Sunday, February 24, 2013

August, "Safe Spaces" - Hyperlinks

“There’s a class that needs to be taught every day, that’s compassion. Teach the kids to be kind to one another”  ~ Ellen Degeneres
Ellen Degeneres, a famous comedian and show host, is an advocate for anti bullying in general. Her parting words on every show, are "Be Kind to One Another". She is a great role model, and she happens to be gay (which doesn't stop millions of people from watching her show). This video has clips from her past segments on anti gay bullying. On one episode, she invited the mother of a young man who committed suicide to be on her show to get public attention to what is happening to our youth. In this part, Ellen cries out to everyone that this has to be stopped. We are in a crisis, and it seems like every one is too afraid to make a stand on the issue. She begs that teachers help teach the kids at school compassion, and to not stay neutral on such topics. Bullying is never acceptable. Bullying to the point where these kids feel there is no way out is downright outrageous.
I feel it is important for us as perspective teachers to prepare ourselves now. It is inevitable that we will come across an issue of bullying in our classrooms and we need to be prepared on how to do so. The above video also opened my eyes to another factor - How YOUNG these kids are who are committing suicide. That means, this is not just a middle or high school level issue. This needs to be talked about early on. I looked into some ways these can be introduced. Aside from the books mentioned in "Safe Spaces" I found:
Elmer is a duck who gets bullied because he is a "sissy". He is even misunderstood by his father. Elmer performs a courageous act to save his father, and proves he is no different from any other duck.
"One Dad, Two Dad, Brown Dad, Blue Dad" by Johnny Valentine is also a great book to help children understand that not everybodies family dynamic is the same.
Finally, I looked into some ideas to get the anti gay bullying movement going through out the whole school. Many of these programs have chapters, so there is one near us, or we can start one up.
Here are some school programs:
Gay Lesbian Straight Enducation Network
Geared toward younger grades. Nice tips on using inclusive language!
Help with keeping in mind the needs of LGBT students in schools.
Class discussion: I wonder if going to the Unity Center would help if we had any additional questions or needed ideas on how to help our students more effectively.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Rodriguez, "Aria" - Argument

In the writing Aria, Richard Rodriguez uses his personal experiences to argue that it is very difficult understanding bilingualism, especially as a child. Rodrigues remembers feeling as if Spanish was some sort of private language that he could speak at home with his family and friends. On the other hand, English was a public language, something he had to learn in order to make it through school. Rodriguez wishes that someone, especially a teacher, would have made him feel welcome by trying to understand and call him by his native language. This lack of understanding from his teachers left him to slowly slip behind socially and scholastically. Like all parents, his wanted the best for him and agreed to practice English at home with the family. However, this pushed him in the right direction. He and his siblings became more publically independent. He spoke in class and gained confidence in his ability. Rodriguez no longer felt that he was an outsider and became “Americanized”. 

                On the other hand, the silence Rodriguez had once experienced at school was now felt at home because his parents did not understand all of the English that he had learned. As he learned more English, he lost much of his Spanish words or translations. It is interesting that Rodrigues points out that as the family grew more divided, his father became more silent. He uses a story about his father saying grace before meals in English wrong to highlight how embarrassing it could feel to not fit in with the culture around you. The fact that from then on the mother said prayer is interesting, as it changed the family roles. As Rodrigues grew, he finally came to the realization and understanding that there are two ways of individualization; private and public. Rodrigues feels that although he lost some of his private individuality, he gained public individuality by assimilating to the dominant culture.

Point to Share: I remember thinking it was cool having a bilingual friend. Maybe as educators we should encourage students to share their language and culture with their peers to make it feel less "weird". 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

McIntosh "White Privilege" - Quotes

“I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious”(McIntosh 1).

This quote reminds me of something Dr. Bogad has said. Like McIntosh, Dr. Bogad believes we all have different tools, depending on our experiences. McIntosh compares being white to having a big set of tools, but pretending you do not notice that you are given more than somebody else. She believes that this is just as bad as acknowledging the privilege outright.


“When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization", I am shown that people of my color made it what it is” (McIntosh 2).

McIntosh gives a long list of things privileged people take for granted. The list brings up many things that I personally take for granted at times. This item is particularly important to me because one day I will be teaching the history of all different kinds of religions, races and sexes. I think it will be important to keep in mind how I present the information to my students in the future.


“Disapproving of the system won't be enough to change them. I was taught to think that racism could end if white individuals changed their attitude… Individual acts can palliate but cannot end, these problems” (McIntosh 6).

This quote sums up the idea that the way privileged people are taught to look at race is not the most affective. In Allan Johnson’s Privilege, Power and Difference, he discusses the fact that you are not doing anything wrong by being privileged or not. If a privileged group ignores the fact that they are better off, it doesn’t change how they try to “help”. By setting the standards of what is helpful to the standard of living they are accustomed to proves the fact that they feel superior and better off.


Hey there!

My name is Marissa and I am a sophomore at RIC. I am studying to be a history teacher at the middle or high school level. All my life I have been passionate about history, and I want to inspire other students through my class. I work as a customer service representative at Wright's Dairy Farm and I love my job! I have 3 dogs and 4 cats who drive me crazy. I am blessed with a great family and friends.

~ My Friends ~
My co-workers ;)
One of my dog's puppies <3 So sweet