After reading the first sentence in Jessica Riley’s blog post “Production and Consumption in the Classroom” I knew I immediately had to read it.
“This semester I have to complete a thirty-seven-hour practicum for one of my education classes.”
While this may not grab other people’s attention, it definitely took mine. As a future educator, I am always interested in listening/reading other future or current educator’s stories. I am particularly interested in how they go about current problems in the education system or what teaching means to them. Interestingly enough, Riley and I collaborated in the blog she refers to in which we wrote the following:
“the producer of a system are rarely the consumers of the products that they develop”
Riley continues by saying that her “hope is to learn through [her] own curriculum, [her] own mistakes, and [her] own students.” She says this in regards to how she does not believes that the teacher (producer) has nothing to learn from the student (consumer), she believes that she can also learn from her future students. While I do agree with Riley’s point, I will like to make a few edits to her own statement to make it my own.
At the beginning of her post, Riley says that the students are at a low reading level which immediately took me back to my childhood. When I came to this country at the age 3, I moved to Washington Heights in NYC where Spanish was the only language I was able to speak. I was a bilingual student until the second grade. I would be in a bilingual classroom half of a day and be in an English speaking classroom for the rest of the day. Although my reading level was not the best until a few years later, I was able to exceed. Thinking about what allowed me to increase my reading skills and what I owe all my knowledge to are discussions.
I owe all my greatness to discussions. They allow me to share my ideas with others, and others to share theirs with me. With their ideas, I am able to increase the brightness of the lightbulb in my head and make connections, where lighting up a city is never impossible. Having discussions does not always gives us the answers, but it might give us the questions and that is better than having nothing.
Going back to Riley’s focus on education, I believe that discussions are the master key to our knowledge. As a future educator, I am not necessarily producing the curriculum but am there to create some sort of stimuli, a way for students to react to what I say or teach them. They then not only consume these techniques by knowing them but are also able to interpret how others use them. This often leads to discussions where some misunderstandings are cleared up and new ideas are given to us. It is hard for me to believe that someone knows everything, meaning there is always something to learn. The same way there is room for change and growth, there is a vast amount of space within us that is ready to be filled with knowledge.
I would say being an educator and a student is like being a plant and a gardener at the same time. As the gardener, I get to water the plants (student) with a pitcher (my education) but unlike me, they do not get to water me with a pitcher but get to use a spray bottle. I am able to pour my knowledge to them, but they can give me smaller pieces of their knowledge that can benefit and change me as a plant. By giving me their knowledge, interpretations, and ideas I then reconstruct a new discussion which ties into my title, “Production+Consumption= Reconstruction.” I am producing/stimulating a discussion in where students consume knowledge that they also give to me which equates to a reconstructed discussion.