Children’s Book

I loved listening to every one’s books today! I know this project was a lot of work for everyone and today showed how hard everyone worked. It was amazing how different every one’s stories were. I think that epitomizes everything we have been saying in this class; that diversity brings greatness. Another point is I know a lot of people were intimidated by coming up with the story and illustrating it-but in the end everyone focused on what they could do best and the end result was wonderful. That is why it is so important to focus on the positive aspects of your students and not dwell on the negative.

Stone Mountain Elementary

I loved our field trip today! As much as I have enjoyed this class-it was great to interact with students today. I felt extremely comfortable and excited to be around the students. AlI the little things made me happy-from seeing their different motions to introduce themselves, to being so eager to be called on, to coming up with great questions, to answering our questions honestly and with thought.  

Chelsy. my expert, was very smart and very shy. She was so proud to tell me that she gets straight A’s, cheerleads, wants to be a lawyer and that her sister is in college.  I loved hearing all the other student’s answers. They were so eager. One point that stood out to me was when several said they just want learning to be fun-they really enjoyed playing games. Another point was from a little girl who said she wants to be a mediator when she grows up because she wants everyone to get along. Even the students who did not stand up to introduce themselves or give a motion, stll got involved with answering questions. I know I have kind of jumped from point to point but I just feel very refreshed and excited about my decision to be a teacher. I am excited for the summer session to start (once I figure out exactly where the school is!!)

From school to jail

I found the article we read and today’s discussion really incredible. I had honestly never heard of the school to jail concept until this class. The fact that sticks out to me most is that the government spends more money on people as prisoners instead of people in school-our students. I know I grew up trying to live up to the expectations of my family and teachers-well these students are doing the same thing-ending up in jail because that is where teachers/parents/peers expected them to belong. We must raise our expectations of every student!

Also, the fact that so  many people are born into poverty each day and how the child is automatically at a disadvantage-is something I completely agree with. However I think there needs to be some individual responsibility placed on the members of our society-if they do not have enough money to support themselves then they should not have children-in my opinion.  Is social/monetary responsibility something we can teach in the schools?

IQ Test

I really thought taking today’s IQ test made it perfectly clear the problems with standardized tests.  There were a lot of answers that were technically wrong but were legitimized to make me see them as correct.  The one that stood out to me the most was number 6-the one Ann got right because it started with a different letter.  However, a lot of people had valid reasoning for their choice. For example, the spoon had round edges, the shovel needed two hands to use and the saw did not have a long handle like the others did.  This proves that everyone has individual thought processes-that can be different but not necessarily wrong.

Another point that really stood out was when Dr. Williams told us that she did not learn Greek Mythology in Africa and that is where the majority of us learned what Eros meant. So if she got that answer wrong-I would definitely not look at her as having a lower IQ.  She just learned different material and obviously has the capacity/ability to learn about Eros. She is a perfect example of what we have been talking about-we cannot discount our students for not knowing everything we think they should know-instead we need to take the time to get to know our students and their strengths and teach them accordingly. It is always so beneficial to me when I am able take something we have talked about in class and apply it-it makes the concept more real and easier for me to understand.

MLK Center

I really enjoyed this afternoon’s class. It was great to get outside and walk around the neighborhood. I had honestly never heard of the Sweet Auburn area and its history. I had always thought of the area as being unsafe, it is ironic that it used to be the wealthiest black neighborhood in the nation.

  This was my first visit to the MLK Center. I enjoyed watching the movie at the beginning, it was inspiring to see today’s children being so insightful on the movement and see it as a push for equality to all.

 I find myself reading almost everything at exhibits. A few points really stuck out to me. First, that when MLK got married, he had to spend a night in a black funeral home parlor because no hotels would accept blacks. That is completely opposite of what marriage is supposed to be-they should be celebrating their new life together and not surrounding themselves with death.

 I enjoyed reading the time line of Coretta Scott. I had no idea that she continued to do so much for people’s rights after MLK’s death. She was an amazing woman that I do not think is focused on enough. Lastly, I have been thinking a lot about the writings in the fake kitchen, after MLK had gotten death threats and he was feeling really confused and scared. Regardless, he continued to push for his beliefs even after his house was bombed. I can relate this same attitude to myself becoming a new teacher.  I know before I even start that this is going to be a life-changing experience and there will be many times I will want to quit. But it is inspiring to think back to other figures, like MLK, and use their strength to help push me forward.

Ebonics lesson

I found myself thinking about our discussion about Ebonics on the way home from school. I never thought it was actually a language, and I think it was the first time for many of us to actually see the rules written down-which makes it official. Then the question was raised are we supposed to correct these students when they speak in Ebonics, and Dr. Williams kept saying it is not correcting them-they are speaking their language correctly-but you can tell them to use “school langauge.” I was totally focused on the word “correct” and thought it was appropriate. It was not until Dr. Williams put it into perspective that how they are talking does not to be corrected, it is simply something we do not understand. When Lisa asked, “How are you doing?” in Spanish, I found it easier to think I do not need to correct her but to tell her to use English-or school language. This was such a perfect example of how understanding your students and using examples can really make learning earsier. His methods proved everything we have been learning-that you need to take a step back and realize your students are not stupid for not understanding what you are saying and try to explain yourself differently-keeping in mind the culture and experience of the student.

Sexual Orientation

I know nothing has been scientifically proven, but I think that homosexuals are born that way. I naturally felt an attraction to males and I can only assume the same goes for them. I know there are social influences that encourage a male and female relationship.  Like we said in class, there are plenty of movies and books etc that show a woman falling in love with a man; however, there are very few if any social influences of homosexual relationships. That also leads me to believe that this orientation comes within and is not learned.  I find it hard to believe that anyone would choose a lifestyle that causes families to fall apart and to be discriminated against.  I realize it is possible to hide that you are gay, and that many people do, and I do see that “advantage” to prevent discrimination. But they should not have to hide who they are and I really believe that everyone’s fight for equality is equally important. 

Blue Eyes

I found myself writing down lots of quotes from this video, but I wanted to talk about one on here. The collared white man admitted that he was scared of how are society treats people of color and even more scared that there is nothing he can do about it.  Jane Elliot responded by saying, “Am I helping you make a change and I am only one person.” The man nodded.

That does give me hope and shows me that people can change. I thought it was remarkable how many of her student’s never forgot about the collar.  They use those few hours of miserable feelings to think about how to treat others right. I find myself doing the same thing.  Growing up in Richmond, I was often treated differently and poorly because I was Jewish.  People either had no idea about the Jewish faith and couldn’t quite understand me, or people assumed the worse of me simply because I was Jewish.  I often use those feelings I experienced growing up to make sure I am not prejudice towards others. Growing up in Richmond has become my “collar”

I am excited to be a teacher and to help my students understand the world like Jane did. I want to put them into the shoes of others so they can have a respect and understanding of those that don’t look like them. At the same time, I am scared at the small difference myself and other dedicated teachers can make. What about the people our age that have let stereotypes take over and they are set in their ways. Not everyone has the privilege to take this class or even talk about these subjects.   When a friend says a negative comment, I cannot easily pull out the Jane Elliot video and make them watch it, and a social setting is not the easiest place to get into a hardcore conversation about race.  I know individuals and especially children can be taught certain values, but we have soo long to go before we can change society. How do we make it so that  students do not draw pictures of themselves with black, flames and a devil?

 

Stereotype Activity

Today’s exercise of silently writing down stereotypes of different groups made me feel very uncomfortable.  At first, I found myself waiting until others had left before I would write anything down. I am not sure why. The class knows we were asked to do this and it is not necessarily what I think, but it is hard to actually write these things down. Maybe seeing these descriptions in black and white all grouped together makes them more real? It is one thing to talk about them with your friends and it is quite another to write them down in front of people of the “stereotypical” group. Usually when I write something down it makes it official-so that could have been my issue.

I also found the conversation about the gay male interesting.  The class began talking about gays as being feminine and good hairdressers and fashionable. All of the sudden, a lot of people were agreeing with the stereotypes and forgetting that they are only stereotypes. These types of gay men might be who we see on TV and even who we are friends with, but that does not mean that all gay men are like this.  I think this happened because these stereotypes are not necessarily considered negative and that kind of made it ok to say. Like I said in class, a stereotype can be absolutely positive, but people still do not want to be defined by their sexual preference, skin or gender but by their individuality.

I think Dr. Williams really put stereotypes back into perspective when he asked us if we saw ourselves in all the words written under White, Black and Asian women. This showed me that it is much easier to make a decision about what you know, and all of us in the class are either White, Black or Asian women.  We need to remember this when we talk about and interact with groups we don’t know that well.

Serenbe

I had a great time at Serenbe. Despite my allergy issues, I loved the outdoor space. The animals were super cute-I hope they were not the ones we ate…

Thursday was a long day-that went by surprisingly fast.  I really enjoyed hearing empowering and dis-empowering education stories from everyone.  I cannot believe Ann’s story. I think it was important for us to hear. She told the story so intensely, it was apparent how much it affected her. It is important to learn from other people’s mistakes and I definitely think the teacher made a mistake with using Ann as the “paper sorter.”‘

My favorite part of the day was the coffee house. I absolutely loved seeing every one’s interpretation of the assignment and how creative everyone can be. We all left the meeting room in a great mood and back in the Lake House had a cheers to how happy we were with the day and how well everyone gets along and feeds of each other.