Our Honeymoon 9-17-10

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Empowering Educaton- Ira Shor quotes

Critical Teaching for Social Change

What kind of educational system do we have? What kind do we need? How do we get to one from the other? 
What do teachers say about subject matter? Do students feel free to disagree with the teacher? Do students respond to each other's remarks? Do they act like involved participants or like alienated observers? Do students work cooperatively, or is the class a competitive exchange favoring the most assertive people?

Shor explains how education is an Empowering Education. It is a democratic way of teaching that is a student-centered progrom for multicultural democracy in school and society. Education should be promoting individual growth as an active, cooperative, and social process.

Shor quotes Meier, "You must arouse children's curiosity and make them think about school. For example, it's very important to begin the school year with a discussion of why we go to school. Why does the government force us to go to school? This would set a questioning tone and show the children that you trust them and that they are intelligent enough at their own level to investigate and come up with answers."
       This is an example that Shor uses to defend his reasoning behind democratic pedagogy and how it is important for students to feel connected to their learning. Children need to participate and express themselves in an "opened" classroom focusing on the needs of the students. He argues student-centered learning comapred to teacher-centered learning. Teacher-centered leanring focuses on rote learning and memorization, which is often viewed as bad practice, although some would argue that rote memorization is a necessary first step in learning some subjects. He thinks that this teaching style lacks understanding and it's impossible to grasp meaning and apply the knowledge to other areas. Student-centered learning is focused on the student's needs, abilities, interests, and learning styles with the teacher as a facilitator. This classroom teaching method acknowledges student voice as central to the learning experience for every learner. They teach each other, respect each other, and learn from each other. Their learning requires students to be active, responsible participants in their own learning.
Shor quotes Banks (1991): "A curriculum designed to empower students must be transformative in nature and help students to develop the knowledge, skills, and values needed to become social critics who can make reflective decisions and implement their decisions in effective personal, social, politcal, and economic action."
        Shor uses this quote in his article because it explains how collaboratively we could bring young people together in implementing children's self-interest, experience, and culture in the curriculum. It would address significant issues and enlighten students' knowledge. It would involve students in activities in understanding themselves, one another, and the world around them. He explains how people are born learners who should be able to ask why. A curriculum should not avoid students' questioning and students' critcial thinking of the world. In a curriculum that encourages, student questioning helps students to examine their learning, their everyday experience, and the conditions in society. Empowered students make meaning and imply their knowledge. A democratic curriculum involves issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and so on, and encouraging students to tackle such questions. It results in far more authentic learning than providing students with a few multicultural resources to fill curriculum gaps. Students are real people with real concerns. As students work together to solve problems, create projects, make decisions, and organize their thoughts, they learn to respect one another, contribute ideas, and build a community in the classroom.  

The National Institute of Education (1984) cited student involvement as the most important reform needed in undergraduate education: "There is now a good deal of research evidence to suggest that more time and effort students invest in the learning process and the more intensely they engage in their own education, the greater will be their growth and achlevement their satisfaction with their educational experiences, and their persistence in college, and the more likely they are to continue their learning."
         Shor cites this quote because he thinks that if teachers hold high expectations for their students in a democratic pedagogy way of teaching then students will further their education expereinces. They are more than likely to continue their way of learning and succeed. What would students get out of education if they don't understand and if they don't make since of it by questioning, by hearing others, by teaching others? Education for empowerment is not something done by teachers to students for their own good, but is something students develop for themselves led by a critical and democratic teacher.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Making Room for One Another-"AUGUST" (Hyperlinks)

News: Children with gay parents
The Pros and Cons

Professor Gerri August
 Rhode Island College

"No room, no room!" they cried out when they saw Alice coming. "There's plenty of room, " said Alice indignantly. (Snippet from Mad Tea Party Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)

Gerri August traveled to an urban, public charter school, called Horton. She observed and participated in Zeke Lerner's democratic Kindergarten classroom for one academic year. There she explored the different family configurations. She focused on a boy Cody, a child with lesbian moms. Cody is a Cambodian boy who was adopted by two white moms. Gerri August choose to visit this classroom because she wanted to see what happened when a child with lesbian moms shared family stories in a classroom led by a teacher committed to democratic practice. This study is an analysis of Cody's experience in a democratic pedagogy classroom as well as how Zeke, the teacher, created a democratic
educational environment in which broad issues of difference were recognized and honored.

Gerri August had questions she wanted answered as she stepped foot in Zeke's classroom. She spent 3 mornings a week analyzing, participating in morning meeting, special activity, field trips, reading stories, settling conflicts between students, and interviewing Cody's moms, Zeke and his assistant, and the school administrator. Here are the questions Gerri August compiled to her readers.

1. What happens when a child with lesbian parents and children from other non-dominant family structures share their family stories in a classroom that is led by a teacher committed to democratic pedagogy?

2. What social actions do the teacher, the child from the non-dominant family structure, and her classmates undertake in the negotiation of unfamiliar ideas regarding family?

3. What cultural tools mediate these social actions?

4. How might a democratic, transformative educator respond to sociocultural differences that emerge in the classroom discourse?

5. How might the educator create constraints and possibilities that encourage students to recognize and appreciate differences?

6. How might a child who represents a marginalized community (a child with lesbian moms) respond to such interventions?

Although Cody didn't explain how he felt about having lesbian moms or share stories, as his teacher taught a unit on Family, the data Gerri August collected explained enough. Instead of Cody being upset about having lesbian parents, which many readers probably thought that, he was more upset that he was adopted. Cody had many opportunities to share family stories, but he avoided every situation possible. Gerri August interpreted this as Cody was not ready to "come out." 

Zeke's democratic way of teaching wasn't to upset Cody in any way possible. But his teachings seem to be a child-centered environment that provides choices for stories, conversations, and ways of teachable moments. Everyone is teaching and learning from each other in engaging ways. Although Cody's response to the Family Unit were silent, his actions were evident that the problem wasn't because his moms were lesbians. It was deeper than that. Student-driven lessons are risky, especially when its about each other's differences, such as family. I think Zeke was trying to make the students be more aware of each other and how its okay to be different. Maybe the teacher was trying to get Cody feel better about his family situation. But the lesson wasn't geared towards being adopted. I don't think Cody was ready to discuss that subject, but I don't think anyone was. I think Gerri August was trying to make it clear to her readers to take risks, teach family differences, but be aware of the challenges you may encounter.

Cody could be reacting to the anxiety and depression he may be feeling due to being adopted. This is something that could effect him the rest of his life. Its not his parents fault, even if they are lesbians. Its more than that and Cody may need more help than his teacher can give him.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rodriguez and Collier-Connections

Richard Rodriguez is an American writer who became famous as the author of Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982), a narrative about his intellectual development. Richard Rodriguez was born into a Mexican immigrant family in California. Rodriguez spoke Spanish until he went to a Catholic school at age six. Growing up he delivered newspapers and worked as a gardener.  In an interview, I found information about Rodriguez, I read that "His American identity was only achieved after a painful separation from his past, his family, and his culture." He also said that, "Americans like to talk about the importance of family values, but America isn't a country of family values; Mexico is a country of family values. This is a country of people who leave home." Some Mexican Americans called him pocho/traitor, accusing him of betraying himself and his people. Others called him a "coconut", brown on the outside, white on the inside. Rodriguez calls himself "a comic victim of two cultures." (Scott London)
Rodriquez offers detailed information on how learning English as a second language was a struggle and how  it negatively and positively affected his life. In the reading, "Aria", Richard Rodriguez discusses his life as he grows up in a Mexican family going to a school where he is a Spanish-speaking student attending and English-speaking school.  He felt uncomfortable using the "public language" so he remained silent as he just waited for the bell to ring. Eventually, he received services from the school like daily tutoring sessions for a whole year. As time passed on, nuns had a visit with his parents at his home.  At the end of the meeting, Rodriguez, was informed that he was to practice speaking the English-language at home. He couldn't speak Spanish at home, even though that was his primary language. From the reading, Rodriguez said, "But the feeling of closeness at home was diminished. We remained a loving family, but one greatly changed. No longer so close, no longer bound tight by the pleasing and troubling knowledge of our public separateness." He goes on saying how his parents began to grow more "publicly confident".

In this article, Rodriguez is trying to raise awareness to teachers and Americans on how difficult it can be for for non-speaking English students to learn the English language, take it on like it was their own, and the battles of private individuality he/she may face in the long run. Rodriguez understands teachers are just trying to their jobs, its the norm, its their responsibility to make sure that we survive in the world. This statement is similar to Delpit's 5 Aspects of Power. There is teacher power over the students, so the teachers have to teach "by the book." Why change their curriculum to better a Spanish-speaking student when everyone else is speaking English. Also there are codes and rules for people in power. Everyone must talk the same, interact the same, write the same. So that's why it was such a demand for Rodriguez to speak English at home. There are rules of culture of those who are in culture. The rules dominate Rodriguez's culture.  He just wanted teachers to respect his culture, even if it was just saying hello to him in Spanish. That’s where the awareness of cultures comes into play. Which Delpit says those in power are frequently least aware of its existence.   

Dr. Virginia P. Collier is Professor Emerita of Bilingual/Multicultural/ESL Education at George Mason University in Virginia. She is proficient in Spanish and English, having lived in Central America during her childhood, she has served the field of language minority education for over three decades as parent, teacher, researcher, teacher educator, and doctoral mentor. She is best known for her work with senior researcher, Dr. Wayne Thomas, on school effectiveness for linguistically and culturally diverse students. She and Dr. Thomas have also conducted educational leadership training for superintendents, principals, and education policy makers in 29 U.S. states and 15 countries. 
Collier presents an overview on how to teach multilingual children in your classroom. She goes on explaining the challenges that teachers face today and the questions that they are asked by concerned parents. She explains how teachers should be flexible and creative, be an advocate for intercultural conflicts, keep students on task, just be there. In here dialogue you can tell that she id a dedicated teacher. She feels strongly towards students, much like I do. She uses sincere words to describe the benefits teaching has on teachers. “But there is a complicated school world”, Collier says. Proposals and governmental superplans. She explains the key to true appreciation of the different linguistic and cultural values that students bring into the classroom.
  1. Be aware that children use first language acquisition strategies for learning or acquiring a second language.
  2. Do not think of yourself as a remedial teacher expected to correct so-called “deficiencies” of your students.
  3. Don't teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language.
  4. Teach the standard form of English and students' home language together with an appreciation of dialect difference.
  5. Do not forbid young students from code-switching in the classroom.
  6. Provide a literacy development curriculum that is specifically designed for English-language learners.
  7. Provide a balanced and integrated approach to the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
After reading Rodriguez's article, its was sad to hear what a bad experience he had growing up as a Spanish-speaking student. But it's nice to hear that teachers are really trying to make a difference. They want to help support their learners. Collier makes excellent points to teachers on how to nurture their student's native language , ways to be an advocate, a way to support students' home language, and ways to be creative in teacher's teachings. These two articles went hand in hand.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gendered Harassment in Secondary Schools-questions


        This article provides readers the views and responses to how gendered harassment is influenced in schools in Canada. Meyer interviews six teachers in one urban school. This study showed that educators experienced a combination of external and internal influences that act as barriers or motivators for intervention. Meyer states that by gaining a better understanding of gendered harassment we can work towards more effective solutions to reducing these behaviors in schools. Below I stated questions that I thought would be suitable for a class discussion. Some questions you can find in the text and some questions can be an educators point of view.

1) What is gendered harassment and how does gendered harassment effect students in the public education?
2) Educators in Canada experienced a combination of external and internal influences that act as either barriers or motivators for intervention. What are these influences and as a teacher explain how these influences may effect you as a teacher? Give an example.
3) Meyer reports that there are studies that have shown that sexual and homophobic harassment are accepted parts of school culture and teachers and staff do not intervene.  In your opinion and possible incidences that you have seen as a teacher, why do you think teachers don't intervene in cases of sexual, homophobic and transphobic harassment?
4) What is sexual harassment and what are the three forms of harassment?
5) Describe Meyer's four tier theoretical model.
6) The informal structures of the school, which is also called the social norms and values, were the most powerful influences over teachers' behaviors. Discuss the three most prevalent themes: perceptions of administration, interpersonal relationships, and community values. 

     There is a constant struggle for educators who are trying to reduce the many types of harassment. At the end of the interviews, Meyer felt that these teachers did not feel that they could put a stop to gendered harassment in their schools. It was due to the external barriers that challenged their ability to intervene. There was a lack of support from administration and other teachers. Meyer says that the ways teachers understand gendered harassment will impact how and when they choose to intervene incidences they witness at school. She said it's important to explore the teachers' perspectives in order to understand the barriers and motivators that shape how and when they choose to intervene. Then we can design more effective intervention programs to support educators in their efforts to create safer schools.  

I searched the web to see what was available in RI for educators to view for information on gendered harassment.  

Bullying Town Meeting in RI: turntoten.com bullying meeting in RI to discuss the battles schools face in December 2010. A Rhode Island College Professor, many school teachers, parents, and students discuss their experiences about bullying in all aspects. It is very educational and sad. Something to watch!


RIPIN: Rhode Island Parent Information Network This is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1991. RIPIN’s vision is that individuals, parents, and families will advocate for themselves, ensuring that their needs for health, educational, and socio-economic supports are met. Our objective is to influence society’s view and value of families, diversity, and disabilities, reducing stigma, advocating for full inclusion and shifting societal perceptions toward acceptance of individual differences. RIPIN will work directly with organizations, institutions, and communities to address gaps and deficiencies so that, individuals, parents and families are better served and viewed as equal partners. We envision systems that produce better outcomes for the individual, family, child and community. There was a walk to stop bullying in Rhode Island at the Roger Williams Park in May 2011. On this website you will find workshops that are available for teachers and families.


Stop Bullying Now! RI: Features Local Children's Book Author


Stop Bullying Now in RI: Founded June 2010. Stop Bullying Now! Rhode Island is a non-profit organization focused on preventing bullying in our society through education and awareness. They provide a wide range of services and events:

Professional Development Workshops
PTA Workshops
Student Assemblies
Student Workshops
Consulting - in order to help you form a anti-bullying program


PROVIDENCEFor Jamie Dellorco, the bullying began in seventh grade. Her classmates called her “Del Dorko” and said she was the ugliest girl in class. After two boys tried to push her down the stairs, her mother sent her to a private school.

First, the numbers: the federal government estimates that 180,000 students skip school every day because they are afraid. 
That said, many districts in Rhode Island are taking innovative steps to make bullying unacceptable. Tiverton has created a peer helping network to explore the nature and extent of the problem. A series of lesson plans around bullying has been developed for student advisories this fall, and, in December, Tiverton High School will hold a schoolwide assembly on bullying. Cranston has created a nationally recognized bullying prevention program in the elementary schools. Coventry is attacking bullying on several fronts, from creating “safe rooms” to installing “tip boxes” to allow students to report bullying without fear of retaliation. Everyone agrees on one thing: schools have to change their culture if they want bullying to stop. That calls for leadership from both adults and students. It calls for parental involvement. It calls for a clear system of reporting allegations along with a coherent intervention plan. The challenges, however, are daunting. Teachers and the police reported that bullying begins in middle school, where it may be worse than in high school. There is a pervasive culture of “no snitching” that makes it difficult for schools to identify the victims and the aggressors. And sometimes the adults turn a blind eye because they think the behavior is “kids being kids,” or because they are overwhelmed by their academic responsibilities.
Schools even struggle with deciding what constitutes bullying, much less what the penalties should be.

Michael Jackson was bullied by World Media because of his skin color

      My husband and I had a Michael Jackson impersonator at our wedding last year! I am a huge fan of Michael. I think the world media was a big factor resulting in Michael's death by criticizing his skin color and his sexual orientation. In his upcoming tour, "This Was It", he had to perform up to the world's standards that he was still the "King of Pop".   He became weak and tired and looked for drugs to help ease his pain. He is still the "King of Pop" and I think now people open their eyes to how he felt as a person. Just like all these other tragedies of bullying in the US. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Karp, "Who's Bashing Teachers and Public Schools" - Extended Comments

  Public Policy vs. Private Interest

More with less is the new "norm" with education reformers, while unions and teachers feel the effects of billions of cuts targeting education.

Karp is an author who is explaining the two political views through thirty years of being in the public education system. Karp explains that more and more teachers are battling uphill obstacles than ever before. The bashing is coming from different places for different reasons. He says, "What can we do about it?" Who's accountable and how can we fix it. Educators and unions are losing power while mayors, governors, and education reformers with political agendas are increasing in power.  The two examples Karp uses are the "Bush" and the "Chris Christie Approach." So how do we, as teachers, hold accountability?
        In Brigette's blog, "Who's Bashing Teachers and Public Schools," she brings up the valid points and claims from Karp's article. Brigette points out how Central Falls ties into the inequalities that teachers face in a poverty-driven community with over 65% of English Language barriers. Teachers were evaluated and then fired over one form, the student's standardized test scores. Were they all not doing their jobs, no they were faced with uphill battles with the countries shameful 23% poverty rate with the number one High School that falls within this poverty rate. Extending on Brigette's blog about the "biggest shift" in the public education, with the example of Central Falls, is that these people who were responsible for firing Central Fall's teachers were part of a pro- privatization and anti-union foundation by administrators. Reformers are trying to change schools into these private institutions.  Their solution is to fire the bad teachers and bring in the "super teachers" who will follow scripted curricula handed from above. This isn't an excuse for bad teaching or massive student drop out rates. We do need some kind of accountability and solution. This school environment in RI, Central Falls, is a pure example of ways to promote partnership between parents, teachers, and policy makers.
         There needs to be accountability as a "whole" in regards to student education. Teachers can't be held responsible on a school district's gap. Everyone must work together to educate children to raise this down fall in education. Everything counts, the budget must be balanced and it all starts with the core; teachers, families, and money. There can't be a political agenda, tax money must be used accordingly and equally to support the students and classroom environments, parent involvement is a key component in their child's success rate all through their education years, and lastly teachers must not give up so easily on their students and continue to adjust and challenge their teachings to fit their student's needs.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Literacy with an Attitude-hyperlinks

Worldwide, there are more than 770 million illiterate adults, two-thirds of whom are women. In addition, there are over 100 million children not currently enrolled in primary school and millions of others not currently enrolled in secondary school. Education is a lifelong gift that empowers people to ultimately improve socioeconomic conditions for their families, communities, countries, and future generations. Through the opportunities that only an education can provide, we can break the cycle of illiteracy, one child at a time.

Patrick J. Finn is the author of Literacy with an Attitude. In this article, Finn tries to explain to his readers how important it is to educate the working and lower class students in "powerful literacy and empowering education" just like the upper and middle class students are. Finn's writing is very clear and to the point. He made it easy to read for all readers. He has examples and he even explains his own background and how he became a teacher and then a professor. His writing is capturing and believable.

Now I question if he's right after reading the first two chapters. Do teachers teach working and lower class students differently? Do we all particpate in this social system because its just natural to us? It's important for issues in educaton be discussed and examined so teachers can question their own teaching. Are they teaching based on ability or due to class? Finn explains how the United States has developed two types of literacy and he also goes on to explain how teachers must follow the mechanisms to give working class a decent education. He brings up the point how he is direct to his middle/lower class students, like Delpit explains in her article from last week.

Finn explained that there's two types of literacy being taught in the United States. First, there is empowering edcuation, which leads to powerful literacy. This turns to leadership in positons and authority for the rich/upper class. The second, domesticating education, which leads people to a productive and dependable life for the middle class. But the working class does not get powerful literacy, which causes a struggle for these students. He makes the points that teachers, parents, and older students need to understand the mechanisms to give the working class a powerful literacy education. He said they must understand the relationship between society, culture, language, and schooling. They must understand the relationships between progressive methods, liberating education, and powerful literacy on the one hand and traditional methods, domesticating education, and functional literacy on the other. Finally, when working class children get empowering education you get literacy with an attitude.

The last thing I wanted to mention was Finn's experience as a Professor because he learned an important lesson, which is why I think he wrote this article the way he did. He is not blaming teachers for not educating the lower/working class students with an empowering education with liteacry. I think he is just trying to open ours eyes to say, that it exists, and if you didn't know that it did, then examine your classroom and re-evaluate your ways of teaching. The paragraph below describes his experience.

As a Professor, Finn teaches how to teach Language Arts in the elementary schools to teachers. He said he has had hard-bitten school teachers who were practical and down to earth. They judged everything he said, especially by saying, "How would this work in my classroom?" This is what he asked when he was in college to his professors. He pointed out that poor children are not being well educated as they could be, but his teachers/students took an attack. These teachers took his opinion personally. They taught him a lesson. He will no longer point his finger at people and he will not question their intelligence, their commitment, or their motives. At the end Finn realizes it's hard-bitten teachers who will implement these plans for all students.

Of Inequality of Education-YouTube video
* These are great YouTube videos. I just had a hard time getting the video on my blog. Please watch.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Silenced Dialogue: Power & Pedagogy in Educating other People's Children (argument talking points)

                                                                                    Lisa Delpit

         I wasn't sure at first whether I wanted to quote Delpits words, make connections, hyperlink what I found, or the argument of her writing. In my writing, I used several different approaches, but I focused on the authors argument. The authors argument is so powerful that she had me tossed between how I felt about this matter. This author, Lisa Delpit, argues that white people just don't understand people of color. She said,  "When you're talking to white people they still want it to be their way. They listen, but they just don't hear. It becomes futile because they think they know everything about everybody. They don't really want to hear what you have to say. They wear blinders and earplugs."
         I did have to take a step back while reading Delpit's article and take her writing lightly. I had to really think about what she was trying to prove and bring to the table. It seems like she is a very dedicated person who just wants white people to understand people of color and what would be best in teaching children of color, but at times I felt like she was pointing the finger at the "white race/people".  It could have been the wording she used. I understand her point of view and some of the points she brought up through her article. Thinking about her points, the stories she has encountered, and her five aspects of power, I try to understand that there are white people who are rascist and there are white people who just may not be aware of the language they are using or not using. In one way or another everyone is rascist, even people of color. As a teacher and a white middle class women , I am becoming aware of these issues. I became more aware of social issues at Rhode Island College while taking my education classes. I know I am trying to make these issues less controversial in my classroom, and I am one less teacher who is trying. I am more opened to discussing the different cultures of students in my classroom and the usage of terminology that other teachers may not feel comfortable using. Racisim will always be an issue. It has been better, but I can't see it ever going away.  So it must start in our classrooms. That's where people can make a difference.
             I like Delpits five aspects of power. She calls them, "the culture of power."  For the first one, "Issues of power in the classrooms" is honestly true. It is the power of the textbook, the curriculum, and the teacher. Teachers have the power over students. For her second, "There are codes or rules for particpating in power, "culture of power." It's about how we talk, how we write things, how we dress, and how we interact with our students. What we say to our students is so crucial and meaningful. They are like sponges and what we say and how we say it can be a leading factor to causing racisim or not. How we write things is so important as well, so that's when we need to remember the different cultures in the classroom and use it, but use it in the right way. Delpit's third point, "The rules of culture of power are a reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power," was something that I knew, but I guess I didn't admit it. Delpit says that children who are not in the middle or higher class do not have the same success rate of children who are. Thinking back to Johnson's article, it's a combination of poverty and race. I agree with both points, also environmental factors as well. You do see a better success in education and in work places with white middle to upper class people. In her fourth statement, "Particpate in culture of power, why can't people just say what they mean." I think people are so careful because they don't want any hard feelings and they don't want there to be more problems. I do think about how I say things to my students, especially if it is a senstive subject about culture or rascism, but any teacher should be careful to how they word things. That's Delpits second point.  Lastly, "Those with power are frequently least aware of and least willing to acknowledge of it's existence." I thought about this point and it's sadly true. I never thought of myself as having "power", but I wasn't aware of the amount of power white people actually had. I think about her point about the earplugs and blinders. I guess in my argument, it just wasn't brought up from people of color. It would be a great experience to have a conversation with people who think that racism is a big problem because of white people. I would just like to hear what they have to say, but in person. It's just difficult to say that I understand when I haven't had this type of conversation. It's almost like, if you don't hear or see it, then it can't actaully exist. Maybe this could be a class experience with Rhode Island College students? I'm sure I am not the only teacher who says that they know it's a problem, but they actually haven't heard it from another teacher, co-worker, friend, or college student.  
         Overall, this was a great article to read. I like to hear about these issues, so I as a teacher can try to help to create a better education for all students. I am looking forward to the next article.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hyperlinks-Privilege, Power, and Difference

"For all our potential, you'd think we could manage to get along with one another."

          Reading Chapter 2, We're in Trouble, caught my eye. It is unbelievable to me that we are so capable of so many accomplishments that we just can't get along with each other. We can't get along with others in our own race, religion, class, gender, etc. The author was saying how people can be so creative, generous, and loving. Also, that people can take in the strange and unfamiliar and learn to understand and embrace it, but we just can't "get along."  That is something that Rodney King also stated after he was beaten from police officers in Los Angeles. The author said it is as easy as treating each other with respect.  I often look at the whole picture of the world and everyone around me. “If it could only be that simple”, is what I say! It is heart breaking to see the crime in the US, the hatred people have against each other, and the bullying right next door to your classroom. This matter isn’t getting any better, so the only thing I can do is to just teach this to my own students.   
       As an Early Childhood teacher, I try to teach these types of lessons to my student’s everyday, whether it’s through play, songs, story books, or actual disputes between students. I believe the smallest lesson counts. Bullying is a big factor in Rhode Island and if we can start with young children, then maybe we can teach them that its okay to "get along". As a teacher, I always have books on hand that teach about bullying or learning to get along with each other even though they are different from you. (Which I'm sure most of you do!) It's important that students understand each other. A great way to do this is by having a Celebration through Cultural Diversity in your classroom by encouraging families to volunteer their time to speak to the class, prepare certain types of foods, learn a language, and understand what traditions they follow. In doing this you would hope that the children in your class can just simply "get along".

 I attached a link below showing some great books to use to discuss bullying matters with young children.

Bullying-Children's Books:
Multicultural Children's Literature:

Australian-Teen Hero
*This was a big topic not to long ago. So I wanted to link this site just so we can remember how bullying affects everyone in the world.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Hi Everyone!

     My name is Stacey, and I am attending Rhode Island College to get my masters in Early Childhood Special Education. I graduated in 2006, and I decided to go back to school! Since I graduated, I have been a pre-Kindergarten teacher at Harmony Childcare for my sisiter's buisness. I started substituting 3 years ago in Warwick at Drum Rock Early Childhood Center in the preschool special education program for 5 months. This year I was interviewed for a long term position in Kindergarten in West Warwick, and I started the job in March. Working with young children helped me choose my career path. That is why I am back at RIC! 
     If I am not teaching I am tutoring at night or working at a group home in Foster. Also, I am the softball captain for a North Smithfield Women's League once a week. Also, my husband sings in a band, so I like to attend his shows on the weekend. My day off!