Posts tagged education
Posts tagged education
an awkward and necessary honesty moment:
Going from an old position to a new one can be hard, even if it’s for all the right reasons.
It means coming from a place, even if you didn’t realize it, where you were knowledgeable about the work you’d been doing — and ending in a place where even if it’s a familiar field, things may be confusing.
You may feel less capable.
You may feel overwhelmed.
You may feel like less of a whatever-your-job-may-be.
You may be going from feeling competent, maybe even feeling like one of the experts in even one particular thing, to feeling like you just aren’t very good at your job at all.
You’re learning. You’re new. You may be in a new place with new people, and even if you’re doing the same sort of job you may have a whole new crop of kids and families (and even coworkers) who have a whole new set of needs and strengths.
If you’re moving from one position to the next and you’re feeling down on yourself, remember: this is a change. You’re good at what you do. You may have felt really good about your work at your last position, but did you go in that way? You felt good about your work because of all the time you had there, even if it was just a semester for some of you student teachers out there, to get better at it. And by the time you’ve been at the place you are now that same amount of time, you’ll feel capable with what you’re doing now, too.
You’re learning. Nobody starts out an expect. Most people don’t start out spectacular. In fact, I’d even hazard a guess that for many of us starting something new, we start by feeling like we’re fumbling through and tripping on our own two feet.
But you’ll get there. Give yourself time.
Why do you love teaching the grade level you teach at?
Birth through five: Because they’re literally learning everything. Last week I got to see a toddler’s face as they realized that putting cups over their ears had a sound to it, and you would have thought they just discovered the meaning of life itself. Everything is new and exciting to them.
Bisexual Awareness Day: An Important New Study by HRC
Today is Bisexual Awareness Day, and HRC released a report along with BiNet USA, Bisexual Resource Center, and the Bisexual Organization Project that is very important in further understanding the stigmatization that many in the bisexual and pansexual community face on a regular basis.
This is an incredibly important conversation to have and continue having until those with any and all sexualities and gender identities are welcomed within and outside of the LGBTQ+ community.
Kristin also weighed in with her own experience on the issue in an article on the same topic released today by Autostraddle.
This is something that I hear over and over again, not only from youth but from adults as well. When bisexual and pansexual youth come out and are told that they’re “faking” or need to “pick one,” that they’re “greedy” or “confused” or “going through a phase,” it invalidates their identity. And then, when they look to the adults in the community — if they can find any mention of bi- or pansexuality, as both are so frequently erased in the media and the streets — and see that little changes for them, that bi- and pansexual adults are still derided, belittled, and erased, what is the message we as adults are sending?
People often ask, “but how can I address these specific issues if I’m not working with youth I know or suspect to be part of the community?” It’s easy: examine your own behavior as adults, toward other adults as well as toward youth. Examine your actions and your attitudes. And if you’re still thinking of bisexuality or pansexuality as “the first stop to gay-town,” just a stepping stone, just experimentation, indecisiveness, or some comment on sexual appetite — stop. Re-evaluate. Think, “if a young person heard what I was thinking or saying right now, how would that affect their development as a person?”
You can change it.
Hi there anon,
This is definitely going to be a complicated issue — but it will probably be more complicated for the adults involved than the kids. How are the kids reacting? How about the student’s parents?
Finding out about the school policy is an excellent start. Be prepared for push-back; trying to act as a student teacher may be difficult. Do you have an advising/mentor teacher? A supervisor through your program? Have you mentioned this to them yet?
There are a number of books out there both for kids at the early elementary grades and for adults that help introduce the idea of trans* issues and gender spectrum and non-conforming youth; it might be a little passive aggressive to just leave a few pieces of reading in the teachers’ lounge, though you could always feign having left it by accident by looking for it later.
But if the administration is on board and/or you feel comfortable suggesting some informal (or formal, though most schools set those schedules far ahead of time) PD, I would suggest exposing the adults in the school to some important resources for schools regarding working with LGBTQ* issues — including and especially gender — in a way that’s safe and respectful for the students. There are a number of resources out there aimed at schools but also at the elementary level specifically, which may come as a surprise to many people. Gender Spectrum and PFLAG are some of my perpetual favorites. If you search “gender spectrum” and “education,” you can also find a number of articles that may outline specific things that you can do as a teacher to encourage acceptance and self-expression in your own classroom.
Please don’t hesitate to offer some more information, ask some more specific questions, or keep us updated. I’d love to be of more help.
Building a library in Bed-Stuy to close the gap between a child’s performance in school and her or his socioeconomic status
So this is a project started by the kind of friend you’re always catching up yet never feel far from. This individual has always had an unsinkable, adventurous, proactive spirit, and I’m not remotely surprised to see her doing such awesome stuff with it.
And here’s the thing —
This project, aside from the person running it, gets at my heart in a very personal way on a number of levels.
Giving kids a space to be.
Giving them a space to read, dream, create.
And it’s a school of diverse, low-income kids in NYC. I’m pretty sure that this is the same neighborhood my mother went to high school in. This city is my soft spot.
So, while my heart is in every educational fundraising project that crosses my screen, this one has some special connections for me.
And we need some help getting it funded, because thus far it’s slow-going.
So if you have change to spare, or can signal boost and pass it around, this is a project that could really use your support.
Abnormal Psych textbooks often address trans* issues and gender in a highly problematic light. That may not come as a surprise — this is the field that didn’t remove homosexuality from our diagnostic manual until the seventies.
But when people try to teach with accompanying texts and find that those texts’ coverage of gender and trans* psychology is at the best outdated and at the worst inflammatory, discriminatory, inaccurate, and/or prejudicial, it’s up to the educator, if they are teaching responsibly, to have conversations about this material and/or supply or direct their students to more accurate and appropriate coverage.
This is where we can come in.
I have a number of sites, worksheets, etc., that can be useful to educators and student activists on a surface level and, in some cases, for deeper understanding, exploration, and discussion — but when you have a community at hand, one person’s voice should never be the only voice.
So tell me, with answers, asks, or reblogs, and it will be compiled over the course of the next few weeks: what are your best, favorite, or most often-used resources for educating older students, young adults, and especially other professionals, about trans* and gender-spectrum related issues?
These posters are in the stalls of the bathrooms at my university (at least in the ladies, I haven’t asked anyone if they’re in the gents too. I hope so though). Thank you National Union of Students for doing it right. If only they put these posters up in all public bathrooms
If you have the option, consider a similar campaign in your school or work environment. I know I’ve personally had challenges in this area because I’m gender nonconforming and have been mistaken for a male in the women’s restroom many times…but haven’t felt safe enough to pass in the men’s on days when it would be appropriate. For many of us, without people being told outright that they are safe and that we need to be given that same right, public bathrooms can range from a source of anxiety to an outright dangerous situation.
Before anyone considers this empty incitement of anti-law enforcement sentiment, consider this:
1) Many people of color, because of the racism evidenced not just in the law enforcement system but in society as a whole that leads to so many presumptions that a person of color is more likely to be doing something unlawful to begin with, have to raise their children with lessons of how to interact with the police. Many children of color learn not that the police are our friends, but how to be careful when interacting with them such that these children will be safe.
2) That, and this image, is not making a statement specifically about police. It is making a statement about a system and society that sets up these scenarios — that teaches people that people of color are more likely to be criminals or aggressive or violent, that justifies acting on those presumptions, that leads to the long list of men and boys of color who were killed by police because they were assumed, perceived, or stated to be a threat, when the same actions against a white victim would draw a completely different set of consequences against the shooter(s).
When I’m supposed to teach children that police help keep us safe, if those kids at whatever age have had negative experiences with the police for whatever reason, it makes it difficult for them to believe me. This has happened with kids of any color — in situations where siblings or parents or friends have been taken by the police for alcohol or drugs or abuse or theft. But here’s the thing: people of color are disproportionately affected by negative interactions with police, are profiled routinely, are presumed by many in the general public to just be more likely to commit crime. When that assumption exists and authorities act on these assumptions, when people of color know that this negative perception exists outside of their own words and actions, only real trust-building through real action can begin to restore enough faith in the system that this is not something anyone has to teach their children.
Have you considered the movie “Shelter” for your G/S Alliance?
No, but I just looked it up on Amazon. The plot seems interesting, but according to Amazon, it’s R (and not available?) I have to be careful with R-rated movies in school. We typically do movie “nights” in my room after school. So far we’ve done “Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “RENT.”
A friend and I are trying to think of LGBTQ+ movies that would be appropriate, and all the ones we keep coming up with follow that terrible ending formula of “one character realizes they’re straight and the other comes out of it with an experience that makes them a better human being and somehow more part of the LGBTQ+ community by merit of having pursued a doomed relationship or something.”
Then I said “well we don’t get happy endings,” and she said, “No, you get Maurice.”
And then through this conversation about tropes in queer-oriented movies and how frequently they end in one-sided or tragic romance or a queer person snapping and killing people, I remembered — I had the perfect recommendation…but it was R-rated. (The Celluloid Closet.)
HOWEVER. I highly recommend looking at that documentary for future reference — and to pick out pieces that would be appropriate for your kids, because it’s an incredibly eye-opening film about the history of coding and the treatment of queer characters in Hollywood and television, and it was a big hit with our student group in college.
And if the general public wants to be informed about history and also possibly depressed, but want to come away with an understanding and appreciation of where we’ve been and where we are to help think critically about where we’re headed, PBS has a top ten list of documentaries about LGBTQ+ issues that they released for Pride and, having seen several of these films, I’m inclined to suspect it’s a good list overall. There’s a good focus on intersectionality — it isn’t your average “here are a handful of films all about the same hot topic and focusing mainly on white cis gay men with money.”
I’m going to make myself get up and be productive, but my ask box is wide open all day for questions, etc.!