Sunday, November 27, 2016

   Image result for rules and codes of power in classroom

November 27, 2016
Education is Politics
   by Ira Shor
Extended Comments/Reflections/Connections

This article was placed exactly where it should be as the last one.  I found that I could relate it to many of the past authors we have read. It has been difficult for me this semester to do the extended comments blog as I think many others work on them a lot later than I do. This week I have decided to use Cassie's blog for extended comments and then relate Shor's article to connections of other authors. Cassie used quotes and reflection for her blog. The first quote was "The teacher plays a key role in the critical classroom.  Student participation and positive emotions are influenced by the teacher's commitment to both.  One limit to this commitment comes from the teacher's development in traditional schools where passive, competitive, and authoritarian methods dominated." (Shor 26) I feel like Cassie is right, most people have had that teacher who is not interested in what they are teaching.  Although I have been out of high school a lot longer than most, I can still recall those dreaded teachers.  I had several that were not engaged with the students and time seemed to very slowly drag by.  In my situation, those classes were ones that I did not do as well in as others. The next quote Cassie talked about was, "If the students' task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted." (Shor 12) I also agree with Cassie, students should be taught beyond the guidelines to increase students abilities to think critically and open their eyes. Because I have been out of high school for close to 30 years, there are only a few teachers that I will never forget. I had a great teacher in high school that was so passionate in his subject that he would act out the point he was trying to convey.  I remember him jumping on desks and running around the room just to project his point and make us understand the material.  Well, it worked because I still remember it today.  The teachers that were not engaging I cannot tell you anything that happened the entire year. In fact, there are several classes I took that I cannot remember who the teacher even was. The third quote Cassie used was, "Until students experience lively participation, manual authority, and meaningful work, they will display depressed skills and knowledge, as well as negative emotions. Teachers will be measuring and reacting to an artificially low picture of student abilities." (Shor 21) Cassie's point on this is the same for me.  I have found in my other classes that if a teacher does not attempt to bring their students into a conversation and encourage participation then I'm the one that sits in the back of the classroom very quiet. In our FNED class, Dr Bogad makes it easy to participate and interesting. Some of the authors that I feel Shor's piece connects with is where he says, "School funding is another political dimension of education because more money had always been invested in the education of upper-class children and elite collegians than has been spent on students from lower-income homes and in community colleges." (Shor 15) Kozel had proposed traditional schooling contributes to the culture of power. Empowering education means thriving in a classroom of mutual respect where questioning everything is encouraged. Shor states that a key to empowering education is critically thinking. Also, discourages teachers assuming the stereotypical role of all-knowing adult there to educate the children and encourage teachers and students working together to make learning happen. Image result for tracking in students This connects to Jeannie Oakes' article on tracking. She analyzes how separating children by ability dictates how rich of an education children receive. Children in lower ability classes spend more time learning basic facts that don't encourage critical thinking while those in higher ability classes spend more time on diving into the topics. Finn was critical of the difference of education given to upper-class and working-class students, while Shor believes that education in working-class schools should allow students to understand and demand their political civil rights just like an upper class school. Shor says, "Asking my students to memorize the rules without asking who makes the rules, who enforces the rules, who benefits from the rules, who loses from the rules....legitimates a social system that devalues my students' knowledge and language." (Shor 53) This reminds me of Delpit's "Rules and Codes of Power" where Delpit suggests teachers should create opportunities for more than one language in their classrooms. Shor says, "If the students' task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted." (Shor 12) This reminded me of our class where Dr. Bogad handed out a "ditto" and gave us 20 minutes to fill it out.  While she said she was waiting for someone to object or refuse, I would never have done something like that.  I was always taught to do whatever the teacher tells you to do. There are many other author connections that relate to Shor but this is where I will leave it for now.

The following video is from the movie Clueless, a perfect example of students from upper class

This video is a great lesson on privilege and opportunity for upper and lower class students:

This video has the song "The Rules of the Classroom", 6 rules for kids to follow...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Image result for down syndrome in school

November 20, 2016
Citizenship in school: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
  by: Christopher Kliewer

This article by Kliewer discusses how the special education systems work in most schools across the country today.  He talks about the way to be successful in life is to form relationships with others in the community and this article specifically talks about Down syndrome children in the classroom. He states, "Such acceptance is the aim when children with Down syndrome join their nondisabled peers in classrooms, and many schools and individual teachers have entered into this effort, which seeks and finds community value in all children." (74) One of the few teachers that use a very different approach is Shayne Robbin. Her work with children who are Down syndrome is a very different approach of how children with special needs can be integrated with non special needs students and what they may contribute and be valued as an important part of her class. She uses the strengths of each student to develop lessons that appeal to them. She believes you should not single out the student with the disability but instead incorporate his or her needs with the needs of every student. Kliewer focuses on ways schools should avoid isolating children with Down syndrome in a different classroom. Students with disabilities should not be educated differently. Children with special needs have to be nurtured and given additional attention but also when they learn in a mainstream environment, students receive the same education and learn from each other. This reminds me of something Kozol said, "Clumping so many people, all with the same symptoms and same problems, in one crowded place with nothin' they can grow on? Our children start to mourn themselves before their time." (Kozol, 11) And also in last weeks articles, Jeannie Oakes talked about tracking in schools. She stated, "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." (Oakes, 178) Both Kozol and Oakes believe that putting less abled students together will make them believe they are less abled and not able to be what they want or who they are. Segregating children because of their disabilities does not inspire them to become successful.
         While reading this weeks article, it brought back many memories from my own family. My father's sister was Down syndrome born in 1942. She was 3 years older than my dad but her mental state remained that of an 8-10 year old. Her name was Marjorie and she attended elementary school and was put in a special ed classroom for all her years of schooling. When she reached a certain age, she was moved to the junior high and again placed into the special ed classroom. She remained there until she aged out. I think she was approximately 18 and never made it to high school. She was able to read and write in cursive. She could do simple math but did not go beyond a 3rd grade level or so. She did not have any of the opportunities described in this article. When she left school, she stayed home for the next year or so. Her father died shortly after, and because he was their only remaining parent, my dad and Marjorie went to live with their older sister.  At this time, Marjorie went to "work" at the Fogarty Center several days a week. This was a place that welcomed people with developmental disabilities and made them productive members of the community. They would make things or put things together that would be sold. They would be paid for each item they completed.  I remember growing up how important it was to Marjorie to show us her paycheck. Usually she would make $3 -$15 a week depending on what they were working on. But the amount didn't matter to her as the concept of money meant nothing, she was just so proud of her paycheck. She did this for many years until her retirement. She died approx 20 years ago. I think of how much she was loved and well taken care of but her education was not something to be proud of. She was not given the opportunity to be her best.
 Image result for down syndrome in school            Image result for down syndrome in school       Image result for down syndrome in school

the little girl in this video talks about being down syndrome and its not scary at all

Don't Limit Me!! is a powerful story of Megan

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Image result for literacy


November 13, 2016
Literacy With An Attitude  
    by Patrick J. Finn

  This article by Patrick J. Finn describes that there are two different kinds of literacy education. One is the functional - which is received by working class students, and the empowering - which is received by the wealthy students.  This shows that there is a big difference between different classes of people and how to bridge that gap together.  This article also discusses who is to blame for this gap?  As Kozol also said who are to blame?  Are the rich responsible for intentionally placing them and keeping them in this unempowered place or is it not a person or group doing so intentionally, but rather the systems we are all involved in? A perfect example of a Delpit moment was on pg 4 when Finn said, "I had work assignments on the board when the students entered the classroom, and so there wasn't a moment when they didn't have anything to do. I didn't say to an errant student, "What are you doing?" I said, "Stop that and get to work." No discussion. No openings for an argument." (Finn 4) Delpit says you need to say what it is you want to get done. Finn also says, "people who have the power to make changes are comfortable with he way things are." That's a connection to Delpit's culture of power where she says, "Those with power are frequently least aware of - or least willing to acknowledge - its existence.  Those with less power are often most aware of its existence." (Delpit) Both Finn and Delpit believe that control in the classroom needs to happen or there will be no order. By Finn telling the class exactly what is expected of them, shows them the "rules and codes of power." Finn also mentions in the middle school, "Teachers made every effort to control students' movement. They often kept children after the dismissal bell to finish their work or to punish them for misbehavior." (Finn 11) Teachers don't feel like students are capable of making their own choices so they directed them even if in a negative way. These are the rules and codes of power they would need in their life.  The number of direct orders given in the classroom is low, but the students were constantly being told what to do because the teachers believed they had enough skills to accomplish their tasks. The problem that Finn is trying to point out is that there should be a universal curriculum throughout all school systems no matter what school it is. Schools should be responsible for providing every student with the skills they will need to succeed. Their education should not be limited because it is believed they will only get so far.

short imovie on Literacy with an Attitude:

What is Literacy?

Image result for teacher rules

Promising Practices Reflection
November 11, 2016


I attended the 19th Annual Promising Practices Multicultural Conference on Sat. Nov 5th in the Donovan Dining Center. I was looking forward to this conference as I have been to several in the past and somewhat knew what to expect. The keynote speaker was Robert Brooks, Clinical Psychologist, Author and Lecturer. The topic of his speech was The Power of Mindsets: Strategies to Nurture Resilience. Dr. Brooks was an excellent speaker. He was funny and told many personal stories from his field. The time passed by quickly as he kept his audience's attention. He presented a power point as he was speaking. He offered realistic, practical strategies for nurturing intrinsic motivation, learning and resilience such as: What is the mindset & accompanying strategies of professionals who are effective in nurturing resilience? An essential belief is to recognize the lifelong impact we can have on others: The presence of what Julius Segal called a "charismatic adult" = an adult from whom one "gathers strength." He spoke about how to identify and reinforce each person's "islands of competence"; it is difficult to nurture resilience if we focus primarily on deficits rather than on the strengths that reside in each individual - changing the questions we ask others. He said to provide opportunities for "contributory activities" that add a sense of meaning and purpose to a youth's life. Dr. Brooks ended his speech with a question and answer session. It was now time to move on to the 1st workshop. I chose "Using Transgender -Friendly Picture Books to Build Resiliency, Understanding and Advocacy" with Elizabeth Rowell. I really enjoyed it. She was a bundle of energy and very passionate on transgender people and their rights. She showed a power point and spoke of several cases of children who were transgender at an early age. One child she spoke of was Ryland seen here. She had many picture books that she brought for us to look at. She gave several handouts. One was a list of transgender children's books that were good. She gave us a short story on a transgender boy called Jesse's Dream Skirt by Bruce Mack. We also got a handout on "What Can a Teacher Do to Provide a Safe, Supportive, School Environment for Young Transgender or Gender Supportive Children Including Those Who Might Not Be "Out" Yet?" Some of the suggestions in it were: Use gender neutral language "children/students" instead of boys and girls and find other ways for children to line up instead; use names instead of pesky pronouns' don't separate groups or line up by boys and girls' and be observant, understanding, and flexible.  There were many other suggestions but those were just a few. Here is a site that talks about supporting transgender children in school. During this workshop I saw moments of August in making children feel safe so they can learn and Liz stressed making these kids feel normal and not invisible. It is very important to help Transgender children be accepted as normal in their school. I also saw Delpit moments in the presentation that teachers need to teach the rules and codes of power to others in the classroom.
        After this workshop we headed back to Donovan Dining Center for lunch. The 2nd workshop was not the same experience for me as the 1st. It was very very boring. I had to fight with my eyelids to stay awake. The workshop was called "Wraparound Practice with Families: Family Voice and Choice" presented by Anne Fortier, L.I.C.S.W. She was very nice and did her entire presentation with power point. She handed out several pamphlets. One was "What is the "Wraparound" Process?" The definition is the Family Care Community Partnership brings community based service providers, family members and friends together to build a stronger, brighter future for your family. After an assessment the Family Care Community Partnership puts the family in the center and wraps them with the right local services, community programs and family members and friends in an effort to craft an individualized plan. To be eligible the following are requirements: children birth to 18 years of age who have serious emotional, behavioral and/or mental health challenges; youth who are transitioning from the Juvenile Correctional Facility back into the community; and children and families at risk of involvement with DCYF. With this workshop I would say I saw McIntosh where white people need to actively pay attention to race so they will not go unnoticed. One of the principles of the Wraparound process was Culturally Competent - The process demonstrates respect for and builds on the values, beliefs, and culture of the family. Here is a link to the Family Care Community Partnership.  I think the program is excellent and very important but the presentation was just a snooze fest. My day had been very long up until this point and I was super ready to go home. Overall I really enjoyed the conference and learned a lot.

Image result for transgender books        Image result for transgender books

Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 30, 2016                                
Teaching After the Brown vs.                      
Board of Education                               

As I listened to the radio broadcast, I became emotional at times. I kept thinking how can this still be happening? Why is our country still in disarray? I listened to the This American Life Episode in my car and then chose to read the transcript at home before continuing. I wanted to make sure that what I heard was accurate. I again became emotional while reading. Even though I have never experienced what these people went through in Missouri, I truly felt for them. In my mind, segregation is what you learned about in the history books not in present day America. Or so I thought. The fact that there are school districts today like Normandy District, is unacceptable. Brown v. Board of Education was the case in Topeka, Kansas that resulted in the beginning of integration in schools.  That was over 60 years ago!! It was considered one of the greatest Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century. According to Bob Herbert, his view is that while we claim to be post-racism, we really aren't. Many schools are still segregated. There aren't laws that make this happen, but they are segregated due to where people can afford to live and that determines where they go to school. He also claims that poor children in poor schools do worse than poor children in affluent schools. As Kozol said, "the system traps them." Poor children need to receive a better education and programs need to be developed in those poor schools instead of integrating schools based on socioeconomics. Bob Herbert explains that "Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discrimination, economic disparities and long-held custom, they most emphatically are in reality." He also says that, "If you really want to improve the education of poor children, you have to get them away from learning environments that are smothered by poverty." He continues to say that it is not about the culture or race of students that matters but "the improved all-around environment of schools with better teachers, fewer classroom disruptions, pupils who are more engaged academically, parents who are more involved, and so on." (Herbert) The Brown vs. Board of Ed case is still relevant in today's society. As I have taken in all of this information, I'm still wondering why is this still going on today? We obviously haven't come as far as what many people believe, and segregation is a big problem. Kozol had said, "Clumping so many people, all with the same symptoms and same problems, in one crowded place with nothin' they can grow on? Our children start to mourn themselves before their time." (Kozol) By putting all poor students together, they will not be able to improve their situations and lead successful lives. They give up hope and are stuck in a "rut." It is very difficult for them to be successful. When Michael Brown was shot and killed, his mother cried, "You took my son away from me. You know how hard it was for me to get him to stay in school and graduate? You know how many black men graduate? Not many!" Nicole Hannah-Jones states he has become the national symbol of the police violence against black youth and he was in a school that didn't graduate about half of its black boys.
I feel like I am really lucky to be in a school for my service learning that is making change. I have never seen a school like this that has tackled the many issues prevalent in schools today. The school has a commitment to community involvement and take a "whole child" approach to learning. It was formed to help urban students in 3 surrounding cities to complete high school, attend higher education and contribute to their local, regional and global community. As I was reading and listening to this weeks assignments, I kept thinking of this school and how unique they truly are. Imagine if the whole country could emulate this style and approach to learning.

Image result for segregation in schools 
 In this video 5th grade students from the Bronx talk about segregation. There are only 2 white kids in their class.....

Sunday, October 23, 2016

           Image result for service learning

October 22, 2016
In the Service of What?

This week's article from Kahne and Westheimer looked at service learning.
By serving those in need in the community, students can benefit. This article highlights the benefits of service learning programs for both students and the communities.  Students can take what they are learning in classrooms and bring it to real life experiences while dealing with the needs of their community. It is very rewarding to create bonds with people in the community so both sides will feel connected and there is genuine concern. Service learning allows students to have a more hands-on learning experience and connect what they are being taught  in classrooms to real world events. Kahne and Westheimer state, "Service learning makes students active participants in service projects that aim to respond to the needs of the community while furthering the academic goals of students." (2) Sometimes students do not connect with what is being taught in the classrooms and "drift" off.  When there is "action" in the classroom, then sometimes there is more beneficial learning.
Kahne and Westheimer stress that service learning is not just a civic duty. In, "Paul Hanna in his 1937 book, Youth Serves the Community, criticized efforts to serve which provided token amounts of needed aid yet never identified or responded to structural problems." (9) People need to do more than just give back.
This video shows engaging students beyond the classroom with service learning:

 In this video, Project Based Service - Learning Video,  a quote from Benjamin Frankilin: Tell me and I forgot, Teach me and I may remember, Involve me and I learn. - Ben Franklin

While I was reading this article, I was reminded of Joanathan Kozol's Amazing Grace. I have that picture of poor, poverty stricken area's like Mott Haven in my head. They also had volunteers that would come and try to do what they thought was best by handing out condoms and needles to keep AIDS from spreading but that did not stop drug use or prostitution.
As Lisa Delpit said, 'I suggest that students must be taught the codes needed to participate fully in the mainstream of American life, not by being forced to attend to hollow inane, de-contextualized sub-skills, but rather within the context meaningful, communicative endeavors."
Teachers and other educators can make a difference and help make underprivileged children successful. We have the power to give them the tools they need to have a positive impact.

Image result for lisa delpit

Sunday, October 16, 2016

October 16, 2016                                                                      
Option 1

After reading the two articles by Chozick and Soloway, I feel Hillary is presenting herself to the country as powerful and enthusiastic in her speeches. Over the years, I have heard many men shout or speak very loudly in their political speeches and it was never an issue. As we talked about it in class, women tend to change the pitch of their voice when trying to get a point across or ask a question. Now when a woman such as Hillary raises her voice during her speeches, it's not okay because it's not familiar and she's not a man. While Trump thinks his "locker room talk" is perfectly acceptable, his video with Billy Bush shows what an arrogant ass he really is. Soloway states, "and so locker-room talk isn't just talk of women, it's talk of a certain kind of woman. It's talk of the dark half - the degraded feminine. This degraded half has a purpose. She not only invites men into a seemingly whimsical sexual conversation, but also inspires a kind of homosocial proximity."    
This reminds me of White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by McIntosh. She spoke of men's denials that they are over privileged. She says that they may agree that women are at a disadvantage but they aren't willing to lose their power. She states, "males are taught not to recognize male privilege." and "White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks." (McIntosh)
I also thought of Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us by Linda Christensen. Her article was about racism and sexism in cartoons and children's animated movies. Students from her class stated, "what they now see in cartoons, they also see in advertising, on prime-time TV, on the news, in school. They can't escape." (Christensen) Sadly racism and sexism is everywhere and that needs to change. By electing Trump, one would be condoning his actions and lewd comments. Would that then make it okay for men to continue to behave in this manner? Is it okay to degrade women? I don't believe all men talk like Trump does, but I know he is not the only one.
Donald Trump's sexism and extremely rude, degrading comments have been his pattern for many decades. These videos show his long history of belittling women and treating them as objects.


Monday, October 10, 2016

A short video on how sitcoms have handled gay characters through the 70's and 80's. It is a great example of how homosexuals have gradually gained a voice through TV. But, still have a long way to go.

  Still Bisexual (@StillBisexual) | Twitter:

October 9, 2016
Safe Spaces
Gerri August

To create a "safe place", the classroom must incorporate every value, belief, and background of all students. It is the teacher's job to encourage a comfortable relationship between the student and teacher and also of classmates. LGBT teens have a very hard time fitting in with others because it is not a comfortable lifestyle to them that they may not have had a lot of exposure with. Possibly due to a society that up until recently did not teach children that there is nothing wrong with interracial or bisexual relationships."Sexual orientation topics are entirely absent from nearly half of our elementary teacher education programs in the United States. It is therefore unsurprising that LGBT people are largely absent from elementary curricula or classroom discussions." (85) August discusses how teachers can make their classrooms more secure for students of LGBT community. Teachers talk about how families come in different forms but hardly talk about two moms and their children or two dads with their children. August feels that teachers need to be aware and educate on sexual orientations so there is more acceptance of the LGBT community.
When I was in school, we had no such term as LGBT and very rarely would you hear about an individual "coming out of the closet" at such a young age. Teachers did not discuss sexual orientation in a classroom and a family consisted of a mother, a father, and children. Today, I think it has become more accepting than it was 30-40 years ago but still not discussed enough.  My best friend's daughter is gay and she struggles with outside family acceptance.  Many are old fashioned Catholic's that don't understand or accept her for who she is. Although she has more acceptance at school, I still see the many struggles she goes through just so she can live her life the way she wants to.

In this tips for teachers page it has a list of helpful guidelines for teachers to help students that have LGBT parents and how to make them feel comfortable. It talks about including discussions about LGBT in your classroom. Show students that diversity is to be celebrated.

In this article there are states in America that still ban the discussion of LGBT in the classroom or the teacher risks being fired. Even though gay marriage is legal, teachers are still not allowed to discuss sexual orientation in the classroom.
Image result for lgbt in the classroom    Image result for lgbt in the classroom

All kids deserve safe classrooms. In this short video, a message from LGBT students about what they want you to know:

Points for discussion....
I believe there needs to be more communication between teachers and students. More discussion on sexual orientation and how it affects their daily life and interactions with others. Maybe what is needed is what exactly does LGBT tolerance and acceptance look like in the classroom. How do we as educators make our classrooms welcoming and a completely safe environment that works.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 4, 2016
Unlearning The Myths That Bind Us
Linda Christensen

In "Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us", Linda Christensen explains that children's books, cartoons, and movies have hidden messages that secretly teach them the rules of society. She talks about Disney movies specifically that depict the roles of men and women. Women should act a certain way and are expected to let the man take care of them. They must dress and look a certain way too. The princesses are always thin and beautiful.  The handsome prince will come and save them from their troubles and save the day.  "We are taught, more than anything else, how not to rebel." (128) Stories we have grown up with have given us the rules and codes of power.  You must find love and live happily ever after. Women were constantly portrayed as unrealistically beautiful with a slim waist and a perfect face. People of color are consistently being shown as illiterate, inferior, or even savage. Men were either perfectly handsome or idiots. Christensen talks about how most Disney princesses are white. Children of color find this frustrating because they cannot relate to the Princesses. Female stereotypes in Disney films are shown here as "life lessons"... how to act, stand, smile, never show feelings, and always look your best. The video shows that "Disney princesses teach lessons that could permanently damage young girl's identity."  Snow White cooked, cleaned, and took care of men. Cinderella taught that girls are supposed to do domestic tasks, not boys. Ariel suggest girls do not need to be smart, just be pretty, use their bodies, and you must change to get the man. There is a "life lesson" taught by each Disney princess that stereotypes women.
Christensen believes children are being "manipulated by children's media or advertising." (128) Children are influenced by Disney princess at a very young age and makes them believe the ideas of society. In the "Effects of Disney's Gender Stereotyping" video Disney tells girls what to think about themselves and tells boys how "real men" treat women.

Disney Princes 560x472

Disney movies all promote the same image of big men and tiny women. This is most evident in romantic situations. 
Consider just the differences in hand size. Here are the hands of romantic couples in (clockwise from top left): Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon 2,Gnomeo and Juliet, Hercules, Tangled and Brave.

Points to share:
I enjoyed reading Christensen. She made sure the students saw the wrong in Disney movies, characters, and other cartoons. I believe Disney has seen their mistake from early on and is slowly trying to remedy this situation. Some changes from Pocahontas and on....
Pocahontas is seen as independant
Mulan is heroic
and Rapunzel is driven
Hopefully it will continue to portray women in a more positive way.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Image result for cartoon poster bilingual children

Image result for cartoon poster bilingual children
September 25,2016
Richard Rodriguez

Rodriguez argues in this article that you must change in order to fit into society and you must be English speaking. Even if that means to "get rid of" your native language, it is expected that you communicate in English.  He says, "What I needed to learn in school was that I had the right- and the obligation- to speak the public language of los gringos." (34) He talks about the changes in his household of how strict it became when three nuns from his school came to have a "chat" with his parents and insist on the importance of speaking English only at home. Unfortunately it became almost uncomfortable and the new "game" was not so fun anymore. Rodriguez believed that because he lived in a community of the English language, the only way to feel confident in public was to be just like them. He also believes that cutting out the first language from a student is not the way to teach them a second language. He tells his own example as to why there are negative effects to eliminating ones first language. In Teaching Multilingual Children, Virginia Collier would agree with Rodriguez. She lists her seven guidelines to, "...better understand how teaching English to second-language learners can become an enriching experience when appreciating students' different languages and life situations."(223) I think the two guidelines that fit with Rodriguez is #3 "Don't teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language." (227) and #5 "Do not forbid young students from code-switching in the classroom. Understand the functions that code-switching serves."(229) If Rodriguez had been taught in this environment, he might not have "lost" his native language and could have embraced and carried on his heritage, language, and traditions. Also, if he had been taught both languages from birth, he may never have felt "socially disadvantaged."

Politics of Bilingualism #3: This cartoon shows the sad effects of Prop 227 in California.  English-only teaching was promoted and bilingual classrooms were highly discouraged and sized down.  The time a student could spend in a bilingual classroom was also cut short.:

Questions/Comments: How else could "we", as future teachers, teach non English speaking students and help them embrace their first language and customs?

This video I found is about a social experiment that was done in the 1950's to approximately 22 children living in Greenland. They were sent to Denmark to be re-educated as model Danish citizens. They were not allowed to speak their native language and when they were returned to Greenland several years later, they were unable to communicate with their families because they now only spoke Danish. It was extremely heartbreaking for these children and the long term damage stayed with them throughout the lives of the ones who survived.
Here it is, it takes a minute to come in (I couldn't embed it):
1950's Social Experiment

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Amazing Grace
by Jonathan Kozol
September 18, 2016

The level of poverty in this article describing an area in the South Bronx was heartbreaking. Children and adults, old and young, living in very poor conditions and many of them die from diseases or murder. They never have a chance at a normal life.
Quote #1: "More than 95 percent are poor," the pastor says- "the poorest of the poor, poor by any standard I can think of." The pastor of St Ann's Church speaks of the population of the area. It is an extremely poor area, the poorest in the South Bronx. The children of the neighborhood come to this church for food and to play while their parents go to pray. Kozol goes on to explain this Mott Haven area in the South Bronx is loaded with heavy drug use, a very high number of HIV infected people- children and adults, prostitutes, and violence. It is a very sad place to live and grow in America. Children live in fear with a great amount of anxiety and depression. The air they breathe is not clean and many use breathing machines next to their bed for oxygen. There is trash everywhere and even a garbage dump three blocks over.  Their homes are freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer with rats and roaches crawling all over them. What a horrific way to live your life, these poor children deserve so much better.
Quote #2: "In speaking of rates of homicide in New York City neighborhoods, the Times refers to the streets around St Ann's as "the deadliest blocks" in "the deadliest precinct" of the city. If there is a deadlier place in the United States, I don't know where it is." Kozol explains that there were 84 people murdered in 1991 alone. It is not safe to be on the streets or go to the park. Many of that number were children. I wonder how they can be brave enough to go outside and play in the streets after witnessing terrible things. They know each other well and how do they not have nightmares after learning of a neighbor or relatives murder?
Quote #3: "A person who works in a real job at a place like Chemical Bank, she tells me, is a rare exception in the neighborhood. "Almost no one here has jobs like that. Some are too sick. They live on SSI" - a federal program for sick and disabled people. Maybe five or six in 25, she says, have some legitimate employment." Kozol speaks of the ones that do not work, some may be too sick to work or could be selling drugs or prostitution. Even the hospitals are crowded, understaffed, and dirty. Patients have died in the hospitals because of staff mistakes. One of the hospitals, Harlem Hospital is referred to as a "cesspool" by the minister of Harlem's leading church.
  Image result for children of south bronx   Image result for poverty of south bronx

This video shows images from the Mott Haven area.
Mott Haven, South Bronx video

Points of discussion: This article was written in 95', I wonder if the area has improved or is it still as horrific as described in the article? What could be done to help these people that are no more than 3 hours away from us? I felt like I was reading poverty in a third world country and not in our "free" country of America. How can the children survive and escape the diseased and violent world they live in?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

U.S.A., Land of Limitations?
by Nicholas Kristof
Sept. 11, 2016

In the article, this author (Kristoff) argues that our "land of opportunity" is mostly determined by our beginnings in life. Children in poverty have a very small chance of rising to the top in adulthood. Kristof thinks back on his friend, Rick, who died of heart disease and struggled to rise in economic levels. Rick was a child "left behind" in school despite being intelligent because of his undiagnosed ADHD, no one bothered with him. Because of his own struggles, he never was able to climb out from the bottom. Kristof states, "Remember that disadvantage is less about income than environment. The best metrics of child poverty aren't monetary, but rather how often a child is read to or hugged." Children that are cared for and loved have a better chance at succeeding than one who is beaten or families with substance abuse. This is not the case with all children living in poverty but it is with a large percentage.

Children in lower class do not have the opportunities that children in high class do. Children of lower income families do not have the opportunities of private schools, music lessons, and special activities and trips. Although, I do not believe you need all of those things for success later in life but how you are brought up can pave the path to your success.

It is upsetting that if your parents or grandparents were not successful, then your chances for making something of yourself are slim. I realize that statistics don't lie and Kristoff states that there is more children living in poverty now than in 2008. Why would poverty levels be on the rise in this country and what is being done about it? Kristof also states that maybe our presidential candidates should be discussing these issues.

My personal experiences of struggling to keep a roof over my kids heads and food on the table, I've experienced highs and lows but feel it was not because of how I was raised, but more with the economy and choices I made along the way.

In this video, Marcell is an adolescent living in one of the most dangerous cities in the US, Camden, NJ. He tells his story of living in poverty. His parents were into drugs and he was sent to live with his grandmother. He talks about the violence he lives in and that lack of opportunity.
Our Pug Lucy and cat Gracie
My neice Braelyn and nephew Tyler. They moved to Florida
2 years ago and I surprised them Labor Day Weekend.  I miss
them like crazy!

My kids Ashley (21) and Nicky (18)

Hi all!  I am a single divorced mom of 2 returning to RIC after being gone 26 years.  My first time around I wasn't ready for the whole "college" thing but I'm here to finish what I started.  I ran my own daycare for 15 years and then decided to close my doors as my kids got older.  I have been working in a Catholic elementary school for the last 5 years as a private aide and coordinator of an after school daycare.  I get up 7 days a week/365 days a year at 3:30 a.m. to deliver newspapers, yes....Christmas too!  I love to read, watch movies, hang at my family beach house, and spend time with my kids.
My son Nicky graduated this year.