Last Tuesday saw Education, Social Work and CLD students participate in workshops specific to each individual profession. As an Education student, my workshop group was split into 4 and each group was given a pack with resources to make something for a new student. As it progressed, it became apparent that one group had significantly less resources than the other three. The lecturer then told us we had to present to the other groups and we would be graded out of 10. The group with the most resources scored 9 (and extra time to present), my group scored 7, the next group 4 and the last group with minimal resources 2. When presenting the lecturer gave full attention to those with more substantial equipment and paid little to no attention, with closed body language to those without the same resources. He even told them that “it’s rubbish and lets move onto something better.” This resonates with me as why should someone with less personal possessions be treated any less than those with a wealth of possessions?
Those in the group who scored only 2 were very unimpressed. They admitted to not trying as hard with the task due to the lack of attention paid to them as a group throughout. This highlights the idea that if children feel excluded they are less likely to try as hard – having a negative effect on achievement. This symbolises the key idea that those who may be attending your classroom without a pencil or sufficient resources etc should still be treated equally to those who surround with better access to these such things. It was there to prove that lack of resources for a child in a social situation like a classroom can cause massive underachievement or lack of self-confidence due to them feeling inferior to all of those around them. This idea links to the GTCS Standard for Registration – Social Justice. As a teacher it is key that I would develop a learning culture whereby everyone is equal and that I am able to engage children in learning no matter what their circumstance out with the classroom is. This idea is further related to the standard of Trust and Respect. This means that I, as a teacher would be required to respect and value everyone within my class no matter what their background or situation outside of the classroom. I would also need to be someone who those with fewer resources could trust and come to in order to get required resources to be of a compatible level to those who are more fortunate.
The concept that those from less affluent backgrounds or even from areas of deprivation with less resources (either physical such as pens etc or even money) will do poorer in life than those from more affluent areas is a sad truth in today’s society. Those with less are probably more likely to end up unemployed or living in poor housing or even both as a consequence of the unemployment. A lack of resources out with the classroom may have serious effects for families etc as they will be unable to provide the most simple of resources for their children for their education, extra-curricular clubs etc. Due to a lack of resources outside the classroom, it can therefore have an effect negatively on a child’s education, mental state and physical state due to them feeling socially excluded. It truly saddens me that something so simple like not having a pencil can mean a child suffers so much as they feel inferior to those who surround. I am extremely lucky to have come from a relatively well-off background where I never needed to worry about whether I had a pencil or not but my personal belief is that those who aren’t as favoured probably do view the world differently in the sense that they look up to others and wish they were like them or feel like they have a negative label attached to themselves. This should never be the case.
To round this post off, I will finish by saying, just because someone doesn’t have a pencil, it does not mean they should not have equal chances and respect. There is no reason as to why someone without a pencil or any other school resource should not be supported to enable them to fly and succeed just as much as the boy sitting next to them who has a full pencil case. Everyone’s opportunities should be endless. No pencil or a full pencil case.