The Election: What should we tell our children?

elephant-964294_960_720

This is an article that addresses how to talk to children about the election that does a good job of honoring the democratic process and assuring students that they are valued. This amazing article that begins with a question from a principal “What should I say to my students after the election if Trump wins?” The author Ali Michael discusses that first we will protect them. Second “that you will honor the outcome of the election, but that you will fight bigotry.” Third teach them “how to be responsible members of a civic society.” “Finally, remind them ― to ease their minds ― that not everyone who voted for Donald Trump did so because they believe the bigoted things that he has said this year. Many of them voted for him because they feel frustrated with the economy, they feel socially left behind, and they are exercising the one power they have.” Michael also says, “we need to teach students how to disagree—with love and respect.” The article addresses the fear that students may be feeling that they will be directly affected by the results of this election. Michael says, “Tell them you won’t let anyone hurt them or deport them or threaten them without having to contend with you first. Say that you will stand united as a school community, and that you will protect one another.” This article brings attention to the many concerns that other teachers and parents might face in the upcoming days, this article articulates many issues beautifully and provides a healthy way of moving forward from these results.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-should-we-tell-the-children_us_5822aa90e4b0334571e0a30b

Upon reading this article I called my mom, she is a high school teacher in Santa Cruz California where she told me that she was forwarded a letter from the police chief. The letter was addressing that students at a local middle school concern that police and people in uniform might come by school and deport undocumented students. In the letter the police addressed the concern expressed and stated what the local law enforcement abide by. This was to help ensure that students felt safer and understood that they would be safe when they were at school. I find it so amazing that a community can come together and show so much support and concern. It shows and articulates so much that was said in the article “we will protect them” the police chief is showing how he and the other people in uniform are going to protect the students, making school a safe learning environment.

http://www.mindfulschools.org/personal-practice/election-and-mindfulness/

This article talks about the election and the results and techniques and thinks to keep in mind relating to mindfulness. I found this article to be helpful in keeping me centered through a time where I feel very vulnerable and disjointed.

Advertisements

Mo’ne Davis: Throw Like A Girl (Documentary)

fort_wayne_daisies_player_marie_wegman_of_the_all_american_girls_professional_baseball_league_arguing_with_umpire_norris_ward_opa-locka_florida

In this short documentary it is a perfect example of how youth are stepping out of the box and moving away from trying to fit into our societies stereotypes and create their own identity. Mo’ne is a perfect example she is a 13-year-old girl who is a badass baseball, basketball and all around sports player. At one point in the documentary a speaker describes a scene: “Two boys throwing a ball together, one of them say I’m Mo’ne and then the other is like no, I’m Mo’ne. We all know that the girls aspire to be Mo’ne but here are two boys talking about what it is to be Mo’ne and to perform at that level, I was so surprised and tickled by that.” Here the idea that is being brought up and taught is that women and girls are people to look up to no matter what your gender identity is. The main theme of this documentary is debunking and disassembling this idea that “throwing like a girl” should have a weak, or negative connotation. It is showing that women are strong, intelligent, human beings and should be treated in such a manner. Another woman talked about this: “I think that girls identities especially when they hit the age of twelve or thirteen, and how they see themselves is based on how others see them, the phrase is ‘throw like a girl’ and this belief that doing anything like a girl is less than or not as strong or not as smart or not as far” this beautifully shows the message being conveyed through this documentary. Mo’ne flips the whole phrase around – ‘throw like a girl’. She is an icon for power and girlhood/girl power. Mo’ne ends with a spoken monologue where she says, “go for it, do what ever you want to do no matter if you are a girl or a boy, just go out and do it” and then continues, “I throw 70 mph, that’s throwing like a girl, sincerely Mo’ne Davis.”

This would be an amazing tool to use in the classroom to convey this horrible stereotype of girls and women and the roles that they/we are supposed to play and how we are supposed to do womanly duties and that sports are not for women. This is an amazing example of a young girl writing history and working hard to change that stereotype and change the way other people view women with strength and power. https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2014/11/26/mone-davis-throw-like-a-girl

Another powerful movie that is very connected to this documentary and also speaks on issues of women’s rights especially within sports is A League Of Their Own, here is a link to the trailer:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcN392H2jx0

Name Calling in Presidential Campaign

revup-presidential-survey

This article called Name-Calling on the Campaign Trail and in the Schoolyard draws on the connection that we have seen in this presidential campaign and what we see on the playground at schools. This article addresses these issues at hand and poses that educators utilize this moment and make it a teaching opportunity. The article is showing that educators can take the names and the language that has been used via media toward the opponent and create dialogue and discussion about what name calling does, and what impact is has.

http://blog.adl.org/education/name-calling-on-the-campaign-trail-and-in-the-schoolyard

The article also touches on empathetic teachings; I have attached another article called mindfulness and empathy by Mindful Schools.

http://www.mindfulschools.org/foundational-concepts/mindfulness-and-empathy/

Mindful Schools has many great resources for teaching/incorporating mindfulness into the classroom. I will be exporting more of their resources in the future.

The Peace Library (Book Reference)

“Books for a Peaceful Community: The Children’s Peace Education and Anti-bias Library”

This is an amazing resource that I found that provides a database for finding books that teach children messages of peace and inclusion for all. As I was looking at their website I found the different parts that they want to be evident in the books that they have in this library and ideas that are important in Peace Education Curriculum. They are listed below:

•    Knowledge of Self & Connection to Others

•    Joy in Diversity

•    Creative Conflict Resolution & Sense of Justice

•    Imagination & Playfulness

•    Care & Love of Nature

•    Global Awareness

To find out more information about this project or to find books that teach these concepts check out their website http://www.childpeacebooks.org/cpb/index.php

 

Starting Small (Book Reference)

Here is another reference for educators to find children’s literature that can help teach ideas of anti-bias curriculum along with ideas of inclusion.

This is a book that Teaching Tolerance A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center produced to assist parents and teachers to teach concepts of tolerance. Teaching Tolerance’s main idea is to “provide teachers with resources and ideas to help promote harmony in the classroom.” In the back of this book they have a section called “Bookshelf” that has a complication of books relating to themes such as:

  • Racial and Ethnic diversity
  • Families
  • Ability Differences
  • Getting Along
  • Dealing with Feelings
  • Developing Values
  • Hands, Ears and Eyes on

This is a great resource guide to help build curriculum that teaches tolerance and inclusion that is combined with literature that supports and fosters life long learners.

http://www.tolerance.org/sites/default/files/kits/Teachers_Study_Guide.pdf

Teaching for Change (Book Reference)

I found a website that essentially is a group of educators who have compiled and continue to research books that highlight “people of color as well as social just themes” for people of all ages. Here are some of Teaching for Change’s mottos:

“Teaching for Change is proud to offer a diverse selection of titles that encourage children and adults to question, challenge, and re-think the world beyond the headlines.”

“Unfortunately, our collection runs counter the industry norm. In the last 10 years, fewer than 10% of children’s books published in the U.S. were by or about people of color. In our Teaching for Change Bookstore, about 85% of children’s books sold are by or about people of color.”

When exploring their website it was super easy to look up children’s literature that pertains to a specific category or theme. Like saying if you wanted to find a book that talked about Asian heritage or culture you could look under that category and finding a whole list of books that fit their requirements. Some of their other themes include: Africa, Afro-Latino, American Indians, Anti-Bias Education, Arab and Arab-Americans, Asian Americans, Black History, Board Books, Central America, Civil Rights Movement, Cuba, Different Abilities, Dominican Republic, Economic Class, Education, El Salvador, Environment/Climate Justice, Freedom Schools, Families, Gender Identity, Grandparents and Elders, Graphic Novels, Haiti, Holidays, Immigration, Labor, Latino and Latin America, LGBTQ, Malcolm X, Music, New, Organizing, Palestine, People’s History, Poetry, Race and Education, Read Aloud, Selma, Slavery and Resistance, SNCC, Spanish/Bilingual, Sports, War and Peace, Washington D.C., women Children and Young Adults, Women-Adult Fiction and nonfiction, White Identity, and age groups.

This is the way in which they choose what books are on their website and in their book store:

“We carefully select titles to ensure access to:

  • Progressive politics, poetry and literature
  • Young adult fiction with real-world themes
  • Multicultural titles for pre-K-12 teachers and parents
  • Independent publishers

Works detailing a “people’s history” – including that of African Americans, Latinos/as, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, Native Americans, labor activists, international populations, and women.”

http://www.tfcbooks.org

 

Lesson Plan: Stereotypes of Girls and Women in the Media

“Images of girls and women in the media are filled with stereotypes about who women are and what their roles should be in society. These stereotypes can be negative, limiting and degrading and impact both how women perceive themselves and how others see them as well.

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to critically examine certain media forms and their portrayals of women and girls. Students will consider how media shapes public perception and can perpetuate bias. This is a two-part lesson that requires the students to conduct investigative work in between the two sessions.”

 

Upon finding the Anti-Defamation League website and looking around to discover what they had to offer I stumbled on lesson plans that are catered to specific themes. I was particularly interested with the lesson plan called: Stereotypes of Girls and Women in the Media. I felt that being a women and watching the way media stereotypes women and the way women interact in the world, I felt empowered to learn how to teach youth and spread understanding on the topic. Here the ADL has provided a really interesting lesson plan, not having any experience writing lesson plans this one seems to bring up some important concepts. I was particularly interested with the question that was asked: “How was it to talk about a stereotype you experienced? How do stereotypes perpetuate bias and prejudice?” I think that its is really important to have the students talk about their own experiences, I believe that it brings it closer to home and makes the concepts stick when they have a specific memory to attach it to. I was particularly interested in the homework assignment that had the students investigate for themselves: “Explain to students that for homework, they will investigate how women and girls are portrayed in various forms of media. They will then report their findings to the class a few days after they have done their research and analysis. Select five or six categories from the above list of media. For example: 1) Television or Internet Show: Students will watch one hour-long show or two half-hour shows 2) Movie: Students will watch one full length movie 3) Magazine Advertisement: Students will look at five magazine advertisements 4) Television Commercial: Students will watch five television commercials 5) Web site: Students will look at one website and examine at least three separate pages 6) YouTube videos: Students will watch five short (5 minutes or less) or one longer YouTube video”

http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/lesson-plans/c/stereotypes-of-girls-and-women-in-the-media.html#.WDoPhWXXtgo

 

 

The Mask You Live In (Film)

The Mask You Live In is a movie that discusses the impact of the way our society views masculinity. I have not seen the movie but knowing that it’s produced by The Representation Project, hearing from friends and family that its amazing, and watching the trailer on YouTube I cannot wait to see a screening of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc45-ptHMxo

I found a TEDx where Joe Ehrmann talks on this topic of masculinity with the title being ‘Be a Man: Joe Ehrmann’ where he talks about how boys grow up being told to man up and stop showing/ having emotions, that they need to stop having feelings—that they need to be a man. Ehrmann talks about myths of masculinity, being: 1) Strength, athletic ability, size, skill set 2) Bedroom, sexual conquest 3) economic success. He talks about how our society has driven men/boys to be very lacking in self-understanding and thus struggle understanding others. Ehrmann brings up a concept that I had not heard before, but can understand; empathy deficit disorder. He brings up a solution though sports, he says men need to get connected, and we need to give boys affirmation on their emotions, showing that its good and acceptable for them to have emotions and feelings. He is saying that we need to move away from the phrase “Be a Man!!” and towards affirming men’s feelings. I found this TEDx to be very interesting and can only imagine how much more informative and moving the move The Mask You Live In must be.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVI1Xutc_Ws

Girlhood (film)

I went to the screening of Girlhood on campus through the International Film Festival. I went for the pure fact that it sounded like an amazing movie and heard from friends that it was very poignant. I walked out of the movie thinking about the scene at the beginning of the film where the main character Marieme gets called into her schools principals office and is told that she is not performing high enough to move on to high school. This scene shows so much disappointment by Marieme when she asks if she can redo her grade, and the principal responds with an answer along the lines of that she had already done that and it didn’t seem to work. To me it seems like this moment sets the tone for the rest of her life, and though the film is not centered around the school system in Paris or education really at all. In my opinion the rest of Marieme’s future would have been quite different if the school system that she was in could have accommodated her rather than saying best of luck with your life and sending her on her way. They suggested that she go to vocational school, but didn’t provide her with any resources. The rest of the film shows her being dropped into adulthood realities, and putting her in a place where she is forced into hard situations that she would not encountered if she would have been in school. This film touched on many inequalities, gender, race, education, and economic… the list goes on. All of these factors played into how Marieme’s future was set up for her. It made me think about how all education systems need to be based on inclusion and finding a way to accommodate students with all sorts of differing abilities. It seems so evident that Marieme had some learning differences that made school and academics difficult. Having teachers educated on how to accommodate those who are different will help level out the playing field and make society more inclusive to all different types of people. I believe that this movie could be used in the classroom to help educate students on differences.