Saturday, April 25, 2009

Diversity Event-Special Olympics

On Friday I had a chance to attend the Special Olympics at the Murray Center. I have to say after watching what was going on, I wish I had worked it because I'm becoming a Physical Education major with a specialization in adaptive phys ed. which means I can design programs for students with special needs. When I first walked in all the students were at least doing something and no one was standing around doing nothing which was good. They had everything from a dancing station to games where the students had to try and get bean bags through holes and it was just all around fun to watch.

Next year I plan on taking part in it because I want to give these students with special needs very opportunity I can and it doesn't matter the condition they have I just want to be able to see them smile and have a good time. Most importantly teach them that they are just as important as people who don't have a condition knowing that they could do anything just like normal people.

This also relates to other connections we've had in class such as Khane and Westhiemer's charity vs. change concept. I realized that this wasn't so much a charity but more of a change. According to them, they want the same thing I want which is to be able to realize what they can do and still have fun. Give them the same opportunites as others. I also think that this event was connected to Kleiwer and how what she thinks about teaching in a "least restrictive environment." To me, there is no such thing as restrictive enviornment for school because I don;t want these students thinking that they are being treated differently than others. Their citezenship is just as important as everyone else in school.

Overall, it was a fun time and a great experience for me, and I will definitely take part in this next year to give me some more experience before I do it as a profession in the near future.

Talking Points X-Johnson

In this article "What Can We Do?" by Allen Johnson, Johnson argues that we, the people of our society, need to start to recognize the problems in which we can then find a solution to all of the things that have caused problems such as diversity, race, violence, and privilege.

"The greatest barrier to change is that dominant groups don't see the trouble as their trouble, which means they don't feel obliged to do something about it. This happens for a variety of reasons: because they don't know the trouble exists in the first place, because they don't have to see it as their trouble, because they see it as a personal rather than a systemic problem, because they're reluctant to give up their privilege, because they feel angry and deprived and closed to the idea that they belong to privileged groups, because they're blinded by prejudice, because
they're afraid of what will happen if they acknowledge the reality of privilege."

This quote doesn't just have to do with privilege, but it means that we need to have leaders for those who don;t feel "obliged" to do something about a problem that isn't theirs? I mean what is that? Who cares if it isn't your problem. Part of becoming a teacher is to make a difference. If you want change, if you want to make a difference in other poeple's lives, then YOU need to take action and not let others do it for you.

I also enjoyed the Stubborn Ounces little poem by Johnson although I thought about it in a different way. I have a problem with the first saying down in parenthesis where it says "(To Who Doubts the Worth of Doing Anything if You Can't Do Everything." First, there is no such thing s doubting yourself whether your a teacher or a student because doubting brings on negativity. Also, the word can't is a "no" as well because there's always a way to find something to make something work whatever it is you are doing. It's called staying positive and I used to have negativity and I found out the hard way that negativity gets you nowhere. So whatever you choose to do in your life, always have a positive mind.

I thought Johnson's article was as good as his first one when his main case was "say the words" He really wants you to understand what that means. He wants us to be able to be comfortable with what we say, but make sure it's in a way where we don't judge people or have it become a diversity issue.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Talking Points IX-Kleiwer

In Kleiwer's article "Citizenship in School" Kleiwer talks about how special education kids with disabilities experience themselves through schooling in a democratic society. The article talks about how theses schools make the students with disablilities go into a special section we know as "special education." Special Education in this article is referred to as students with disabilities who can't function normally in a classroom and have disabilitites such as down syndrome or autism. The question I asked myself before writing this article is...Should becoming a student whose part of special education be treated any differently? Can they learn just as much as students who don't have a learning disability? These are the many questions that people should ask themselves and it's an ongoing issue with people trying to integrate these students into a society of special needs and education.

Throughout the article, the different stories by people who have learning disabilitites were incredible as far as learning about their life stories. It's amazing how these students who have down syndrome always find a way to learn each and everyday. They are strong people who don't let anything get in their way. With a positive attitude and countless support from teachers, it doesn nothing, but put a smile on their face. With the help of Vygostky's theroies and opinions, I think I better understood what the concept he was trying to have the reader understand and that's the importance of growing with a disablility and dealing with social reactions with other people. Knowing that it's ok that students with disabilities may learn differently from one another,but in the end do they learn something? Of course they do.

In my opinion, it doesn;t matter how you learn becuase we we all learn differently. For some of us, it's visually, for others, it's auditory. I know this because I have what I grew up as a learning disability. But I realized that it's not so much of a disability I found out that I just learn differently. I've been made fun of all my laugh for it and it's sad because for people to think that I couldn;t learn something or had negativity towards having a disability. I don;t think like that anymore and I don;t let what everyone thinks I have get in the way of my career and what I want to do for the rest of my life. Everyone has the potential to learn.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Talking Post VIII-Jean Anyon

Jean Anyon's article on the "Social Class and Hidden Curriculum of Work" was really interesting, but yet it kind of bothered me in a way about what she had seen from her 5 observations. She is the director of education at Rtugers University and studies the effect of economic, social, and ethnicity all in one and how they affect their potential to learn. She obtains statistics from each class the working class, the middle class, and the executive class on how they each have an affect on the economy and the type of school atmospheres thyre in reflecting on their social class.

The part that bothered me was when she was talking about the working class and how the teachers didn't really care about the students. She saw that they didn't take the initiative and was a leader in the classroom. for example, they didn't use very many textbooks and when they decided to use them they made their students copy them down and when they asked for help, they didn't really acknowledge them. The students then came with more questions becuase they were confused and I could understand why. A kid that comes from a working class is usually not very well educated coming from the family if they don;t have very much money.

If I was a teacher I would do anything I could to help the student learn to their fullest potential. I would never leave a kid behind because of his ethnicity or where he comes from socially class wise. I treat every student as I see them and wouldn't do anything differently. Every student can and will be successful as long as they give a full effort.

In the middle class Anyon observes that the middle class students can learn to do things more independently than the working class students can and the teachers don't have to help them out as much. They sometimes use the textbooks and have the students start to use their brains and figure things out for themselves.

As far as the executive class goes they are the so called rich class and rich students who's parents have a very good income and they try to find the best education possible. I guess the society as a whole would classify it as "the genius group" who will become doctors, lawyers, CEO's or presidents of some company. They think that their child is the best and noone else is above them. Teachers are the best ever in this class because they provide the best education and provide little to no help at all becuase the students can think for themsleves.

In my opinion it doesn;t matter where you come from or who you are, I won't change any of my ways of teaching for my students. That's kinda been my philosophy ever ince I wanted to become a teacher and it will continue to stay that way.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Talking Post VII-Anita Hill Is A Boy by Peggy Orenstein

In Peggy Orenstien's story named "Anita Hill is a Boy" she tell us of a story about a 6th grade teacher by the name of Ms. Logan and how she wanted to make a difference in woman's lives about how they should be portrayed as themselves and as to men. She uses different examples to her studnets and makes them participate in various activities to try and show them what it's really like to be a woman and how they are treated. Another aspect they discussed that was important were the rules of sexual harassment. Ms. Logan's overall opinion was just to try and educate to ALL of her students the importance and equality of both men and women.

Examples from the story that I really enjoyed reading was when Ms. Logan asked the boys about how girls are portrayed. "It's like how boys are learn to see girls. Once you turn on MTV Spring Break and there's these stupid girls with huge breasts and the tiniest bathing suits dancing around like pieces of meat, and all these boys going crazy in the audience makes me feel totaly degraded." I think that some men in this country are very over obsessive when it comes to women and I think that they need to be more respectful around them and they are not just some trophy. They need to be treated just like men and like human beings.

Another example I found was when the students were talking about being comfortable in front of gay people or are men ok with gay, lesbian, bi's, etc. I think that whoever you are you should be comfortable with yourself. You shouldn't judge other people for what their sexual orientation is becuase it doesn't have any affect on you at all. They don't bother you so you shouldn't bother them. It's as simple as that.

I really did enjoy this article and I thought that Orenstien had some pretty intersting points to make. I think her argument is that women should never be judged for what they do. They need to be equally treated as they are to men.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Talking Points VI- Brown vs. Board of Education

I found this article very confusing for me. I think this because it got so into detail and big words that none of it was making real sense. I remember learning this in high school history during our civil war unit. The basic understanding of Brown vs. Board of Education is to try and integrate the school systems and not have them be segregated blacks from whites.

One example that I really liked was the part where the 7th grade teacher gave the same speech after an exam saying that they all had talent at "whatever whether it was woodworking, auto mechanics, there would always be a place for you in this society." I really liked this because that's how teacher's should have thought in that time. It doesn't matter the color that you are, you always have talent that will get you somewhere at some point in your life.

I also liked the example in 1954 we believed that we could integrate blacks and whites together by sports in Bear Bryant football team. Speaking of football that also reminded me of Remember the Titans and how the whites were forced to play with the blacks, learn to get to know each others names and about themselves. The point was that they needed to become family and they did. I believe that whites and whites don't need to work together to succeed which says that people of the same race and color don;t always work hand in hand. Sometimes it takes the opposite to work together and thats ok.

In the end I believe that the Brown vs. Board of Ed. has changed the way we think about segregation from then till now, however, there will always be racism and parts of segregation in this country. I know many people try to seek the good and not think this, but we live in a society where alot of people are greedy and all about themselves. With saying that, that can take affect how these certain people treat others regardless if your black, white, etc. We will always still have "one more river to cross" and fighting for segregation to be fully solved.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Talking Points V-"In the Service of What?"

In the article by Kahne and Westheimer I thought it was very hard to understand the argument they were trying to make, even after reading it twice over. I got out of the article that the more experiences you go through by doing service learning projects or community service the better off of a teacher you'll be to teach your future students. Having your students make them do community service in order to graduate is the best way to get kids out into the real world and have them face reality I think. As the students grow older they will be able to take initiative on their own and help out for a cause, charity, or whatever the community servuce might be.

For example, one of the teacher's Mr. Johnson, had his students do community service at a local senior center to help out with the elderly and one girl had so much fun that she had volunteered on her own to go and help out on Thanksgiving with her mother. Most studnets in high school don't do much anyways exept athletes who are always busy with sports. It helps with students who don't have much going on and are looking for things to do within their community.

I would definietly strive for my students to do community service and fully support the school that I'm in to go forth with it. I myself needed to do 25 hours of community service in order to graduate from my high school and at the same time add that too 25 more hours in order to make my confirmation. It definitely taught me to be more considerate for others and I think that in helping the community it makes you become a better person and people see you differently.