We, as educators, spend hundreds of hours with our students every year. Whether we believe it or not, they look up to us. They lean on us to guide them, to support them, to educate them, and to prepare them for the rest of their lives. Will Richardson once said, “we as educators need to reconsider our roles in students’ lives, to think of ourselves as connectors first and content experts second” and I could not agree more. This reminds us, the future teachers, that there is more to curriculum than outcomes and indicators. We are not only to be shoving facts in children’s faces, we are to be giving them opportunity for experience. Experience that will connect them to nature, to math that will apply to their everyday lives-like how to budget, to understand the First Nations culture who lived here before us, and so much more.
This quote tells me, as a future educator. that it is OK for me to not just stand in front of a classroom and preach to my student’s fact after fact. Rather, it tells me to explore facts and use various and diverse methods of teaching and learning for my students. My role is to help my students understand how curriculum content applies to their everyday lives in their pasts, in their present, and in their futures. It also tells me that my students need to be open-minded and adventurous. These characteristics will benefit them in a learning experience like this and allow them to make the most connections possible. My understanding of curriculum and school from Richardson’s quote is that children need to be given more opportunity to enhance their life experiences, their connections to the world beyond the classroom walls. I understand that curriculum and content are important, but I agree with Richardson, that they are not the most important thing we are teaching children; they need to learn more than the facts in order to succeed after graduation. Children learn best when they are engaging, this way they are building on the facts with their own experiences and connections.