As a personal belief I think being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender should be introduced right away. I would not throw it at the students but I when I am introducing the topic to the class I would say sometimes people have two moms, two dads or one mom and one dad. Introducing to them that the “standard” couple, a man and a woman, isn’t always what couples look like. I personally feel that many people today do not care that people consider themselves for their sexual orientation.
Growing up I had known people who were part of the LGBT community and I had not thought anything of it since it was none of my business to know. On both sides of my family there is someone who is part of the LGBT community and yes it had shocked some of my family members when they had come out but had slowly started to accept it since they cannot do anything to change who that person is. In my friend groups both here at Rhode Island College and back home in Connecticut a lot of them identify in the LGBT lifestyle. The way our society is changing is very fast and no one knows the length certain people may go to make people feel comfortable or uncomfortable.
Since we will all be teaching in a classroom where there will be LGBT children I have included a link to create a LGBT- inclusive school climate.
While I was reading Terry Meier’s article it had made me look back at all the times I had read or was read a book in my whole life while I was at school. When she had stated “Books are not meaningful to children who do not see themselves represented in them (p. 247).” I was able to relate to this because in my elementary school my fifth grade teacher did not do this and I remember this due to the fact that I was told that you should not saw ‘ew’ or ‘that is weird’ out loud when the teacher is reading to the class. The quote I had pulled from Meier’s article had made me remember this event because my classroom was mostly filled with people from African-American or a Spanish background while the story was of a small European child playing and learning about the other countries in the world. Another time the quote had made me remember a time where one of my teachers actually had looked for a book that the class can read that represent most of the class and that was actually helpful for some of the class since majority of the class had spoke Spanish or knew enough Spanish.
A part of her article I had found interesting was when she mentioned her sister had sent her three stuffed bears and a brown skinned doll to use for her story telling part of the class so that her students can have another visual to help grasp the story. This was the part of the article I had liked the most because she was able to give another was for her students to see, hear and learn from. The book that the bears and the dolls represent is called Leola and the Honeybears.
Below I have included the cover of the book Leola and the Honeybears and a link about facing race in the classroom.
While I was reading this chapter from Lisa Delpit’s book ‘Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflicts in the Classroom’ two parts stood out to me and one of them was when she introduced Martha Demientieff an Inuit teacher who taught Athabaskan children in a small village. Demientieff had said to her students, “That’s the way we say things. Doesn’t it feel good? Isn’t it the absolute best way to get the point across (41)?” She is talking about how the way they speak and how it differs from the way that we speak in the classroom here. In the small village of where they are located, they use different ways of talking in which they call heritage language and then they have the “Formal English”. The “Formal English” is what we use daily where they don’t. We all were raised differently and all have different cultural backgrounds that affect the way we see the world and how we do certain tasks. The way we were raised and where we were raised all gives us a certain perspective view on the way we hope for the outcome of our futures.
The second part of the chapter that had stood out to me was when she had introduced the black elementary school located in Fairbanks, Alaska. The problem that the school had was that when the African American kids were placed with the white teachers there had been problems with obeying the rules. A lot of the parents who had went in to meet with the teacher had said that they need to show authority in the class and not be best friends with the child. When the child sees a person with authority not taking control and just hanging out with the class can cause confusion. In the future when we all go out and start our student teaching or even teaching in our own classrooms as a teacher we would all know how to balance being the students’ friends and the authority figure in the students’ life.
Below I have included a link to a cultural survival quarterly that talks about schooling in rural Alaska. I also have included a map of Alaska to give you a sense of where Fairbanks is located.
While I was reading the first chapter of John Kozol’s book ‘Amazing Grace’ I had almost started crying because of what these families are facing because of where they live in the world. The first person, he introduced was a seven-year-old boy named Cliffie. Cliffie had taken Kozol on a tour of the neighborhood and said things and explained parts of the neighborhood. He pointed out how this building was to burn people and but when Kozol had asked the reverend when they got back to the church he asked what the building was really for and the reverend had told him that it is a waste disposal for 14 hospitals throughout New York City. This leads me to my next points are about hospitals and what their homes are like.
Hospitals in this chapter had made me realize that all hospitals or not the same and some run out of supplies faster than the others because of where they are located and how much money we have for supplies. An example from the book that has not shown how supplies were being used up quickly is the Harlem hospital. The fact that this hospital doesn’t have enough resources for all their patients is saddening to think about since if anyone one of us ever had an emergency we would be welcomed by maybe a few overworked nurses and doctors but there will always be another nurse or doctoring coming soon to relieve them of their duties.
The majority of the people who live in the south Bronx is struggling to make meets ends with an average income is $7,800 a year. The people who live in the south Bronx are almost forced here because they can’t afford to live anywhere else and the landlords know that so they use it to their advantage forcing people to live in small cramped areas with no heat in the winter where people can freeze to death and no cool air in the summer where the people can literally be boiled alive. Many people in this story are being screwed over and beaten down because who they are and where they live. I hope that in the future it can change but I know it will be a long time till then.
Here are some links to programs that help the adults and the youth of South Bronx.
Below is a video about the South Bronx view over history and a photo of the general map area of the South Bronx.