Friday, April 30, 2010

Social Justice Event

The event I went to was one I just stumbled upon. I was walking into the bathroom on campus and saw the flyer "First Generation Students."

I went to this event located in Gaige and I was one out of five people in the audience which surprised me because I know there a lot of first generation students at RIC. But I figured that it was because this event was poorly advertised because I had just found out about it and if I had knew about it ahead of time I would have been able to share it with the class.

Anyways, out of the stories they told me one caught my eye the most. It is about a mother and her family that comes to the U.S. from Mexico looking for a better life. The mother decides that she wants to go back to school but she must first learn english. Her children must also learn English because they will be attending English-speaking schools. As time goes on she begins to feel overwhelmed with school and it struggling because she does not fully understand English. She is getting depressed because she no longer hears her native tongue in her house and she misses it. She misses her children talking to each other on Spanish and she tries to get them to talk to her that way but they barely give her any feedback. This mother soon becomes way too stressed out and wants her old life back. She decides to pack everything up and move back to Mexico.

There are three authors that this connects to and they are Delpit, Collier, and Rodriguez. It connects to Delpit because this woman was not able to learn English, which is a rule and code of power in the U.S. therefore she was unable to succeed. Collier is in this and connects in a way that Delpit does. Collier wants us to embrace students first language, in this case Spanish. But, this woman did not try to learn based on her first language and the professor did not teach the class in spanish so embracing her first language did not happen and she was unable to learn. Rodriguez comes in because she becomes depressed because her children are no longer speaking spanish. She missed the sounds that they used to make in spanish. These children have taken on a public identity and have given up their private identity. This woman tells us of her discomfort with her children learning English.

This article helps us to understand what first generation students are going through:

I found this website that helps first-generation students:

Another site to help first generation students in high school get everything taken care of for college applications:

Random Post #2

I am having an extremely stressful week that I don't even want to begin to explain. My computer was working fine until yesterday. I have absolutely no idea what happened but it apparently crashed and I had this class's final project on it and a 6 page history paper. I am taking it to Best Buy today to see whats wrong with it and everyone is telling me that they should be able to save it. I sure hope so.I am on my mom's netbook and I do not like it. The screen it too small for my liking. Anyways, I am finding it hard to believe that I am almost done with my second year of college, it has flown by. To think that I will be out in the world in 2 or so years trying to find a teaching job and eventually I will have my own classroom to work in. It makes me extremely excited to think about it and nervous at the same time because who knows where I'm going to be in 2 years. I might stil be here, or maybe over in Arizona. I'm trying to figure it out.
As for some more random HAPPY things, this weekend is going to be gorgeous out and that makes me ridiculously happy. My carhopping job starts today and I am so excited about it! I work at George's Surf N' Turf in Mendon, MA and it is my fifth year there. I absolutely love my job. I work with all of my best friends and I met my boyfriend there last year. So it's a great job and I actually get excited to go into work. That's about all the randomness I can think about now since I just realized how much work I have ahead of me this weekend and I should probably get started!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Random Post 1

At my service learning two Thursdays ago, I have finally heard some of the violence that goes on in my school. On of the boys I tutor was telling me a story about another boy I tutor. The story was that the second boy was threatening to stab someone at the playground after school the day before. The other children did not believe him until he pulled a small knife out of his backpack. Although, I was not sure whether or not to believe the story I told the teacher. This boy is known for fabricating stories so you never know whether he is lying or not, but that is a pretty big thing for him to lie about. To me it seems like a big deal, a 3rd grader pulling a knife on others. But he told me the story like it was completely normal and that it happens. This is how I think it relates to Kozol because they might have grown up in that hostile environment so they are used to it and do not know that it can be a serious subject.
Then the class was sitting on the reading mat in the back of the room and listening to the teacher. When she was done reading we were all getting up to stand and the boy I tutor accidentally stepped on another boys shoe. The other boy told him to "F*** off." My boy just said he was sorry and then the other boy goes "I'll beat the s*** out of you." I was completely shocked and could not believe what I was hearing. I stepped in and told them to knock it off but the other mumbled one more thing and I have no idea what it was but I'm sure it was bad. The teacher asked what happened and I told her and she just kind of let it go. That also shocked me but once again Kozol came into my head and it's just that they are used to this happening.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Talking Points #10

Empowering Education: Critical Teaching for Social Change By: Isra Shor


1.) "People are naturally curious. They are born leaders. Education can either develop or stifle their inclination to ask why and to learn. A curriculum that avoids questioning school and society is not, as is commonly supposed, politically neutral."

People are naturally curious and we all have questions we want answered. I think it would be weird for a school to even have a curriculum that stays away from questions. Is that not the reason we attend school? To build our own points of view and question others? I believe all education should have the children ask questions so they can learn and make their own ideas about certain topics. We should not shy away from the questions children in our classrooms will have.

2.) "Participatory classes respect and rescue the curiosity of students. As Dewey argued, participation in school and society is crucial to learning and to democracy."

I read this quote and automatically thought 'DELPIT!' This is proving that there is a code of power and if we all do not learn the codes of power we are seen as people not involved in our society and our classrooms. And, you have to participate for democracy, which is the U.S. It is just showing hoe people all over need to learn the rules and codes of power to fit in.

3.) "Few students will learn academic material if it is lectured at them in a manner designed simply to transfer information. As I suggested earlier,subject matter is best introduced as problems related to student experience, in a language familiar to them."
I love this quote because it is exactly how I learn. I do not like it when professors lecture and then that is it for class. If this is what happens then I go home and teach the lecture to myself, the way I like to learn. Although, everyone learns in different ways you just have to find what works for you.


I really enjoyed reading this piece and found it all pretty true. The different learning methods were neat to read about and I never knew so many different ways existed. I highly agree with this piece because it is always saying how participation is what helps us learn and it is very true. If we do not participate then we will not expand our knowledge.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Talking Points #8

Jean Anyon: Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work


1.) " Only three times did the investigator hear a teacher in either working-class school preface a directive with an unsarcastic "please," or "let's" or "would you." Instead, the teachers said, "Shut up," "Shut your mouth," "Open your books," "Throw your gum away-if you want to rot your teeth, do it on your own time." Teachers made every effort to control the movement of the children, and often shouted, "'Why are you out of your seat??!!" If the children got permission to leave the room, they had to take a written pass with the date and time.... "

I feel that teachers should teach the children with respect. If the teacher wants to be respected they need to respect the students as well. I know kids can get out of hand and prove to be too much at times but we should not loose our tempers and disrespect them. I think it is rude to tell them to shut up. As for the passes with the date and time, children like to wander in the hallways so I don't see that as such a bad thing.

2.) "Most lessons are based on the textbook. This does not involve a critical perspective on what is given there. For example, a critical perspective in social studies is perceived as dangerous by these teachers because it may lead to controversial topics; the parents might complain."

I have no issue with making lesson plans that go along with the books. The books are there for the children to use so it is better to use them rather than let them go to waste. I do think that it is okay for teachers to allow students to expand beyond what the books shows. I think it is good for the class to discuss topics and help each other out. It gives the teacher an idea of what the kids already know and what they need to be taught. I do not think they should worry about parents complaining because if questions get inappropriate then the teacher should know when to end the discussion. You have to take risks every now and then and give the children a chance to learn more than what the book calls for.

3.) "Work tasks do not usually request creativity. Serious attention is rarely given in school work on how the children develop or express their own feelings and ideas, either linguistically or in graphic form. On the occasions when creativity or self-expression is requested, it is peripheral to the main activity or it is 'enriched' or 'for fun.'"

I feel art is a VERY important class to have. It is a way of expressing yourself and if children don't have that kind of outlet they may act out in other ways. I also think it is important to have art as part of certain lessons. Although it is a fun activity it also plays an important part in childrens lives and should be seen as such. When I was in elementary school we had a lot of lessons that involved creativity and it was my favorite part of school. By choosing to do things with my own imagination I felt as if I was able to learn a lot more. I feel that teachers should use creativity more often in their lessons.


I found this article very easy to read. Although it seemed long it took no time to read through because it was so interesting and kind of shocking. I can't believe how different the school curriculums are simply because of an economic status. Students should be taught everything they are supposed to and not just the 'simple' stuff that will 'get them by' in life. All of these children should be offered the same learning opportunities to help them excel in life and be successful, they should not be taught the bare minimum because that does not prepare them for the world outside of their community. If you teach a student that is in the low schools the bare minimum then he/she will have no chance of succeeding in life and getting out of the low-income lifestyle.