Sunday, September 25, 2016

Kozol- Overcrowding Video

During class we were talking about the over crowding in the Kozol piece and how it made me think of the Jewish ghetto during the holocaust, so here's a video to portray that.
The main point starts at 5minutes

“Putting all of us in one place with nothing to grow on” (11)

Teaching Multilingual Children- Connections

I connected this article to Delpit when talking about the codes and rules of power. While the topics are not exactly the same, I was a similar outline.
Teachers have to know how to deal with multilingual children when thinking about their home lives and how to avoid offensive content, while still covering everything in the curriculum. In this situation the unwritten Delpit rules are applicable to the teachers more than the students.
Teachers no longer have all of the power by knowing most of the needs of the classroom as a total. In some cases the students may have more power when discussing certain languages, and there may be different levels of disadvantage/advantage among students that teachers have to account for.
"Academic language does not come to kids automatically,just because they are in a dominant English-speaking locale. Academic lan-
guage is context-reduced and intellectually much more demanding. Context-
reduced communication relies heavily on linguistic cues alone"(Collier 225).

"Those with power are frequently least aware of - or at least willing to acknowledge its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence"(Delpit 24).

In this case, the teacher has power but doesn't realize it. For example, as an English speaking instructor, I would assume that my students can understand the basic structure of sentences and how to make sentences in a conversation. If I am teaching an ESL student, they are grasping at what they know of their own language to understand what I am saying, when I think I'm being very basic. Academic language is important, but it has to be used so that all students get a fair understanding of the content.

All Lives Matter Follow-Up

I forgot to mention the ALM article in my first post, so here's a follow up reflection!
I really enjoyed this article because I feel like it's put in a way that everyone can understand because this is a such a frustrating topic.
"...the phrase “black lives matter” also has an implicit “too” at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem"(All Lives Matter)
This article was very short so it's hard to get deep into, but there was an "actual moment of learning" for me while reading it, like we were talking about in class. I was sitting with a friend of mine who doesn't quite understand the issue with the All Lives Matter movement, and I was able to reword this article into a way that he could understand, so I was able to help him find a new point of view. Now he can ask me questions about this and other controversial topics to which he may have been blind to before. An example of this is feminism and how there is such a bad aura around it because of "crazy feminists". It's nice seeing people realize that there are different ways of approaching these difficult topics, especially as a white male/female who lives in a sheltered world.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

White Privilege- McIntosh Reflection

         While going through this reading I immediately felt connected to it because it's from the point of view of a woman, while most white privilege articles I find are written by men. It hit home when McIntosh made the comment on how we are taught that our (white) lives are normal, completely ignoring the idea of privilege.

         "I think white are carefully taught now to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege.... whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal..."(McIntosh). 

It's weird to think that while this schooling may not have been intentional, it still contributed to the ignorance of white men and women alike. None of us actually understand what it's like being a person of color in today's society.

         When McIntosh went into her list of how she benefits from white privilege there were a few that especially stuck out to me because I actually notice them every day or at least am conscious of them.
6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection. 
18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race. 
30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.
34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.

Of course every point she makes is valid, but it was almost nice to know that a lot of people see the race problem in our country, because I do personally put a lot of thought to it. People always want to shy away from the topic, which only shows that it is a problem. This is part of what contributes to our nation being so ignorant. People are afraid of change and afraid to be the minority. White people just assume that they'll always be in charge, so they subconsciously try to keep everyone else below them. 

White privilege isn't something that can be solved in a day, month, or even a year, but raising awareness is the only way to help equal things out. When you become aware of privilege, you gain the ability to help the people who don't have the same benefits as you. What I'm trying to say is that white privilege can be a good thing to use, while at the same time fighting it. We can let the people of color in our nation fight alone, when it's clear that we hold the most power and suffer far less consequences.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

My First Post

My name is Melanie Howard and I do not enjoy writing personal posts about myself, so I'm just going to do the best I can. Hey at least I'm honest.

Let's start with some factoids;
    1) My favorite thing to do is play softball.

 The picture on the top is from when I played in high school and the bottom picture is when I first started playing (I'm the cutie in the bottom left)

    2)I'm happiest when I am near the ocean

                                                        I go to beavertail way too much
  3) I have a pretty large Family. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother, of which I am the second youngest.


   4) I work at Dunkin Donuts

Kristoff Post

For the reading of Kristof I decided to respond in the form of quotes.
1. "A child born in the bottom quintile of incomes in the United States has only a 4 percent chance of rising to the top quintile, according to a Pew study"(Kristof). 
 The statistics in this quote astounded me because of the following fact that there is only a 4% chance in the US compared to the 12% chance in Britain. Also, Kristof goes on to explain that "parents’ incomes correlate to their adult children’s incomes roughly as heights do".  It's weird to think, on a personal level, if my success is only thanks to the work my grandparents and parents put in when they were younger. If I do something great and becpme successful is it actually thanks to the effort I Put in? I know that what I do makes a difference in my life right now, being a young adult, but what about when I was younger?

2. "... in the United States, too often the best predictor of where we end up is where we start"(Kristof). 
I feel like this is something that we all know deep down. As students, or teachers, or anyone else, we can guess where people will end up just by looking at them and making judgements. For example, no one expects the daughter of a high school drop out teen mom to become a doctor or an engineer. Don't say it's not true because even if that exact though doesn't cross your mind, it's subconscious. Why is it that way? How is it considered a miraculous success story when someone overcomes an obstacle such as nontraditional parents, when it shouldn't necessarily have an impact in the first place?

3. "Sean Reardon of Stanford University has calculated that the race gap in student test scores has diminished, but that the class gap has widened"(Kristof).
In my opinion this is an even bigger problem than it may originally seem, because it seems that the wage gap is only becoming wider as time progresses. I feel like once a family has money, it will only keep adding to its fortune, while a poor or middle class family is almost stuck in that position. Now this problem is entering the education system, and I can assume that it's because of the resources accessible to students of different economic classes. Without the grades to make it into college, it's almost guaranteed that the lower class students will remain in the lower class, even though they may have tried their best during school.