Sunday, February 22, 2015

Safe Spaces

I really enjoyed reading Safe Spaces.  I as a future teacher, I have always wondered how to handle conversations about LGBT.  I liked how this piece gave examples of how teachers today solve this problem of how to incorporate the topic of homosexuality and heterosexuality.  For this post I want to do an extended comment off of Caitlyn’s post.
First off I completely agree with Caitlyn’s standpoint about how middle school and high school are some of the hardest times of your life physically, emotionally, and mentally.  I can only imagine the extra stress that is put on students who are brave enough to come out as being LGBT. 
I thing I don’t agree with is that Caitlyn does not think that children who are in elementary schools should be taught these issues.  I personally think they should!  I like how Zeke Lerner includes a unit about families in his kindergarten classroom.  When Zeke teaches his students he uses two strategies; integration and interpretation.  Zeke picks three books to base his unit off of; The Family Book, Who’s in a Family, and Tango Makes Three. 
The first two books present a variety of family structures: Kevin and his brother live with their mother and grandmother; Laura and Kyle live with their two moms.  Tango is the true story of two male penguins in Central Park Zoo who hatched an abandoned egg.  They raised Tango, the baby chick, feeding her from their beaks and teaching her to swim.
Zeke used interpretation to talk about Laura and Kyle’s family.  He wanted his class to understand that this family is loving and caring and that the two moms take care of the kids just how his student’s parents would take care of them.  He wanted to show them as equal. 
            There is a child in the daycare that I work at that has a relationship with his father, his mother, and his mother’s girlfriend.  All I could think of while reading this was about him.  In the day care we have a wall in each classroom that has children’s picture with their family.  By having this we can show that no matter who we live with, or if we might have a mom and a dad, or dad and a dad, or a mom and a mom, it is a family.  I think that it would be good at a young age to teach children, this even though a child might not be a LGBT, there parents could and other children could bully them for that.  I think while they are young they should be taught that that is acceptable in todays times.

            I agree with Caitlyn also about the whole incident that happened with the Postcards from Buster episode.  I defiantly think they should of air it and it could have been up to the parents if they want their children to watch it or not.    

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Aria by Richard Rodriguez

‘“ Is it possible for you and your husband to encourage your children to practice their English when they are home?’  Of course, my parents complied…In an instant, the agreed to give up the language (the sounds) that had revealed and accentuated our family’s closeness.” (Rodriquez 2)

When I was reading these few lines, I was shocked.  I couldn’t believe that the nuns had the guts to go to Richards family’s house and ask his parents if they can change their lives and start speaking English.  It is Richards family’s decision how they want to live their lives and how they want to speak in their home.  It’s the nuns job while he is in school to help them learn English, not when he is at home.  The nuns should be trying their best to help Richard but should also respect his home life.  Richards home was supposed to be his safe spot, where he isn’t afraid like he is in school and didn’t have to speak the public language (English).  Now he isn’t just uncomfortable in school, he is at home to.     

“I also need my teachers to keep my attention from straying in class by calling out, Rich-heard—their English voices slowly praying loose my ties to my other name, its three notes, Ri-car-do.” (Rodriquez 2)

I think it was wrong what the teachers did by Americanizing Ricardo’s name to Richard.  I think that should have been his decision if he wanted his name changed.  Richards actual name ties in with his culture and I believe the teachers should have respected that.  Working with my placement in Central Falls, I am working in an ELL classroom (English Language Learner), which is the same as an ESL classroom (English As A Second Language).  In this classroom there are students who have namesthat are Spanish and some of those names I cannot pronounce.  But as a teacher you should respect a child’s name and not change it.  As a teacher you should try your best to learn the child’s name.

“Today I hear bilingual educators say that children lose a degree of ‘individuality’ by becoming assimilated into public society.” (Rodriquez 5)

I do not agree with this quote.  I believe that people who speak English as their second language don’t always lose their individuality.  It is there choice if they want to continue speaking their native language in the own space, but I do believe that everyone who lives in our country should be able to speak/learn basic English.  I believe that they don't lose their individuality because my Aunt Anna came to America as a young girl from a spanish speaking country.  When she came here, her family chose to learn to speak our native language.  Even though she did this, she never let go of her true native language which was spanish.  To this day my aunt and her family speak to one another in both spanish and english.  My two little cousin are fluent in both languages because she never lost her individuality while learning the "public language".  


Sunday, February 8, 2015

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack By: Peggy McIntosh

In Peggy McIntosh’s writing, she argues that white privilege and male privilege are simaliar.  These privilages are unfair to many.  They are based off of either a person’s race or sex.  A person in our society who has this privilege is thought to have an advantage over others who do not.  McIntosh explains that the word “privilege” is very misleading.  One does not have to earn these privileges, it is given to you at birth.  People who have these “privileges” understand why they have them and try to promote equality.  McIntosh quotes; “I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege.” (McIntosh 1).  This proves that these “privileges” are seen as normal to society.

I have to agree with what McIntosh talked about.  I really liked the way she explained white privilege; “White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, code books, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.” (McIntosh 1).  Reading through the list of advantages that white people get, all I could think of was WOW.  I never realized all that.  Like McIntosh stated that these privileges are seen as normal and I can understand why.  Growing up in a town that wasn’t very diverse and most of the towns population was white, we really weren’t able to see how our privilege was different than other students who weren’t white. 

In class the other day we had a conversation about diversity and how people’s skin colors reflect the way they get looked at.  Thinking back to the conversation and comparing it to this reading, I was able to find a short clip where a young lady interviewed people of different races on the street and asked them what white privilege is.  All the people agreed that white privilege does exists and asked people who weren’t white, how their lives would be different if they were white.  This clip really makes you realize that what McIntosh is saying is true.

Monday, February 2, 2015

"The Silenced Dialogue" By: Lisa Delpit


1. "Children from middle-class homes tend to do better in school than those from non-middle-class homes because the culture of the school is based on the culture of the upper and middle classes..." (Delpit 25).

This quote stuck out to me a lot.  As a young child I grew up in a town where most citizens were considered to be middle class families.  All the schools in my town expected that students arrived prepared for learning.  They taught under the assumption that parents were supporting the learning at home.  The schools and families worked more closely in educating the students.  I believe this is the climate in most schools.  In a city/town where poverty dominates, the assumption that students are prepared for learning each day is not reality.  Parents aren’t always willing or able to support learning at home.   Therefore it is the job/ responsibility of each teacher to acknowledge this in their teaching and adjust the climate in their classroom.  Teachers need to keep in mind that the entire learning will happen only in school, therefore children learn at a slower pace, which make performances lower.  That’s why students from middle-class homes do better in school.

2. ‘“I want the same thing for everyone else’s children as I want for mine.’” (Delpit 28).

If you ask most teachers how they would teach their students they mostly like would repeat this quote. As a future teacher and parent, I would make sure I would have the same expectations for my students as I would for my own kids, to become strong independent learners.  

3. “Rather, I suggest that schools must provide these children the content that other families from a different cultural orientation provide at home.  This does not mean separating children according to family background, but instead ensure that each classroom incorporates strategies appropriate for all the children in its confines.” (Delpit 30).

This quote explains what a teacher should do.  Teachers need to scaffold their teaching, keeping in mind that background experiences may vary.  Students who have privileged experiences can share their knowledge and become part of the teaching process for those who do not have background knowledge.  Differentiating instruction for all learners is key to meeting all the needs to all the learners in the classroom.