Tag Archives: teaching

Explaining other holidays…

It was the Friday before Christmas and this was a conversation that I had with one of my students

Student: What is this? (Holding up a picture of a Hanukkah candlestick)

Me: It’s a Hanukkah candlestick

Student: What does this have to do with Christmas?

Me: Hanukkah is a holiday that is celebrated around Christmas by some people

Student: People who don’t celebrate Christmas hate Jesus.

Me: That isn’t true. People can celebrate other holidays and not celebrate Christmas but that doesn’t mean they hate Jesus.

Student: Who celebrates Hanukkah?

Me: People of the Jewish religion.

Student: They hate Jesus.

Me: No, many of the Jewish people do not believe that Jesus is God.

Student: Well they killed Jesus..oh wait its ok they killed a white man.

 

Excuse me?!?! Being that this student is in the 5th grade, I am thinking there is only one place that I can think of that this is being said…in the home. I get that America hasn’t always treated people correctly but when can we get passed the past?? As a country, we have been trying to make up our mistreatment to the African Americans, Native Americans, Japanese Americans and who knows who else.. As one of the “white people”, I’ve not nothing against any of these groups of people. I do my best to show respect for everyone until they do something to lose my respect. As adults, it is our responsibility to teach the children to respect all ethnicities  BUT the parents need to support this as well. I honestly am tired of hearing how racist white people are.

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Testing

Any other teacher or parents get tired of all the testing we have for the students? Three times a year the students take Discovery (math and reading) and Achieve (math and reading). Then there is state testing at the end of the year not to mention the weekly tests and the STAR math, STAR Reading and SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) that is done about once a month.

I know that it is great for the students to see their improvements throughout the year but all this testing is exhausting!!!

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And they say we are racists…

Ok, so I am a bit perturbed. Allow me to start off by saying my mom NEVER raised us to be racist. If we made a derogatory remark to anyone regarding their race, we were in huge trouble.

Here’s the story and why I am so not happy.

I am married to a Navajo (Native American Indian) and teach at a school that is about 99% Navajo. My students are great students and I don’t have any problems with them. We were talking today about Monday being Veterans Day and that we need to honor people who served in the military because they chose to do this and were not forced to. Anyway after class was over, one girl comes to me telling me that her uncle was in the military and that he is dead. I asked her if he died while he was in the military. She responded with no and that he died in a plane crash. She proceeded to tell me that in her culture that bad things happen to Navajo’s when they marry a white person.

REALLY!?!? That is NOT ok to tell your children. What if I adopted a child and told them not to marry Native Americans or Hispanics or African Americans or whatever? I would be told, again, that I am a racist. I hear it from my husband that white people in our area are racist, and this probably has been true in the past and still some today. But this has to stop somewhere….that somewhere is in the home.

Another example of racism, non Native American this time, is when my nephew was in elementary school. One of the students who was half African American and half white (if I remember correctly) told my nephew that he should kill him because he was white.

We would love to believe that racism doesn’t exist anymore, that we all get along and everything is all lovey dovey….it isn’t. The ONLY way this changes is to teach our children that just because someone believes a little different doesn’t make them bad. I’m not saying we have to “accept” everyone, because we don’t. We do need to tolerate their beliefs and respect them. We don’t need to teach them to hate people because of the past or because of their beliefs. Be a parent….teach YOUR kids.

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Drawing Lines

I wanted to put a question to you all but first allow me to set the stage.

A fellow teacher and I were talking after school earlier this week and he was telling me about his daughter, who is in high school, being assigned a book to read on incest and rape. Apparently, this book goes in to graphic detail. I was appalled that this was allowed. He continued on saying that the teacher told his wife that she doesn’t have any say about this.

Where do you draw the line? What about “alternative lifestyle awareness”? Should this be promoted in public school? What should be parent responsibility and what should be school’s responsibility?

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Monday Rant 10-7-13

I think I tend to be oversensitive or people just need to watch their vocal tone. We had our weekly team meeting and I just feel like every time we have these meetings that people just pick apart what I do. I don’t tell them how to run their class and question every thing they do but its ok for them to do this to me. Furthermore, why do they get all the “new technology” and not have to share….

My district, in their infinite wisdom, decided we need to test twice a quarter plus all the other tests we do throughout the year AND the weekly tests the students have to take. The student spend more time testing then they do learning. We need an overhaul on education.

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Famous Native Americans

10-5-13

So this past week I was attempting to have a discussion with my student about famous Native Americans. I asked them if they knew the names of any famous Native Americans. My students started calling out names like George Washington, Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King Jr. The only thing I could do was laugh and prod their minds to point them in right direction 🙂

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