I had my hair cut by a lady who grew up in a communist country. She moved here between the years of Gr. 6 and Gr. 7, and was willing to talk about her experiences in both Canada and her home country. Of course, I brought up education, here is our talk:
Me: How do you like Canada over XXXX?
Her: I love Canada, the choices are endless. You are not told what to do, and you can pick your job.
Me: How was the school system back home?
Her: Classes were very strict. We sat in rows, wore uniforms, and were scared of our teachers. If they told us to do our homework we had to or else there would be severe consequences. Schools told us what classes we had to take. I hated no choice.
Me: What did you notice as a difference with the education system here?
Her: We don’t have to wear uniforms. Other than that pretty much the same.
There was silence, for the next couple of minutes, while she cut my hair. After, we started discussing how good looking I was. (haha)
Now serious talk.
I am truly saddened on how the only difference she noticed between our school system and a COMMUNIST one is that she didn’t have to wear uniforms. Reflecting back on my first year of teaching, I followed most of the rules in her home country. My students did sit in rows, I told them exactly which questions to work on, if they did not complete their homework I took away their lunch.
Does this make sense?? A student doesn’t do what I tell him/her to do, so I take away his/her lunch hour? I am truly disappointed on how I started as a teacher.
When you reflect on your classroom practices, are they representative of a communist paradigm or one of true democracy?