Sunday, April 19, 2015

Empowering Education

Well, this was extremely long to get through! But really interesting and i liked how it tied everything up altogether. It was a nice, last blog! When I first started reading, the first three questions had me thinking the entire time I was reading. So it took a little extra time to carefully read everything. I decided to do an extended comment on Josh's blog, who did a great job! 
         1 Quote- This is one of the things that stuck out to me reading too! As teachers, we should be teaching our students to be the best that they can be. What I thought of was when teachers said “there are no stupid questions”, which is so true! it doesn’t matter what a child has to ask, ask it! I didn’t even think about it the way you did, basing it on the teachers attitude. We as teachers, should be estatic when kids have questions and are eager to learn. Questions seem like there nothing, but they sure are everything. 
         2 Quote- Whatever choices are made, that is the classroom that is created. The rules are now what creates the students in the classroom as well. And you were correct when you said that it is basically Lisa Delpit. I liked the example you used with the child getting confused. There’s a lot of different examples where the rules are unclear to the kids, but they are expected to be known.
         3rd Quote- I can see Finn and Oakes as well, and I can also see the activity we did in class! When Professor Bogad gave us that paper with the “stupid” questions we should be mad at. In my opinion, some of those questions are just useless knowledge, in which we can be learning about something else more important. I like how you put it “It is just a question of how we are measuring the knowledge of our students”, because that is so true. And it doesn’t even have to be school to school base, it can be teacher to teacher in the same school! Schools are focusing about the standardize testing, rather than a deeper message
         4th Quote- This quote is so powerful! The school systems are spending more money in all the wrong places. I remember in elementary school, mythe art program was cancelled! Then in middle school, all sports were gotten rid of because there was no money. Then a few years later, the music department was canceled. We should be spending money on the little things started kids out that young because that is also what school is about. I like how you talked about RIC’s new policy, which is crazy! It just proves that his quote is true. It makes no sense and I don’t think people actually think that through sometimes. I like how you connected this to Johnson, it didn’t even cross my mind that this  was connected somehow! But you described that perfectly, nice job!
I also liked your video! It was interesting to watch:)

I also wanted to do a connection to Erin’s blog because she did a really nice job! I agree with Erin in that we should focus on the reality of education today. Sure its fun to learn about the past and how much we have changed, but one day this will be the past and education has changed once again. I really liked the first quote you found! Education is more than just writing and reading.g, Education is preparing you for the future after 12 years of schooling. I’m sure I’m never going to remember the Calvin Cycle or finding the slop of a line, but I will remember how to properly ask questions to the teacher , how to how to work with other people, and I made friends by thinking the stuff we were learning was pointless too! Socializing is more important to kids and schools than you think. Like Erin said, you can’t do anything until you know your class. And even at that you’ll still be learning new “theories” She’s right when she says knowing theory isn’t everything, because it’s not. 

Topic Point: I know this is a general topic, but it sums up everything from all the readings and class! (plus it’s the last talking point.) After reading all these articles and learning more than we knew(sometimes), what kind of teacher do you want to be? Did your idea change after taking this class? Did you change some things around in your head? I just found this fun website about how to be a great teacher :) 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Citizenship In School

As many of you know, I'm majoring in Special Education (sorry I say it a lot!) and this story was perfect and easy for me to read. Not only am I adamant about equal opportunities for children and students with special needs, Down Syndrome children and adults are my favorite. I'm Down Syndrome obsessed :) I love everyone, no matter what, though! But for this reading, I was able to connect to so much about my personal life that for this week I'm going to do a reflection.
Down Syndrome occurs when there is an extra copy (3 copies) of the gene, on the 21st chromosome, which is called Trisomy 21. However, there are other kinds of Down Syndrome as well, such as Mosaic and Translocation. If you want to learn more about the genetics and components, the National Down Syndrome website will teach you more. Children with down syndrome will have a hard time learning socially, developmentally, and intellectually. Much like any other disability, there are ways to properly teach these students in order to become successful too.

Haley Howard is my absolute best friend in the entire world. Not just because she is shorter than me so I'm happy I'm taller than someone, but because she makes me laugh and smile more than anyone else. She is there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on and she's the best person to just go on a long drive with listening to music. She is the definition of a best friend. When I was in elementary school I had a hard time with school, learning wise. My parents thought something was wrong with me and had me tested for special ed. It was probably one of the worst experiences of my life because I felt so different from everyone else and everyone made fun of me. When I got to middle school, I barely had any friends, so every Wednesday I would have lunch in the school therapist's office. Haley would join me and it was at that moment that I knew it didn't matter what was wrong with me, because Haley couldn't see a difference so there was none. But Haley and I went our separate ways, and I wasn't considered "typical", until we connected again in High School when she joined the varsity swim team. She was an amazing swimmer and defied the odds by being on a competitive high school sport with a disability. She was a really great swimmer too! But at first she wasn't allowed to join because she was "special",but she proved everyone else wrong. I then joined a class called, Partners, where I was a regular ed. student in the severe and profound classroom working with those students and Haley was one of them. I got to see how these students learned. First of all, there classroom was in the basement, away from every other classroom. There art and music classes where not with regular education students, which bothered me to no end. Finally, Haley's mother pushed for her to be in an acting class, where she was the only one with a disability, just like Mia in the story. Being in Partners, I also learned a lot of different ways to teach students with other disabilities not just down syndrome, whether it be through pictures or through sign language. But I did whatever it took so that I could get through to the students. Haley taught me everything there is about being a best friend and a better person and she doesn't even realize she did it. She influenced me to go into Special Education because she broke down the barrier for kids with disabilities and amounted to being SOMEONE, not just something.

 With being a p pass worker I also work with a child who has Down Syndrome who is very low functioning, but it is such a great reward working with him. Through reading this text, I learned a lot about how others see children with Down Syndrome.

I also saw some of this in my Service learning project. In my high school, there were three students with Down Syndrome. In DelSisto, there's over 10 students with Down Syndrome! I am able to learn from the teachers how they connect with the students and I am allowed to work with them. It is interesting to see how all the students with disabilities learn because some can be very low-functioning or some can be very high functioning. It is cool to see how all the students with special needs are learning an I'm glad I get to experience it first hand!

I connected this article to Johnson's Power P Privilege and Difference. Johnson talks about how there are differences between people, as in race, gender, ethnicity, etc., but there are also differences in children and people with disabilities. He says that we need to accept those differences so there won't be any problems anymore and I completely agree with that. Kl obsessed ells stories about kids with special needs who are only recognized as someone with special needs, but that is not who they are. Like Colleen said "Lee is Lee" and that not all kids with disabilities are alike. Schooling children with disabilities in the correct and equal way is what will help kids become successful and noticed as individuals, not just there disability.

Watch this :) One of my favorite videos! 

Talking Point: I could go on forever and ever about this topic because it is so special and important too me, so sorry! And sorry I was kind of all over the place. But in high school, were any of you guys involved with kids who had disabilities? When I work with someone who has special needs and they finally understand something, it is the best feeling in the world for me and I always want to have that feeling. I've really only worked with special education, but do guys get the same feeling when you're teaching your students? I know it's a basic question, but I wonder if I'm not the only one!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Literacy with an Attitude

Patrick Finn's Literacy with an Attitude, was a mouthful of words, basically. It was extremely hard to get through because it was so long, but I also did not like how Finn described everything about himself. I feel like I know his whole life story and I just didn't really care to know about it all. Obviously there were very interesting parts of his story in these parts, because I can only imagine how the rest of the book went. I know that Finn is a very smart man, as I learned about all he accomplished, and he made many great points. I also found this quick video that also put the book into a better understanding, for me anyways, through pictures.

1. They expected people in authority to be authoritarian, and I gave them what they expected. (pg. 2)
            This has Delpit written ALL over it. The students in his classroom saw that he was the teacher, who had all the power. The students had to follow his codes in order to do a good job. Like the students, Finn also followed the role of being the teacher because he proved to be an authoritarian, which is what a teacher is said to be like because they have all the power, which isn't true but seen as true. He continued on to say "all of us- teachers and students- were locked into a system of rules and roles that none of us understood and that did not allow for much in the way of education". Again, this is all Delpit's Rules and Codes of power. Finn had to follow the guidelines, or rules, to be a successful teacher, in which the students then had to follow Finn's rules to be successful themselves. However, no one actually knew what the correct rules were or understood what they should be, because the truth is, there is no rules. A teacher should be able to have any rules he/she decides to make and the students should follow them, not because a teacher is considered to be an authoritarian, but because a teacher is there to help a student to succeed, so it is out of respect and an eager to learn attitude, not because they have too.

2. Don't be so damned superior! Don't look down your nose at people out there teaching real children in real and sometimes dreadful circumstances. Don't question their intelligence or their commitment, or their motives. (pg.. 8)
         I know for a fact that someday, all of us will be wonderful and amazing teachers! And just as a person, not even a soon-to-be teacher, I would NEVER judge a teacher by the way they run their classroom. A teacher knows more about how to teach students than anyone else because that is their job and they will know how to do it. It is not easy being a teacher. I'm going to relate this quote to something Josh said in his blog. He said that all of us have probably thought about what kind of teachers we want to be or don't want to be and that we probably had teachers throughout school that we didn't like their way of teaching or we did. Doesn't this quote make you feel bad about ever disliking a teacher? Okay, maybe not exactly, but to an extent it makes me feel bad. Because Finn's right, teachers have one of the hardest jobs in the world, I think, and sometimes others look down at the job. I can't wait to become a teacher, and I hope that no one questions how I do my job, unless they are a teacher themselves, they have no idea what it's like. This quote really made me think a lot about teachers, so I found a Huffington Post article written by a teacher who explains why teaching is the best job ever. 

3. In the working class schools, the dominant theme was resistance. Students would vandalize school property and resisted the teacher's efforts to teach. Boy fell out of chair; students bring bugs into the class and realesed them; children lost books or forgot them; students interrupted the teacher.... (pg..12)
       Anoyn realized this was the difference in her story about the working-class schools and other schools in New Jersey. She described that in the working-class schools, the teacher's did not really follow the same steps as the other schools and she noticed that those parents did not really care. As I was reading this part of the section, I immediately thought of our Service Learning projects. We've had discussions in class were we talk about the children being resistant towards us or even the teacher. It may not be because of the teacher, or it could be, but mostly it's the environment that the students are in. Sometimes the student's opinions are recognized or they don't have people involved in their education, so the easiest thing for those students to do is act out and not follow the rules, so they can finally get attention. I think it is really interesting that Anoyn did this experiment because I'm sure that she would see the same results in other areas that are just like this. I also liked how Finn went into the other grade levels, like middle school and high school, and talked about them in depth too.

4. The literate are powerful and you're not. What are you going to do about it? (pg... 165)
     This part of the article made me think about our class were we talked about how technology is so different now than it was years ago and how it has changed the generations. Finn said this quote when he was looking at the pictures of the cartoons and described that technology has an impact on literacy. It made me think of Delpit again because those who can read are powerful. But it also could be the powerful, such as kids, which according to the rules should not be allowed. However, if we are following what Finn said, anyone who is literate is powerful. This also makes me think of SCWAAMP. I know that Literate is not one of the letters, but it does effect a person's success. You HAVE to be literate in order to be successful, it's kind of obvious, I know, but it just points out how important it is. I'm sure you all know that, but when you think about it, it is something little to us in a way, but it is extremely important. 

On the last page of the text, Finn writes : "The least we can do is face facts". This quote stood out to me so much because he is being so honest and real. (Along with one of the first quotes he wrote which I'll being up in class). But this related to Johnson because he said that we should face the facts about what is going on in the world. So powerful, I think.

Topic Point: I know that in this, Finn mentioned a lot of what we have learned in our class, like with Kozol and Chsitensen, which is really cool. As a teacher one day, do you think that you will be relating back to some of the texts we read in this class like Finn did? Because as I read it, the more I thought about how common it would be to bring up all these topics we learned about because they are so interesting. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Pecha Kucha

For my Pecha Kucha, I have almost finished my chart and made an outline for myself. I am mainly focusing on Johnson's Power, Privilege, and Differences, because I feel as though the Special Education population is "left out of the loop" and society fails to except those differences. Johnson specifically focuses on differences between gender, race, ethnicity etc., but I thought that doing it on special needs is a perfect topic. I have seen it firsthand in my service learning project, so I think it is really interesting to share with the class. My connections so far are Safe Spaces and Christensen and maybe Delpit, but I had a quick question; are we allowed to use SCWAAMP as one of our connections? I am also working alone on this project, but I'm excited to actually start putting the powerpoint together! I'm just nervous about the visuals and being creative, because I'm actually not so creative when it comes to technology.... but we'll see what I can do!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


When you were little and were acting up, did your parents used to say "1.2. Don't let me count to 3"? And if they got to 3, it would be he end of the world? Well, my dad used too, especially to my younger sister, in which she would repeat the numbers back to my dad, which would get her into even more trouble. Or have you ever seen a parent or teacher go about a different way to discipline their children or students that you didn't really like? I have seen that too. I work with a little boy who has disabilities and his mom invited me to go to a seminar all about ways to control a child's behavior, at home and at school, called 1-2-3 Magic! I immediately said I would go because what better way to learn about a good way to control students when I am a teacher? It was perfect!

1-2-3 Magic is "a simple, precise and effective way of managing children's behavior," created by Thomas Phelan. He has made this technique specifically for children between the ages of 2-12 and works well for kids who have minimal behavior problems, as well as more severe. Basically, it is easy to do. If a child is acting up or behaving in a way you don't tolerate, you say to them "that's 1". You will wait 5 seconds and if they are still doing it, say "that's 2". After waiting another 5 seconds and they are still behaving that way, you say "that's 3" and the child will be told to have "break time" (which is just a better way to explain time-out). These are called stop behaviors. If the kid does not cooperate with the break time, they might have something taken away from them or an additional chore.  On the other hand, there are start behaviors. These behaviors are good and positive actions, in which a teacher or parent notices the good behaviors and praises them, but not gives them a reward. This is to let the child know that you are aware of the good behaviors, not just the bad. However, during this whole process, the teacher/parent must remain calm and show no emotions due to the kids being manipulative and love to test. This whole method was created to give teachers/parents a "better" way to discipline bad behavior and so the students learn how to act. 

  • During this event, all I could think about was Delpit's codes of power. This author created a method and was forcing it too parents and teachers. He explained that this was the correct way to teach your children and this was the way it should be done. Then the parents and teachers have the power to treat their kids in this way, which I know they have the power to do so, but that is power in itself. This is now the "code of power" for how the students and children are supposed to act and the way they have to follow it. The lady who was giving the presentation described students and children as "wild animals, who we need to train". I was so shocked by this statement! In basically sums up that teachers and parents have the power to train the kids, and this is the way we do it. We are training them to be the appropriate people in society, who are accepted. As parents and teachers, they have the power to do so.  Although there is 1-2-3 Magic, there are other ways that teach their students or children how to behave, and it doesn't make the adults seem so powerful, just as parents or teachers. 
  • Surprisingly, I related this presentation to Aria's Rodriguez. For Rodriguez, nuns came into his house and forced his parents to start speaking english with Rodriguez so he learns the right way. It was wrong of them to do that because they changed Rodriguez's life. In the case of 1-2-3 Magic, I saw some of the similarities. Teachers, or Phelan even, "Demanded" this to create kids that are perfect and who will act int he right way so that they are successful. In Richard's case, the nuns said that he needed to speak English to be accepted, and like that, this guy created a method to make acceptable kids, who behavior the right way. I understand that we, of course, want students and children to behave the correct way, but this was just another method forced. Basically, instead of using language, we put in numbers, but it works the same way.
  • I also related this to Johnson's Privilege, Power, and Difference. This was the first article we read about the differences relating to gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. However, when I was reading this article, I realized that Johnson missed a whole group who are different as well; people and children with special needs and disabilities. We understand that there are differences and how we act is what is different. I went to this event to get a better understanding of how to act with students with disabilities who are mis-behaving. I got little-to-no information about this group of students, which I was really upset about that. The mother I went with is apart of a group of women who have children with disabilities, and they come to these events to learn as well. I knew that they were upset as well. The presentation barely went over the students or children with special needs and when she did, she only brought up autistic children. She said that it works with them, but that's only if the child is higher functioning. She completely disregarded the children who have down syndrome, or higher levels of autism, and on. The author, Thomas Phelan, didn't even write a book based on those students, besides one for students or children who have ADD. (Important too, I know.) I just felt that, like Johnson, they failed to realize that there is a difference in behavior between kids with disabilities and "regular-ed" kids. I agree that if works with some special needs children, but obviously not all of them. The main thing is that you can't really put a special needs child in "time-out", because most likely they don't understand between right and wrong. Some students, who are older, have the intellectual age of a little child. So, as a teacher of a student with special needs, you must know the disability and what comes along with it. There are better ways to deal with children who have special needs, in my opinion. 

As I was listening to this, I thought of our service learning projects. If you are having trouble dealing with a student who's not behaving, this could be a technique that might work. I know its kind of later on, so it might be too late now, but for future classes or even when you're a teacher! One thing that it had in common with the SL, is that as a teacher, you NEVER give a gift or a present as a reward if they have good behavior. In our schools specifically, you never know what a gift may be to a student, and the same with this method. A reward is just a praise or a high five, something nice, but never a gift. 

To be honest, I was expecting a presentation that I was going to be blown away by. I thought that it was going to be so informational and it would be a good experience. Although I thought it was good, I didn't think it was great. I learned about a method to work to control behaviors of students and children, but there are other methods that I think are just as successful. This could be a great method, as a teacher and as a parent, but I wasn't that impressed. But maybe you guys thought it was cool, which is great! If you ever get a chance to read some of the books, watch the dvds, or even heard about it, what are your opinions?! I think that when I'm a teacher, I'll try a different approach, maybe this might be a last resort, but that's just how I feel! I found some reviews of the books; here's what others have to say.

I found a Ted Talk video all about education. It is about an hour long, but I watched a good portion of it and it was interesting! So if you have a few minutes here and there and really bored, watch it! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Brown vs. Board of Education

Well, first off, I would like to mention that I had a difficult time doing this assignment for some reason. Not because I'm not interested in the topic, but I got easily distracted while watching the videos and I was all over the place, so I had to watch them a view times to get a good understanding. The article was really interesting though!

Anyway, Tim Wises' broadcast were pretty cool, once I got to listen carefully to them. Right from the beginning he said that we had to deal with what is real and that racism is still going on,  yet were pretending it is not. This made me think of Johnson's Power, Privilege and Difference. He said that we know that there are issues in the world, but we're afraid to confront them or talk about them. We don't use the word "privilege," just like we don't use the word "racism," which I think is true. He also said that people of color are wise, but they have a different style of showing it, which I thought was very smart because I didn't think of it like that. He then went onto say that people of color don't have to be like Obama to be successful, and I believe that but I want to know who told him that they believed that? What color person said that they can't be successful unless they are Obama, or like him in a sense, because that is not true at all. He said that "Individuals of color can accomplish great things, Even if they don't go to Harvard, and go to schools like University of Michigan, which is absolutely true! This relates to the Brown vs. Board of Education because all those students wanted was an education, and it didn't matter from where. But White's didn't believe that they should have equal education because they weren't "smart" or "potentially successful" as Whites. Later in the video he said that if the past was the present, people believed that Blacks had equal opportunities, CRAZY!! The people during the time of Brown vs. Board of Education didn't believe that Blacks needed schooling, because they already had the right to vote and those laws, so that's all they really needed. Even though it was successful, it took a lot of time to have a change, and Wise said that this case was probably the biggest, but it showed us that things still needed to be changed. The thing that Wise said that stood out to me was that "We see excellence". We should have noticed it in the past and we should be noticing it now, because no matter what, everyone can achieve excellence. And it still wasn't as simple as it should have been. 

Remember the Titans: First day of school! This is my favorite movie ever btw, watch it if you haven't!

When I read the article by Bob Hebert, I immediately thought about our Service Learning Program. In the first paragraph, he said that it is hard to get good educators in schools located in high-poverty areas and that is why they are not always the best. He then said "these, OF COURSE, are the schools with Hispanics and Blacks" He said it like it was automatically assumed that it is the schools with Blacks and Hispanics, it was kind of sad to read it like that. During the Brown Vs. Board of  Education,  no one wanted to be a teacher to the "black students," and they refused to teach them. Yet, here we are now. Hebert said "Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discrimination, economic disparities, and long-held custom, they most emphatically are in reality." Even after the case, we still see schools that are mostly White, like where most of you went to High School, or even mostly Black and it's all because of those reasons. But we stem from the root that there were segregated schools in the past. The main point of his topic is that students learn in a better environment, away from provish areas. 

Hebert said "The election of Barack Obama has not made a true integration any more palatable to millions of Americans". I believe that this speaks words and it is really important to understand. Because have things really changed for the better? Because according to Wise, people of color believe they have to be like Obama to be successful. I believe that the Brown vs. Board of Education was a huge milestone in 1954 and the election of Obama was a big milestone in 2009, but like Wise said there are still works that remain. I found an interesting article about the 60th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education case and how it was successful and not so much. Pretty cool to read! 

Topic Point: In Wise's broadcast, he said that we couldn't really understand how the African American's felt during that time because we weren't in their shoes. Only White's shared their opinions about how they felt they were in fact equal opportunities, which they weren't. But anyway, that's like saying we can't understand how someone feels unless we walk a mile in their shoes. If you were a student back then, how would you feel? Or sense we are all teachers, lets say we were put back in time during 1950's and this case, what kind of teacher would you be? 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

In The Service of What?

The author, Kahne and Westhimer, argue that a Service Learning Project or community service is important to students in the school system. These authors who wrote “In the Service of What?” are explaining that they believe service learning is something that students should be doing. They feel that it is a good thing for three reason/domains: Moral, Political, and Intellectual domains. They would develop a stronger sense of morality, because they would be more caring and giving. The service learning would make them care for someone else, than just themselves. This would also teach them more about other people as well. They would gain a sense of a political view, meaning that they would become more responsible students and even citizens. And of course, the students would become more intellectual. The students would learn so much more than just the core subjects, that they would be transformed into a new person. Students could participate in any community serve they want, such as, volunteering at a homeless shelter or an elderly home, mentoring another student, tutoring, etc. These activities will teach them to become better citizens and they will learn more about the culture of other people. The authors believe that it will help them in the school setting as well. However, the authors make the point that the parents have an impact on the students. For example, a music director at a middle school wanted to take his students to perform for a school that was in a poorer neighborhood than them. Parents declined it because they felt their kids would be in an “unsafe area," and that reflected on the students views. However, they went and they did not feel the same way when they left, they enjoyed it. Political leaders, like Bush, Kennedy, etc, were noted for their powerful words, that the authors relate to service learning, which is a great point. The main point that the authors are trying to make is that they believe community service is important to students and it should be apart of the child’s curriculum.  This website states the top reasons why community service is important and should be in high schools. These reasons relate to the author's argument for this topic. 
As well as doing the argument part, I just want to add a view comments of my own going off about the main topic. The authors mentioned that community service is being put into place as a graduation requirement in schools. In my high school, we had to complete twenty hours of community service in order to reach a graduation requirement. To me, I thought that this was a great idea and it was easy for me because I volunteer at places often. I know that some students had a difficult time completing this task and I feel that it was because they did not find something they truly enjoyed, because they just saw it as they needed to get it done. Others felt that it was a great experience, which is what more people should believe. Here is a website that speaks of community service as a policy throughout Rhode Island (but you could look at other selected states), it's pretty interesting to read with all of the state facts and laws. Also in my school district, students could complete a Service Learning Project and complete tasks in order to graduate. However, they took that away and now we have to do Portfolios, which is I hope is all changed when we become teachers. The project was anything that a student wanted to do And was approved to do. They would volunteer in a work field and learn all about it, then complete a project. In some districts, this option is still available to do and they love it. I feel that it makes a lot of sense and it’s a great opportunity for them to grow as a person. I believe that our service learning project is one of the best things in this class. I absolutely love it and it has already taught me so much. I’ve always been into volunteering, whether it be for my old Church, Special Olympics, or mentoring children, but it has all shaped me into the person I am. If more students were aware of community service and learned how to do a service project, I think that those students would grow from it. They would learn all of the things that Kahne and Westhimer described because it would be such a great opportunity. I related this article to White Privilege Knapsack. In my previous blog about that I talked about a few quotes that McIntosh stated. She said that "I was taught to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will" I believe that being apart of community service makes you who you are because you get to experience so much great things. I know that it was about two separate topics but it made me think that being a volunteer was apart of your morals. Community service wouldn't be a "thing" if we didn't have problems or issues in the world that needed to be fixed. so I also related this to what McIntosh said as well "Individual acts can palliate, but cannot end these problems." I said before that I disagree with this quote because I believe it can, but each individual act of community service is a great thing that is working to make something better. (So I was just using quotes from McIntosh that made me think about this article, not so much the overall topic of her article). As you can see, I am big for volunteering, because I truly think it is a great experience that would effect someone in great ways. One of the people in the article said “The hope was that the students values and beliefs might be transformed by these experiences.” 

Topic Point: Did anyone else have community service as a graduation requirement? Did you guys like the idea of it or did you just feel it was something that had to get done? If you could do something like the Service Learning Project when you were in high school, do you thing that you would feel the same way as you do know? Although I am all in for volunteering, I also feel that it won’t have a huge effect on someone unless they are more mature and “grown up”. Like in elementary school, once a month we would all make blankets for the poor. I knew that it was a great thing to be doing, but I had more fun just making the blankets than understanding what it was truly about. Now I would appreciate that more. Anyone else feel this way?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us

When I was in preschool, I was asked what I wanted to be. Obviously, I responded with "A Princess", just like every girl at that age. And we have Disney to thank for that. We dream of the fancy clothes, the wonderful lifestyle, a prince, and a happily-ever-after. I remember when I reached elementary school, still having a mindset that I wanted to grow up to be a princess, my parents told me that it wasn't realistic and that they are just movies. They never happen in real life. Now I look back on what they said and I see a different reason why they said that. It is because of all the stereotypes in the movies, and now in our age, there are women and girls changing it. Sure there are some instances where fairy tales do come true, which means there are some instances where stereotypes do occur. But I believe that the more years that come, we begin to see what the Disney movies actually mean and it is kind of sad to watch.


So, both of these videos are about the stereotypes that the women in Disney movies are portrayed. I really don't want to give so much away in the videos because they are wicked cool and I really hope you watch them! But basically, they are about the typical women, who are domestic, they clean the house and cook, they change themselves for love, and they do what they must in order to do so. But the videos also show the different women: Mulan, Esmeralda, Tiana, Rapunzel. All who are supposed to follow the "rules of women", but who chose to go against them. What you say? Women going against stereotypes? Thats crazy!!!! But those are the movies we should be showing to young girls, so they know. 
I also wanted to talk about Frozen, which was a pretty good movie. But those stereotypes changed. Most of you know the movie, so I won't go into so much detail. But, Elsa was the queen and did not need a king to rule with her. Elsa became one of the first princess to say that Ana could not marry a man that she just met. This movie also showed that Elsa didn't need a man to save her, it was her sister who did. Unlike all the other Disney movies, they were not portrayed this way, rather the complete opposite. I believe that is why so many parents, or even young adults, saw this as a great movie because it changed everything. Kids should be growing up, learning the things that Frozen taught. I couldn't find an interesting video, but here is a website that speaks of the broken stereotypes. Also, I know that Brave was a movie similar to this, I think, but I never saw it so I don't know! I didn't want to leave that out.

I believe that girls should be brought up knowing that they can be whoever and do whatever they want. I think that this article and Disney relates to Delpit's rules of power number 2: There are codes or rules for participating power- that is there is a culture of power. The culture of power is that women are expected to be cleaners, as men are supposed to be the "man of the house", but why? Someone created it that way and everyone followed it. The rules:
1. Girls cannot do boy things
2. A girl must marry a man to be successful 
3. Boys are supposed to be seen as strong and powerful
4. Women are supposed to be perfectly dressed
5. Boys must save girls
AND SO MANY MORE!! But things are changing. 
This article makes me also thing of SCWAAMP (like everything else). The things that we find important in our society and that Disney also only shows. Society values Straightness. Have we seen a Bi/Lesbian/Gay couple? Society values Able Bodiness. Princess's are seen as very skinny, perfect hair, perfect body. Prince's are seen as strong, masculine, and powerful. Have we seen an imperfect looking Prince or Princess? Society values Maleness. Disney shows that a women cannot do male things or the other way around. But Mulan finally showed the difference. We need to show more of the differences to let society know that it is okay to show the differences. The media is a huge part of people's lives and that is a start to show the differences. 

So, here I am at 18 years old, and I believe I am absolutely Princess Kaileen. But I didn't get here because I cleaned the house, which I don't at all. I don't have fancy clothes or I'm not rich. Prince Charming didn't come and save me. But I am just starting my life and so far it is happy, so I believe I will have a happily ever after. I hope some girls just dream of that, and not everything in between. 

Topic Point- I found this really interesting video where someone spoke of 5 different incidents in schools disapproved of kids not following the gender roles. I was going to post it, but it had a lot of swears. But has anyone ever witness or heard about issues where kids got in trouble for not following the "rules"? 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Safe Spaces

Just by the name of this article, I knew it wasn't going to be a positive one, rather sharing horrible stories of experiences. So I read other people's blogs before I started reading, and I was even more shocked than the actual article. Many people wrote that they had no interaction with LGBT communities, or even knew anything about it. They wrote that they're schools didn't address it or notice it, which is just awful to me. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. My close family members are drag queens, gay men who dress as women. (Some of them are really attractive men and then they transform into beautiful women. It's amazing.) So I've been around them, in both forms, my whole life and it is nothing different from everyone else. About five of my neighbors are lesbians, all with one or two children. They are definitely my favorite neighbors, not because they are lesbians, but because all my other neighbors are a lot weirder than a different sexual orientation. I was in a school that accepted these students and it was great when those kids felt they could be who they are. Not that we spoke of LGBT or focused on it in school, because we didn't have too. They were accepted and treated just like everyone else. I've never known a Transgender until about three years ago. I volunteer for Special Olympics and a male joined the swim team. We became really great friends and always talked. I later found out that he was born a female, but felt that it wasn't who he really was. It went through everything and now he is simply happy. How are you going to discriminate against someone who is happy? 
I really liked Marley's approach, the teacher who helps educators in classrooms k-12, she address the questions and isn't afraid to see the response of others. She speaks of own experiences in her classroom and also gives out articles, which I think is such a great idea to get people more aware. Don't treat this like an elephant in the room. Don't tiptoe around the differences like it isn't there. In high school, I took a psychology class and one of the topics we learned about was a shortened version of LGBT. There was a student in the class who was a lesbian, and another who was gay, and the teach asked both of them too share experiences and explain to the rest of the class what it means. It was really eye-opening to the rest of the class. If a teacher is just dismissing it, the student will feel out of place and the teacher just shouldn't be a teacher. (Sorry, harsh I know) But truthfully, as a teacher, you are expected to educate students in all you know, and I believe that it goes just beyond the 4 basic Subjects. We are supposed to teach them about life, world, and everything in between. So if we aren't going to address the reality of the world, what are we really teaching students? That is one of the realities of the world. 
I also loved Patrick's approach into telling the students not to use the word "gay" like they were. He handled that situation like a real teacher would. If I was in that situation, I would have done the same exact thing. Gay is not a word to call something or someone stupid, and it is certainly not an insult. On the other hand, Marcus' teacher did not handle the situation correctly. Sending a student to the principals because he used the word Gay in the correct way? I don't understand how a teacher can feel that is a right thing to do. I was upset just reading that.  "Individual acts can palliate, but cannot end these problems."-McIntosh. These are individual acts that can absolutely end these problems in not accepting humans. 
This article I feels relate to the first text we read this year. Johnson described the issues that occurred in the schools and what they truly meant. This is one of the situations that are now more prominent in schools and how we have to embrace it, rather than ignore it. I also relate this to the text, Power, Privilege and Differences, where Kozol says that we don't use the word "privilege" because we don't like to accept it. "Transgender," "bi," "gay," are all words that people are afraid to use for no reason. It doesn't make any sense to me. This also relates to SCWAAMP. The S stands for straightness, which is something that America accepts as the correct view in our society, which is wrong. Things are changing everyday. Everyone who is anything besides straight is a PERSON. They are a human beings in this world; no difference between me and you. We need to start accepting and doing something about it. 

P.S. I didn't know where to put this into my article, but this is a really cool website, GLSEN: Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. I found an interesting article they wrote about research based on LGBT in middle school. I wrote too much already, but I hope someone brings up Teen Suicides because of these reasons!!! 

Topic Point: I could go on forever about this topic, so sorry for being so straight forward! But how would you handle a situation as a teacher if something came up in your classroom one day? Also, I know it's a difficult question. But why are so many people not welcoming to LGBT's? Are they afraid of differences? 

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Reading Aria by Richard Rodriguez, was really interesting. I liked that it was a story and he shared his emotions and feelings through story telling, rather than stating the facts like the other pieces we have read. I decided to do an extended comment for my blog and I'm connected it with Josh! (Who did a really nice job on his work and I really liked it)
For Josh's first quote he chose, I completely thought of the same thing. I could not believe that the nuns would come in and tell Richard's parents that. I felt that they thought they had more power over the family to tell them what to do. Also, Christy mentioned this in her blog as well, but that he should feel comfortable in his home and speaking Spanish is what they do to feel comfortable. Now its like his in a whole new and different place. I took spanish in High School and my teacher moved to the US when she was 20 and learned English and decided to be a Spanish teacher. She gets stuck sometimes and still has a thick Spanish accent and it was difficult to understand her. All I can think about is going into HER home or HER classroom and saying "you need to learn better English". (Which I would never do, she was an amazing teacher) Awful, just sad to think about?
The second quote Josh chose was something I picked out immediately as well and it stood out to me. I knew it was a powerful sentence, but I didn't look that deep into it until I read Josh's explanation. He said that Richard didn't feel like he belonged or wasn't apart of the country he was born in, just because he didn't speak English. I just thought the sentence was saying once he spoke english for the first time he was proud and felt like he made an achievement. But he wasn't proud of himself, because it was something that he was forced to do. It wasn't so much as a goal or something to accomplish, he HAD to do it. Up until that point, he was just Richard Rodriguez, not Richard the American citizen. And like Josh said, I feel bad for him as well. Reading Josh's explanation reminded me of Grinner's SCWAAMP. One of the components of being a true american is Whiteness and American-ness, both of which were not Richard. Sure he was born in America, but he wasn't an American to society because he wasn't white, he Had a spanish last name, english wasn't his first language, and so on? Then I started to feel even more sad for him because I couldn't imagine ever feeling that way too.
The last quote Josh picked out broke my heart even more than his second quote. Just Richard explaining how much has life had changed, when he didn't even ask for it too. He was uncomfortable when the nuns came in and forced them to speak English more, now his whole world was changed upside down. His home life was different, but now everything is different. Josh makes a great point that he learned English in an awful, forceful way. I wonder if he had learned it in an easier and more caring way, things might have been different. In the other reading, Teaching multilingual students, the author speaks of different ways that they can work to teach those students. Some of those should have been used to help Richard. Josh also put up a nice picture of a face with spanish near the brain and english in the mouth. I thought it was really powerful because thats exactly what it really is. The brain is telling you to speak what you know, but your mouth forces you to say what you have to say. Really compelling.

The two videos were exactly what Josh said: eye opening. I can't even describe them in a way that moves you because there are so any thoughts running through my mind! The facts were just so powerful and things that you couldn't believe. It was a mixture of laughs and facts to get everyone to realize the strength of what is going on. Our world has focused on simply english, and all the other languages are nothing compared to. There should be all these languages in the school systems, other than spanish, and french (those were the only ones at my high school). Josh made a good point in his blog that education in schools should be teaching English, not at the homes. I found a short article about language barriers in schools, really interesting I think. Home is for homework, so you work on school work at home but if you're having trouble, school is where they help you fix you're difficulties! I would love to learn another language! Without different languages, the world is just boring I believe. Why wouldn't you Want a group of diverse humans coming together and being united? I feel that is just wonderful.

Josh, you did a great job!! I loved everything you spoke about and your thoughts were really strong and eye opening as well. :)
Topic: Did anyone else take a language in high school and college? How was your experience?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

White Privilege Knapsack

Let me first start off by saying, I read McIntosh's first because I read everyone's blog about Amazing Grace and I couldn't bare to read it and have awful thoughts in my mind. So I decided to write about this one because even though they are both to scary to be true, Kozol's made me really nervous and scared because I don't want to face that truth.
So, I read White Privilege Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh and I really enjoyed it. It was along the same lines as Kozol's first piece we read, Privilege, Power, and Difference. The author talked about the issue of whites, specifically males, having more privileges over other races. This is what the first article we read was about. The article was very interesting and there were many quotes that I really liked, but I chose the ones that stood out the most to me.
1. "I was taught to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will." (2)
      -I had to sit here and think about this quote for a few minutes because it made my mind run. I believe that everyone should be raised to learn that. You become the person you are from how you are raised and you should know that with hard work and determination, you will succeed, not because you are White or Male. You will receive great things if you are a nice and true person, not because you are white. That's how the way things should work. I feel that people don't think about this too often and they should. There is this really nice article from a student at Princeton (2014),  who describes exactly what this quote is saying. I really enjoyed reading it because it was true and real, he learned the right way, which is how we should all be taught. 
2."In addition, since race and sex are not the only advantage systems at work, we need to similarly examine the daily experience of having age advantage, or ethic advantage, or physically ability, or advantage related to nationality, religion, or sexual orientation," (5). 
     -The author just got through with speaking that some don't classify "whiteness" as an advantage, and if so, just think about all the other advantages that are in the world. She described that students may not think whiteness is an advantage. (Which I disagree with. I know students of other race believe in this and me, being white, is know realize this is true because of what we have read). But all the other advantages are present in the world today. This quote directly deals with the lesson we learned about SCWAAMP. These "advantages" are what we value most in our world today and not many people realize that. But they are all true. 
3."Individual acts can palliate, but cannot end these problems." (6)
     -I'm not sure if it's because I'm naive and still believe that there is good in the world, but I truly believe that these problems can end. If every individual in the world can make one simply act, then eventually all of the problems will end. It won't happen over night, and it might not happen completely in our lifetime. I think of it as the Ripple Effect. Someone throws a pebble into the water, and it creates a ring, and then another, and then there are many rings. Someone throwing that pebble into the water is an act and then others follow the act and it because larger, until eventually the ripples, problems, are gone. (I can't remember if the Ripple Effect is considered a bad thing or not, but I look at it as a good thing.) Or you can think of it like Professor Bogad described with tapping on the glass, creating cracks, until it eventually breaks altogether. There will be many pebbles to throw and many mirrors to break, but I want to believe that these issues will end. It also relates back to the first quote I chose, that we need to have moral will to succeed, not just privileges.

Topic to Discuss: When i'm writing, I just can't stop! I have so many things to say so I might just be babbling, sorry. Am I the only one? Also, for the ones who read Kozol's piece, why did you chose that one over this one?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Silenced Dialogue- Edited!

A Silenced Dialogue, by Lisa Delpit, was a very interesting article to read, although I enjoyed it, I feel like the comments stated were ones that I figured out on my own, yet were sad to actually read. However, there were a few statements that stood out to me and caught my attention. In the first paragraph, the author is speaking to a Black teacher in an urban elementary school and discussing certain instances she has had. 
"White people think that know what's best for everybody, for everybody's children"(21). 
          -This stood out because the teacher has been through it first hand in the school system and the way other faculties and parents are approaching her. She has seen that the way she teaches, others believe that it is not right and she could be doing more, when she is doing the best she can. It makes me upset that people have come to this reasoning, and others are letting it happen. This leads to the author describing that there are five rules of people or culture with power. I believe that the Black teacher feels she has no power over the White people telling her what to do. 
The next quote I found interesting was "many liberal educators hold that the primary goal for education is for children to become autonomous, to develop fully who they are in the classroom setting without having aribitary, outside standards forced upon them"(28). 
          - In this comment, I took it that higher authoritative people believe children learn who they are and their best inside a learning classroom. However, I completely disagree, I feel that children learn who they are outside of the classroom, as well. I think that children discover more things about themselves than just school work or how they are labeled in a classroom. This also relates back to the issue of people having more power than others and thinking that their opinions are more important. This comment really made me think about how I feel if someone said that to me. 
          -EDITED: This quote and the explaination that I wrote about reminds me of Shor. Shor speaks of socialization for the students and that it is a great thing for them to do. He says that we shouldn't be just focusing on the basic subjects, which is true. Student's learn so much more than just outside of the classroom and that is where they realize the joy in learning. Shor says that the attitude of the teacher and the students plays a big role, which I agree on that. It is just the power of the school and teachers who believe that learning is strictly in the classroom. However, Shor would have to say the opposite, and I agree with him!
The last quote that I found really interesting was "I am also suggesting that appropriate education for poor children and children of color can only be devised in consultation with adults who share their culture. Black parents, teachers of color. And members of poor communities must be allowed to participate fully in the discussion of what kind of instruction is in their children's best interest"(45).
           - I think that this comment is extremely important because it is true. Parents and adults know their children better than anyone else and they should have in say in how they are taught. They know what is right for them and they should be allowed to act upon that. However, not everyone believes that should be the case, and thats wrong. Delpit said "both student and teacher are expert of what they know best," and that is certainly true and both can learn from each other. 
          -EDITED: This reminds me of when we spoke of Brown vs. Board of Education. One father pushed for his daughter to be at the right school and get the same education as the white schools. He knew what was best for his daughter and he made sure that is what he was going to get. Even though they were not so much poor, they were still classified as that because they were African Americans and during that time it was seen as unequal. No matter who the parent is, the parent should always play a role in their child's education. 

Here is an interesting article that I found, from 2012. It is an interview with Lisa Delpit and her theories and points made in this article we read. 

Comment: What exactly is Distar? Which schools did this program take place in?  I was a little confused.

Friday, January 30, 2015


Hey everyone, I'm Kaileen! I'm 18 years old and a freshman here at RIC. I'm studying to be a Special Education teacher, specifically in a high school! I'm from Craaaanston, which is about 20 minutes from RIC. I used to be a swimmer in high school, which was my life. So my biggest goal in life is to be teacher of the the country.... and to be a swim coach!

I usually don't have much "free" time. I volunteer for Special Olympics on a swim team, and once a week that brings so many laughs and smiles. I love it. I am also a passworker, where I work with children or teenagers with special needs. Doing this made me realize how much I really want to be a teacher. I plan to change the world someday. Oh, I also work at an ice cream shop :)
I have an amazing sister, who is everything to me. I have a great boyfriend, John, who made me the person I am. Haley Howard, is my best friend, who changed my life forever. She has Down Syndrome and influenced me to go into Special Ed. (She's telling me to write this right now, but it is true) Sorry I'm not that interesting! But I hope to get to know everyone and share all our goals together. I can't wait! :)