Sunday, February 24, 2013

Safe Spaces by Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August and Megan S. Kenedy; Quotes

Quote 1:
Heterosexism is one of those unexamined avenues of privilege.  Assumptions that everyone is (or should be) heterosexism shape most classroom interactions, whether academic or social.  Assumptions about gender binaries and appropriate gender roles also pervade our classrooms” (84). 

     This quote was a very powerful quote that stuck with me throughout this whole reading. Even though this is such a great quote sadly it is very true about society.  Think back to when we were little kids and our parent would read books to us or even when we would watch television, no one had a mom and a mom or a dad and a dad, it was also the mom/dad.  Even still to this day if you watch a children program on television or read children’s book they still have a mom and dad, no same sex parents.  Now think of those same situations but having a child, a LGBT youth for example, that has a mom and mom or a dad and a dad for parents.  They are going to get confused and think that there is something wrong with their family.  It is the “norm” to think that everyone is going to have a mom and a dad, but times have changed and not everyone is going to follow the society “norm”.  These situations are also brought into the classroom as well.  “They teach their students the status quo”(85).  This statement is true.  Being in school I don’t ever remember learning about these situations.  Times are changing and the future generation needs to learn about what is going on in the real world.   

Quote 2:
“The oft-stated objective is for children to learn that families come in different shapes and sizes, live in different dwelling, observe different traditions and celebrate different holidays.  Teach around our nations narrate stories about single-parent families, adoptive families, divorced families and foster families”(85).

In some way this quote reminded me of the Rodrigues reading from last week.  Rodrigues had to let his history go because at school it was not expectable to speak his native language because it was not the social “norm”.  But in fact children should be learning about other classmate’s cultures because not everyone comes from the same background.  I feel that teachers should be opening to having the children learn about how not all families have a mom and a dad, and that not all boy like girls.  It should be taught maybe not from young age but like middle school age they should start learning about these topics.

Quote 3:
“Nevertheless, students from privileged groups were not challenged to think critically about their perceptions, and students from marginalized groups were, well, marginalized.   In these instances, teachers missed opportunities to invite discussion, challenge stereotypes, and raise awareness of privilege and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity”(96)

When I was reading this article I noticed that I got mad as I read some points that were in the text.  I could not believe what some people say to such a national issue.  There was one teacher that stood out to me that set a great example for this discussion and raising awareness.   Patrick is a fifth grade teacher that taught his students how to use the words “gay” and “bisexual”.  Instead of ignoring the problem he took it into his own hand to not only explain it to the student that was saying these words but to the class themselves.  He was just doing what a teacher does and teaching his students that saying those types of words can not only hurt someone’s feeling but also offend people around him.  Teacher should take the times to explain topics like this to their classroom because they will need to understand these things in the real world.     

I would like to bring up in class that fact that a lot of states will not allow these topics to be put into their curriculum.  If they are trying to teach their student about real life experiences then this is the time to do it.  Also I would like to learn more about this topic even read the rest of this book because it sounds do interesting!!!!
This is just a video of people telling their coming out stories in a production that was at RIC. These stories are true.  The names that they read off the beginning are kids who committed suicide because of being bullied from being LGBT.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Aria by Richard Rodriguez Argument

While reading Aria by Richard Rodriguez, he argues that it is a struggle of a bilingual student.  He is not just describing any student he is describing himself.  He shares his story of what is was like to grow up as a bilingual student.  At home Rodriguez would primary spoke Spanish to his family.  After his school found out that his family would only speak Spanish in the household, his family would gather and "practice their english".  Now I can't imagine what it is like to learn and perfect a whole new language that you are not comfortable with.

For most bilingual children it is not easy, but they have to learn how to speak both languages.  As he states in the beginning of the paper "...I considered Spanish to be a private language.  What I needed to learn in school was that I had the right-and the obligation-to speak the public language of los gringos."  I find it interesting that he feels he needs to learn this language to get by in the country.  I understand that we are in the United States of America and everyone is suppose to speak English, but why make is a primary, should they be considered equal.  Bilingual students should not feel that they are forced to the "public language".

There was one quotes in this reading that really stood out for me.  It states that,"Today I hear bilingual educators say that children lose a degree of 'individuality' by becoming assimilated into public society."  While doing some research on this topic I found this really interesting article about the benefits of being bilingualism by the New York Times. It states that bilinguals are smarter and understand things more.  If these people stay bilingual they keep a scene of individuality.  I found this to be quiet interesting.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
I have a few questions that might I would like to bring up in the discussion.  Do all bilingual students feel that they have to learn the public language?  Do bilingual students wonder if the everyone else should learn their language?  There are so many different ways people can take this topic, either a good ways or a bad way.  I hope this brings up lots of class discussion.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

This is Crazy! Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol, Hyperlinks

As I was reading, Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol I had a lot of OMG moments! The reading shocked me in so many ways that I couldn't imagine.  Being from a white family that lived in a nice neighborhood my whole life, I could not imagine what these children and parents go through in everyday life!  Throughout the reading it talks about the poverty and how it impacts education, addictions and prostitution.  As I was watching a Youtube video that I found about the reading it explains what goes on in the reading and highlights the main points of the article and it explains what has happened since the article has been written.  

One main topic that is talked about throughout the article is AIDS.  Believe it or not AIDS is a serious problem in these low poverty areas.  In the article a nurse states that 27 people in one building has this disease and 20 more case in the building across the street.  That is a lot of cases in one area! Not only are adults suffering through this but children are suffering as well.  Most of these people do not have the money or the treatment they need to fight the disease.  Some people in these neighborhood do not want to know if they have it or not, others do want to know so they don't give it to someone else. An article that I found has stated that New York has the highest number of reported cases of AIDS and the most deaths among women with aids.  In the Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Bronx is where most of these cases are found just like the women in this reading by Kozol.              

Most of these people in these low areas are on food stamps and welfare checks to get by.  At the beginning of the article it states that, “”Only seven of 800 children do not quality for free school lunches.”  Five of those seven,” says the principal, “get reduced-price lunches because they are classified as only ‘poor’, not ‘destitute’.””  That is just crazy to me! These low poverty areas also have to go through long waits when they go to the hospitals.  In a article from the New York Times,it states that most of the families that are on these programs some more families would be homeless and broke.  The poverty level has gone up from 17.3% to 19.9%.  That I a big increase in only a matter of two years!

The last big issues that were mentioned in this Kozol text is prostitution and the use of needles (crack-cocaine).  In the text it stated that these prostitution and users will stand in line to get new clean condoms and needles that they need for their process.  I think that is just crazy! They should not be doing this stuff in the first place.  I understand they are trying to make ends meet but there are other ways to do that.     

I have learned so much throughout this article.  I learned that not everyone has ideal life style they want.  So many different problems come into these children lives it is crazy! One topic I would like to bring up in class is where is the politics in all of these?!? They should be doing something to stop all of these things going on and help these children so they don't have to grow up in these areas! What are people doing to help these issues?