Sunday, February 23, 2014

Safe Spaces Quotes

Safe Spaces, by Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, and Megan S. Kennedy talks about what the LGBT community goes through during their time at school and how teachers can make their school careers better. I really liked reading this selection because I feel like it touched on a different issue than the rest of the articles we have read so far. In the selection there are several quotes that reminded me of things I heard in the news, saw in a movie, or read in a book.

One such quote was, "Tammy Aaberg spoke to this challenge in the aftermath of her 15-year-old son's suicide. Justin, a promising musician, was bullied because of his sexual orientation" (p.84).
     This quote reminded me of a story I heard while watching a movie in my AP Psychology class. The movie was the Bully Project and one of the stories about the children was a girl who was bullied about her sexual orientation and how she felt like it would be easier to just not live anymore. When I watched the movie it hit me so hard because I hate when people are being bullied and I felt so bad that she was pushed to the point that she was feeling like the only way out was to end her life.

Another quote was, "She got her test back with a red mark next to her response to this question: 'Do you have a sweetheart?' Her answer,'Si, yo tengo una novia' was crossed out. In its place was 'novio' the masculine form of the Spanish word for sweetheart" (p 88).
        This quote annoyed me because it brought a reality to my mind. A lot of teachers, when a student is learning a second language, assume that the student has made a mistake instead of maybe thinking that the student was just answering the question honestly. This story is seen a lot in movies when a student learning another language is trying to say one thing and the teacher corrects the student before trying to understand what the student wanted to say.

Lastly, this quote reminds me of what happened at my old school, "Even teachers who describe themselves as social justice advocated fail to challenge homophobic language and images in many early childhood settings" (p.86).
     Recently I heard that my old school district was sending its teachers through an educational day in which the teachers had to learn how to make the school a safer place for the LGBT community. At first I couldn't understand why the teachers would need such training, but after reading this selection I am so glad that my district did this for their students. I hope that since the training many LGBT students now feel more comfortable at school and are not bullied any more because of their sexual orientation. I am very happy with my district for doing that and I can't wait to hear what will come of the new training the teachers received at the meeting.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"Aria" Argument

Richard Rodriguez argues that many bilingual teachers think that if students don’t learn in their native language that they are missing out on something. However, the author gives us the perspective of a child that speaks one language at home and another at school. Rodriguez says that as a child he felt like he needed to be taught that he was allowed to speak the “public language” instead of being taught in his home language. The author shows us what happened to his family because of their need to learn English in order to please his teachers, but I feel that his argument is the complete opposite. He mainly argues against bilingual education in his opening statement when he says that people think children like him miss out by not learning in their language. Right after that sentence he says that he thinks of his first language as a private one.

Many people that I know that speak two languages prefer to keep their first language the one that they speak only at home. This one child that I babysit hates to speak his native language outside in front of his friends and other people, but when at home that is all they speak. I feel like most people now are just focused on being politically correct, which can be good, but is not always the best answer. Like Dr. Bogad said in class, we need to be less worried with what the public considers the correct way to say something but with talking about the uncomfortable things that people don’t want to talk about. I think that most people want those who do not speak English as a first language to feel as though that they do not have to learn English. However, most non-English speaking people I know want to speak English in public and keep their native language specific to their home life. 

Here is a link to a clip of an episode of Gilmore Girls in which there is an example of students of two worlds. While in the clip it isn't about being bilingual it does relate in the way that many students want a public life and a private life and would not like the two to mix:

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Silenced Dialogue

So this article was definitely a difficult read. At first I was totally confused by what she was trying to say and point out.  I couldn’t figure out why she was telling us other people’s stories about how they are done talking to white people. It almost seemed like the author was using those people’s stories as why to get us upset with “those white people” so we would be more sympathetic with the point she was trying to make.

Many times throughout her article she says that the “rich liberal teachers are advocating for certain progressive programs that only help middle class children” while keeping the “children of color” behind. When she continued to say this I began to feel like this article was, in a way, more of an opinion piece than a research piece. As I continued to read I began to see the research that she put into the article.

There is one part of this article that reminds me of another article that we have read so far. On page 22 the author says,

            “You just have to stop talking to them, that’s what I do. I just keep smiling, but I won’t talk to them”.

This line reminds me of Johnson’s article about how when something uncomfortable or difficult comes up people will just shut down. The strange thing about this line compared to what he was talking about is that this was said by a person that has been defined by society as someone with no power or privilege.

I liked this article as a whole piece because, even though I may have disagreed with how the information was being presented, I thought that the author was articulate in the way she said certain things. In my years going through school I have always wondered about how teachers feel about another teacher’s methods and this article gave an interesting view on that topic even if it was more about the race differences.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Positive Privilege and Negative Privilege

Peggy McIntosh wrote and article called, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" about the unknown and unacknowledged privileges of white people. While reading this article I was thinking a lot about how we are taught in schools and who the materials are mainly directed to. I have always thought that many times during my years in school that some of the things we learn in our history classes are just one-sided and that they are directed mainly towards the white students. During lessons in history about slavery and topics similar are taught in a rushing manner that other topics like the American Revolution are not taught. I am not sure if this is because the teachers I have had in the past are uncomfortable talking about those acts committed during the time in history or if the books are written in that way on purpose.

In the article there is a part where the author writes a list of all the privileges that she and other whites have everyday that many other non-white people do not have. In the list she writes, "I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group". This line reminded me of the other day in class when we were discussing how we know Christianity is valued in our school system and Dr. Bogad spoke about being the only Jewish student in her third grade class. Sometimes it is almost as if there is one individual who is unlike the rest of the class they are asked to speak for the whole group that they belong to. This observation reminded me of the movie Freedom Writers and the scene in which there was a black student in an AP English class and the teacher asked what she thought the black community thought of the book they were reading. I could never understand why a teacher would call out on someone in that way especially when they really expect an answer from the student as if that student would be able to speak for everyone in their group. I wonder what other people's views on the question of whether it is acceptable for a teacher to ask a question like that or if it is a little bit rude?

Who I Am

Hey! My name is Cathy Pawlina. I am eighteen years old. I work at Dave's Marketplace is Quonset, RI and I also recently started working at Cumberland Farms in East Greenwich. I like my job at Dave's, but I would really like to work in a daycare soon so I have more experience with children. My mom ran a daycare in my house for most of my life so I always grew up around kids and that is what made me want to become a teacher. I took this class because it is a requirement and my friend Brandy signed us up for this particular section. I am really excited to see what this semester will bring but I am also nervous about volunteering at a school in Providence since I have never really spent much time in Providence and don't know much about the city.