Code Switching

Last week, we discussed a lot about how to deal with students who talk in a specific way that is special and meaningful to them, all while encouraging them to be well-spoken and well-educated individuals. Since we want to encourage students to take pride in their culture, we definitely can’t encourage them to talk differently. By telling them to talk differently, we are saying that their language is inferior.

By introducing code switching to students, we will be able to help them speak professionally and appropriately in situations where it is required. They will be able to discern which way of speaking is appropriate for each situation they are in.

Code switching is a great idea, as long as we still encourage them to practice their normal language and make sure they know we aren’t taking away from their culture. I do believe code switching is a way for students to still take pride in their culture and their ways, while still being a professional adult.

Jim Crow and America Today

The stereotypes that arose through the Jim Crow laws were stunning. Not only were they straight up lies, they were hurtful and not just at that time. It has carried on into society today. I feel like I’m a very welcoming and loving person but those stereotypes that began through Jim Crow are still relevant in society today. Racism is getting more and more heated and is getting more and more attention.

Can’t we all just decide to not believe stereotypes unless we actually experience them? I’ve never met an African American who is in a gang, is violent, or has been to prison. We should all strive for peace among everyone.

I think Beyonce took a big step in releasing her song, “Formation.” As a white person, I have no shame in admitting I have absolutely no idea what it means. I don’t understand the references. I don’t understand the video. I don’t get it. And I don’t have to. That song is not for me. While it can still educate me, I think Beyonce wrote that song as a song of pride for African Americans, which they really need right now. I don’t need to understand every part of them, but I do need to understand that they are humans and deserve respect and love.

Literature Conference

The African American Literature conference is a good experience for any teaching major to attend. While it was great to hear about which types of literature to read to your students, I took away one major point that I hope to carry with me throughout my career.

Reading books will change the way you learn and view the world. What I mean by that is that reading books challenge your thinking and expand your vocabulary. It helps you use critical thinking. It helps you think beyond the words on the page. It also helps you see the world in a different way. You can be exposed to different cultures, religions, or geographic regions just to name a few. It helps us to be well-cultured without us actually having to travel across the world.

It helps students enter an alternate universe which could make them feel safe and accepted. Literature should be easily accessed in our schools and I know when I become a teacher I will do my best to have as much literature available as possible. I want my students to be well-read and challenged daily in their book of choice.

Sheltering Vs. Exposing

In class, we discussed whether or not we should shelter our kids or expose them to the truth. We discussed the George Washington book and how many people wanted it pulled off the shelves due to its relation to slavery.

In my opinion, we need to expose our kids to as much reality as we can. Slavery happened and while it’s a shame it took so long to ban it, it happened and is a crucial part to American history that needs to be addressed.

As a teacher, I never want to shy away from discussing hard topics. While I may take more of a side to certain cultural issues, I will try my hardest to stay unbiased all while exposing the kids to the reality of what is happening in our country.

I want to center my class on current events and find a way to relate them to the class. I had a teacher that always brought in controversial issues and allowed an in-depth class discussion where everyone was free to discuss in a polite way.

I really want my classroom to be set up like that. Where kids are exposed and given the truth because they deserve to know the truth.