Wednesday, December 9, 2009

End of the Semester

I can honestly say that I am going to miss this class. I got to know some amazing people and learn so much about what is going on around me. This was a very comfortable class and felt more like hanging out with friends than going to class. I think this might be the first time that I have made really good friends and actually hung out with people in my class outside of the classroom setting. After this tough semester for me, not only school but personally, I realized that there are so many people out there that are very genuine and caring. I think we all became such good friends because of the atmosphere Dr. Bogad has given us.

The topics that we covered in class has taught me a lot. Most of what we have learned will stick with me all throughout my college life and even when I hopefully become a teacher. Before this class I didn't have the type of mind that I do today. It has changed the way I think about everyday life happenings. I hope everyone continues to have great college classes and hopefully I'll see most of you around campus! :)

Felicia McGuire

talking point #10


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

Questions are the key to learning. We, as humans, were born wondering things. It is how we developed as children into who we are today. If we never asked questions or explored things then we would never be who we are today. I feel like everyone would be basically the same person with the same thoughts. If a curriculum doesn't allow for questions to be asked then everyone will just have to accept what they are taught and move on. If a student doesn't understand something they usually ask a question. If this is not allowed then they will never understand what they are being taught.

2. "Competition encourages people to survey other people’s differences for potential weak spots... We learn to ascribe winner or loser status based on certain perceived overt characteristics…"

Growing up grades were always most important to the class. Whoever got the best grade on a test was automatically the smartest in the class. Some teachers I had would call out the grades from the lowest to the highest. This was kind of embarrassing especially if you didn't do too well on that certain test. Everyone would think you were dumb if you did poorly on a test and everyone knew about it. Grades should be kept privet unless you yourself would like to share your grade with others. Besides grades children are very competitive at sports even in gym or at recess. This was always the case at the schools I attended.

3. "You must arouse children’s curiosity and make them think about school."

If you asked a group of students if they liked school, my guess would be that about half of them would reply no. I feel like it is a teachers responsibility to make school interesting for students. If they have a boring teacher they will not like school and never want to go to school. If a teacher is exciting and engaging in what she is doing with the students, then they will enjoy it a little better. You need to show them how important it is to go to school and that it is important to stay in school. Without an education it is very difficult to go anywhere in life and as teachers we need to show our students that.

Overall I really liked what this article was about. I thought it was very interesting that it seemed to talk about a little bit of everything that we learned this semester. It seems like a great way to end the year. Other than the topic, it was very long and hard to get through because of the length.

Girls acting "dumb"

In my VIPS classroom I always seem to get the questions from the same girl. Every time I'm there, she asks me to help her out. At first I really didn't mind because it was the whole reason I was there. I'm there to help the students in their math class if they are having trouble. After the first few classes I was starting to get a little aggravated because she knew what she was doing and it seemed like she just wanted me there for company. A few weeks ago me and the teacher that I am helping out were correcting the tests that the students had just taken. It was the girl who kept asking me questions turn to get her test corrected. She received 100% on her test. This struck me as a little odd because she was always asking me how to do things and to help her out. I then figured out that she is one of the top students in math in this classroom. She was dumbing herself down to get me to pay attention to her. I still don't understand why she would do this. Most of the time if someone wants attention they will do their best to receive praises and gain attention of others that way. I guess it can go both ways. I always hear about girls making themselves less smart because of a man but never because they want attention.

Monday, November 16, 2009

talking point # 9


1. "How absurd to be judged by others at all,especially by those who have never
experienced a disability or who are unwillingly providing us with support
or who don't listen to the voices we have."

This quote reminds me of when people say, "I understand" and they really don't. When people find out that my mother passed away they always say the same thing, "Oh I'm so sorry! I understand how you feel". Well actually you don't unless your mother has also passed away. The same goes for people with disabilities. People that don't have a disiblity always judge them and say that they "feel so bad". They just want to be listened to and treated the same. They are no different from us apart from a mental or physical disablity. A lot of the time they can do and even think the same way that we can without disabilites. I'm the same person with or without a mother and expected the be treated the same.

2." If you came into the room and were told there was a retarded child in the class, a child with special needs, i don't think you you would pick lee out. The kids really agree that he's as capable as they are. Intellectually the same."

The first thing that stuck out to me in this quote is the use of the word retarded. I hate when people use this word. It is so mean when someone refers to people with disabilites as retarded. Even saying somethings retarded is not ok. It is the same as saying something is gay. I may not be disabled or homosexual but I think it's horrible someone would refer to something that is different or wrong with those words. Also, not everyone who is disabled looks the same. There are those out there who are more severly disabled than others. There are also those who you would never know are in special classes. A girl that I know was in special classes her whole life and I never even knew it. It just goes to show you that you can't judge people by what they look like on the outside.

3.“Vygotsky found that the culture of segregation surround people with disabilities actually teaches underdevelopment of thinking through the isolation of children from socially valued opportunities… altering the culture of disability requires that a child be recognized as an active learner, a thinker, and a problem-solver, but this cannot occur apart from relationships that allow for such engagement.”

Vygotsky is saying that we can not separate students with disablities from those students who do not have disabilites. Giving them a different education than other students is wrong. They will learn better when they are given all the same materials and attention that all students are given. If students with disablities are shoved off into a different room and given different attention and learn techniques, they are going to feel different and not want to learn. We need to give everyone the same learning opportunities.

This article was kind of hard to read at first but got better as i went on. Working with people with disabilities have always been a passion of mine. While in middle school I would help out with colabrative gym class and loved every second of it. I would always talk to them as if they were the same as me and were not disabled. Treating them the same as yourself will make them feel awesome. They want nothing more than to be treated the same as everyone else in the world.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Promising Practices

My first thoughts of this conference was very different than what I experienced. I was very tired when I got there and was not excited for the day at all. It also didn't help that I was trying to get over the flu. I walked in a found a group of people from class sitting together so I sat down with them. Knowing people always makes me feel somewhat better. I felt like we sat there for a while and was kind of wondering when things were going to pick up. My first session was The Impact of Racism on Learning: Stories from Undergraduate Women of Color. Our speaker was Annemarie Vaccaro, a graduate professor. I liked listening to her talk because she actually talked to us, not taught us. It was more like having a conversation about an interesting topic. What she had done is interview a variety of colored women at her school and asked them about racism and if they felt like they were being treated differently because of their color. Surprisingly many of them felt like they were treated like less of a person because of the color of their skin. Racism in schools very much still exists unfortunately. She told us about a video on YouTube called "A Girl Like Me".

This video is about colored women and how they feel in their everyday lives. They are expected to act and look a certain way. There is also an experiment with children about choosing different dolls. The white doll is said to be good and the colored doll is said to be bad. Clearly children are being taught from a young age that being white is better. People need to realize that there is no better skin color than another. It's who you are on the inside that matters. I wish everyone could think the way I do, but unfortunately that will never happen.
My second session was From Tango Makes Three to Hard Love. It was about LGBT literature in our schools. This was my favorite part of the day. It taught me so much that I didn't know before that day. I didn't even know that LGBT children's books were written. I never really thought about it before that day. Tango Makes Three is a book about two male penguins who take care of a baby penguin and raise it as their own. They told us not to be afraid to teach LGBT literature in our classrooms and be brave while teaching it. Some people might not agree with your teachings so you should be able to back them up. They gave us a resource list of more LGBT literature selections and reviews, like The Rainbow Project.
After the second session we had lunch and listen to Dr. Tricia Rose speak. Normally I don't like listening to speakers. They usually bore me and can never keep my attention. Dr. Rose was totally different. She was so funny and was talking about things that I was actually interested in. I really liked how she stood up for herself and didn't back down from a difficult question when someone clearly had different views than she did. Overall I liked the conference. It was interesting and taught me a lot of new things to take into consideration when teaching and even in my every day life.

Monday, November 9, 2009

talking point #8


1."Once or twice a year there are science projects. The project is chosen and assigned by the teacher from a box of 3-by-5-inch cards. On the card the teacher has written the question to he answered, the books to use, and how much to write. Explaining the cards to the observer, the teacher said, "It tells them exactly what to do, or they couldn't do it." "

This is sad to only have 2 or 3 science projects a year. Most schools will do them once a week. The other sad part is that the teacher feels like they have to do everything for the student. Without the teacher, the student would be useless? Yes to a certain extent but they are not as dumb and helpless as this teacher feels like they are. They have common sense and can figure some things out.

2. "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??!!" "

I would hate to see this in a class room. You get kindness by giving kindness. I would not be surprised if these students give the teacher a hard time everyday. When you respect your students they will respect you. There is a fine line of discipline and kindness that a teacher needs to find. If you are too nice of a teacher then your students might walk all over you. If you are too mean and are always yelling, your students will not like you as much and give you a hard time. It might be hard to find but it needs to be done or even attempted to create a happy classroom.

3. "On an occasion when a child did not maintain control, the teacher said, "When you're up there, you have authority and you have to use it. I'll back you up.""

This is the type of teacher that I want to be. I want my students to know that I will support them when I can. I like teachers that you feel comfortable with and want to ask them questions. With a good relationship comes good learning. If you can talk to a teacher and understand them and they can understand you, then there will be a good atmosphere to learn in in the classroom. Every time I have had a teacher that i have liked, they have respected me and felt like a friend. I was not embarrassed to speak in class or ask them for some extra help.

I liked reading this article because it made me realize how I want to teach and what to do to gain the kind of respect from my students that I would want. I also didn't really like it because it made me upset that teachers would actually talk to their students like that. I never want to be like that or want any of my children having teachers like that. No one should be treated like that when they are trying to learn and better their lives.

talking point #7

My freshman year of high school I went to an all girls school, so I know first hand the difference in education. The one year at an all girls school, I learned more there than at the 3 other years at a co-ed school. I feel like I learned more because I didn't have the distraction of any boys. I didn't have anyone to impress or to look good for. The same kind of learning goes for an all boys school. They can be who they are and not need to look extra masculine for any girls. Being able to learn in a comfortable environment is the best way to learn. That's why I think that same sex schools work the best for education. For a social aspect of learning, co-ed schools prepare you better for what you are going to experience in the real world.