Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Response to presentations:
I have to admit, it was difficult to say the "words" before, but this class has taught me how important it is to say the words. I found Mike's presentation particularly interesting because he proved how difficult it is when we are silent. I have learned so much over the last six weeks and and I am excited to use this new found information as I enter into the classroom in the fall!

Monday, June 21, 2010

August; Hyperlinks

The reading Making Room For-one Another, discusses how August, who is writing a dissertaion, chose a kindergarten classroom that was led by a teacher that was committed to democratic pedagogy and wanted to research how the children in the classroom react and deal with having lesbian parents or come from other non-dominant family structures. August spent time in the classroom to observe these children and document the student and teachers conversations and to see to what extent the children participated in the conversations and how the children reacted toward the different make- up of each family. August's focus was on one particular child who not only had lesbian parents but was also adopted.

I work with the same age children as discussed in this paper. I found Zeke's approach interesting in how he discussed "sensitive" material with the children. I felt myself become nervous when a child would ask a question, "How can two dads be in love?" The way that Zeke approached the question and answered it, reminded me that children are not looking for an elaborate answer.

I also became concerned for Cody throughout the reading. I thought that the teacher was going to put Cody on the spot and make Cody talk about a topic that was clearly uncomfortable for him to discuss. I later found that not to be the case. I thought that the literature that Zeke used to discuss the different families was a clever way of talking to the children about how families can be different. I then began to research books and web-sites that could be useful for teachers who may be faced with these types of questions in their classroom. There are several books and web-sites that can be used to assist in the converstaions, like the one in Zeke's classroom. Here are just a few:

books: All Families Are Different

Who Is In A Family: by Robert Skutch

ABC: A family Alphabet Book: by Bobbie Combs

The Family Book: by Todd Parr

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rodriguez; Question

I have not had the opportunity to work with a student who speaks a dual language. I questioned if the child only speaks in their native language at school, does this inhibit the student from learning to speak English?

It seems as if there needs to be a balance between using both languages in school. Rodrigues states in his article, " Without question, it would have pleased me to hear my teachers address me in Spanish when I entered the classroom. I would have felt much less afraid. I would have trusted them and responded with ease.

How many children feel that way when learning a new language? I am amazed that a family would be asked to give up their native language to adopt a new, not so familiar language. I think it is great that the parents want to help their child but to give up a piece of who they are is really sad. What happened to meeting/talking with a family before the start of school to learn about concerns, priorities, traditions, background and respecting who the family as a whole?

I agree with the statement that is made in the article, "Today I hear bilingual educators say that children lose a degree of "individuality" by becoming assimilated into public society. I feel when we only allow the child to speak one language and abandon their native language, we are taking away a piece of who the person is.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

GLSEN: Response to Kelly's blog

Response to Kelly's Blog

Kelly Wrote:
"At the elementary level, 3rd grade, I wonder if this is something I would ever feel comfortable teaching and if so how parents would feel about it? It crosses into sexual education which is a touchy subject and often the cause of much controversy in the field of education. "

Hi Kelly,
I had the same exact thought! I am a K-3rd grade resource teacher and as I explored the website I questioned how this would be handled in my school. Even if I felt comfortable enough discussing this topic, which I think is a sensitive topic, how would the parents feel about this? I think it would be more accepted by parents and easier at the high school level. I try to teach the children that I work with to respect and appreciate the differences among one another, no matter what that difference might be.

I think that for a guy or girl to come out and talk about their sexuality is difficult yet brave. I feel bad for those who build the courage to come out to only be hit with bullying and harrassment. I am glad that there is support out there for these children and I think it is great what GLSEN is striving to do. Harassment and bullying is a huge issue in the schools today and having an organization like GLSEN, may help to protect more children.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Finn's Article

Connection to other readings

I was able to see a connection between Kozol's and Finn's article.

The first thing that came to mind is, The rich keep getting rich and the poor keep getting poor. The education described in Kozol's article, closely match the one in Finn's, in the sense that the lower class students are not worth the time, money or resources to receive a quality education that will allow for success in the future. In both articles the lower class children receive a poor education. As the child's socioeconomic status increases so does the quality of their schooling. It shows that money will buy you a better education, which will allow for a better, higher paying job. The same goes for the lower class. They will continue to have to take sewing classes instead of the classes that prepare them for college and they will continue the family cycle of working in a factory, receiving minimum wage.

In Finn's article, He discusses Anyon's study of the different types of schools, ranging from working class to the elite schools. I tried to determine which type of schooling I received. I think that the middle class school closely matches the experience I had in school. There wasn't a lot of creative thinking and everything was taken from the text book. What I found interesting was that Finn said that most of the middle class teachers grew up in the same city where they teach. Almost all of my teachers in high school lived in the same city and probably received the same type of education as I did. Does this mean that this is what a teacher may know about educating a child ? The same goes for the teachers in the district I am teaching in now. I would say 90% of the teacher's grew up, attended and now teach in the same school.

PBS Response

I enjoyed listening to the videos clips of how others view social class. There were two video clips I found interesting. The first was a white woman who discussed how your importance increases as your job status increases. She reports that when you have a high status job, others are more likely to listen to what you have to say and your opinion matters. She discussed how when you are working in a lower paying job that you are invisible and your opinion doesn't matter. I think this is very true! I've experienced this myself.

A black gentleman discussed how there is a very narrow definition for what it means to be black in America. He discussed how if you are black and are trying to make a better life for yourself and have ambitions, you are trying to escape this definition. You are seen as a sell out if move from a poor neighborhood to a wealthier neighborhood, teach your children to use proper diction, or be ambitious. All of these things make you a sell out. This gentleman reports that black people feel that you are abandoning your background and history. I found this interesting.

Besides listening to the video clips, I had a great time exploring the website. My son and I had fun playing some of the PBS kids games. He learned all about the germinator! I like the A-Z section. There was so much to learn about!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Question: hyperlink
Why do we punish children for being poor? Why are opportunities for going to preschool, having art, music, a safe place to play, a place to use the bathroom or having a nurse available in the school if a child is ill, all absent for these children? Why are we not preparing our children for a a strong, successful future?

There have been studies (
Perry Preschool Project/High Scope) that show that a child who is born into poverty and is at risk of failing school, when given the opportunity to attend preschool, these children have a greater chance of holding a job and have higher earnings, they are less likely to commit a crime, and have a greater chance of graduating high school than someone who has not attended preschool. If this is true, why do we deny these children this opportunity?

I feel that we are setting these children up for failure. The article talks about how high students are not taking classes to prepare for college, rather sewing and hairdressing. They are learning jobs skills that will not help these children to move ahead in life but to continue the cycle of working the same low paying jobs as their parents and eventually their own children will follow the same cycle. History will keep repeating itself.

I feel that these children are receiving one message and that is they are not worth the time, money or resources. If the government can't help these children, then how can they help themself?