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.