Monday, April 21, 2014

Social Justice Event- Iggy's Doughboy Dash

For my Social Justice event I attended the Iggy's Doughboy Dash. You may be wondering how this could have anything to do with FNED  but surprisingly it does. On April 13th was when Iggy's hosted there second annual doughboy dash funding children with disabilities.This event is honored for children who struggle with disabilities. This one particular family hosts this event for any outsiders to come and uses the money raised to find a cure for all different disabilities.
This event is made to have fun but also come together for the support of the children and parents. One of the main parts of this event is to run a half a mile and then eat a half a dozen doughboys and then run back to the starting point. After everybody is done running, their is clam cakes and chowder to eat. Also, parents speak on behalf of the experiences they have with their children and even some children speak too. After attending this event I realized the hardships the parents have being a parent whose child has a disability. The point of this event is to be fun for all children who come that have disabilities and to show love and support for these children. Parents of children with disabilities speak on behalf of the lifestyle that they have to live.Sitting and listening to what these parents had to say really amazed me. It brought me back to when we watched that video in class of all of the parents who go through hell to get their children the right education or whatever it may be that their child needs.
It also connected me to the previous reading of Kliewer. After hearing stories of parents of what they have to go through daily, whether it is school related or an after school program related their is no short-cuts and it is always a process with something. I really give it out to those parents because they have to work extra hard for their children and for their family as well. Some of the parents just like in the video that we watched had to leave their jobs just so they can take on the full time job of taking care of their child.I had a really great experience attending this event and I would definitely go again to meet more people and hear more stories!

Sunday, April 20, 2014


For this weeks blog post and last blog post on the readings, I decided to pull out some quotes that I thought were interesting to me. Sometimes I find it easier to use quotes from the text to explain the connections that I have with them.

"Students in empowering classes should be expected to develop skills and knowledge as well as high expectations for themselves, their education, and their futures." (16)

Shor claims that allowing students to have a voice in the classroom changes everything which I believe is true. Setting the class setting early is very important considering that one day, students feel that they are a valued part of the classroom, which will hopefully improve their outlook on school. I also think that in empowering classes, students help one another develop a sense of self-worth. If you were an educator and had a chance to do this for your students, wouldn't you?

"They ask why the official textbook and syllabus are organized the way they are and how this knowledge relates to their community cultures and to conditions in society." (37)

This quote was very interesting to me. When I first read this quote I thought--Dr. Bogad. This particular quote reminded me of the day that we had a "written assignment". She is teaching our class as an example of what Shor claimed to say. Of course, being a student for so long, I am so used to doing what I am told by teachers that when and assignment like what Dr. Bogad handed to us, I just did, without any hesitation. I think that this is very important to remember as we become teachers because if this is how I feel now or did feel back in high school, am I going to want to make my students feel the same way? Absolutely not. We should care about our students' opinion.

Those were two of the quotes that I found really interesting and connected well with. I sort of found this reading a little difficult to understand but when I could relate it to our class itself and the readings, I had a better understanding of it!

Below is a hyperlink to a video about differentiating instruction. I thought this video was really intresting and I really enjoyed watching it! Check it out! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome

For this Weeks reading we had to read Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome. This reading out of all the many readings that we have had to read so far this semester, has had to of been my least favorite. I was not engaged in this text at all whatsoever. I tried my best to read it but then I realized the reason I didn't like the reading was because I wasn't interested in it at all. I believe that because I had no personal connection with the article, it was hard to see where the author was coming from with all of the different points that he was trying to make. I presumed that was the reason why this was one of my least favorite readings.

Although I didn't like this reading I managed to find some interesting points that Kliewer mentions on the very first page of the article, that I agreed with. Kinglsey claims that we need to break the barrier for people with disabilities which I believe is true. In order to break the barrier of people with disabilities, other people need to not be so judgmental and stereotypical of people that have disabilities. I believe in order for this work these two groups of people need to come together and by doing that students and students with disabilities should come together in a school setting. Just because a student has a disability doesn't make them any different from a non-disability student besides the fact, of course, that they have a disability. Just like we talked about last week with grouping students who have a higher I.Q with the better teachers and the students who aren't that smart or need more help, are placed with teachers that don't care. These teachers believe that there students are "stupid" and because of that judgment, the students placed in a lower class setting are loosing out on their education. I feel the same way with students that have a disability. Students that have a disability are typically placed in the same section of the building but teachers and aids must also remember that not every student has the same disability, therefore some students are capable of doing a lot more and shouldn't be labeled to be placed into those types of classrooms. These students should have reign but also some guidance in pointing them into the right direction.
A student that has a disability usually has no control over this happening to he or she, so why punish them even more to being limited to doing certain activities and learning certain things? It's not. I can remember back in high school, there was one part of our school which was called the 300's and that was were all the special education classes were, people with disabilities. After being in my Senior year in high school, I remember this one girl who I never even knew had some type of disability because she dressed and acted so normally but because she was in those classrooms and walked with the students with disabilities I knew she was. She tried so hard to fit in and be one of the popular girls that it broke my heart to have to see her be limited to meeting certain people in high school because of whatever type of disability that she had.

Below is an article about how children with disabilities have it harder in school than others.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Literacy with an Attitude

For this weeks reading I had a little bit of trouble trying to get through the reading especially considering that it was thirty five pages, but after managing to read it, I couldn't believe how it connected so well with Delpit. I decided to do my blogpost this week on the connection of Finn and Delpit. Delpit is all about rules and codes of power and that is exactly what Finn was talking about in the reading. While teaching in his classroom, he is in complete control and he makes sure that his students know this. Finn claims, "I didn't say to an errant student, "What are you doing?" I said, "Stop that and get to work." No discussion. No openings for an argument."
Finn shows in his classroom exactly what Delpit wants. In Delpit's reading she emphasizes that we have to teach these rules and codes of power as well as helping students to value their home culture, all at the same time. Finn explains all of the different mechanisms that he has to keep the classroom under control and it seems to work. Although he feels that he is too controlling, that's the only way to keep it tamed. For example, any parent who let's their teenage child do whatever they want when they want to without any rules or codes of power than he/she is going to let loose and be wild, not having any respect towards anyone and same goes for schooling. If you have a teacher that let's the students control the classroom then you bet your bottom dollar that they are going to take control and only work when they feel like it. This is why it is very important to have rules and power in school as well as at home too.
Students who have rules at home have a better understanding of what it is like to follow directions at school whereas students who don't have rules and codes of power at home find it difficult to follow directions at school. Both Finn and Delpit believe the rules and codes of power is a success when teaching a classroom.

 Below is a link of an article that provides good information about when Delpit and Finn talk about using power and control of their classroom, as a teacher.'s-Classroom.aspx

Monday, March 24, 2014

Brown vs Board of Education

When I saw that the reading for this week was going to be about the Board of Education I was very excited. I can remember back in the tenth grade I had to do a huge report on Brown vs. Board of Education. Although I can't remember much of what it was about I do remember the main points especially after this weeks reading. On the website that we had to look at, it talked about the Civil War and how it was meant to pave rights for everyone, but during the early 1900's, many of the laws were put in place which caused segregation. But one thing that was established was that there was a fight for civil rights for blacks, which proves that their was some type of effort.

In the Wise videos, it was said that there is evidence of racism of people of color that is still relevant. It also claims that racism is sometimes defeated, which is a step up from what it has been, but it is not always defeated. There was also an interesting idea, that there are certain exceptions for certain people. Some people of color are accepted, but this is not really helpful when there are still so many other people out there of minority. There aren't any particular white acceptable people, just based on their race; so why is it that way for the colored? There is no racial equity, and until that day, I feel that there will always be racism. Another interesting idea from Wise was that all the movements for acceptance of blacks has taken time, and although it is taking time, us Americans are moving forward with it which is a good thing. Also, an ironic thing was that this piece mentioned Brown vs. Board of Education and said that it was a big step forward.

What connects these two pieces together is that they both say that it took some time to make a change. The website on the Board of Education had a timeline so you could easily see the years that went by to change everything. The video also explicitly says that it has taken time as well.

Below is a link of a video that I found on YouTube which talks about the Brown vs Board of education case.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In The Service Of What?

 In this article I decided to pull some quotes that I thought was interesting and could elaborate a little more on. In the beginning of this article it was confusing to me because I wasn't fully aware of the difference between the "charity" and "change" types of service learning. After reading the article over again I realized the differences and began to develop a keen sense of the differences between the two. From my understanding, my view on the service learning charity could teach students important values and possibly change their views, in of course a positive way. In this article, both Kahne and Westheimer explain that a music class went to a school in and area that performed poverty from the attending students. These students talked about the school that was located in a poor neighborhood and how scared they were for the things they thought they knew about the students who went there. This also connected me to Inspiring minds in the Providence Schools. My first day I was very nervous and scared for I didn't know what to expect. The students in the music class performed a service and ended up learning from this. The original learning was done at the school in the poor neighborhood and it was continued while they ended up discussing their experience in class. I personally believe that if students are demanded and have an expectation to perform community service, they are in fact completing the service portion of service learning, but only partially.

 "As is commonly the case with new policy initiatives, however, more attention had been focused on moving forward than on asking where we are headed"
This is an important quote in the article because it shows the articles main point. Most policies start without the planning that they deserve. An example of this happened in my high school. Throughout the year several times the new graduation requirement was changed because it was not planned very well. This was frustrating to many students because teachers or administrators were unable to answers questions that students had because of the poor planning. This was similar to Khane, and Westheimer when they wrote about service learning and how quickly it entered the education system without an effective learning strategy which resulted into not being well-developed.

"In Atlanta students simply write a 500-word essay describing their experiences. They never discuss their experiences as part of a course. In fact, many of the major legislative proposals have a minimal reflection component- sometimes for fear that such an orientation would diminish the focus on altruism" 

I personally believe that Christensen would not like this. With the policies that with held in this quote, the students are taking action by volunteering in their community but they are not reflecting upon their experiences in a meaningful way. Performing and action and then writing about it does not compare to the what the student learned in a meaningful way of their experiences. In order to make it meaningful, their needs to be a class discussion which shows progress of learning. After doing a project it should not stop with just the project but should be continued with a reflection. During the reflection process it could be difficult for it could make or break a project but when it is being forced on a student it is most likely going to break it.

"In the service of what?" is a question that inevitably merits the attention of teachers, policy markers, and academics who take seriously the idea that learning and service reinforce each other and should come together in America's schools"

The purpose for writing this article, I believe, was to elaborate on the importance of answering the question, "In the service of what?" If we continue to take action upon service learning without answering this question, then their is a possibility that we could end up with strategies to incorporate service learning into the curriculum. For example, Mr. Johnson's project ended with a few unsuccessful results. The argument that the author tries to portray to their readers is that people who enjoy service learning should realize that service learning becomes a very effective method before you implement it.

Below is an article that I found online about service learning and all the great things that come from it. I found this really interesting and thought it was very realateable to what we read!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us- Arguement

In this article Lisa Christensen argues that today's society and media are responsible for the images of ourselves and others in today's world. She claims that Disney, and other cartoon authors show off multiple stereotypes throughout their cartoons and characters that affect children and shape their view of themselves but also the world too. Christensen also strongly believes that because these messages and stereotypes start influencing kids at such a young age that some of these kids will grow up believing themselves or others when really they are the ideas of the society that influences them. She claims that it goes further than the typical racial stereotypes, and takes away from other stereotypes that cast upon a bad light for people who do not fit into the "pretty" or "white" categories. I believe that this is true. Society affects the way children/people view themselves and others. But it is hard to avoid every possible media outlet that might stereotype. As Christensen mentions, it goes beyond cartoons and Disney Movies. It includes movies, cartoons, books, television shows and songs. Although some part of me feels that we should keep children from media so they can create their own perspective on life, it seems impossible due to the amount of media that portrays negative stereotypes. Christensen suggests to try to change this part of society, but the difficulty is that we all must agree and try. If we don't fight this than we are agreeing to having more children grow up believing that society gives them the right outlook, when in reality it is not, these children don't know this because they have always only seen the world through that outlook, just like we did as kids.
Here is a link to an article that talks about two of the Disney Princesses that relates to this article, which I found really interesting.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Safe Spaces-Hyperlink

After reading safe Spaces I was really intrested to learn more. Although it is not a very pleasing topic to read about when you are reading about childrens' thoughts of suicide because of how bullied they are being, it intrests me to know the problems that these students face and why. I decided to do some research, and read stories about children and see what besides the bullying triggered them, and what didn't somebody do to help these children. I found this website which I thought was really intresting to read. After reading one story I was fascinated to read more. Safe Spaces relates to this because it goes to show that you really do need to focus and look at the people that are being bullied for most of them take the easy way out which is not the right way at all. After reading safe spaces I had a completely different outlook and realized a lot more. It all starts in the classroom and if the teacher can address the problem and help to prevent the bullying to continue than mabe that could save a life. It is extremely importnat to talk to anyone if you are being bullied because any student or child that is being bullied and keeps it inside is pnly digginng themsleves and it hurts. I think that because most bullying happens in schools they should have clubs that these people can join to feel better and feel accepted. I know in my High School we had a club called gay straight alliance and it really helped students who were shy about their sexuality come out and be themselves.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Aria: Rodriguez

After reading both of these stories I had a little trouble figuring out which article I wanted to talk about and which prompt I wanted to use. I took the time to read some posts of other class mates and then I came across Madison’s. In Madison post she tells us of her reading, "Aria" by Rodriguez. She begins to talk about the troubles of Richard Rodriguez and how his family is from a Spanish speaking family but in school he has to speak English. It is evident that it would be hard to have to speak English in school and Spanish at home, at times this could be very confusing and frustrating.
As life goes on you realize that there are a lot more colored people and different racial background people living in the United States than their ever was before. By all means I am not racist but I grew up surrounded by all white people living in a middle-class neighborhood where their may have been one or two colored families. Now it’s like a white and black country everywhere which is great but I feel like now there are a lot more changes to accommodate colored people. For instance, I never thought I would see the day that we would have a black president and look we do! The whole point of that is, just like in the article White Privilege, it has always been white people that have had the privilege over colored people but as the years are progressing and centuries are approaching, there no longer will be a white privilege. For example, any time you need customer service over the phone there is an option for Spanish. Not only that, but when you walk into most buildings, important notices are placed with an English and Spanish sign. 


Madison also elaborates on the fact that Rodriguez has to accommodate with real world not being able to speak his language which ruins his family’s relationship. That saddens me but you can't change the country that speaks English into a Spanish speaking country to save you families relationship.

I've had many thoughts trembling through my mind about this topic and when I saw Madison’s post I had to comment. I think she also did a great job describing and talking about the troubles of Rodriguez and how it connected to an article that she found. I would definitely agree with the fact that being bilingual is a plus because nowadays you walk into a restaurant, and as a waitress I have waited on many Spanish speaking families and at times it is very hard to understand what they are saying or one of the younger children in the families relays what they are trying to interpret.

I also found a link which corresponds to what Madison had to say and talks about the benefits of billingual education which I thought was really intresting!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Silenced Dialogue: Lisa Deplit- Connection

After reading the "Silenced Dialogue" by Lisa Deplit it connected me to a movie called Freedom Writers in a different kind of way. In this article that Deplit writes, she claims in the beginning of her article how a black woman who was trying to teach her class, always seemed to be pushed to the side and was thought of as "not good enough" or "not doing her job right" towards other white woman teachers. There was always a problem when students were taught by the colored teacher and then the following year was taught by the white teacher or vise versa. It was hard for both teachers to teach their students considering that they had very different ways of teaching their students.

In the article it also talks about authority. One little passage that I found really intresting was on page 35 and claimed, "Black children expect an authoriy figure to act with authority. When the teacher instead acts as a "chum", the message sent is that this adult has no authority, and the children act accordingly." This short passage is what really brought me back to Freedom writers. If you've never seen Freedom Writers, it is about a middle-aged white woman who goes in a classroom with students that are mostly black and ahve a lot of problems at home. She tries to teach them, and these students see her as joke because she doesn't show them authority but also because many of their previous teachers always gave up on them. To make a long movie short, after several weeks of continuously trying with these students she finally made a diffrerence.


Also, another part of this article made me think of something a teacher back in High School once told me. In this article on page 37, it began to talk about how a student was proud of the teacher's meanness. Now why would he be proud of how mean she was? This made me think of the time that my teacher once told me, if you've never said you've hated your parents at least once in your life time, then they aren't doing their job right. Just like in this article, the boy claims that his teacher was mean but he was also glad she was mean because he learned a lot from her. I thought that part of the article was really cool and it really made me conect back to what my High School teacher once said.
Below is a link of an article that I found about teacher authority in a classroom community which I found really intresting.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Amazing Grace: Jonathan Kozol- Quotes

In the article Amazing Grace, Kozol talks about how "When you enter the train, you are in the seventh richest congressional disrtict in the nation. When you leave, you are in the poorest."(Kozol 3) After reading this I was completey amazed and intrigued which lead me to read more. How is this even possible? This just goes to show how soceity is really screwed up. I don't understand how these wealthy human beings can live so close to a neighborhood that is so poor but yet are completey okay with it, and never thought to help these poor people out. While reading this article I came across a quote which was said by a father of four children. He claimed, "You just cover up...and hope you wake up the next morning." (Kozol 4) After reading this statement I sat back and realized how lucky some of us really have it. This father of four children live on the streets and is lucky enoug to get another day to live. These people are living in fear and will probably never have a normal life. This is very relevant to what the author is talking about because of how segrated some areas in America are, espeically in New York where some of the poorest people come from. Also another thought that I found very interesting was Kozol stated, "I think they hate you because you are not in their condition. I am in hell and you are not and so I hate you and I have to try to bring you down to where I am."(24) I couldnt agree anymore on what was just said. This jus goes to show that many people who are at lowest of the low, bring people down who are wealthier or even have something that is worth more value to them. These people feel like there lives may never be as good as the people who are rich or even have a little more than them and because of this they act out on it, which causes shootings and deaths and stabbings. Not all black people are poor and not all white people are rich. Sometimes its not all about the racial segreation which was talked about in the beginning of this article but the values that people have.
South Bronx, New York 2013
South Bronx, New York 1990

Washington Heights, New York 2013

Washington Heights, New York 2012

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Little Something About Me....

As you all may know my Name is Courtney but what you didn't know is that I'm a twin! I'm a faternal twin which means we don't look alike. I have a younger sister who is 15 and an older sister who is 28.

My younger sister is in the middle and my twin is on the right :)
  I'm 18 years old and attended Pilgrim High School. Ever since I was little I knew that I wanted to be an Elementary school teacher. I'm taking this class to become an Elementary school teacher and I can already tell from the vibe the of the classroom that we're all going to have a great semester. I'm very eager and excited to take this course, it seems like it is going to be a lot fun! My favorite things to do is run and go shopping when I'm not with my friends or family. I work at Newport Creamery in Garden City and Dunkin Donuts. I love to work and make money! I can't wait to see what this class has in store over the course of the semester.