According to ‘commonsense’ a good student is quiet, well behaved, and does exactly what they are told without challenging or asking questions. A student who engages appropriately with the teacher and peers and who can learn through the teaching style the teacher uses without complaint or confusion.
Reading the Kumashiro article I connected strongly to their experience with the student “M”, I run a after school daycare program and experienced a shockingly similar situation with a child last year. While reading the article I not only connected my student to “M”, but I myself related strongly with Kumashiro as well. I had so many problems trying to engage him, combat his challenging and sometimes violent behaviors and to instill healthy habits and routine. I would consistently speak to their teacher, parents, the principal, my peers and site staff, boss and try and find anything that I could use to get through to this six year old. I would question myself and reflect on my interactions with them, I would go home and read articles and sub-reddits about teaching and challenging behaviors and nothing seemed to help. Reading Kumashiros article I was so anxious to reach the end and find the solution to ‘fix’ this child, and others that I had worked with that had some of the same challenges. But as you all know there was not an answer and there is no answer to how to ‘fix’ these children, because they are not broken. I have been thinking and reflecting on my interactions and experiences with him and what I should have done differently, just because he does not engage or learn the way that is easiest for me does not mean that he is wrong or bad. This article has honestly changed my outlook on some of my children and of myself and even though I have not quite yet figured out how to change or what to change at least I am growing.