In ECS 210, things are getting busy. I have an essay due this Friday and I had a few readings to do before I could write this post.
This week we were asked to think about what a good student is and how common sense influences this idea.
The common sense of society states that a “good” student is what all students should strive to be. A “good” student is someone who sits down quietly in their desk. A “good” student is someone who gets all of their work done to what the teacher expects to be their best ability. A “good” student is also someone who will keep busy once they are done their work. They are also the person that does not cause the teacher issues. A “good” student is someone that the teacher does not have to pay much attention to unless they are asking a question.
The idea of “good” and “bad” students is something that society has constructed. Very few students actually fit the ideal “good” student that society has constructed. Students that are able to sit quietly in their desk are privileged by this idea that there are “good” and “bad” students. The students that understand that there are “good” and “bad” students and have the ability and drive to become what society wants them to be, will learn how to play the game of school.
When I was younger I learnt quite quickly, probably before I was in grade two, what a “good” student looked like. I, like many other students, wanted my teachers’ approval so I learnt how to play the game of schooling. I learnt how to sit quietly and get the highest grades possible in school. I knew that I was a “good” student because I got my teachers’ praise for sitting quietly and doing well on assignments.
Being a “good” student is not possible for many students. Many students with exceptionalities (disabilities) will be unable to sit quietly in their desks for long periods of times. Many students that do not have disabilities or who can tolerate sitting still for long periods of time are privileged by this idea that some students are “good” and some students are “bad”.
It is impossible for every student to feel valued and that they belong when the common sense of society is telling students that there is such a thing as a “good” student. Some students will never be able to fit this mold of being a “good” student. Many students will feel that they can never reach these impossible expectations that society has placed on them and many students will never be able to be this “good” student that society wants every child to be.
There should be no such thing as “good” and “bad” students. Teachers must strive to break away from the idea that society has forced them to believe to be true for their entire schooling. Teachers must accept that they have a notion of what a “good” student is and they must take apart that idea and recognize that it will harm many of their students. Teachers must ensure that they see all of their students as good, regardless of their behaviour, ability, or their work ethic. Every student is good in their own way, many of which will not fit into what society deems to be “good”.
What are your thoughts on “good” students? Do you think there needs to be change?
Thanks for reading my blog post!