Saturday, February 19, 2011

Early Mornings, Coffee, and Field Experience...

As of right now, I am busier than ever!  School has an odd way of stealing every single second of your time.  (My plate is full, therefore my appetite must increase!)

I have been going back and forth doing field experience for my Educational Foundations class, whose one of many objectives is to acquire 18 hours of serving teachers.  Over the past two weeks I've been visiting two schools (I'm not sure if any consequences would happen for posting their names in my blog.  So, I will refer to them as School A and School B)

School A:
Private School
95% White

School B:
Low-Income Public High School School
95% Black 

These schools are greatly different.  School "A" has the best facilities in the city.  "B"'s facilities are deemed adequate.  "A" has all the coolest technology on the market whereas "B" uses chalkboards and book work.

BUT...where are the similarities in these schools?

It's in the students....adolescent High-Schoolers....(this is the age group I observed)

It doesn't matter that school "B" has almost all black students and school "A" has mostly white.  ALL of these kids have a desire to learn.  They want to learn and understand.  ALL these kids want to communicate and interact with information around them.  They want to perceive the world around them.  They are ALL frustrated when they don't understand.  They ALL need extra instruction, but not only instruction.  They need a person to understand their confusion and kindle a desire for them to become a better person.

As I was walking through school "A", it dawned on me that these students can't help that they are in this school.  They did not pick their situation.  They could not choose their family (yes, they are blessed they are in that family).  All they understand is they are here, this is my environment.

This applies to school "B" students.  They are in a black school, born into black culture, and have learned the things they know because of their environment.  The way they act is only a reflection of the environment around them. 

Throughout these hours of field experience, my mind keeps coming back to this thought:
Everyone has the freedom to achieve their desires (goals, aspirations, DREAMS)......but these desires seem to be shaped by social surroundings......Does this mean that some people have greater chances of achieving? Do social stratifications mean we are not all equal and freedom is limited?


  1. Hey Josh,

    I am glad you are continuing to blog. I really have a strong opinion about this subject. It is no accident that these students are going to school in the school they are in.

    I took a very good teacher for Education in a Diverse Society. She taught me some important things about my culture and what I had no idea existed. White privilege. It is something that we have as a white person that no person of color will ever get to experience. I wish it wasn't so but white privilege is something that white people will always have, and it blinds us from seeing people of color at an individual level.

    I encourage you to look up Time Wise. He is an expert when it comes to White privilege and I think that is exactly what you have experienced with the contrast of school A and B.

    It is awesome that you are still blogging! I am interested to see more of your post Josh.

    Stephen Akins

  2. I'm sorry there is a type-o in my previous comment...It is not "Time Wise" it is "Tim Wise". Sorry about that....

  3. Wow, I just checked out Tim Wise. He is a powerful speaker!!! Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Joshua,
    I had the same E.D.S. teacher as Stephen, and she is amazing. You should see if you can get a reading list from her before she leaves, Dr. Juarez. You astutely point out that one's social surroundings do shape their dreams. All children start out dreaming unhindered, but their family, peers, neighbors, and our society as a whole either build these dreams or chip away at them. I would argue that in school A, very few students are ever told they can't become whatever they dream, but those students in school B are daily told what they can and can not expect to become. As Stephen pointed out, very few whites realize we have a birthright of privilege. We do not have to worry about being pulled over by the cops for "driving while black or latino". There is so much more to all of this, most of which I do not understand fully yet, but I am trying. Good luck to you. My observations were a horrible experience for me. None of the teachers really seemed to want to be there.