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!