Saturday, December 12, 2015

promising practices

I have never attended a social justice event before so Promising Practices was a completely new experience for me. Walking into it, I was nervous because I wasn't sure what to expect. I was surprised that the event was focused mostly on health. Dr. Nicole-Alexander spoke about the concerns Rhode Island faces and the future of health. Upon arriving and talking to other classmates, I realized we were suppose to sign up for two workshops. I had signed up for Hearing Empathy... I then tagged along with Taylor. 

When I went into my first workshop, Hearing Empathy... I pictured the workshop to be more teaching directed, and "learning" how to empathize. But i was wrong. It was health centered. The workshop focused on the idea of Schizophrenia and other Neurocognitive diseases and how to empathize with people who live with such diseases. I was unimpressed with the speaker, he was babbling, disorganized and unprepared. i didn't get a true sense of the main idea of the workshop until the last 20 minutes of the workshop when he used someone as a demonstration. The instructor put headphones on the volunteer and the instructor was to ask the man a series of questions. The headphones generated foul language and negative comments. From this, we were suppose to gain empathy for the volunteer because he was struggling to answer simple question because of the Schizophrenia simulation. I didn't really gain any knowledge or interest from this workshop.

I followed Taylor to her second workshop, Recovery-Oriented Systems Of Care

I really enjoyed this workshop, from it I learned a lot about the incarceration rates in the U.S. and Rhode Island alone. I gained sympathy for those who are incarcerated and mentally ill, as well as substance abusers. The speaker was very well organized, and seemed very passionate about her work and the topic. Her enthusiasm encouraged my attention. I really wish I brought a pen to this workshop. 
My biggest take away the amount of time men and women are held in prison while awaiting trial.... now if i had brought a pen i would have the exact numbers. But it was something like the average time for awaiting trial is a few days... but in Rhode Island men and women spend about 25-28 days. That is unnecessary. On it says that " Rhode Island's prison population has increased 250% percent since 1980, according to the DOC report" my question is WHY. 
If we were doing more to support those people... would the prison population decrease? Is the prison system out of whack? or are people turning to defiance for free shelter and food? In Rhode Island, as of 2014, there were 4,097 homeless individuals ( 
Not only did she talk about the rates... but how race and ethnicity come into play as well as gender. 51% of the males who were incarcerated in 2015 were unemployed at the time of their incarceration; 63% of women experience the same. 41% of the females incarcerated will be resentenced within 36 months. And 50% of males will be resentenced in the same amount of time. 
 All of these statistics broke my heart. These people don’t want to go to jail- away from loved ones and the world. It makes me wonder what kind of resources are out there to help those who are incarcerated and to help them when they are out. 
But when they try to get a job… noses are turned up by a record. WHY?! They are trying to better themselves. So a person might lie about their criminal record to at least land an interview, but doesn’t get the job because they lied. Its unfortunate. No one should be judge because of their past and it is truly sad that people can not see more than a check mark on an application. 
Overall, I'm glad I attended promising practices because I gained a new perspective of incarceration. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

SHOR- late post

While reading Shor it reminded me of Christensen and Finn ideas. Shor expresses the need for empowering education- which is asking the "why"and "how" to ideologies. The thing that stuck out to me the most was when Shor said we should ask students, on the first day, why we go to school... what is the point? 
I feel like most children would answer with- because our parents make us. 

But making a child realize that education is important and fun can be really empowering for children in poverty. 

Moreover, Finn talks about the different types of education that different social classes receive. Shor says that children are natural born curious and leaders, and schooling can either diminish or uplift it. In domesticated education, the curriculum erases curiosity and creates a singularity amongst all students. 

By combining Christensen views of empowerment- giving students the eyes to see the world they live in with Shor's need for empowerment... it would be beneficial to all students. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Citizenship In School- Kliewer

When I began reading this article the first word that stood out to me was segregation... "What its like to be segregated from educational opportunities afforded her non disabled peers"

It reminded me of my high school.
We had an unofficial wing we all called the special wing where they students with a variety of disabilities would go to class.
Funny enough, I never even took electives with a student of any disability- including art or gym. 

As Jackie said in her blog- this article reminded me of the conversation we had in class about segregation. Although it is no specifically directed to race, in a way students with any disabilities is given an unfair disadvantage of learning. They are not uneducable- they are people. They can learn and should be given the same opportunities as every other student to learn, explore and discover.

I really enjoyed the moment went the author talks about Shayne and her blending Issac with the rest of the students by a book. She successfully created a safe learning space for those children- especially for a student who was unable to communicate. By using August's approach early on that student will feel more confident in classrooms later on.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Finn- Extension Of Mary Abbys

Like Mary Abby notes, there are many Delpit connections in "Literacy With An Attitude"

"All of us-teachers and students-were locked into a system of rules and roles that none of us understood and that did not allow for much in the way of education."

Teachers enter into the education without fully understanding the rules and roles of the demographic, socioeconomic backgrounds and so forth. Those students are then not taught the best they could possibly be taught- and is that just? Who is to blame? 

Its a cycle. People are comfortable with the broken system because for it to be different their would have to be change. For justice we need advocates. Like the example Finn uses of Freire- the man who taught the illiterate poor of Brazil. After a conversation of justice and what they want to gain from literacy they were able to move forward. 

Additionally, as Mary Abby stated,  Finn clearly laid out a set of rules for his students. His classroom was then able to run more smoothly. The vice principle often applaud him on his classroom as well. I feel like Delpit would be happy with his teaching style because you gain more knowledge when you are able to understand the rules and roles.  The quote I used earlier explains how difficult it can be to be in a system where you don't know you're place or the codes in that particular environment. 

Talks about the cycle- people are comfortable and the only way to break the chain and for there to be changes in rules and codes of power and justice we need advocates for change. Freire was an advocate for the illiterate poor in brazil

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pecha Kucha

Delpit- Delpit tells us to the importance to teach the rules and codes of power. i feel like this particularly important in young children. I had a moment where a squirmy child had his feet behind him on the back of his chair. So I looked at him and said "We do not put our feet on our chair. Our feet are to be touching the floor when we sit down." After I told him the rule, his feet remained on the floor. 

Rodriquez??- On my first day I met a little girl who is Spanish. I asked her her name and she told me, I repeated her last name and the girl told me it was Spanish. I told her it was really special to have a Spanish last name and it was beautiful and her eyes lit up. Im not sure if she felt accepted or understood, maybe it would've been more powerful if i was able to talk to her in Spanish.

McIntosh- A single student was selected to wear a special sash and stand outside of their room and direct children to their room in the morning. The Safety Patrol was a good example of power- since those in charge for the day were black or hispanic. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015



I was entering my senior year of High School. From Freshman to Junior year we only had 4 black students in total (one in my grade), we had no hispanic or latino students, and one Asian student ( in my grade). So I walk into my senior year, and I see new faces, new black faces. And I asked myself "Where did you come from?"
Its rare that people move into our town.
And I still don't know "where they came from"

But, that moment reminded me of the Podcast we had to listen to... Where did all those Normandy Students come from? Who let them in here? Why are they here? What now?

While listening to the podcasts- I was most hurt by the ignorance and hostility of the parents. I just couldn't wrap my brain around the fact that they could not see a great opportunity for the students of Normandy- that they were willing to catch a 5:45 AM bus and hitch a ride to get a BETTER education.

It also hurts me that there seems to be a good and bad school.
That the good school is all white students.
And the bad school is all black and latino students.

Look at the bigger picture-  Kristof tells us that our so called "Land Of Opportunity" is more like the land of the standstill. If your grandparents were stuck in the ghetto when they lost their job back in the 60's because the factory shut down... you best bet your present self isn't coming out of that generational poverty. So if there is a 5% chance the poor will get out of poverty.... why is it so bad that students living in poverty go to travel to a town of "wealth" to be educate?
Thats where all the "good" teachers are.
"Breaking up these toxic concentrations of poverty would seem to be a logical and worthy goal. Long years of evidence show that poor kids of all ethnic backgrounds do better academically when they go to school with their more affluent — that is, middle class — peers. But when the poor kids are black or Hispanic, that means racial and ethnic integration in the schools. Despite all the babble about a postracial America, that has been off the table for a long time." - (Separate and Unequal)

Is SCWAMMP telling us its a bad idea? That "Just because I'm white- doesn't mean I'm a Racist..... but those Normandy students shouldn't go here"
"They will bring drugs and violence !" 
Is it demographic prejudice?
I don't see a bright light at the end of the tunnel... but I will applaud students like Brittney for opening her white arms to her new black friend from Normandy Jr. High. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015


An Extension to Mary Abbys Blog:

I really loved how Mary Abby talked about her own Service Learning experience to talk about the article. I agree with her in that Service Learning is beneficial for both the child and volunteer. When Mary Abby talks about the perceived notion of the school being gang related- tough, the students being rude.... I had the stereotype before going into the school. And i experienced the same feeling of relief to see that it was not as I had expected. I got the stereotype of inner city schools from movies like Freedom Writers and stories in the news.... my friends in different education programs warned me. But like Mary Abby said- "the stereotypes they had were dispelled"

I think that was powerful of her to say. Not only were my stereotypes flushed away- but like what Ashly had experienced in her service learning with "What is this white girl doing here?"
We have opportunities to banish their stereotypes as well- we want to help.