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Change of Subject

November 30th, 2012
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I started this blog with the idea that I was going to write
about the educational system of America, current events have changed that
notion. I have been going through it these last couple of weeks and I honestly
can’t concentrate on anything but this, my future home.

It all began when my husband decided that it’s a buyer’s
market and for what we’re paying for rent we can own our own place. From the
beginning I didn’t like this idea, he’s the only one working and I really
wanted to wait until I was working as well to purchase our first home. But, I
slowly began to warm up to the idea of being a homeowner, I love the idea of my
children having their own rooms, and a backyard to play in, and space for all
of our things.

The search for the “perfect” first-home led us to 2 canceled
contracts: the first was a short sale that fell through and the second was
revealed, by the inspector, to be not worth the hassle. Even through these
failed attempts we remained positive and determined to find our new home before
the time came to renew our lease; which leads us to our current situation,
closing.

That last sentence should really have ended with a question mark
because the fate of this transaction has not yet been sealed. If I had any kind
of idea how difficult this purchase would be beforehand I never would have
registered for 5 classes this semester. It just feels impossible, my focus and
concentration has completely been thrown off by this. Unfortunately, I’m the
kind of person who is led by emotions, if I’m happy I get to enjoy a relaxing,
peaceful day, if I am upset or worried my whole day is ruined until I find a
way to calm down. I’m not bipolar and I mean no disrespect to anyone who is, I’m
just the kind of person who doesn’t deal with stress well. Tomorrow I will
explain exactly what that stress has been.

Low-Income Schools

November 9th, 2012
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In my anthropology class we are completing an assignment in
which we find a teacher at a low-income school to interview. I was a bit
fortunate in this aspect of the assignment because I already know a teacher at
a low-income school. Well, I don’t exactly know her, my nephew attends a school
in Trenton and I was able to get in contact with his teacher and schedule an
interview. I am actually looking forward to speaking with her, not just because
she appears to be nice and easy to talk to but because I am generally
interested in her responses to my questions.

Most of the questions are in regards to the socioeconomic condition of the families of the
students and how that affects the students’ involvement in school and the
educational process. It seems like it’s an easy solution to just give these
school districts more money to solve the problem, but I believe that the issue
goes deeper than that. It seems to me that there is a certain mentality that
parents pass on to their children, for low-income families the passing on of
this particular mindset may perpetuate the situation that is faced by schools
in low-income areas. The mentality that I speak of in regards to low-income
households is the acceptance of their current situation and the disbelief that
are able to rise above it. I am not saying that this is the mentality of all
low-income individuals; I am speaking from my own experience and observations.

In my sociology class a few semesters back I wrote an essay on generational poverty.
It came as no surprise to me when my research revealed that lack of education is
the leading malefactor of this condition. As I stated, there seems to be a mindset
that is passed down from generation to generation, allowing each individual to
feel comfortable in their current financial state, this decreases the
motivation to become educated. School becomes nothing more than a daycare
center and the thought of moving beyond the mandatory grade level is seen as being
impossible or unnecessary.

What my research did not reveal to me is what it is like to actually be the teacher of one of these students.  Her responses will reveal the truth of the situation; I should be able to find out if this mindset is established in the students early in life or if it is something that is imparted to them at a
later time. The importance of this information is that there may be another solution that can be implemented in addition to the financial aid that will give these students a better shot at life. My theory is that all these students need is a mentor, someone in a positive situation who the child is able to relate to and admire. This would essentially be like a Boys and Girls Club, but
on a larger scale. I think that the best thing previous generations have done for their children is apprenticeship. I propose that something like that be done, something that would allow the student to get to see, first-hand, the other side of life, to see that hard-work is worth the effort and mainly to show them that their current situation doesn’t have to be permenant.

Hurricane Sandy

November 2nd, 2012
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Right now I just feel like writing about this storm. I really wasn’t expecting it to be as bad as it has turned out to be. My children have been out of school for the whole week, which is bittersweet because as much as I love them I could really use a break from them. It’s difficult to pick up the pieces with them in the way. I am glad that next week will be a full week of school, because of the conditions in Atlantic City there will be no Teachers’ convention this year.

Anyway, the electricity in my apartment has been out since Monday night and we (my husband, 3 children, and I) have been staying with my parents since then. They have electricity, and a generator, but their cable was out. The cable was finally turned back on at about 8:30 Thursday night. So, with the internet and everything restored I feel like a part of the world again.

The damage that this hurricane caused was not really extreme in my area, but it has definitely disrupted many lives. There is lots of damage as a result of downed trees; many traffic lights are out as well. I try to make sure that all driving that I need to do is done before it gets dark. The police in this area are not doing a good job at directing traffic at the busier intersections or blocking the intersections. I saw an 18 wheeler just fly through an intersection like they had the green light; I thank God that the SUV that had been preparing to turn did not get hit.

So, I’m just thankful that my family and loved ones were kept safe and I am praying for those who have lost loved ones and those who are stranded in uncomfortable conditions.

Why public education?

October 11th, 2012
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In becoming an educator one of the first things I had to
learn was why public school systems are necessary. We all know and understand
that in order to live you need money, and in order to make money you need to
work, and in order to get a good job so that you can make money you need an
education. So, of course education is important in that it helps us achieve our
ultimate goal, making money so that we can live. But, the greatest purpose for
education and the implementation of a free public school system is to ensure
the continuation of our society. One of the first things we learn in school is obedience;
this is in preparation for obeying society’s laws and customs during adulthood.
As Robert Fulghum states in his essay, “Credo”, in his book, “All I Really Need
to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,”:

We are sent to school
to be civilized –to be introduced to the essential machinery of human society.
Early on in our lives we are sent out of the home into the world. To school. We
have no choice in this. Society judges it so important that we be educated that
we must go. It is the law. And when we get to school we are taught the
fundamentals on which civilization rests. These are first explained in language
a small child understands.

School is essentially an institution to train future
citizens; to prepare them for their place within society once they become adults.
To ensure that society progresses in the manner that is deemed appropriate we
must train our children to fit in, to follow rules and guidelines, and to cooperate
with others. As noted by Fulghum, these are things that are introduced to us
during Kindergarten, and we are expected to continue to obey these lessons
throughout our lives. The ability to effectively ingrain this behavior into
ourselves guarantees us a place within our society.

 

Reference

 

Fulghum, R. (2003). All I Really Need to Know I
Learned in Kindergarten.
New York: Ballantine Books

My Topic

October 3rd, 2012
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I have decided that my topic will be the American
educational system. As a future teacher I am very interested in every aspect of
our educational system, the good and the bad. I would like to discuss the
issues that are being discussed in the news, as well as personal issues a
person may have. One of the main things I am trying to figure out is: What
makes a teacher great? What makes this teacher stand out more than all the
rest? If anyone has a particular article or educational experience they would
like to talk about, feel free to do so. My main objective is to get an
understanding of what may be expected of me, as a teacher, and what I can do to
ensure that I am doing my best to be one of the great ones.

There are lots of school issues that are
presenting themselves on a more national level; I would like to discuss these
as well. For example, bullying and teacher-student relationships, why do these
situations occur, what can teachers do to deter bullying and the effects of it,
why do some teachers cross boundaries when it comes to their students, what
should teachers do to effectively discipline a problem student/should teachers
discipline? These are just some of the issues I would like to discuss.

Hello world!

September 29th, 2012
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I can’t think of a topic, maybe education or something. This looks complicated but I’m good at figuring stuff out.

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