2- This week, in preparation for your upcoming assignment, I’d like you to reflect on either an experience working with children/youth, an experience from your own childhood or an experience in another aspect of your personal or professional life where valuing different ways of knowing and being could have lead to a different experience for you/children/colleagues. Look to Karyn Callaghan, Faith Hale, Michelle Taylor Leonhardi, Monique Lavallee’s reflections for inspiration. If you cannot think of an experience from your own life, use one of the examples from the article to reflect on how the learning experience of the educator and child would have been different if there was not an openness to incorporating Indigenous knowledges. What concerns might you have about incorporating Indigenous knowledges into your professional practice? How do you think the authors of this week’s articles would respond to these concerns?
3) Describe a time in your life where you felt genuinely cared for by someone working with you in a professional role. It could be a school teacher, a therapist, a coach, a dance/music/theatre instructor, a doctor, an early childhood educator, a prof, a child and youth worker or really anyone! The key is that it is someone who had a professional responsibility to care for you in some way. Reflect back on your relationship with this person. What was it about him/her/them that made you feel cared for? Are you able to identify any specific actions or interactions that were/are particularly meaningful for you? How did this relationship shift your understanding of yourself and/or your place in the world? How has this experience influenced how you wish to be as a caring professional?
If you cannot think of a time when you felt care for by someone in a professional role (and I’m so sorry if this is the case), might you be able to imagine what it could have been like? How do you think the absence of care in a professional space influences your journey in becoming a caring professional?
*The purpose of this question is not to emit feelings of warm and fuzziness (though it may!). The purpose of this question is to try and identify and articulate how and what good care looks and feels like. I imagine many of you will also have had experiences of bad care (if that can be considered care at all) and we tend to focus our energy on this. I am hoping to challenge you to consider new possibilities in your own professional practice based on moments or imaginings from your own life.
4) In the past, have you thought about your role as a child and youth professional as political? If so, how? If not, why not? Have the readings this week, and throughout the course, broadened your thinking about the role of educators and the purpose of education? Today, do you think thinking and acting politically is a key component of being a child and youth professional? Why or why not? What actions can you take immediately to engage politically? Will you do these things? Why or why not? (You can also reflect here on worries or concerns about engaging politically and how these could be addressed)