Saturday, February 26, 2011

GLSEN REPORT: NYC Respect for All Trainings Increase Staff Competency at Addressing Anti-LGBT Bullying

         This article was an evaluation of a LGBT Training Program.  GLSEN took surveys and evaluated the effectiveness of the educator training programs that are meant to reduce anti-LGBT bias and behavior in school. These training programs seemed to be successful but they realize that additional efforts to develop skills may be necessary to sustain higher staff intervention levels. This article showed good statistical feed back such as more that 9 in 10 educators (92.2%) said the training had caused them to do something differently in their educational practices. The participants seemed to overall think the training was great to the point that it should be mandatory for all teachers, administrators and basically anyone who comes into contact with children in the school. The GLSEN report focused on the effects of the training on educators' knowledge, awareness, beliefs and behaviors; six weeks after the participants increased in many areas but they were also able to pinpoint the areas that did not increase. This finding was helpful towards future training so they can know what areas to work on.
     This article discusses briefly how these training programs give educators tools to feel more comfortable addressing anti-LGBT bias and behavior in the classroom. This immediately made me think of our class discussions. This was brought up when one of my classmates (I think Danielle?) said that during her service learning project a student said "Justin Beiber is so gay". She instinctively addressed the issue and said not to say that because it could hurt someones feelings. After that Dr. Bogad made the point that it was great that she felt compelled to say something but that by addressing it in that manner may still relate the word gay with something that is bad. Dr. Bogad continued to explain that if you prepare for these situations as best that you can you will be more likely to handle it in the most productive way. The training programs that the article discusses seem to be just the thing that would help an educator do just that.

This link to the Educators guide was very interesting and helpful to me. It goes more in depth on LGBT issues, statistics, and ways an educator can work on overcoming them. It discusses how to create a safe space for discussion with some sample ground rules, how to respond to resistance, and addressing things such as language and bias in the media. It goes into much more and I highly recommend looking it over!
This is a short youtube clip that is sad a bit disturbing but I feel it really addresses the importance of stopping the LGBT bias and behavior at schools. This video, by Heather Ike, films a high school football game where students repeated an anti-gay chant. The video was first posted on youtube just showing that chant and it received many comments that tried to justify that chant. The video we see include this feedback. The comments all seem to defend the chant and make it out to be no big deal and even go to the extent of calling the girl who created the video names. Her video then shows short stories and photos of young people who have committed suicide after anti-gay bullying and harassment. It ends in some things that we can do right now in order to join the fight against this prejudice. I feel that, just like the training programs provide, the more aware we are of an issue and its severity to more we will be able to prepare to properly address it.
This video is longer and actually has a part 2 that should come up on your right hand side when you are watching this part 1. Oct 5, 2010: Anderson Cooper explores the national epidemic with bullied students, parents of suicide victims, Rosalind Wiseman author of Queen Bees & Wannabees, conservative Tom Prichard of MN Family Council, and Ellen Degeneres. This video seems to address all of the issues of bullying, not just LGBT. I think this video had great examples and brought up excellent points. Anderson Cooper talks to parents, students, celebrities, etc. I don't even know how to sum it up exactly but its great! Hope you watch it!
 Adding to blog:
         This video is about the "pregnant man" named Thomas Beatie. It is really good, I recommend watching it. This is the first out of 5 videos. I have referenced this story before on someone's blog when we talked about the King and King childrens book. I thought of this story because this couple said they read a kids book about a daddy seahorse that gives birth. This also helped me understand a lot about transgendered people.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Virginia Collier "Teaching Multilingual Children"

      This reading made me think...a lot. With my service learning project about to begin, just going to the school made me so much more aware of how many students are bilingual. I find it very exciting to think of teachers really trying to educate themselves in order to find new methods to teach children english from different language backgrounds but it also makes me very nervous of the thought of myself having to do so. I am starting to think I need to crack down on myself and learn spanish!
      Back to Collier's article. The first thing that really stood out to me was her saying "the key is the true appreciation of the different linguistic and cultural values that students bring into the classroom." I think this is a very complex and difficult challenge to attempt to overcome but I like how Collier encourages teachers to understand, appreciate, and use the child's first language. After reading Dr. Bogad's blog that referred to her putting this idea into practice, it really makes me appreciate it and believe it can work. Reading further I began to attempt to comprehend all of the seven guidelines. The first guideline was a little difficult for me to comprehend. I had to look up the word acquisition...which I still don't fully understand but I do find it interesting that it is important to not just teach a new language but to look at how the previous culture taught the child's first language. I liked how it is said that "for younger children, it is recommended that the teacher's focus be not eh message- which is the child's focus- rather than on the form of the message." I felt I was able to really relate to this first guideline when I came across the six features of the "caregiver speech". These six features paralleled what I just learned last Friday when I went for reading buddies training for my service learning project. This is especially true with the sixth feature f, when it says that when correcting the speakers focus their attention not on the error, but on trying to communicate well with the child. I like that this is becoming a more popular way of teaching because I do believe that people can learn better when they are in a more comfortable and positive environment, not one that they are scared of being wrong or put down in.  Next this first guideline brings up the fact of how critical it is to be aware of the social and emotional factors which affect the second language learner. I feel social and emotional factors should always be taken into consideration especially when trying to teach someone. That opinion of mine was also true during out class discussion about people on welfare. That is why I agreed with Billy when he said we needed to come up with some sort of institute that allowed them to earn their money while also getting them psychological (social + emotional) help.
   Next I liked both guidelines #3 and #4. Both of these really seemed to encourage the use and reference of the child's first language and to do so in effective ways. I agree that it is important that the children are not told of made feel that use of their first language is wrong, vulgar or bad. #4 says that "teachers must look at the benefits of having multiple ways of talking in the classroom." I think this is wonderful because I am really discovering in life that the more positive you are about something the more positive results you are going to get. I feel this is absolutely true in any learning environment and can see how beneficial it may be when teaching a student to be bilingual. I think it is neat how Collier says "Teachers can affirm the varieties represented by students in class, and as students become older and more cognitively aware, they can benefit from understanding the contrasts and affirming them as language differences not to be looked down on." This entire concept just makes so much sense to me. I do understand the flipside that it may take a longer time for the child to develop "perfect english" but if in the long run they will more easily understand and transfer their knowledge learned in their first language to their second then whey not encourage learning in their first language. Just like it was said on pg. 233 "The most successful long-term academic achievement occurs where the students' primary language is the initial language of literacy" and"Once a child becomes literate in the home language, literacy skills swiftly transfer to second language settings."
   Guideline #5 was difficult for me to fully understand because I am not bilingual. I felt like I was reading a foreign language when trying to grasp what code-switching, language influence, and word borrowing is. I think I have an understanding after reading it fully but I don't think I would be able to articulate what they mean back to someone.
   Although I had trouble with some parts of this reading and I also became very nervous/ insecure about the possibility of me facing this challenge as a teacher someday, overall I really liked Collier's positive approach to teaching multilingual children and would like to talk about positive reinforcement in class. I really love her end "In sum, language is enchanting, powerful, magical, useful, personal, natural, all-important"(181). The reasons to use this whole range of activities in the classroom is to eliminate boredom, raise awareness, and make language teaching as well as learning as culturally relevant as possible for students. In this manner, it is hoped that the larding process will not only enrich the life of the student, but also that of his or her teacher." I feel I will probably come back to this reading again and appreciate it more over time when I can fully relate to it and learn from it.

Adding to this post:

I found this link interesting - its a Teaching "ESL" Students new faculty workshop from 2008.

                                                    I loved this video! Its short and sweet : )


Sunday, February 13, 2011

White Privilege by Peggy McIntosh


 priv·i·lege  (prv-lj, prvlj)
1.a. A special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste. ( 

"I now think we need a more finely differentiated taxonomy of privilege, for some of these varieties are only what one would want for everyone in a just society, and others give license to be ignorant, oblivious, arrogant, and destructive." 

The connotation of privilege is labeled differently within each race. I believe that the point that McIntosh made is relevent in a white privilege mind set. My opinion in seeing the big picture when reading this quote was basically every individual brought up in a system either adapts to their surroundings of what privilege is or becomes skeptical to what they do not have.

"If these things are true, this is not such a free country; ones' life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own."

I find this quote false. When you are brought into this world you become an individual and have the option of being independent or codependent. You can either adapt to your surroundings and rely on other sources for help and guidance or you can gain it yourself. I believe that when born you have the a "path of knowledge" that guides you in a right or wrong direction and you are the only one that can direct the path of it.  Its not about adapting to a definition of what a word holds...privilege...and then believing its true then needs to be followed and enhanced. Its about believing in who you are and what you want to make out of your life. Its about seeing the positive meaning behind being a privilege person by thinking with knowing you have a privlege mind set. Its not about having money, power, guidance its about knowing that you are the only one who can control your destiny, virtues and success.

"Privilege can look like strength when it is in fact permission to escape or to dominate. Power from unearned privilege can look like strength when it is in fact permission to escape or to dominate. "

I believe that this is a racist point of view on the meaning/label of privilege.  Privilege as stated above is not about a different label. Yet has a the same carried definition through all.  People may feel like they have less power in certain scenarios and situations but they still can have the thought process of what they want and how to go about it. Yes time may be huge factor in how to pursue their ultimate happiness/goal but bottom line if you put in the effort of what you want out of the word will get it.


I added a link to watch youtube videos of Parelli's natural horsemanship. My first degree is an associates in equine science and management.

The Parelli Program and Mission

The Parelli Natural Horse Training Method combines in-depth equine psychology and common sense communication techniques into the ultimate recipe for horse and rider success. It allows horse owners at all levels of experience (from trail rider to Olympic level Dressage rider) to achieve success without force, partnership without dominance and harmony without coercion. Our wider goal is to help create a better world for horses and the people who love them through the non-profit Parelli Foundation.

I feel this program applies to all educators no matter whom or what you are teaching. The first seminar I went to changed my life and my perspective on...everything. I have learned to approach situations differently and not take everything so personal. I have learned that all beings can be sensitive and have a unique way of learning. I also have learned that in order to teach you need to build trust, and with trust you can bring out confidence with can reveal thing being that inside your student, wether that student is a horse, dog or even human. Its an amazing program that I feel anyone can benefit from. I found it difficult to find a good video on youtube, I am a member so I get dvd's etc that explain what I would like to share better but anyway... Hope you all enjoy!