scores, and my workplace often seems the antithesis of democratic. Nevertheless, when I close my classroom door, what goes on is up to my students and me. As a teacher committed to enacting a socially just curriculum, I believe that having a democratic classroom, or one that strives to be democratic, is imperative. Returning to my sophomoric definition (of, by, and for the people), there are many ways I can see enacting democracy in the classroom: through environment and control issues and through curriculum and methodology. My classroom's desks are never consistently arranged.

https://my.georgeschool.org/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/IB_Program/Discussion.jnz?portlet=Forums&screen=PostView&screenType=change&id=569b284d-0098-4d8e-82f1-cf9bbcd8a859
https://my.georgeschool.org/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/IB_Program/Discussion.jnz?portlet=Forums&screen=PostView&screenType=change&id=9a41530d-8ea8-4179-8533-6855af62a011
https://my.georgeschool.org/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/IB_Program/Discussion.jnz?portlet=Forums&screen=PostView&screenType=change&id=97128ce1-516d-44fd-9574-46725fc1b511
https://my.georgeschool.org/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/IB_Program/Discussion.jnz?portlet=Forums&screen=PostView&screenType=change&id=241a0edd-bc10-4e3f-84e0-f68b47c07b83
https://my.georgeschool.org/ICS/Campus_Life/Campus_Groups/IB_Program/Discussion.jnz?portlet=Forums&screen=PostView&screenType=change&id=923a73f8-2fe0-49aa-b88f-da2ede0009ec

Their patterns differ depending upon the activities. For instance, a circle is used for whole class readings and community circles, pods are used for group work, and semi-circles are used for performances and presentations. But never are the dreaded straight rows seen. This inconsistency in desk arrangements should not imply that I am an inconsistent teacher. Rather, I view myself as a facilitator who consistently helps to focus a democratic education on the students themselves. We as a class must become a community that shares, learns, and grows together. Staring at the back of a community member does not allow for an interchange of knowledge. In a democracy, every member counts. In order to begin to understand how to listen and value every member in the big world, we practice listening to and valuing one another in our classroom.
But never are the dreaded straight rows seen. This inconsistency in desk arrangements should not imply that I am an inconsistent teacher. Rather, I view myself as a facilitator who consistently helps to focus a democratic education on the students themselves. We as a class must become a community that shares, learns, and grows together. Staring at the back of a community member does not allow for an interchange of knowledge. In a democracy, every member counts.



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