Writing Prompt: What does it mean to be a “good” student according to the commonsense? Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student? What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas?

According to the commonsense, to be a “good” student is to follow the rules, behave appropriately, listen quietly and attentively, and not cause any problems. A “good” student is one who is able to learn in a traditional classroom setting, who completes all assignments without complaining, and who doesn’t question why they are learning what is being taught.

The students who would be portrayed as privileged or as the “good” students, are students who are not a minority. They are students who feel comfortable in the traditional classroom setting. Based on the commonsense definition of a “good” student, these students would most likely be white individuals who come from a middle/upper class family.

Because of these commonsense ideas, it is portrayed that all students are white individuals who come from a middle/upper class family, where they all learn the same way; however this is not the case. There are many students from different countries/backgrounds coming into our schools who learn differently than the typical “good” student. These students can’t be flagged as “bad” students just because they don’t follow/have the same characteristics as the “good” student. Teachers have to take into account the learning styles of each student, and has to be able to change their teaching styles to fit those students’ needs. Students from different backgrounds learn differently; some learn through hands on learning, while others learn through stories. As teachers, we need to change the way we are teaching to fit our students needs, as opposed to trying to change the way the student learns to fit our needs. As teachers, we need to challenge this idea of the “good” student.