Diversity Blog #10: Wrapping up the semester

As the semester comes to a close, I want to talk about the things I have learned in EDUC 419. Diversity is something I thought about, but in a non-professional way. I never thought about the various ways I could bring lessons in diversity into the classroom.

The biggest thing I am taking away from this class is the hip-hop in the classroom. I think it is brilliant having the students write wraps, or songs, or whatever they feel most comfortable writing, instead of conventional poetry. I cannot wait to use this in my own classroom!

I also enjoyed all the various speakers that came to talk to our class. They were very diverse, and they all brought a different message. I think they enjoyed talking to us as much as I enjoyed listening to them!

The achievers profile project was also a lot of fun. I really had fun interviewing my student; she was so smart and full of life! She had great things to say about her future, and I hope all the best for her in the years to come.

I really enjoyed this class and I am glad I had the opportunity to take it. Thanks for a wonderful semester Professor Meacham!

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Diversity Blog #9: Maurice Pritchett

Today in class we had a guest speaker, Maurice Pritchett. He spoke about overcoming adversity and moving on to teach high school. He eventually became a principal, as well as a superintendent.

The things I took away most from his message are we, as teachers, should build a relationship with our students, create an atmosphere of love, involve parents as much as you can, and don’t let anyone stop you from your dream.

Through his message Maurice taught us these valuable lessons, citing examples of racial parents, unruly students, and hardships, but he also spoke of encouragement and love in the classroom community.

I really took to heart everything he had to say regarding dealing with parents (look them in the eye) to unruly students (see if you need to become more involved). I really enjoyed listening to Maurice.

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Diversity Blog #8: Observations

My observations for EDUC have been great. For the past few weeks I’ve been going to AVID classrooms, as well as observing Math, Science, and ELA classes. The students have ranged from interested in what I’m doing, to downright confused. I have enjoyed explaining the process and answering their questions.

At first the AVID tutoring was overwhelming, as we aren’t supposed to tell the students answers to their questions. However, as the class went on the students were referencing their notes, pulling out books, and looking up the information. They were answering each others questions and helping each other out.

During the class observations I have definitely picked up some things I would like to implement in my own classroom. The science class I observed had a competition between all the classes and whoever was rewarded the highest number of points got an ice cream party in class. These points ranged from being in your seat on time, to following directions and completing classwork silently. I really think this will be a great idea to bring into my classroom.

Overall I have really enjoyed my observations thus far, and can’t wait to get more ideas in the coming weeks.

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Diversity Blog #7: Millennial Learning

Last week we watched a video in class about a young man, Mike,  who overcame adversity to start his own business. The major factor in this was millennial learning- something that his teacher introduced in his classroom. By starting a recording studio in the classroom he was able to practice networking, how to handle responsibility, communication within the community and various other concepts. This prepared him for a career later in life.

Dealing with the death of his father, stress, and other things in his life, Mike finally found a chance to believe in himself, for the first time in his life. Not only did he believe in himself, his teacher and other students believed in him as well. THis was a great opportunity for Mike.

Because of this new outlook on life, Mike was able to apply and go to college. He got support from other student groups, such as the fashion clubs to design a clothing label and sell products.

Mike is a great example of how millennial can work for the better and promote positive student learning.

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Diversity Blog 6: Millennial Learning

For the past few weeks we have been talking about Millennial Learning and the importance of bringing various concepts into the classroom. I think Millennial learning is important, as it shapes the students for the future, getting them ready for starting businesses, or even working for large companies. By implementing millennial learning you have the chance to help the kids realize their full potential for their futures. Many students don’t think they could ever own their own business or even work for larger companies; they don’t think they are good enough. But if you introduce these concepts into the classroom, they may be able to change their mind.

Some of the things they are prepped for are marketing, public speaking, graphic design, market research, event planning and organization, math, communication within the community, professional dress, and fund-raising. These concepts, as well as others, are so important for students to learn at a young age. By starting your own community within the classroom, they are able to practice these concepts that will prepare them for class.

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Diversity Blog #5: Wu Tang Manual

In class we have been discussing the Wu Tang Clan and how they can relate to Millenial learning. I thought about using hip-hop music in the classroom in regards to the lesson featured in the movie version of Freedom Writers, but I didn’t expect to take so much away from a rap group. Sure, their lyrics are grammatically incorrect, but there is always a lesson for students to learn through them.

I would really like to teach this to my students in the future, as the Wu Tang Clan had many influences that I feel my students could possibly have one day. The first influential text was the Bible through which they found empowerment. The second was Greek Mythology. I think it would be really cool if I could mix the Wu Tang with my lessons in Greek Mythology. Next was the 5% Supreme Nation which was an intense memorization tool. Lastly they were influenced by kung-fu films.

I think that if I teach my students how the Wu Tang overcame adversities and became successful, they may be more inclined to learn how to overcome their own adversities in life.

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Diversity Blog #4: Meeting My Student!

In class we were assigned a student for our Achieve Profile project. We are supposed to think of questions to interview this student, and shoot a documentary around this student. For privacy purposes I won’t share her name on this blog, but I can not wait to meet her.

On her informational sheet Professor Meacham provided for us, I found she likes cheerleading, and considers it one of her possible career goals. I was very happy to read this, as I was a cheerleader in high school. I think this will be a great way to open the door and bond with my student. While the other girls and I were talking about what we wanted to ask her in our interview, we realized we wanted a lot of it to be “on the spot” in the sense that we didn’t want too much of the interview to be scripted; instead, we wanted our student to talk freely about herself, her friends, her likes and dislikes, and many other things. We have thought of several questions, but they are more conversation starters than actual direct questions.

I really hope that we can learn a lot from our student, and that she can learn from us. I am really, really excited for this project; I think it will be a great opportunity to find out more about the middle school setting and what they are dealing with. The majority of my education classes deal with high school students, so this will be a great change of pace.

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