- I have learned a lot in the course about the real but invisible ways racism word in our society. The classroom is, in many ways, a microcosm of our culture that can unfortunately maintain racism by creating individual gaps, community gaps, and academic gaps. Through this course I have been able to view how racism works through many perspectives beyond my own. As Enid Lee wrote in Beyond Heros and Holidays, most white people are unaware of how racism works and is maintained in our society; I agree with that statement. Listening and discussing issues and experiences in class made me aware of how real racism is. It will be an awareness that I will now have when I enter the classroom. It will be something more real to me now that I have taken this course. I will not be “colorblind,” but I will work more intentionally in the future to close the “gaps” by being culturally responsive and aware.
- As students move through the educational system a number of gaps are created between minority students and white students. The community gap is the broad gap in achievement and socioeconomic status between different cultures caused by the academic gaps and individual gaps that develop in many school setting. I chose this word, because it is a very powerful and present problem, but it is something I believe we, as teachers, have the power to change.
Critical Thinking makes knowledge relevant to the student, scaffolding questions so that the students find conclusions independently. When students think critically they go beyond “yes” and “no” questions and seek the “why”inside; subjects are explored and students discover connections between the material and themselves. As a music teacher, I want my students to be critical thinkers so that their playing reflects themselves; without critical thinking music is mechanical, not musical.
Determination is vowing to obtain a goal and doing whatever is necessary to finish. I picked this word for myself; I am determined to close the community gap, to take my class outside of the classroom, and to push all my students to think critically.
3. As a culturally responsive teacher, I want to make sure that there are no barriers that keep certain students from performing by communicating directly with parents when possible and being available for students and parents when needed. I know that being a culturally responsive teacher requires me to be a teacher beyond school hours and away from the school building. I want to use place based learning strategies by taking my students into the community, not just to perform but to learn about their community and the cultures within their community; I would like to touch some of the cultural music traditions throughout the state. I would like my students to become critical thinkers so they can find their own way to make music reflect their own cultures.