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Siobhan Hickey's blog

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Compassion and Criticism

Through my observations in the classroom and the subsequent examination I have made of myself as a possible future educator, I have thought a lot about the specific role of compassion in the school environment. I often tend to have a negative initial reaction to teachers who are brusque with students, even though I consciously recognize that it is part of maintaining discipline in a classroom that they, but not I, spend hours in every single day. I think it is easy from an outsider’s perspective to expect that every classroom interaction should be compassionate, and to think this isn’t happening when a teacher is short with a student who keeps asking to go to the bathroom, for example. I think that there is something to be said for focusing on creating relationships of caring and concern in a broad sense within a classroom environment, which is something that takes time and energy on parts of the student and teacher. A truly compassionate educational relationship, like any relationship, would be characterized by being able to deliver and accept criticism while also feeling safe and ultimately supported in one’s endeavors. I think this speaks to Margaret’s point that deeper relationships exist where the desire to please is put aside. 

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Journal 5: Creating "Blueprints" for Learning

As I looked around this classroom, I began to become aware of how intentional classroom decoration can be. One thing that popped out to me in particular was a list of classroom rules. One bullet point stated something like, “Keep comments relevant (germane) to class discussion.” I was really struck by this careful insertion of a new vocabulary word into the classroom environment... This reminded me of Rose's discussions in Lives on the Boundary of how certain people in his life helped his learning process by giving him reference points, like Dr. Carothers, who “drew... a giant conceptual blueprint onto which we could place other courses, other books,” (52). Moments like this in Rose's book really struck me; I had never before thought about how important it is to come into an educational setting with a “blueprint” or sorts for understanding how to place and order other information...There is something more satisfying, engaging, and permanent about learning when you know where and how to place new information. The use of those vocabulary words side by side on the list of classroom rules helps to map new words onto knowledge already acquired. So, my experience in the classroom this week has led me to realize what an important tool the physical classroom environment can be for, even subconsciously, creating awareness of certain concepts or bodies of work that may help students later on to open up more easily to new information. 

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Further exploration of Noa's Ark (late posting of journal 3)

Multiliterate education largely does not exist in an effective form not simply because teachers lack the tools with which to implement it, but because enough value is not put on it for tools to be developed in the first place. At the expense of multiliterate education, other curricula are put in place that foster values entrenched in the privileged middle class cultures and economies that hold power in this country. I think this text reads nicely alongside Delpit as one attempts to explore different ways of approaching how we change power and value systems in schools, and how multiple literacies can be achieved perhaps only through recognition of the reasons behind favoring certain kinds of literacies over others.

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Reading for Pleasure


From a very young age, “stories” was a big part of my life. I refer to “stories” as a singular noun because it refers to a specific time of day and a specific act that occurred at that time. Every night before going to bed, I would read with my parents. I can't remember the exact order of what happened when, but there were times when my parents would read picture books aloud to me, and there were times when they would read novels aloud to me, and there were times when I would read picture books aloud to them. And then gradually I moved away from this and began to read novels on my own. My mom especially was very conscientious about finding “quality” literature for us to read. I received Newbery and Caldecott award-winning books for birthdays and Christmas. My picture book phase thus consisted not only of “high quality” content but also beautiful illustrations...

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