Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Education is more than facts and skills it is a socializing experience that helps make the people who make society."


For my last blog entry on Shor I chose to do quotes. Shor made a lot of good points in his reading. That I think will help me in during my teaching career. Shor’s reading talked about how education is politics. Education is sometimes blinded by politics which is why a lot of students drop out of school and go in a different direction than education. Shor taught me something that I wished all my teachers did for me, especially in high school when I started getting stressed out. Shor said, “for an example it’s very important to start the school year with discussion of why we go to school.” If all my teachers did this and gave us all a good idea of why school is important, I am sure most of the students who dropped out wouldn’t have droped out. We are never taught why school is important, we are just taught how important it is to memories math equations and study our brains our of a history test. I had very few teachers who connected why it was important and how the topic we are learning will help us in our future. For an example, If I was taught more of why Columbus sailing to America was so important and will help in my future, I think my history classes would be more interesting. This also goes along with Shor’s comment about following a curriculum to engage students. “A curriculum that does not challenge the standard syllabus and conditions in society informs students the knowledge and the world are fixed and are fine the way they are, with no role for students to play in transforming them, and no need for change.” When a student doesn’t feel challenged or learning something that will help their future they will not be engaged in school.
“Politics reside not only in subject matter but in the discourse of the classroom in the way teachers and students speak to each other.” In the classroom there should be interaction not just the teacher preaching to the students. The students should have a say. The students should be interacting with the teacher and their peers. If the classroom is a place where just the teacher talks and doesn’t let the students share their ideas and thoughts, it is not an engaging environment, it’s a boring environment.
“Education is more than facts and skills it is a socializing experience that helps make the people who make society.” When I read this quote I totally agreed with Shor. School is not just a place where facts are supposed to be memorized. It’s a place where we grow and learn how to be in society. It’s a place where friendships are made, where friendships are broken, where we figure out ourselves, where drama takes place, and most importantly where we decide if we want to continue with school or go a different direction. When I graduated last year I looked back at my 12 years in school. I learned a lot about myself. I learned what I wanted to do with my life. I learned who my real friends are. I learned how to have trust for someone or something. I learned everything that made me the person I am today. I believe that education is a socializing experience that helps us make society the way it is for our future.

Check out this website on how socializing being taught in school has it's pros and cons.



Yesterday April 16, 2014 I spent my free period at an event about LGBTQQ. You might wonder what does LGBTQQ stand for? I would have never known until I entered my FNED class and read August article “Safe Spaces.” L stands for lesbians, G for gay, B for bisexual, T for transgender, Q for queer and Q for questioning. You know that old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover?” Yes that’s exactly what I came to learn in this class and participating in this event. The event was presented by a group, “Youth Pride Inc.” Youth Pride is located on Westminister street in Providence. Youth pride is a place where people who are catagories as LGBTQQ or even just want to join and support these people they are welcomed here. It is a place that provides support for youth impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expressions. This place allows youth to be comfortable with their peers.
I learned a lot about LGBTQQ and the statics that go along with it. Did you know that LGBT youth are more at risk than heterosexual peers as of a 2011 survey that was done in RI schools. Did you know that 34.4% of LGBTQQ students have tried to kill themselves? This is crazy. When I seen the statics I  was shocked. Why should it be okay that youth should ever feel at risk and not comfortable in their environment? Students like these should have a comfort zone at all times. But, in reality it’s hard for that to happen because many people are bullying LGBTQQ youth and adults without even realizing it. I know that I am and I didn’t even realize it until I really thought about the way I talk and the body language I show sometimes. I learned that LGBTQQ students have rights in RI. Did you know that schools must have equal access to all activities for LGBTQQ students and allow them all the same rights as heterosexual students? Also it is mandatory for all schools to have a plan for these students, such as a group like GSA for these youth to feel welcomed!
At Rhode Island College we have a group called “HOPE” which stands for, “Helping Others Promote Equality.” Groups like this will help students feel more comfortable and open to their gender orientation or expressions.
To create a supportive environment for LGBTQQ youth I believe that we should be taught more about it. There should be more promotement towards these individuals, so they feel more comfortable. There should be more places like “Youth Pride.”

Here is the link to the Youth Pride Website.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome"

When I think of down syndrome, the first thing that comes to my mind is a child with disabilities. A child who is sometimes left out and not able to do the same activities and have the same lifestyle as a normal child. But, as I read Christopher Kliewer’s article about “Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome,” I thought more about when I was in school with special education students.
Before I get into the reading, I have a short experience to share with you about a down syndrome boy from my town.
            -His name is David, but he is known as “Chucky.” You will find Chucky roaming the streets of North Providence, especially Mineral Spring Ave, where most of the excitement is. Chucky is a fire fighter! He is part of the North Providence Fire Department. He is probably one of the most loyal fire fighters because he is always ready to help people and is always to the rescue. He rides his bike down Mineral Spring and makes a siren sound while he rushes to the next incident that he hears over the speaker that is connected to the fire department that carries around with him. The point I am trying to get to is Chucky has down syndrome. But, Chucky does that feel left out. and he is! He might not be able to put a fire out like the rest of the squad, but he is apart of the squad and his dream of being a firefighter came true!
Back to the education part, Chucky was able to become a fire fighter just like the rest of the squad. In school it students with down syndrome should never feel left out. Mia Peterson is a student with down syndrome. Kliewer described Mia’s schools experience as an awful nightmare. She went through a hard time because she just wanted to be placed in regular classes. “I wanted to take other classes, that interested me. I had never felt so mad. I wanted to cry.” Why is it that Mia can’t be placed in a regular classroom and learn like everyone else? It’s not fair to her. Students like Mia should be able to experience school just like every other student.
Kliewer mentioned the word “community” a lot in his article. Community requires to see people differently in their minds and body, but not differently in their ability to contribute to society.
I like the way Kliewer wrote this article. I think it was a little long, but it made me realize how students in special education should be able to sit in a regular classroom and not have the feeling of being left out.

-While reading Christopher Kliewer’s article I heard a lot of Johnsons “We must say the words” echoing. Students like Mia should be able to receive respect from her school and they should allow her to be placed in regular classrooms if she thinks she can handle it. The teachers in schools and administration should have more respect for their students and not allow them to feel left out.

Here is an article about students being placed in a regular classroom. Check it out!! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Addition to last blog!!


In my last blog I wrote about Oakes instead of on Finn. Finns passage on what he does in his classroom was a lot harder to read that Oakes. It was one of those readings where I stopped and gave up because I got bored with it. As I was reading it I connected it a lot with Delpit. Delpit is all about rules and codes and following them the correct way. For an example telling his students what he wants, not asking a question which will cause an argument. Finn seems to have good control of his class, although some students may agree that he isn't a "fun" or "easy going" teacher, he is a teacher who does his job the right way. He has control over his students. He has control over the class and more learning gets done. This reminds me of high school. There was always that one teacher that would goof around with his students then all of a sudden the bell would ring and class would be over. In Finns class it's more about focusing and following the rules. These students will get more accomplished and become better learners. 
I can also compare this article with my service learning.  I am in a kindergarten classroom where the rules aren't followed as much as they should be. I seen it hands on how the teacher is very lenient on her students. Rules aren't followed as they should me. There are a list of rules on the wall of the classroom, but I can say almost every rule is broken in the hour and a half I am with the students.
In my classroom I would love it to be three-quarters like Finns and the rest a little lenient. I don't believe in a classroom and a teacher to be strict throughout the whole day. But when it's learning time the students need to know how to stop what they are doing and become more serious. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Tracking in Schools"


As I read the article “Tracking: Why Schools Need to Take Another Route,” I compared it to myself in elementary and middle school. I had an IEP and I am not embarrassed to say it. I just didn’t learn how everyone else did and I struggled a lot with reading and writing. “On the other side, growing numbers of school professionals and parents oppose tracking because they believe it locks most students into classes where they are stereotyped as “less able,” and where they have fewer opportunities to learn.” I disagree with this because I think students placed into classes that fits their needs is very helpful for them. Everyone is a different learner; in order for these students to succeed just like myself I needed to be placed in a class where I wouldn’t be struggling.
When I was in sixth grade I didn’t need to have an IEP anymore. In the years before I had extra help in order to become the student I am today. I then was tested too high to have an IEP. I agree with some of this article when they talked about “Uneven Opportunities.” “In low-ability classes, for example, teachers seem to be less encouraging and more punitive, placing more emphasis on discipline and behavior and less on academic learning.” I agree with this statement because it reminds me of classes in high school, rather than when I had an IEP in elementary and middle school. In my high school there were comp classes and college prep classes. I felt as though the teachers who taught comp classes didn’t encourage their students. They didn’t really have hope for their students and teachers who taught college prep classes. I think that no matter what the level of a student is it, they should all get the same attention from a teacher no matte what level they are on. In my classroom I will work to encourage my students into learning and getting good grades! This article made me think a lot about student’s evaluation and how they are placed. It also brings me to think about SATs scores and standardized test. They don’t really determine a student at all, especially myself.

This article reminds me of a “Delpit moment.” I think of this because I didn’t like how they used the words to describe a student as less ability then a higher ability. It makes me think of how the teachers in the comp classes in my high school described their students. They used the wrong words, instead of encouraging their students they sort of put them down not realizing it.

This link will lead you to learn more about tracking and whether it is good or not for students.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014