Sunday, March 30, 2014

Literacy with an attitude!

Connections Post

"Literacy With an Attitude" - Finn

This was such a long reading. It took me all day because I kept taking breaks (I can't focus, so I guess that's why too). ANYWAYS, as I was reading I noticed that this post had many connections to previous authors that we have read. In addition, I was connecting bits and pieces to my service learning too. So, it was only right to do a connections post... right?

As most have realized, Finn's biggest connection was to Delpit. When you first began reading his text, he said "But, in fact I was schooling these children, not to take charge of their lives, but to take orders" and "I had work assignments on the board when the students entered the classroom, and so there wasn't a moment when they didn't have anything to do. I didn't say to an errant student, "What are you doing?" I said, "Stop that and get to work." No discussion. No openings for an argument" (4). In both parts, Finn emphasizes the importance of "taking orders" and how important it is to say the word. He says something that Delpit wouldn't want you to say and then corrects it with something she would want you to say. He then goes on to say how great of a teacher he is, so apparently by teaching the same way Delpit would teach, that helps you gain control of your classroom. Another Delpit moment was what Anyon saw in a fifth grade classroom. He said, "the working-class children were learning to follow directions and do mechanical, low-paying work, but at the same time they were learning to resist authority in ways sanctioned by their community. The middle-class children were learning to follow orders and do the mental work that keeps society producing and running smoothly" and "Like the children 
in working-class schools, children in the middle-class school were 
schooled to take orders" (20). Once more, this shows the importance of following directions and following orders. Without this, society wouldn't be able to "run smoothly". 

When Anyon teacher went to go observe the five elementary school classrooms, one part stuck out to me and reminded me of my service learning. He said, "children were required to plan lessons and teach them to the 
class. Among other things, they were evaluated on how well they 
kept control of the class." Recently, my teacher was telling me that they had a faculty meeting and they were going to try something new out. She said that they have to have the children be the teachers and take over the classroom. She wasn't too fond of the idea and didn't think it would go too well, but since it was the new rules, she had to go along with it. Luckily for me, I was there to witness it the first time they did it. Of course my teacher started them off. She did this thing where she would start reading a story, and she would tap on someone's shoulder. Once you have been tapped, you have to start reading out loud WITH who ever else is reading. By the time everyone's shoulder was tapped, the room was loud with voices all reading the same story. It was a good way to teach fluency and they all had to practice not reading too fast or too slow. Once the story was finished, a child had to lead class discussion. They were really nervous and confused. They weren't used to having this power and they kept raising their hands when they didn't have to. On Tuesday, they have to make up their own lesson (like Anyon witnessed) and teach the class. I'm excited and scared to see how this goes...

In multiple parts of this weeks reading, I noticed things that related to the article we read by Bob Herbert. At one point in the text, it says “those at the top have gotten a whole lot richer. Those in the middle are in about the same place economically, and those at the bottom have gotten a whole lot poorer. The question is, do the children of the elite and the middle class and the working class still attend schools like those Anyon described. The answer is, you bet!” (22).  And then Finn says, “when I suggest to my hard-bitten students that poor children are not being as well educated as they could be, they are not amused. They take it as a personal attack from someone who has been living in an ivory tower for the last thirty years, and they resent it-a lot” (8). I couldn't stop thinking of Herbert's article. The schools that are poverty schools usually consist of black and Hispanic children, that's just the way it goes. It's due to the area that they live in, it's not saying that these children are the reason why it's a poverty-written school. But since teachers tend to "avoid such schools", according to Herbert, then they are not getting the best education. So what Finn says is that they're not being as well educated as they could be. I believe that Herbert's article went hand-in-hand with what Finn said. It still breaks my heart that this is the way things are, but hopefully one day we'll be able to change it. If you read this article, you can see that social class doesn't only affect you in elementary school, yet it can affect you in college as well. I thought it fit well :)

My last connection to this piece is relating to what Viv said in class one day. This isn't really a big connection, but it was on page 23 when a student was writing about this new high school in Amherst, New Hampshire. He said, "For example, students had their own smoking section, they called their teachers by their first name, there were no honor level classes, and a lot of material 
taught (from science to English) was done through projects involving the kids to the greatest extent." It reminded me of Viv's service learning in The Met because she mentioned before that the students call their teachers by their first names and she talked about how they learned in different ways and did all of these different projects. 

Even though this week's reading was extremely long, I learned many things from it and was able to connect it to many different things. Not only was I able to connect it to different authors, but I also connected it to my service learning and Viv's. 


  1. I really liked what you wrote here especially considering that I used this piece to connect to Delpit as well but who wouldn't? I also liked how you related it to Bob Herbert as well, I never really thought about that until you mentioned it into your post! I think you did a really good job! I definitely agree on how long the reading was too!!

  2. Hey girl hey. Your post this week was so good! I too connected this piece to Delpit (like I think most of us did) but I didn't really notice it connecting to Herbert until I read your post! Your pictures this week are great and so are you and so is this blog in general! :)

  3. BRANDY!!!!! I loved your post and the pictures you used. Good job girl.