Friday, September 30, 2016

Gender Roles

Studying Gender Roles in Literature and Life 

Author: Jeremy Knoll
September 28, 2016

Key Points: This article points out some great books, and lesson plan ideas to teach the meaning and value of social justice. Some of the key books that they mentioned was Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and readings on Romeo and Juliet. These books address the sexism, and struggles of fitting into society. He talks about how the teacher can encourage the students to examine the media and how the media portrays gender-normative ideas. It's also important to allow students explore the fact that a lot of social media portrays women as sexual objects. There are also important cultural messages that these books among others can open the floor for discussion and questions. He states: "As a teacher, I see the cultural message that continue to tell girls they are objects to be appraised by boys and that how women look is a key determinant in deciding who they are." Men are also portrayed as being strong, muscular, and the cosmetic industry for men is exploding. 

Relevance: It is important to understand that as teachers we need to keep an open mind, and have a safe environment to discuss these important topics in the present day media literacy. This is a great article for Middle school, or high school teachers wanting to explore lessons that relate to present day literacy lesson segments. We need to be able as teachers to help make connections to real life situations in our classrooms. One idea that stood out to me was having the students write in their journal about times they have seen the value of girls and boys being measured by their looks. The main goal would be to create a great understanding and awareness on cultural diversity, sexism, and biases. 
Title:  Bilingual Medford kindergarten teacher honored as Oregon's Teacher of the Year

Source/Author/Date:  The Oregonian/ Betsy Hammond/September 30, 2016

Key Point:  This article tells us about the Oregon Teacher of the Year.

Relevance:  This article is relevant because as teacher candidates it is exciting to see teachers aspiring to be the best and being recognized for their expertise.  Over 60 teachers applied for this honor on in the state of Oregon.

yes to classroom "inspections!"

This is a great article about visits they make to classrooms and schools in Vermont and give feedback regarding any and all things noticed in the environment.  What I love is that it always results in positive criticism and steps the team can make to improve what goes on in the classroom.  I have support like this in my district; I have mentors and coaches that come through my classroom and sit down with me later.  It's one of the most useful tools I could ask for, all around.
On the other hand, I don't think it needs to be mandatory.  I view it as an added opportunity, which is where I think the article is coming from as well.

White Privilege Survey

'White Privilege Survey' causes controversy at Aloha High School
Lizzy Acker
September 30th, 2016

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Key Points: Some parents are unhappy with the "White Privilege Survey" that had been sent home with Aloha high school seniors earlier this week. One parent specifically stated that the survey aimed more towards making people feel bad because there are white. While another parents speaks out saying that she thinks it's important to be talking about race. The school states that the goal of the survey was to create empathy and teach students how to have these tougher conversations.

Relevance: While the topic of race and privilege can be awkward and uncomfortable, it is important to be able to start having these conversations at a young age. Being about to talk openly will help people be able to understand others point of view more clearly. 

Carton of Milk Controversy

  • Title: Teen accused of stealing 65-cent carton of milk at middle school to stand trial
  • Source/Author/Date: Washington Post / Victoria St. Martin / 9/30/2016
  • URL Link HERE

An interview between a young boy and his father VIA StoryCorps

StoryCorps: An interview between a young boy and his father. 

Youtube/Democracy Now! 
Adain Sykes
September 16th, 2016

This is an inspirational look at one parent's views of raising a black boy in not only Mississipi, but the world in general. The short video begins with nine-year-old Adian Sykes asking his father what he first thought when he was born. His father responds with; that while it was the proudest moment of his life, he was also very scared. He states that he saw his son as a "blank canvas" and how he know it was up to him to add to this canvas, he also could not control the "paint strokes". He mentions the fear of raising a black boy in Mississipi, and how that has shaped the way he has raised his sons. This roughly 6-minute video is a glimpse into the life of a parent and their wants for their child. 

Stories such as Adain and his father's will make up the population we as future educators will be working with. I felt this video highlighted our conversation from last Saturday's meeting about hearing, knowing, and acknowledging people's stories. How the ability to not shy away from learning about our students and each story they bring to our classroom is critical to building community within our schools. 

The audience for this video I feel is truly anyone who wants to learn more about complete strangers, and be inspired by the love and guidance one father is giving his son. 

Supreme Court to hear special education case

Richard Wolf

USA TODAY 09/29/2016

Supreme Court, "de minimus", IDEA,

What is the level of services a school district must provide? In this case the government said a public school district need only off an education that is more than de minimus. The bottom line in this article is at what level of services do school districts need to provide to students with Individualized Education Plans.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Financial Education

Sex ed is required. Why isn't financial education? 

-Key Points: 
we should be teaching students about financial education in schools 
-Most americans are stumped by the simplest of financial questions.
-Nearly half the people in the US claim to not have enough money saved to cover even a $400 emergency expense.
-1/3 of Americans regularly carry credit card debt.
-"Financial education alone won't fix all of the problems Americans face. But consider that since schools invested in sex education in the 1980s and 1990s, teen pregnancies have declined dramatically. Imagine what could happen if people learned the basics about money."
--Wealthy kids learn about money at home or at their private schools. Poor kids do not.

I feel this is so relevant to students, parents, and teachers. Student everywhere in our country are experiencing so much more school debt as the years go on and because of that debt, jobs not paying enough, and people everywhere trying to live outside of their means there is an astronomical amount of debt for people. Being able to teach financial education would be so helpful and I know I would have loved to have that as a student . 

Individualized Learning Plans

Key Points:
- School system in Indiana wanted to develop individual plans for their students with unique education situations
- The district had no tools in place for this so they used Google Docs to collaborate
- Students were to take part in creating their individual learning plans (ILPs), and they were live documents that changed as their needs in education changed
- After one year, the ILPs failed, as they were too much work to keep up with
- The moral of the story is to try, and understand that failing is learning

This article is highly relevant in education because it supports trying new things and understanding that "failure" isn't really failure. It is a chance to revisit something and try again. The ILPs described are also very similar to Oregon's Individual Education Plans (IEPs).

Title: Studying Gender Roles in Literature and Life

Source/Author/Date:  Teaching Tolerance, by Jeremy Knoll on September 28th, 2016

URL Link: 

Relevance: While American culture today does not view women as property, classic literature and today's media portraits women as objects to be admired by men. The amount of media propaganda through advertisements and shaming cause...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Letter to the Senate

Letter to the Senate on S. Con. Res.11

NEA (National Education Association), Mary Kusler Director of Government Relations, Published March 24, 2015.

Key points:
  • Three million members of the National Education Association (NEA) formed a letter stating why they disagree with the FY16 budget resolution written by S. Con. Res. 11 and why they should vote no.

Teaching Tolerance

New Lessons to Help You Explore, "Who Is an Immigrant?

Source: Submitted by Teaching Tolerance Staff on September 14, 2016
Blogs and Articles: Immigration

Key Points-
·      Teaching tolerance- This is important as a teacher to model tolerance and respect of other’s cultures and beliefs.
·      Teaching students to be proud about where they come from, instead of being embarrassed, we need to have them accept and celebrate their heritage.
·      Exploring family, culture, and community- Need to be more aware to incorporate and learn about other cultures in our classrooms, which will help with understanding between people and cultures. Will build connections between the teacher and students and their families.
·      Awareness of other cultures-Make time to learn more about other cultures, because we are all working together in classes, and the world. Also, invite parents and families to expand on this work.

·      This lesson is very relevant for me because I am an immigrant and have experienced the same as some of my students. Learning a new language and becoming used to American culture, but I have not lost, or will I lose my connection to my heritage. I believe that it is very important to hold on to that, because it is who we are, and I want to pass this on to my students.
·      I currently have a challenging class of second generation native speakers who are not proud of where they come from. I want to instill in them the importance of remembering where they come from and embrace it, rather than ignore it. It is not 100% of who are or are becoming, but it is a large part of the people we will turn out to be. This is a great lesson that I will be completing in my classroom very shortly.

Audience- Teachers, parents, students, administrators