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Idea Page

This page is turning more into a space where I can flush out my observations and connections with the readings. These readings reminded my a lot of previous courses I have taken and experiences I had with my students this year.

Dr. Love: Hip-Hop’s Place in Education


“Who I am is academic, and I don’t have to take my academics away when I enter the school building.”

“Spirit Murdering” Kids

I had a moment this year when I just felt like the reality of the times just hit me–Inauguration Day. I chose to show it to my students after much internal debate. I’ve been hearing their conversations about Trump for weeks, and I had been trying to reinforce positive peer conversations and tolerance since Election Day, and I wanted them to understand how the political process works. I invited the discord and controversy into the classroom, so that we could learn from it. The class I had during the Inauguration Ceremony was an interesting mix. They did not ever really clique up into groups. They all just kind of did their own thing which made discussions quite rich because they were not concerned with image. I did not expect what came to follow. But as the cameras were panning over the crowds, I just kept hearing, “I don’t see any of us.”

“Oh look, there is one. Oh wait, he is security. Where are they all at?”

It took me a minute, but they were talking about not seeing any black people in the crowd. I felt gut punched. They were right. The majority of our government is run by white men. When President Obama and Michelle got on the helicopter, the room was silent. It felt like such a sad moment. I just observed. They don’t see reflections of themselves in positions of power and respect, so what message does that bring?  To tie it back to Dr. Love, many of my students have disciplinary histories that are chapters long. They get written up for the dumbest things–not staying in their seat, dancing and beating in class, constant talking. We truly are stripping them of their spirit. Aren’t there better ways to incorporate a student’s personality into learning instead of just giving detention?Yes. Yes, there are. What will it take for other people to notice that? I am constantly on the hunt for different ways to bring relevant culture into my classroom.

I tend to browse these sites regularly to incorporate diversity as much as I can:

Teaching Tolerance

Zinn Education Project

It is always through these seemingly minute splashes of non-traditional curricular approaches that my students find the most meaning.

 


The majority of articles in Folder A reminded me a lot of material introduced in Dr. Jones’ class on Cultural Pedagogy–which tends to be a topic that is inextricably linked with all things of importance in education–or it keeps re-occuring as a solution for many of the problems encountered in modern day education.

I had incredibly empowered females students this year. We had incredible discussions surrounding the Nike shirt below, and they still send me pictures of ways society labels women. Body image is such a huge factor in middle school–for both girls and boys. This year, it seemed like this group was very into challenging “the man” particularly through dress code. As an educator, I felt caught in the middle. I want to support them as these learn how to use their voices together to make a point (and it was actually incredibly valid. They wrote an argumentative essay–that proved mastery of those standards–that detailed their claim), but I did not know how to help them along without placing myself in hot water. It is such a difficult ground to navigate.

Lunchtime Dialogue For my final in Dr. Murphy’s class, I held a 2 day group discussion with my female students. Their openness and insights on body image an how it relates to both school and society were incredibly powerful. By far the most meaningful conversations we ever had last year.