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Curriculum as Narrative Community October 9, 2013

Posted by jennienorgaard in ECS 210.
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  1. “Teaching in the Undertow: Resisting the Pull of Schooling-as-usual” – p.43

This story is about becoming a first year teacher and some of the things to focus on such as starting out small and knowing what you should put on your future bulletin boards, balancing freedom and Control and having a specific plan in which you will stick with instead of trying to obsess over order and control as a beginning teacher. Lastly, this story talks about how you need to focus on Holding on to hope and knowing that this journey as a teacher is a forever learning experience. As stated in the story, “The best advice, I think, is to choose your battles early on, pace yourself, swim with the current when you have to, and never lose sight of that spot on the shore.” (P.51)

2.“The Brown Kids Can’t Be in Our Club” – p.83

This story is about knowing how to teach the different races that exist in our society at a young age so that we don’t develop a racist society. It allows students to realize that it is okay to be a different race than others and that we don’t necessary always have to judge and think badly of someone because they are different.

3.“What can I do when a student makes a racist or sexist remark?” – p.93

This talks about the notion of how to approach things like racism and sexism when brought up in the classroom. The idea that we need to teach students how to approach a situation like this if they ever encountered it in their daily lives.

4. “Framing the Family Tree: How Teachers can be Sensitive to Students’ Family Situations” – p.95

This deals with the idea that we should not do activities in school revolved around holidays like Fathers/Mothers Day because we don’t know how sensitive the family background is to students and we shouldn’t be doing projects that revolve around their private lives. Make an alternative activity for holidays so that it does not involve students’ private lives.

5. “Heather’s Moms got Married” – p.103

This story deals with the idea that as future teachers we should address families as parents and guardians as we don’t know exactly what kind of families our students have. Not only does this include all types of families but it doesn’t make some students feel left out about their family and it addresses the idea that it is perfectly fine to have gay/lesbian parents and that it shouldn’t be looked at differently in any way.

6. “Out Front” – p.111

From this story, it explains that as future teachers we should set out clear anti-homophobic standards in our classroom for what language and behavior is acceptable in your classroom and school. We need to start bringing up gay issues into our classes that have nothing to do with sex such as Math, English, Science and the different language classes. By enforcing these rules within your classroom and school it allows students to view the idea of gay/lesbian in a way that isn’t as negative as what they are actually perceived to be in today’s society. These rules need to be set out not only in schools/classrooms but also at home so that future students don’t think that these terms are okay to use outside of school.

7. “Curriculum is Everything that Happens” – p.163

This deals with the idea that it all starts with creating relationships, positive attitudes and feelings and interacting with your students before getting into the curriculum. The curriculum may be everything but without building good relationship with your students the curriculum is nothing. You have to have these good relationships before you can try addressing the curriculum within your classroom and with your students. Once these relationships are made the curriculum is then what you make of it.

8. “Working Effectively with English Language Learners” – p.183

Always speak slowly, clearly and audibly in the classroom with whichever language you choose to use. Never try and put a student on the spot and ask if they understand what you mean in front of everyone. Instead use a different approach to see if students actually understand what you are saying by asking them to put the given information in their own words. Also try and use words as minimal as possible in the classroom and instead use different ways of giving instruction such as visual cues, posters, videos, illustrated books and so on.

9. “Teaching Controversial Content” – p.199

When it comes down to teaching Controversial Content as a teacher you need to keep in mind that it might not always be accepted to teach this content depending on what your principals take on it is. You have to keep in mind that you could get fired, principal might get back at you in other ways, colleagues won’t want to work with you, end up being totally isolated at the school and/or you might get challenged from a parent. From here you have to decide if you still really want to teach these Controversial Content in your classroom and ask yourself is it really worth it?

10. “Unwrapping the Holidays: Reflections on a Difficult First Year” – p.317

As a new teacher don’t try and force different religions/holidays or changes towards your whole school. Start small and do what you feel comfortable with in your classroom and then maybe talk about the issue with you colleagues after about what you think. Don’t jump to conclusions and try to force these ideas upon colleagues.

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