Sunday, February 24, 2013

Safe Spaces by August - Hyperlinks

I enjoyed reading this article.  I liked how it discussed the main point and then examples of how it was not used and then how it can be used.  I found this organization very helpful, and made it easy to read and follow.
To make schools safer for everyone, you need to think about curriculum and communication.  August states, “Curriculum and communication – distinct but inter-related aspects of classroom life.  Neglect one, and the other is bound to suffer; improve one, and the other will likely benefit” (85).  You need to incorporate the material about LGBT into your lessons and you need talk about it.  Explain that a family can come in many different types, and that a family is people taking care of each other. 
One of the stories that really stood out at me was the story of Zeke Lerner.  He is the kindergarten teacher that uses two strategies: integration and interpretation.  He chooses books like The Family Book, Who’s In a Family, and the book And Tango Makes Three.
The book And Tango Makes Three caught my eye because it is about penguins.  I think this book is a fun and interesting way to discuss a family and how animals are born and raised.  I probably would have been interested in this book because it is about animals. 
'And Tango Makes Three' Tops Most Challenged List Again is an article that talks about how the book And Tango Makes Three is one of the most challenged books on the American Library Association's (ALA) State of America's Libraries Report.  The article then talks about another book by Richardson and Parnell, Christian, the Hugging Lion, which is a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards.  Christian, the Hugging Lion is about a two men who adopt and release a lion cub, and then are reunited with the cub years later.  The article says that the base of the story is that even after the lion is released into the wild; it still loves his male parents.  The two books are basically about the same thing, two fathers who come to the rescue and raise a helpless baby.   Why is it different if it is two men raising a lion cub or two male penguins raising a chick?
I also found this article that discusses how to teach this book.  It gives you different questions to ask children to help them understand that there are many different types of families.   
Point to Share:    The chapter starts with an example of a classroom, and how it creates a division of one’s academic and personal life. When a student or a teacher walks into a room, they bring all of their baggage with them. They bring their family life, culture, and their beliefs into the picture. You cannot expect a child or the teacher to pretend that part of them does not exist. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Aria by Richard Rodriquez - Reflection

Half way through reading this article I knew exactly what type of post I was going to do.  This article connected to me.   Working in a daycare, and teaching dance and gymnastics, I come across language barriers often.   
At the daycare I work at, we have three different families that speak Russian.  One little girl's parents speak both Russian and English very well, and she also speaks both languages very well.  Another little girl that goes to the daycare, was born in Russia, and came from an orphanage in Russia.  A co-worker of mine is also from Russia and spoke to the little girl.  The little girl told her about how she was treated by the older children at the orphanage.  The older children would torment the younger children with scary stories of what happened to their parents, and overall treating them poorly.   This particular little girl also talks in English very well.  The third little girl, would only talk in Russian when she first came to the daycare, or she would not talk at all.  Her parents speak English, and said she knew English, but she was too shy to talk.  Now that she has adjusted to the daycare she talks all of the time in English.  Actually we cannot get her to stop talking half of the time. 

This article also made me think of my first tutoring session on Wednesday because the teacher was telling me about a little boy whose parents do not speak English.  I believe she said that both parents speak Spanish at home.  However the boy’s mother also speaks a Native American language at home as well.  She then said that it is a wonder that he even functions at all having to learn the two languages at home and then English in school.  Surprisingly, he speaks English fairly well.   
Point to Share: I just hope that the families of the United States of an America that do not speak English and are forced to learn it are not being torn apart like the family in the article.  A mother should have to make small talk to have a conversation with her family.
I think that is article really connects to Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol, and The Silenced Dialogue by Lisa Delpi.  Aria and Amazing Grace both show how families are affected by the “culture of power”.  In Amazing Grace, families were moved into the south Bronx because they were not part of the middle or upper classes.  They were poor families, so they stuck them in a bad part of New York.  We basically told these people that they were not good enough to live where they wanted.  In Aria, the family was told to speak English, “for the sake of their children”.  They did not speak English so the nuns forced the parents to only speak English at home, changing the children’s home environment. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol - Quotes

One quote that’s important is, “She seems resigned to things the way they are. ‘That’s how it is.  What can I say?’ she often asks” (Kozol 17).  This first time I noticed Kozol using this quote is when he is having a conversation with Alice Washington about the newspapers.  Kozol uses that line again when Alice is talking about the young girl who had to be buried by the city.  It sounds like Alice Washington feels that she has to apologize for the way her city works.  Alice is apologizing for the condition that the city is in.  It is not Alice’s fault that those children were shot in the park, that families are ruined because of shootings; she did not pull the trigger.

Another quote that I found was, “As confident and grown-up as he sounds, he has the round face of a baby and is scarcely more than three and a half feet tall.  When he has bad dreams, he tells me, ‘I go in my mommy’s bed and crawl under the covers’” (Kozol 8).  I thought this quote was really important because it shows that even though Cliffe acts tough, he is still a little boy.  The innocence that children have is being taken away from them.  Cliffe is so used to seeing violence, drug deals and other things in his neighborhood that he got used to it.  But how can a child become so comfortable with all of the violence that occurs in an area like that, if some grown men cannot handle it when they go to war?

I think is important is when Kozol says, “Many social scientists today appear to hold this point of view and argue that the largest portion of the suffering poor people undergo has to be blamed upon their own “behaviors,” a word they tend to pluralize” (21).  Any sane person would not willingly choose to have two different types of cancer, contract AIDs, and be beaten by her husband.   Kozol ends his description with the statement, “I have yet to figure out what she has done that was irrational” (22).  I will agree that sometimes people’s actions are the reason that they become poor or homeless, for example losing everything due to gambling.  In many cases people who are poor/homeless have a similar story to Alice Washington.  How can they be blamed?  People tell them to get a job; do what you need to, to move up in life.  Unfortunately it’s not that simple.

Point to share: People do end up in these situations, and have to learn how to cope to be able to survive.  But one thing that people should know is that not every single person that lives there is a scum-bag.  Just because it is a bad city or neighborhood, does not mean all of the people who live there are bad.  Central Falls is a great example.  One time my dance teacher drove me to the studio, and drove through Central Falls.  She thought we were going to get shot.  I go to church in Central Falls, and if you drive through Central Falls, you are not going to get shot.  

Friday, February 8, 2013


I am a dancer.  I dance at Shannon O’Brien School of Dance in Seekonk, Massachusetts.  I have been dancing for 17 years.  I love working with children.  I work in a daycare.   I teach dance and gymnastics.   Since I was probably about six years old I have wanted to be a teacher.  I am taking this class because I want to enroll into the Early Childhood Education program.  My dream has always been to teach Preschool.  I love to travel; I went to Spain and Morocco my senior year of high school.  My family has a camper and we go camping every weekend from April to October.  My family and I have camped in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Vermont, Connecticut, and Canada.  I have also been to Florida a couple of times.  I also like photography, and animals.  My favorite things to take pictures of are animals and landscapes.