Although I was not able to attend class, I thought as though I could still share my thoughts from the reading. I found the book to be not only incredibly interesting, but also something that was a bit of a surprise. I was not surprised by the information necessarily, but by how large of a problem it has become.
We as educators, need to be more activists in the classroom I feel as though we are not doing enough to include all cultures, especially those around us in the classroom. For example, I thought as though when I was in school here in Juneau, I did not learn nearly as much as I could have about the Tlingit and Haida traditions and overall culture. This is something that I wish I would have had more in my life. I also noticed that when I was in Boston I took a native american history class and I was astounded to hear about how little a lot of my classmates knew much about native american culture, besides what was seen in the movies. This is something however, that I also realized meant that I had more experience with it and the different cultures, then others. So it is definitely I feel a problem. The issue though, is to make sure not to single out a student publicly and make them feel like an outsider, especially after hearing what some of the students shared with us in class before.
The classroom should be inclusive to all, and it should also be a place where everyone can feel comfortable, and learn from each other about each others culture. The teacher should be the activist in this realm, and not a bystander. Language is also something that can have a large impact on the classroom because it can either help, or hurt the environment depending on the language being used. It can create more of a safe place if words like “friends” or “partners” are used instead of words such as “students” or “kids”.
I also enjoyed the section on the “advanced” classes that exist. Just as Professor Lunda and others explained, there is definitely a gap within the classes through what kids, (white, black, native american) are in what classes. This is a systemic failure and one that obviously as anyone would agree must be changed. A large part of this may be the because of the involvement within the parental structure between the teachers and doing more to help out kids who may need special requirements such as having club meetings during lunch, instead of after school. Overall I thought that this reading was compelling and frightening at the same time. I enjoyed it and I found it to something that is imperative to read for all educators. The only way to help change a problem is to address it and learn more about it, and that is what we are doing every day in this class.