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This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cultural Differences

My class goes to Work Based Learning. We do actual projects for the Dekalb County Parks and Recreation Department. Most of my students are from south Dekalb which is predominately African American. Our student population is 90% African American. I was informed on Thursday we would be going to a new park to remodel a building. The park is very nice I was pleased to get to go there.

Later in the day an administrator asked to come and speak to the class. The administrator (African American) told the students that the patrons of that park would be suspicious of a group of African American teenagers at the park and that their behavior would have to be top notch or the patrons of the park(predominately white, upper middle class) would demand that the students be removed from the work site. I was initially appalled with what the administrator was saying and didn't understand why he had to bring race into it but after some thought I knew he was right and it was a matter that needed to be addressed. It had never entered my mind that for many of my students going to a park where the patrons were predominately white was like going to a foreign country and from eaves dropping on students conversations, some were nervous about it.

None of this had dawned on me at all. I had failed to be culturally sensitive.


Dr. J said...

Thank you for sharing this with the class. I know that Toni in our group is very involved in diversity training and I am going to see if she can maybe teach us all more about this on a Saturday. I am very sorry I didn't prepare you for this in NTI. There is so much I don't know! This is a sad story in that our society is this way. It is a good story in that you learned something and it will help us all learn. Dr. J.

Toni said...


Its Unfortunate, but still very real. It seems to me that the administrator was more so giving you a fore warning. It sounds to me, that whomever he was in contact with to confirm the project, shared some of the concerns of the residence of that area. Because of the racial concern, be sure that you speak to your students about taking the opportunity to prove them wrong.

The percption of the students has already be formed by the white residence, now the students must do what they set out to do properly and respectfull and change their perception to a NEW REALITY.

Let you students know that SOCIETY has labeled them already and paved the road of bad behaviors, impovished mentality and negative attitudes for the African American male to travel; however, there are 4 roads at every intersection. The road leading to success still has potholes, detours and road blocks on it.(DIFFICULT TO TRAVEL) IIn other words, its a easier to travel on a smoothly paved road that leads to drugs, prison and death.

Call me or e-mail me if you need some help answering questions your students may have. GOOD LUCK

JaJuan said...

This is not surprising to me at ALL...I'm only surprised that "YOU" are caught off guard by it....Culture Diversity only help those that are placed in a control, classroom, job, millitary,etc..
I am sure the same would have been the same even if a GROUP of teachers went to the same park!!
Truth is when we leave our"control environments" our personal opinions and beleifs...or ignorances take OVER!
Things aren't going to change...only get better!!!