“Each time a teacher tells a student that what they care about the most, what makes them curious and passionate outside of school, does not belong In the classroom, that teacher also delivers another message: What teachers care about and what is mandated by educational standards have little or nothing to do with learners’ activities once the school bell rings.” (Jenkins, 2012)
This quote was particularly jarring as it made me think back to the moments when I have confiscated items or stopped students from talking about video games or tv shows. I think it is natural for an educator to remove distractions so students can focus on their work. I have never considered how our actions may unknowingly send the message that what we teach in school has nothing to do with real life experiences. When writing all about books during our non-fiction unit, I instructed students to stay away from Pokemon Go and Minecraft. I feared that they would be too distracted by the topic and made this decision intending to ensure they wouldn’t get too carried away with content and forget about structure. Now I am beginning to see how this would have been a great opportunity to make a connection between educational standards and real life. I am reminded of an educator’s responsibility to create opportunities for real-life connections, which will increase engagement and motivation.