Truth & Reconciliation Philosophy
Truth and Reconciliation starts with truth… I am constantly learning more each day about the truth behind the horrific genocide of Indigenous peoples of Canada. Up until I came to University three years ago, I assumed that any issues regarding Indigenous people was their problem, but now I know that it is a Canadian problem. We must conquer stereotypes and myths together. As an educator I have a responsibility to share this knowledge with others. There is always so much more to learn and to share with others.
I am passionate about bringing Indigenous ways of knowing into my classroom and involving elders and knowledge keepers as often as I can. I also believe in surrounding students with different cultural symbols, history and art. By incorporating all students in a learning environment that is rich with diversity, you create a sense of community and respect for one another.
If students feel like they belong and no one is looked at as superior, everyone will benefit. This kind of environment will help diminish stereotypes and myths surrounding Indigenous peoples because everyone is embraced rather than being marginalized.
Every student brings in a different story to the classroom and all students have something unique to share. I believe that it is important to develop relationships with students right from day one. Teaching through relationships is one of my core values… The better you know your students, the better you can teach them.
Every day at school, teachers and students are interacting and conversing with each other and sharing experiences. All of these things make for engaged students. This is not always easy and there are days that it seems that nothing is going right, but those relationships that have been built are what will keep you going and remind you of why you are doing what you are doing. These relationships are still professional and appropriate, but they allow for a space of trust between students and teachers that deepens learning.
Creating relationships with students brings more human dimension to teaching and it welcomes the diversity of each student which in turn creates a sense of community. There is a huge difference in energy levels of a classroom that has a sense of community and on that does not.