Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Problem We All Live With quotes

"Everybody’s in favor of helping poor black kids do better in school, but the consensus is that those efforts are best confined to the kids’ own poor black neighborhoods. Separate but equal. The Supreme Court understood in 1954 that it would never work. But our perpetual bad faith on matters of race keeps us trying" (Bob Herbert).
I chose this quote to open up with because I feel like it really speaks to the two broadcasts and the article. It calls attention to the first broadcast in the sense that both are about the idea of integration. In the first broadcast they talked about the forced desegregation and integration of students from uncredited schools with those of students from credited schools. The broadcast is about the resistance of integration and desegregation.
In 2015, we still have schools that are segregated. Not by law but by accident; through economic diversities, traditions, and housing discriminations.
When schools, like Normandy in Missouri, are uncredited, their students are given the opportunity to go to a predominately white school where they have the most qualified teachers and some of the best schools around. However, when stereotypes fill the minds of the parents whose kids will now be integrated with these students from poverty areas, these opportunities seem to slip away before they could even reach out and grab them.
"If you're surrounded by a bunch of kids who are all behind, you stay behind. But if you're in a classroom that has some kids behind and some kids advance, the kids who are behind tend to catch up. These kids in these classes in schools with concentrated poverty don't have that.So it's not even like they're getting the same quality teachers as kids who are advanced. They're getting worse teachers. When you combine those two things, it is almost impossible to undo that harm. You have to break that up"(Nikole Hannah).
Yet, once this integration happens, all the stereotypes that had previous filled people's minds and preconceptions of these ghetto students are gone. No incidents happen and these children thrive in their new schools.
The second broadcast talks about the acceptance or rather, the rushing toward the opportunity to integrate. They talk aout a young girl, Kiana, who embraces the idea of integration. She saw some white kids at her predominately black and nation school, and went over and sat with them and made friends. She is a one women integration program.
She was curious about white people. Even though she lived in New York where they said there was about 4 million white people, she never had a white person as a friend and now she did. She decided to go t college upstate so that she could experience full heartedly. She loved every second of being in college with predominantly white people and she is doing really well.
So I've thought about this moment many times since then because it's weird, right? Kiana is a New Yorker. She grew up in New York City, where there are something like four million white people. And she had never had one as a friend. And she was so curious about white kids.
I am not still not clear on what exactly "White Wasted" is but maybe that's because  I am a white girl form the middle class who has only experienced an "inner-city" school- based off the free or reduced lunch rates- through my service learning. I grew up in a 90% or more white community. There were maybe 10 kids in my whole school who had free or reduced lunch.
It was very hard to hear some of the parents speaking about why they didn't want the Normandy students to go to school with their students. But Mah'ria said it perfectly, it was just the parents talking but the kids actually are going to school.
I really liked these quotes and I didn't really go along with analyzing the quotes but they helped to support what I was saying.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Khane and Wertheimer: extended comments

  For this piece, I used Mary Abby's post as the center of mine. 
I like how she used her personal experience to expand on the main ideas of the reading. The purpose of the reading is to provide students with a way to experience more then just teaching. They get to, as Mary Abby says, see how students who are less fortunate than themselves learn in a schooling environment that is in a poor neighborhood. 
  Mary Abby brought up the section about how some students were nervous about going into a school in poor neighborhood because of the "'rude, tough, noisy and very unfriendly' as well as 'mean, gang-related blacks'" stereotypes they have in their heads. 
These students changed their views after actually being with the students and working with them one-on-one. 
  I teach CCD to a fourth grade class. My service learning class is also a fourth grade from Providence, RI. My classrooms are extremely different! In my CCD class, they are predominantly white students who come from either Seekonk (Massachusetts) schools or Rehoboth (Massachusetts) schools both of which are better off communities. In my service learning class, the students are predominately hispanic and most need free or reduced lunch. It's very humbling working in my service learning class. The kids are so different then the kids I teach in CCD. Ive taught CCD for 3 years. It is strictly volunteer and I started off doing it for community service hours in high school. That was 3 years ago. 
  I love teaching. As a testament as to why I continued teaching, my first year, I had one student who didn't like to read. He was very shy and when he did read, he struggled with almost every word. I did't force him to read but I encouraged him and helped him with the words he was struggling with. He started to read more and more. By the end of the year, he didn't want to stop reading. He actually said to me that he didn't want to stop reading because he wasn't shy anymore. I almost started crying because it made me so happy.
Teaching CCD has done more for me then I think it did for the kids. 
  In my service learning class, the students have showed so much will to learn and want to learn. They all want to read and volunteer answers, and none are afraid to ask questions. I can not wait to see what these kids teach me the rest of the year! 
  Now, back to the reading and Mary Abby's post. I myself, have watched World's strictest parents and after seeing her make the connection, I made the connection myself. Like Mary Abby said, it is a different situation but the lesson is the same. Kids from different "cultures" are experiencing first hand the "cultures" of those less fortunate then themselves.
  It is more then just a way to humble kids. It is a way to get kids thinking. To get them to see and although, seeing is not always believing, in this case it is. The more these service learning experience's are provided to kids, the more knowledge they gain about groups of people who are different than them. Thus helping to educate people so that their may one day be less stereotypes about poor neighborhoods and their bad reps.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us Argument

Author, Linda Christensen, argues, “When we read children’s books, we aren’t just reading cute little stories, we are discovering the tools with which a young society is manipulated” (Christensen 176). By this, Christensen is arguing that these are not just innocent children’s fairytales but rather they are the tools in which kids learn the stereotypes of society. The stereotypes are that people of color are portrayed as servants or not represented; “the absence of female characters in many of the older cartoons. When women do appear, they look like Jessica Rabbit or Playboy centerfold” (130); and people of different races are portrayed as stupid. She says how young girls who aren’t white begin to feel like they are ugly or left out because they don’t have a black women playing the leading role.
The next thing that Christensen argues is that young girls have an unrealistic view of how they should look. They see these tiny princesses with their small waists and big hips with long gorgeous flowing hair and they being to feel that this is what beauty looks like. She says that girls feel like if they don’t look like this then they are ugly. Christensen says that young girls develop body issues early on based on these cartoons and genres that they are exposed to as kids. She says that as kids grow into teens and young adults, they become more concerned with what they are wearing compared to what their peers are wearing. “And soon, it feels awkward going to the mailbox without makeup”(137). (As a young adult, I personally disagree with this statement because I don’t wear makeup a lot and sometimes I don’t even wear it to work, but that is just me.)

Christensen’s main point is that children are brainwashed to believe certain stereotypes are true from a very early age. They grow up believing in these “dreams” because they are comfortable and they honestly, they don’t have the tools to make a difference- rather they don’t know how (137). Just look at SCWAAMP for example and apply it to these movies, and you'll see the stereotypes. Her argument reminds me of another book I read called Enchanted Hunters by MariaTatar during a previous class about the power of children’s books and how they can transport kids to another world beyond their own. These books are meant to enlighten and expand a child’s mind yet they seem to be hindering them according to Christensen.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

August Safe Spaces Reflection

   Just to share a little bit about my background in relation to LGBTQ Communities: Growing up I was raised strictly Catholic. Church every Sunday, CCD every Saturday, fasting during Lent, Grace before meals, etc. This brought an understanding that women married and loved men and men married and loved women. There was no same-sex couples and that it was a sin and something to be ashamed of if you were gay. Due to this strict upbringing I was uncomfortable around anyone who was gay. This lasted a very long time, that was until one of my cousin's cousin started bringing her girlfriend around. Sarah and Michelle changed my whole view on people who were gay. My family was still a little skeptical until my cousin Olivia came out. She was worried that my family would reject her but they-we did the opposite. We accepted her for who she is and told her that if liking girls was what made her happy, then thats all that matters. There are still varying views in the Christian community about gay marriage, but in the Pope's recent visit to the United States, he met with a former student who happened to be in a gay relationship. During that visit he introduced his signifiant other to the Pope. The Pope was not condemning or judgmental but rather accepting and he even embraced his former student. 
   I am still very religious but in an ever changing world, there are some things that I do not believe as strictly as I once did. If loving and marrying the same-sex is what makes you happy, then go for it and don't let anyone stop you. My Priest talks every Sunday about accepting everyone who is different- including those who are gay- and to pray for those in hard times. Sarah and Michelle have two beautiful little girls and my cousin Olivia is in a very happy, healthy relationship with a girl named Nicole. 
   To get back to August's reading, she talks about "curriculum and communication- distinct but interrelated aspects of classroom life. Neglect one, and the other is bound to suffer; improve one, and the other will likely benefit" (August 85). I went to a high school where there were cliques and if you didn't belong to the popular group, you were an outcast. This included anyone who was part of the LGBTQ Club. Everyone in the "popular" clique hated the LGBTQ Club because they "rubbed" their differences- or rather indifference to those who were gay- in everyone's fave. There were times when they would get away with things that others wouldn't and because of it, people felt like they were using their LGBTQ Club "status" as an advantage. Ridiculous, considering that anyone who is gay or associates themselves with someone who is gay is more often then not, disadvantaged and has little privilege in our society today. Yes, these kids were just high school students who didn't like anyone who wasn't a part of their clique, but that is the sad reality of life. Adolescents face the most scrutiny and pressure to fit in. And if they don't fit in, they are bullied. But it is not just peers who bully but teachers and faculty stereotype. Everything in a classroom and the lessons taught, are geared to heterosexuality  and no one is challenging it because as August and Delpit put it, "its the path of least resistance"(84). 
    I don't know how much things have changed in my high school or in the high schools around the country, but I do know that there at least baby steps in the right direction of not only tolerance but acceptance of those who are LGBTQ and supporters. We've only just begun this relay race of LGBTQ equality in our communities and in our world. With August's views put into action and reality, changing the classroom communication and curriculum, will make acceptance easier to accomplish.