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Are people this stupid?

Posted on 2006.09.01 at 23:29
Tags: , , ,
This article for inservice is in the fine words of Eric Cartman bullcrap! It kept saying that there was a majority of white teachers teaching children of color. It goes on to discuss white vs. color. I actually started crossing out the "of color" parts. Is white not a color? Are there only two racial groups? And furthermore, if we are discussing being conscious of various ethnic groups, why the hell are they using terms like asians, latino, etc? I know a great many different "asian" cultures. Some are drastically different and some hate each other. You can't sit there and tell me I'm not doing my job because I don't take into account if a child is asian or mexican or etc. when 1. you don't know me, 2. you don't know my heritage to assume I am just a sterotypical white female and 3. you are lumping people into groups to tell me I'm wrong. Fucking retarded.

When I walk into a classroom I think one of two things: I have my babies back or these are my new babies. I could give a flying shit what the color of the skin is. It doesn't mean that I don't want to know about their culture or that I don't take that into account. It does mean that I don't go in and change my expectations based upon race. Honestly, why the fuck would you? Wouldn't that be just a tad bit racist? My cultural sensitivity comes from know the child and his/her family. I love languages and cultures and study them every chance I can, including wanting to know about each child's traditions, values, etc. But this is an interest in the CHILD, I'm not going to say "oh, all children who are look African American like chitlins and are loud." WTH?? Yes there are some cultural trends, but I don't teach my class to trends; I teach it to the students. Why you would teach it otherwise baffles the shit out of me.

Also, I'm so glad the book assumes I'm a typical white American female from a decent middle class home and apparetly grew up isolated from the whole world except "white" culture. Hey dip shits, when you hear a student speaking Spanish, do you assume they are from Mexico? They could be from any Spanish speaking country. Just because my skin is white doesn't mean I am middle class, I am educated, I have only European ancestory, and I adhere to certain beliefs and values. In fact I grew up in the lower class and never fit into the "white middle class." I do happen to be at least decently educated in my opinion given my degrees and age, but I also didn't grow up in a box and want to see the world and her people. And just for the record, about half of my ancesotry is Irish but the other main part of me is Native American. I got the recessives, which means I get the light hair, eyes, and skin. My brother has almost black hair, hazel eyes, and when he is tan looks like he's a different race than me. Lastly I am not Christian and I do not have all of the values you might expect. I am buddhist and search for truth. You can't tell me who I am by the color of my skin and I sure as hell am not going to try to define my students by it. That is not being culturally sensitive.

On top of that, I went to an ESL workshop and I think I have realized part of my problem. People are that dense and sheltered. I had no idea. Seriously. These are teachers with various levels of experience shocked that students who came here speaking no English might take more than a month or so to acquire the langage. It was equally unfathomable (Is that a word?) that students might memorize and repeat words or be able to read the words and have no comprehension. Meanwhile my brain is spazzing from restraint. How did they get certified to teach?? Is it just my years of studying other languages that makes me feel this is common sense? Is it the fact I'm certified to teach foreign language, just not ESL that does it? Or maybe that I tutor privately a Japanese family? Or are people just truly this dense? If they are this dense, they should be reading the book I am having shoved down my throat as wonderful.

Wonderful my ass. It's a real piece of work all right. In all fairness I believe the intent behind the book is right, but the way it is going about it is terribly wrong for anyone who isn't either a total moron or who has had no experience beyond their own family. *sigh* I really should just let it go shouldn't I? Or maybe this is telling me I'm in the wrong profession. Then again, I work with students of various cultures and love it and they are successful and achieving at my standards.

I will fight fiercely for my students and I feel this is threatening my unbiased view of them. I can be like a terrier in these situations. My boss already said a few years ago--in front of the whole staff I might add--that I shouldn't bite the hand that feeds me. I was telling her that I was frustrated with feeding dead middle and high school programs and I didn't understand why those who could fight to change it were not. Next time I'm going to bite her in the ass. ^_^

In a nutshell: People are not defined by their culture; their culture is only one part of who they are. Why then would I design my teaching style and lessons mostly around the cultures presented in my classroom as opposed to each students' individual needs and skills?

Thank you and good night.


The XXII Cottage
vanillacottage at 2006-09-03 06:12 (UTC) (Link)
Hmm... sorry to say this, but was that article written by an american? I hope Im not being too tactless, but when I went to usa for 2 weeks, I realize how sheltered most americans are. Im not saying ALL, but the majority of them (or at least it seems to me so) seem to live in their own little world -> america. They've for their major part of their lives never have travelled outside of america, nor want to. They think america is the #1 country, the richest country, and therefore, they being americans also belong to a certain 'top-notch quality'.

How shd I put it.. its like country-folks. They who have never seen the city/more things, finds it easy to brand and categorize things/people/culture and easier to criticize and think themselves different/better than the rest...

Thankfully, the americans I know are not like them (you for e.g.! :D) but when I was in usa, me being chinese (black hair, black eyes) could feel racism very acutely. It was worse than when I was in australia and therefore, to be truthful, I have no wish to visit usa again even though its a beautiful country. But this problem exists everywhere, even in my own country so....

*hugs* (and hope u're not pissed/offended by me)
akiko_kalla at 2006-09-03 06:54 (UTC) (Link)
Why would I be offended? I've never felt at home in America myself. Honestly I don't know where the authors are from as I've never cared to pay attention. I will have to look. Still, it disturbs me if that many people in America have so little experience with the rest of humanity...
The XXII Cottage
vanillacottage at 2006-09-03 07:47 (UTC) (Link)
Go japan and teach english then! :)

Im going there in 2 yrs time, hopefully. When does yr contract end so that u can gain yr freedom? :)
akiko_kalla at 2006-09-03 08:03 (UTC) (Link)
Haha, it ends at the end of May 2007. I have been considering it. ^_^
The XXII Cottage
vanillacottage at 2006-09-03 13:55 (UTC) (Link)
May 2007! U can apply next yr march, and fly to Japan on august. :)

But if you can wait.. we can apply together at 2008. hehe. :P Tha pay of an ALT is pretty good, and after 3 yrs contract, we can always stay there and practise our jap....
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