→ #MyReconciliationIncludes my actions to address the past and ongoing colonialism, erasure, and displacement of Indigenous People.
→ ALSO add to teach from a framework of love: I’ve found a number of powerful voices to continue guiding me on my learning journey through this course. Also, I’ve been taking the Mentoring: All About Love sessions offered by the TDSB this year, which was focused on bell hook’s book of the same subtitle name.
My final thoughts on this First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Studies AQ course are leading me to appreciate the changes happening across education to create more care-based, culturally responsive classrooms.
This passage from Teaching To Transgress (1994), intended for higher education, not intermediary, is significant here because hooks recognizes and names the institutional foundations of violence, repression, and intellect-based learning that are at odds with student holism and care-based practices she used and advocated for:
"Professors rarely speak of the palace of eros or the erotic in our classrooms. Trained in the philosophical context of Western metaphysical dualism, many of us have accepted the notion that there is a split between the body and the mind. Believing this, individuals enter the classroom to teach as though only the mind is present, and not the body. To call attention to the body is to betray the legacy of repression and denial that has been handed down to us by our professorial elders, who have been usually white and male. But our nonwhite elders were just as eager to deny the body. The predominantly black college has always been a bastion of repression. The public world of institutional learning was a site where the body had to be erased, go unnoticed.
…To understand the place of eros and eroticism in the classroom, we must move beyond thinking of those forces solely in terms of the sexual, though the dimension need not be denied [age-appropriate considerations, of course; my note as this is an Intermediary course and not Higher Education].
…Understanding that eros is a force that enhances our overall effort to be self-actualizing, that it can provide an epistemological grounding informing how e know what we know, enables both professors and students to use such energy in a classroom setting in ways that invigorate discussion and excite the critical imagination.
…To allow one’s feeling of care and will to nurture particular individuals in the classroom–to expand and embrace everyone–goes against the notion of privatized passion. Realizing that my students were uncertain about expressions of care and love in the classroom, I found it necessary to teach on the subject.
…There is not much passionate teaching or learning taking place in higher education today. Even when students are desperately yearning to be touched by knowledge, professors still fear the challenge, allow their worries about losing control to override their desires to teach. Concurrently, those of us who teach the same old subjects in the same old ways are often inwardly bored–unable to rekindle passions we may have once felt. If, as Thomas Merton suggests in his essay on Pedagogy “Learning to Live,” the purpose of education is to show students how to define themselves “authentically and spontaneously in relation” to the world, then professors can best teach if we are self-actualized. Merton reminds us that “the original and authentic ‘paradise’ idea, both in the monastery and in the university, implied note simply a celestial store of theoretic ideas to which the Magistri and Doctores held the key, but the inner self of the student” who would discover the ground of their being in relation to themselves, to higher powers, to community. That the “fruit of education…was in the activation of that utmost center.” To restore passion to the classroom or to excite it in classrooms where it has never been, professors must find again the place of eros within ourselves and together allow the mind and body to feel and know desire.
Teaching for this life-long learning is my ultimate goal, I’ve realized, and I’m grateful to everyone here for helping me along this journey of self-actualization. I got a sincere thank you from a parent on Friday, and he talked about my passion that’s obvious and unique and while I’m grateful for the recognition I’m sure that many of us practice our profession from this place of love every day.
I am an enthusiastic and conscientious educator. I use my blog to connect my personal experiences and adventures to my pedagogy.