We as teachers have always had the “good student” in our minds. In another blog post we read an article by Kumashiro titled common sense, which detailed how we as teachers have this stereotype and “common sense” on how school should be. Now we have this stereotype and “common sense” of what a good student is. Sadly when people are asked what is a good student according to the “common sense”, we get some answers that are just not true. When asked what is a good student people will answer most likely, a quite student, who always listens, does not question what they are learning and does not question the teacher, they always do their work and hand assignments in on time. Also most of the “good students” are stereotypically white students. Now this is something that I feel needs to be addressed because that is just not the case, Canada is a very multi-cultural country and has many different races that are in our school systems. By having this common sense of a good student the white students tend to be privileged more than other ethnicities, which is very upsetting to see but we are so accustomed to this type of “common sense” in our country that no one really bats an eye.
This common sense idea of what makes a good student really made me take a step back and look at what I feel is a good student. I personally believe a good student, is a student who is respectful, does their work, asks a lot of questions, takes responsibility for their learning and be able to laugh and enjoy their time at school, no matter what their race is if they have these characteristics they in my opinion are considered a good student, however even if they do not have these characteristics that does not mean that they are bad students, no one in my opinion is a bad student, its the “bad students” that need our help the most in order for them to be successful so it is important to try and help those “bad students” gain maybe just one or two of the “good student qualities”.
What makes this impossible or see is the “common sense” of being a good student is that again we are so use to being fed what a good student is, whether we see it in movies, tv shows, ads, posters, etc. The list goes on but we don’t bat an eye and are not even realizing that the “good student” image is actually incorrect and quite frankly racist. I think that we as teachers need to avoid the common sense way of seeing things in the schools and prepare for the students you have, because every year you will have new and old students and its going to be different every time you get a new class you have to be ready to adapt and have a clear mind and a clear concept of what makes a good student because that will change every year in my opinion.