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 Dare to be Different! 
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Reflecting back on when we discussed in class about power and fantasy worlds, it makes sense when talking about image, diversity and the classroom. The media, our environment, and our peers help us mold a fantasy world or an "ideal" world. I feel that some people try to live up to this make-believe world, and ultimately fail because it's unrealistic. However, I feel that it is and it is not the fault of the individual. Even at the college level, I have had a "friend" tell me without using words that I was "different" because I was born with a birth defect. He listed all of my friends who he thought were beautiful, and then looked back at me and said nothing (and saying nothing says more than actual words). If I had accepted that person's opinion, I would have given that person power over me.

With my own experiences in dealing with acceptance, I have sworn an oath to myself to treat each of my students with decency and respect. I feel that, as teachers, we should not judge our students based on superficial and fantastical ideals. Whether you have a black student, an obese student, a homosexual student, and/or a student with learning disabilities--they deserve to be treated as a person (and given an equal and fair education). What is an "ideal" student, anyway? Hint--there is none! I fear that sometimes teachers use their power in a negative way (sometimes I don't think that they are aware of it, either). For example, my 3rd grade teacher use to have me finish my classwork during recess. Because of my learning disabilities, I was slower at finishing assignments than my other peers. My teacher use to punish me by taking away my recess privileges and making me finish my assignment in the hallway. Looking back, it angers me to know that I was too shy to speak my mind.

Overall, what I'm trying to say is that we need to erase this idea of an "ideal" classroom and an "ideal" student. It makes me so mad when we chastise people for being different, instead of embracing and supporting them! How do you plan on being a positive influence and a good role model for your students?

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Ericka Griffin


Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:29 pm
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I would like to address the recess thing. If any of you have had the pleasure of taking a class from Dr. Groce, she will constantly tell you to never, never take away any students recess time, and I completely agree. Students usually seem to fall behind because they are forced to sit quietly and listen in class when they would much rather be outside having fun. The time they get outside helps them relax and in return will help them concentrate more if they had a chance to release their energy from being in class.

Next, I agree with Ericka. Like we discussed in with the panel last week, they had teachers that would just sit and do nothing when students would speak out toward others in negative ways. That is just like the teacher saying it his or her self. In high school I was not the coolest in the class and I was made fun of because I did not go out and do the things that the other kids were doing, most of those things were against my moral values. Yet I was well respected by my teachers and was dating one of the most beautiful girls in my class. I think the latter is what caused a lot of the cruelty from some of the guys. I think that if it was not for those experiences I would not try to treat people with the respect that I want for myself. I did not enjoy high school the way I wanted to then, but looking back I had great friends and the experiences shaped me into what I am today.

I will remember that when I have my students. Though I think those hard times I endured made me a softer and more understanding person, I would try my best to help my students enjoy life the way God intended. No one should have to feel bad for being the way God created them or how their upbringing taught them to be. They can not be held at fault for those things. It is up to us to teach students the proper way to treat others if they are the ones making fun or to help the ones that are on the butt end of the ridicule.

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Drew O'Keefe


Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:41 pm
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