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Black Ants and Buddhists

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Melissa Derby

on 18 December 2012

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Transcript of Black Ants and Buddhists

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Compassion, Action, and Change Black Ants and Buddhists "I choose to teach critically because I believe young children are capable of amazing things, far more than is usually expected of them. I am not talking about raising scores on standardized math tests (although that often happens). I am talking about thinking critically and learning to learn, learning to use basic skills like reading, writing, solving mathematical problems, analyzing data, public speaking, scientific observation, and inquiry as an active citizen in your community. I believe young children can think about fairness and are deeply moved and highly motivated by the recognition of injustice. I choose to teach critically because it lets me keep learning alongside my students. I teach this way so that I can hear every child's voice and see each jewel sparkle"(18). "It's not enough to be compassionate. You must act.
Dalai Lama "I can't fight every battle and still have the energy, sanity, and focus to keep teaching positively, keep loving my family, keep having a life." Chapter 11: Building Trust with Families and Weathering Controversy "We have to feel safe enough to take risks if we are to learn well." Chapter 10: Responding when Tragedy Enters the Classroom deconstructing stereotypes and developing human relationships Chapter 7: Teaching History so Children will Care Chapter 8: Nurturing History Detectives Chapter 9: Seeing Ourselves and Our Families Through Students' Eyes Chapter 12: Going Against the Grain Crimes of nonconformity doesn't eat lunch in the faculty room
allows parents into the classroom
has family events in the evening
students do not walk in a straight line in the hallway
students are loud when they walk in the hallway You just have to work harder and be better.
They're wanting to make a bad example of you because they think you don't belong here. weathering controversy Try to embrace contradiction.
It is easier to bring up concerns than act out defensively
Be humble. Ask for help and advice.
Apologize right away for mistakes.
Seek guidance of an insider. It begins with building trust. Letters to parents
Home visits
Inviting family to volunteer
weekly parent newsletters
Lets families know what she is teaching and what additional materials, information, contacts, and resources she is looking for each year Rules of Thumb: Remind parents to eliminate exposure to mass media, especially television
Check with families to see how/if they may have been personally affected by the tragedy.
Listen to the children
Help them identify their feelings, concerns, and questions
Assure the children of their own safety
Offer realistic assurances Allow for spontaneous connections
Be truthful, but brief
Clarify misinformation
Focus on those who survived
brainstorm with the children some action they can take to help survivors
Focus on those who help and stories of hope
Reach out in sympathy and friendship to comfort others Children long to see themselves and their families in the classroom and teacher.
visually through photos and posters
through literature
by sharing about your story and your family Parts of the teacher's story can be woven into the classroom community. sharing stories can help students feel affirmed and connected; like they belong. Embracing diversity- ethnic diversity and family diversity "I teach for moments like this, when students are smart, sharp, and confident enough to question the teacher, to question the books, to pose counter-examples that speak their truth." Lies My Teacher Told Me
Rethinking Columbus
A people's History of the United States
A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America question what you think you know
consider multiple perspectives
search for truth in history unit on explorers:
focus on deconstructing Columbus
decide if things are likely or unlikely "history is a furious debate informed by evidence and reason" simulating an invasion "I want my students to pursue questions that don't have easy answers.
-teach history as a contextualized story
-meaningful, challenging, and developmentally appropriate
-"educated consumers" of history and current events
-people who can recognize injustice and take a principled and effective stand for justice. recognize contradictions and teachable moments "It usually requires starting BEFORE what we traditionally think of as "the beginning"" encourage kids to make connections ( text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world) challenge texts and explore conflict! debates and captioned drawings hiSTORY Chapter 3: Routines: A Day in the Life of the Peace Class Chapter 4: It Takes a Village to Teach First Grade Chapter 5: Talking about Peace Chapter 6: Learning through Activism Multicultural education is:
antiracist education
basic education
important for all students
pervasive
education for social justice
a process
critical pedagogy Reimagining food drives: Who are the "poor people" anyway?
challange stereotypes
teach understanding of the complexity of the causes of poverty
introduce local activists and organizers as role models addressing needs and working for long-term solutions
empower children to take responsibility in their community
remove the stigma of poverty "They collected and volunteered not out of pity, but out of understanding and empathy. They learned to transform their compassion into action"(pg. 35). 8:00 Arrive and Prepare
8:50 Greet arriving children and families. Children do morning and helper jobs.
9:00 Sustained silent reading
9:15 Morning meeting
9:45 Handwriting or spelling/word study
10:00 Snack
10:15 Writing workshop
11:00 Share writing from writing workshop
11:15 Reading workshop
12:00 Lunch and recess
12:45 Read-aloud
1:15 Math
2:15 Science or social studies
2:45 Closing circle
2:55 Cleanup
3:00 Dismissal "As a teacher I can have several nervous breakdowns a day, or I can take deep breaths, laugh, rethink things fast, change my plan, and keep the thread"(39). "I learned then that good teaching takes more than a teacher with a curriculum teaching her students in a classroom with the door shut. Not only can it be so much more, but to be effective, it must be so much more"(59). always look for opportunities to make connections, increase authenticity, bring it to life with a visitor, a field trip
with students, families, the community, there is access to a wealth of resources
keep mental inventory of people you know, their occupations, and what their passionate about
you can't be everything to everyone, build up more role models for the students
bringing guests in, taking the class out, feeds children's imagination and their language
children can begin to identify with others and imagine themselves in the future "Still looking intently at his cracker, Allan said softly, but clearly, "Maybe kids could go on strike to stop the war in Afghanistan." That took my breath away. In this brief dialog, these first graders moved from a perspective oriented toward their own desire for play and pleasure to a consideration of real political reasons that people, including children, might strike"(84). "If we are to reach real peace in this world, we shall have to start with the children" Ghandi
let the children lead, have patient, thoughtful engagement in dialog "Learning through activism is powerful because the need to use vital academic skills for social injustice motivates their acquisition. These skills include reading, writing (reports, letters of thanks or inquiry, news articles, speeches, etc.), speaking, singing, listening, researching (asking good questions, finding people with answers), gathering and representing data, noting observations, making posters and banners, raising money, getting to know political leaders and how to access them...helps children develop a sense of social justice, a sense of fairness and equity that begins with personal and community experience and extends globally and historically"(103).
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