Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Sarah's blog

Sarah's picture

standardized tests and stress on teachers

I'm facebook friends with my former high school teacher and got a kick out of a poem she wrote refering to the  test students in Massachusetts have to pass to graduate from high school:

Twas the night before MCAS in the city of sin

And I'm stressing bout how my kids will begin

Will they restate the prompt and not overquote?

Will they slow down and brainstorm with copious notes?

Will they stick to the prompt and not go off track?

Will their proctors allow them to have a light snack? 

Will they not fall asleep when they read something boring?

Will they remember the rubrics and methods of scoring?!

I guess now's the time to just let them go...

And forget all the days that we've missed due to snow

They'll tell me I've forced it, they'll say I'm mad dry

But if they get 2s then Miss surely will cry

I'm going to bed praying for 4s they will write

Happy MCAS to all and to all a goodnight!

Sarah's picture

Field Notes

Sarah's picture

field notes: workshop 2 and discussions

This week on Tuesday and Thursday night I held a discussion for SJTP participants to debrief the last workshop and to look forward to the next one.  I created discussion questions based on a survey they had filled out after the last workshop.  The questions were how do we develop social justice skills? How do we move toward competence (referring to the path to competence acitivity)? How can we explore both our dominant and subordinate identities? What are problems with categorization? What are pros and cons of separate spaces for marginalized groups?

The group on Tuesday night spent a lot of time talking about how we can get people to talk about privilege from a place of privilege without making people feel defensive.  We also talked about white guilt, the romanticization of oppression, the individual vs. the institution, cultural appropriation, and marginalization.

 The group on Thursday night talked a lot about the recent signs that have gone up around campus that say something like “Do you love your gay friends but feel pressured to be gay?” and the student response that pointed out how problematic those signs were and said “Do you love your straight friends but feel pressured to be straight?”  We also talked about what safe space is and what an argument or disagreement can look like in a safe space.


On Wednesday I had a meeting with Hallie and Stephanie to plan for the upcoming workshop this weekend, which was mostly discussing logistical issues and thinking forward to our final workshop in April.

Sarah's picture

Cross visitation field notes

Questions/ideas Laura and I discuss on the train ride over: What type of high school school is it (charter, public, private, and magnet) and what are the implications of that? Laura has described the school as very progressive; I wonder how/if social justice is included in the curriculum.  What is the school community like, including, but not limited to, teacher and student relationships?

Arrive at school about 10 minutes before class begins and so decide to walk around/wander the halls.  There are so many cool things on the wall, which range from posters, to students art work, to big pieces of paper with a question and students’ responses.  The topics all seem to be progressive/current in some way: one paper with student responses on it was about the recent election and Romney/Obama debate; one poster advertises the multicultural club; students’ artwork includes, but isn’t limited to, themes of gender and feminism.  These stood out to me because these seem like difficult subjects for high school students to approach. There was also a sign advertising multicultural club, which had prompting questions (“do you feel like you don’t have a culture?”). Laura points out there is an LGBTQ Ally sticker on most or all of the classroom doors.

Sarah's picture

field notes, week 2

my notes are attached.

Sarah's picture

woops, posted in the wrong place

Sarah's picture

Field Notes 2/9/13

I've attached my field notes in a word document.  It was easier for me to format/add pictures that way.

Sarah's picture

Freire and "fear of freedom"

I've read Freire before in other education classes, though usually in smaller sections at a time.  I generally like theory based readings, but found myself having to relate to the real world to stay focused and really understand what Freire was saying.  I thought about how relevant his discussion of the fear of freedom (page 46), which creates the binary of oppressor and oppressed, is visible in many American movements, which makes his work all the more powerful to me because he wasn't intending to write about America specifically.  This leads me to believe his theories are applicable even outside the US, which is impressive.  On page 44 he writes, "In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity (which is a way to create it), become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of humanity in both.  This reminds me of the feminist movement.  I think some people fear that women are trying to conquer men, but the reality is that the feminist movement "restores humanity to both" men and women by allowing women to no longer be oppressed (for example, equal pay) and also so that men are no longer forced to be oppressors (for example, men would be allowed to express feelings and emotions more freely).  He also discussed, on page 45, that "in the initial stage of struggle" the oppressed tend to become oppressors, rather than striving for liberation altogether.

Sarah's picture

Field Notes

I've attached two sets of field notes.  One attachement is notes I took specifically for this assignment after my Zumba PE class yesterday, and the other attachment is old field notes I have saved from when I was in Special Ed and ELL.  

Sarah's picture

I Can't Believe We're Still Workshopping this Shit: Race and Privilege at Bryn Mawr

Group Members: Jo, Uninhibited, Sarah, Sdane, Sasha De La Cruz

Google doc we worked on together as  group to prepare:

Final 360 Workshop
I Can’t Believe I’m Still Workshopping this Shit: Race and Privilege at Bryn Mawr (1 hour)

Goals: discuss importance to the whole community;discuss issues of race and privilege (color paper)

Voice: Educating people, privilege, school to prison pipeline - criminalization, voice/discussion, Bryn Mawr College History
Vision: The New Jim Crow, walled space, niches - as related to Perry House, where you feel at home on campus
Silence: Voices are silent on campus, silent activity/discussion, silence as a place of reflection, Delpit,

Materials: flipchart, markers, candy,index cards/pens for each team,  tape the floor for step forward statements

Syndicate content