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 What did you get out of this class? 
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As I was responding to the Exam date thread, I was thinking about this class and our discussions. I have had classes in several different cohorts and am very impressed with the Hickory cohort. You guys really get down to business and are a team.

I am remembering the past few class meetings where discussions have been lively and intense, at times. Everyone contributed and offered their perspectives. While we can all agree to disagree on several issues, the point is that we are communicating effectively, listening (and I mean really listening) to different perspectives, and reflecting on our discussions. The main point that I can take away from this class, seeming to be the theme of most of our readings, is that there are many worlds/different situations out there. We may have experienced them and may not have...but regardless, we will be working with students, teachers, staff, parents, and community members that have. What we have to remember is to be aware and respectful of these differences, try to see what they see (perspective) and be empathetic, when needed. Our ultimate goal is to teach children...academically and socially.

Not only this, but we need to have a good understanding of our own beliefs and why we have these beliefs. Searching for meaning/understanding (reflecting) as to why?how?...Once we develop a starting point, we grow and learn. But, you has to be open to wherever this process may take you.

As briefly and to the point as possible, what have you learned from this class?

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Leigh Anne Frye


Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:19 pm
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Leigh Anne, great question - thank you for making us think even more.

The main thing that I learned in this class is that reality, from my point of view, may not be reality at all from someone else's. I agree with what you said about our cohort... it has truly been a pleasure and an honor to be a part of this group, every member of which realizes that no matter what personal, political, religious or other beliefs we bring into classes, we are all people who deserve respect. As school administrators, it seems as though we will need to take it even one step further. The old adage of not judging someone until you have walked a mile in his/her shoes will apply, but on a greater level. Our opinions and our beliefs shape what is real for us, and our reality may be considered extremely ficticious by other members of our school's learning community. We need to be prepared to view the realities of others without walking a mile in their shoes, and to appreciate and respect the ideas and opinions of those whose realities are drastically different from our own. Without this understanding, we will be challenged in our efforts to give each student every possible opportunity for success.

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Logan McGuire


Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:02 pm
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From this class I have gained a new respect for the lives children bring into the school setting. By reading the different works, I have gained a perspective on diversity that will help me when I have to tell a student that he should stay awake in class, or when I have to tell a student she needs to show respect for her teacher, even though that child doesn't understand the middle class expectations when the teacher says, "Don't you think we need to focus rather than have our separate conversations?" The little things that we as leaders need to keep in mind as we attempt to be fair and consistent are really the important issues that will determine our success in getting students to achieve and to simply behave.

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Jackie Shaw


Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:31 pm
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I've learned that we are always changing and it's up to us to see that we are changing for the better. Parker Palmer, "...as we are able, so we are responsible."

If we can remember how inhumane people can be, then perhaps, as much as it depends on us, then we can make things go better for the next person.


Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:25 pm
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This course has been one that asked for intense self-examination, as most foundation courses seem to do. The readings have asked me to examine what I believe to be fundamentally true about this thing we call education. It has also helped me to clarify my own values and beliefs about education. I am a firm believer that the only hope for equity and equality in our nation is public education. I have always believed in the noble cause of public education and I now believe in it more firmly than ever.

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"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." M. Twain


Sun Apr 08, 2007 10:21 pm
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As much as this course has helped me to clarify some of my own beliefs, it has also made me question where I really do stand on some other issues. It amazes me that we can come together as such different people, spend hours listening and observing eachother, while bringing to the table so many different points of view, yet we all are reaching for the same goal and have seem to accomplish it for the most part. I'm not just talking about finishing the course, I'm talking about figuring out who we are and what makes us tick. It's been about standing up for what I believe while being able to respect the beliefs of others and relating it all to being administrators and putting that child first. I have always felt that children can be so brutal to eachother, by calling eachother fat, or stinky, when all the while, I've never given much thought to how adults can be just as brutal with comments that are so casually stated. An awareness is what I have gained from this class and a gentle nudge to continually remind me of who I am and what I stand for, while noting my responsibility to my students.

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Amy Scronce


Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:35 pm
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This course has made me think about WHY I believe what I believe. Much like Ishmael was trying to get the student to realize, we have to realize that we each have a story. Our education story of when we were in school, who our teachers were, how we related to peers, ... is a huge part of who we are as educators now and will become as administrators. What we say to our students, how we teach them, the respect (or lack thereof) that we show to them is a part of their education story. We ought to strive to make it a positive story, one that they can build on for a lifetime.

Our past helps to shape us and our "truth". As we add information to our story, we may change the next chapter. For instance, this class has made me aware of the multitude of perspectives that are brought to a situation and the need to be mindful and respectful of each perspective. I feel that my next chapter as an administrator has been impacted by this course for the better.

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Lisa Fortenberry


Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:33 pm
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There have been several common interconnecting themes that have been evident in the readings, videos, and discussions that we have experienced in this course. One of the themes such as trying to understand others and their stories have been discussed in other courses in the MSA program, but not to this extent. It is always interesting to hear the different stories and to reflect on our own experiences. One other theme that we have been exposed to is that we all learn differently and there is not one cookie cutter approach to teaching kids effectively.

This forum was a good tool to discuss issues that are relevant to our careers.

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Chris McKay

"Our progress as a nation can be no swifter
than our progress in education." -JFK


Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:29 pm
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Understanding self is the key to success. This class has added to my knowledge of the world we live in and myself. I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to be in the Hickory Co-Hort. As an administrator, I know the information shared by Dr. Turner will enhance my daily dealing with parents, teachers, and other community leaders. I for one feel we must suspend any prejudice we might have and always put the child's best interest first.

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Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:35 pm
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My main lesson from this class is that we will never all agree and that's okay. the thing to keep in mind is to remember where the other person is coming from whether its religious, economical, political, or racial differences, we all have past experiences that form us into the people we are. We just have to be willing to hear those past experiences to better understand the other person.


Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:11 pm
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I focused so much on my own triggers this semester. I believe that through these studies we got a glimpse of who we are or could be if we allowed ourselves to go there. There are places in us that we need to check and have disregarded for so long that it took pages from novels, pictures of hangings, lines of intrigue and misunderstandings to find ourselves again. We get so emotionally invested in the outside world that like Nathan we drive ourselves off of the cliff and believe that we are still on level ground. I learned that I have some work to do before I ever believe that I have made it close to my true self.

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Alisa Ferguson
MSA, ASU, summer 2007


Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:21 pm
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