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. 


  1. I really liked the quotes you chose! Also I liked the picture you chose - its so true!

  2. Once again, your blogs never cease to amaze me. :) You are always spot on and always go in depth. I would never want anybody to question my job. I also liked reading about Anyon and her experience at different schools. I have a feeling I will be relating the texts that we have read for the rest of my life! Great job!

  3. kaileen you always do a great job at analyzing the articles. I like how you leave questions for us to answer at the end, I feel that by doing this you make us feel like part of your post also. great job my darling

  4. like always, you did a great job analyzing this text. You made so many interesting points and observations that I never even thought of at first until I read your blog. great job!

  5. I also connected the first part with Delpit and I agree with you that there shouldn't be any certain rules, but the schools own rules are part of what make teaching a really hard job. I also hope though that no one will question how I do my job either i'm sure all of these articles will help us to be great teachers :)