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September 28, 2022

 

Four Ways Teachers Can Reduce Implicit Bias

This article explains four ways teachers specifically can reduce implicit biases in school. This article speaks less about the actual school curriculum and more about the different ways outside of the content of the class that can help kids have less implicit bias and prejudice. Teachers recognizing their own biases first is the first important step. The realization that we are more likely to give harsher punishments to those who do not look like us should be corrected before they begin. Taking the time out of class to get to know classmates can also be important not just for racial bias but for any bias someone may have. Another thing schools can do is implement more mindfulness practices, which has been shown to help students have a non-judgemental awareness before they interact with others on a given day. 


Bob Ross and His Impact

Art has contributed significantly to individual’s lives and through some artists- like Bob Ross- they have impacted society to a whole new level. His talents have been showcased through evolving technology where his memory will live on forever. The impact of his personality to viewers and his widespread acceptance are important factors when considering the magnitude of his role in the world.

The birth of technology opened up multiple opportunities for anyone to share their lives with people from all over the world. Streaming services such as; Youtube, Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus have now blown up the entertainment spectrum for viewers. Bob Ross did not have the luxury of technology that advanced in his day, but he did have a camera, a few paint brushes, and his personality to get the job done. Without his charming personality, Bob’s videos would be nothing out of the ordinary than the rest.. In an article written by Alexandra Shultz, we learn that Bob Ross got global sensation because he “had a very optimistic view on the world and especially on painting, making it very easy for aspiring artists to feel they were talented and capable enough to start painting,” explaining that through his words, body language, and overall aura, he was able to be make a comfortable environment for young, striving, members of society. Through this special quality about him, we learn that his painting ability was not the only reason he had received global recognition.

Working a 9 to 5 job was the type of job that was portrayed to be “normal” or accepted too society’s standard, but Bob Ross had a different idea in mind. Having unique jobs or even having unique hobbies, as stated before, were not widely raised during Bob’s time and he wanted to change that. He used his personality and his special quirks to promote diversity among the job world and to promote the imperfectness of all of us.. Ross had a specific phrase he would always say; “happy little mistakes”, whenever he had messed up a little or talking about if the viewer might make a mistake. Acey Harper concludes that there is a deeper meaning behind that statement. She interprets that “it’s OK to make mistakes,” mentioning that we learned from him that it’s okay to have flaws because everyone has them (Harper). Others trying to make a name for themselves stress about being the best they can be and Bob Ross teaches us that mistakes will be made and we must learn from them and change our ideas or plans if needed. This influential artist is known all around the world for his exceptional impact he made towards the people whether that be teaching them art or creating a relaxing, stress free environment for the person.

Having an inspiring teacher can lead the student to strengthen themselves and be inspired to do more for themselves, the community, or the world around them. Bob Ross’s unique teaching style sticks with the world even after he is gone. The impact he made will live on forever and continue to preach that mistakes are just happy little mistakes.

Works Cited

Schultz, Alexandra. “Bob Ross’ Impact on Pop Culture.” Medium, Medium, 28 Sept. 2019, https://medium.com/@aschultz27/bob-ross-impact-on-pop-culture-a20dd1e3ea97. Arts, Artistry Theater and Visual. “Bob Ross, and the Joy of Making Mistakes.” Artistry, Artistry, 7 Apr. 2020, https://artistrymn.org/blog/2020/4/7/bob-ross-and-the-joy-of-making-mistakes.


Teachers and Rent in Oakland

What is a giant problem that teachers are struggling with? The average rent in Oakland is $2,916, an 8% increase compared to the previous year (Evidence of this statistic at https://www.rentcafe.com/average-rent-market-trends/us/ca/oakland/). Teachers struggle with paying rent because of the low amount of money that they get paid. It is clear that the research and interviews show that rent levels going up in Oakland is having a negative impact in Oakland teachers because teachers that are and teach in Oakland can’t afford a house in Oakland and they also need to get second jobs because of the low average of money that they get paid.

A plethora of teachers are having struggles with their house payments. According to a CBS News article made by Aimee Picchi, “Teachers in the U.S. are getting a grim lesson in economics as their pay is eclipsed by rising housing costs. The result: New members to the profession can’t afford the rent in all but one major U.S. city, according to a new study from Zillow.”(Picchi). If new teachers can’t afford a house, then they won’t be able to teach. If they aren’t able to teach, then schools wont have new teachers to teach their students and there will only be substitutes.

On top of having trouble with payment, because of payment, teachers are getting second jobs to get paid better. According to a Pew Research Center document by Katherine Schaeffer, 16% of teachers have second jobs that are not school based summer jobs and 18% of teachers have a second job during the school year (Schaeffer). This also endangers the education of the students and the time of the teachers because the teachers will have less time to teach or grade their students since they are at their second job. This can cause the teachers to get fired from their jobs and replace the teacher with a new teacher. But as the article in the paragraph above said, new teachers can’t afford houses in Oakland which will make the schools in Oakland have fewer teachers and fewer opportunities for the students to learn.

Teachers struggle and some believe that there is no solution for what is happening to them, also known as gentrification. But, there could be solutions for this, an interview with Eva Oliver, a teacher from Life Academy, states, “A rent program for teachers in Oakland like the one that there is in San Francisco would really help teachers in Oakland to live in an affordable place” (Oliver). A renting program could be a great opportunity for teachers in Oakland. Then they won’t have to worry about their rent and they won’t need second jobs. The teachers will be able to pay more attention to their teaching job. While this helps teachers, it also helps the students and the school. The reason why this would help teachers is because students will get more education since the teachers are paying more attention to them. This also helps the schools by allowing new teachers to join the renting program and join schools in Oakland that need new teachers which also helps students. More teachers, less rent, more education, more opportunities, more liberty.

In conclusion, teachers are being affected by by rent because of the low average of their salary and the amount of rent that is needed to pay. But, if this keeps being a problem for the teachers, they might decide to leave their jobs for one that pays them better so that they are able to afford the house that they want. Then, how will the students learn what they need to learn to develop their mindset. They won’t be able to learn one of their majors because there are fewer teachers, and since they didn’t learn there major, there will be less people in the future that can help the community. For example, there will be less doctors, less construction workers, fewer people in jobs because they weren’t able to learn what they wanted to be. Why not help teachers and prevent this tragedy. Another argument should be, if Donald Trump argues that he wants to “make America a better place”, why does he not put some of the undeniable myriad of money that he has on the districts so that they could pay teachers better, but that is a whole different story.

Annotated Bibliography

Picchi, Aimee. “New Teachers Can’t Afford the Rent in All but One Major U.S. City.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 27 Aug. 2019, www.cbsnews.com/news/new-teachers-cant-afford-the-rent-in-all-but-one-major-u-s-city/.

Aimee Picchi works with CBS news. Her news talks about teachers not being able to afford rent in the United States. Majority of the teachers can’t afford rent because of how low they get paid. This source is reliable because it is from CBS news, it is a news article. It was also published in 2019, so it is talking about the present.

Sanchez, Cesar Ivan, and David Gardner. “Teachers and Rent Interview.” 22 Nov. 2019.

Mr. Gardner is an Oakland resident and has taught in Oakland for years. He bought his home so he does not struggle as much with rent But he knows that his loved ones and his friends are being affected by rent which is something he does not like.

Sanchez, Cesar Ivan, and Eva Oliver. “Teachers and Rent Interview.” 22 Nov. 2019.

Eva Oliver is an 8th grade humanities teacher at Life Academy in Oakland. She used to live in Oakland but she left to live somewhere more affordable. This can waste her time because she teaches in Oakland and she lives far away, so she also needs to spend her money on gasoline to get to school and teach. Oliver is trusted because she has been an Oakland resident and she has taught in Oakland for years.

Schaeffer, Katherine. “About One-in-Six U.S. Teachers Work Second Jobs – and Not Just in the Summer.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 1 July 2019, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019\/07/01/about-one-in-six-u-s-teachers-work-second-jobs-and-not-just-in-the-summer/

Katherine Schaeffer made an article about teachers having second jobs. She explains that 1 out of six teachers have second jobs. This source is truthful because it was published in 2019. It is also trustworthy because it has pictures and graphs.


What is education and why it is so important?

Why is education so important because it is a part of our life.  As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Early Childhood and Higher Education Education is very important for success in life. Higher Education is important for the personal, social and economic development of the nation. Education is important to live with happiness and prosperity. Education empowers minds that will be able to conceive good thoughts and ideas. Education enables students to do the analysis while making life decisions. Life gives various survival challenges for humans. But education guide humans to fight with failure and success in life. Education is only one thing that can remove corruption, unemployment, and environmental problems. Education is not about doing a degree it is about how you can live with your own feet. Education helps to become good students, parents, entrepreneurs, doctors, siblings and honest citizens. Being in contact with an educated person and having an intelligent conversation with him expands knowledge and introduces a certain creativity and joy in the mind.

If we want to solve the global learning crisis, the first thing we should do is fill the teacher gaps because on current trends, some countries will not even be able to meet their primary school teacher needs. And attract the best candidates to teaching, it is important for all children to have teachers with at least a good secondary-level qualification. Studies have found—not at all surprisingly—that underqualified teachers are tied to poor outcomes for students. The good news is that this is one of the most straightforward areas where policy makers can have an impact. They must clarify standards for teachers seeking licenses and raise standards in areas where student outcomes are lowest, according to School of Education.We also need to train teachers and prepare teacher educators and mentors to support teachers. To ensure that teachers have the best training to improve learning for all children, it is important for those who train teachers to have knowledge and experience of real classroom teaching challenges and how to tackle them.

Teacher is the most important role in education. We need to get teachers to where they are needed most. And use a competitive career and pay structure to retain the best teachers because governments should ensure that teachers earn at least enough to lift their families above the poverty line and make their pay competitive with comparable professions. The most important is that equip teachers with innovative curricula to improve learning and develop classroom assessments to help teachers identify and support students at risk of not learning. Classroom-based assessments are vital tools to identify and help learners who are struggling. 


Team U.S.A.: Working Together to Keep our Democracy Strong

I have been a student since 2003 when I first attended pre-school. My time in school was enjoyable and fun enough that I decided that I wanted to become a teacher. Spending so many years in school has been a privilege, and many school experiences have made me the person that I am today. Being at the University of Toledo has opened my eyes to many new perspectives in culture, diversity, and identity. There are a few things I have gathered during my education, as part of the opportunities presented to me, that I will always remember. One of these ideas is that America is a wonderful place, but it is not easy to maintain. Therefore, I believe that students should learn what it means to be a part of the team that is the United States of America. Not the Olympic team that competes once every few years, but the team that is comprised of all citizens of this nation who all know what it means to be an American and how to be involved in democratic activities. Several things threaten our democracy, and it is up to teachers to prepare students for democracy, not an alternative. I will be discussing two characteristics of the American Creed, principles that unite citizens, that students should know. In addition, I will address the tasks I have as a teacher to help future generations advance and preserve democracy.

The American Creed is the shared identity of values and ideas that unite all Americans together regardless of race, gender, or political affiliation onto one team that has the shared goal of maintaining and defending democracy. It is what all Americans should remember in times of turmoil and doubt in the country. One speaker in the film American Creed, Eric Lou, defined the creed as “not just a bunch of legalistic principles… it is a civic religion.” I find it easy to relate to this definition because there are many activities that we can do as Americans that reinvest in our belief of America and its values. We can vote in elections, write letters to congressmen/woman, and/or voice our opinions through peaceful assembly. By participating in these acts, and many more, we fulfill our democratic duty as Americans. This civic religion is the mission that will unite Team U.S.A.  

All great teams have individuals who are responsible for their actions, and Team U.S.A. is no different. Responsibility is one aspect of the American Creed that I would teach my students to help them understand democracy. This usage of responsibility is related to our freedom. Deidre Prevett spoke about this value in American Creed, where she stated, “We get to enjoy freedom, but freedom comes with a responsibility.” (2018) I find this value to be important because not all countries get to enjoy the freedoms that Americans do. This is a special place, and in order to keep it that way, we need to understand what our responsibilities are when it comes to upholding the nation. I learned the importance of responsibility for freedom while I was in Bahrain, a country in the Middle East. The laws there are different and being out of the United States made me realize that freedom is not free. I have a right as an American to be free, but only to the extent that my actions are responsible. To teach this value to students in school, I would give a list of hypothetical situations where the freedoms of one student are impacted by the actions of another student. I would provide examples of realistic scenarios in history where Americans have been irresponsible with their freedoms. I think this is important for students given the growing political divide and because it encourages students to listen to one another as they use their freedoms to express their beliefs.  

Teams need to have a strong sense of trust. Without trust, a team cannot make it very far, and there is a weaker sense of identity if everyone feels like an individual instead of one entity. Trust is what has got the United States as far as it has gotten today, and it is another aspect I would want to address with my students in advancing democracy. I learned the importance of trust throughout my running career in high school. I ran cross country and would routinely run on relay teams during track. What do the best relay teams have that sets them above the rest? I believe it is chemistry and trust in one another that they have a common goal and will work together to achieve it. There were times when running with a certain group of people was easier because I trusted that our mission was the same and that we would all try our best to complete it. Joe Maddon touched on trust in American Creed, “The moment we trust one another; then we can build something.” (2018) I think this is relatable to the United States because we trust each other to believe in America. Trust is one reason why our democracy has lasted. This is an important value for students to learn because it will allow them to make informed friendship, voting, and life decisions.  

In addition, trust builds culture. This is where my stance as an essentialist comes into play. Essentialism is important because it ensures that uniting principles and concepts will continue to be known from generation to generation. According to Oakes and Lipton (2006), the purpose and curriculum of essentialism are about “transmitting the culture” (p. 107) and about knowing “the basic skills necessary to preserve the culture and to enable constructive participation of the individual” (p. 107). These ideas are easily transferable to maintaining democratic involvement because our culture is engrained within a functional democracy. If students do not know the principles that guide our nation, then how will they know how to keep democracy running smoothly? Therefore, an essentialist approach towards all students knowing about democracy is vital to its survival. I would go through a ballot with government students and ask them to cast a mock ballot to illustrate this point. By doing so, they would establish who they trust more, and address what characteristics have earned the candidate their trust. If there were no sense of trust in America, I believe our democracy would have ended long ago. Trust is so important in holding something great together, and there should be trust embodied within every aspect of American life. Just as in my running career, members of Team U.S.A. need to trust one another to do what is right.   

One task that I have as an educator in a democratic society to help preserve democracy for Team U.S.A. is to promote awareness about the value of different opinions because if this is not understood, our democracy appears fragile. Lately, I feel that our own democracy has failed in this regard by almost immediately discounting what the other party has to say about a bill or issue. Democracy cannot be advanced unless we take the time to listen to one another and listen to understand. There is no longer true freedom to express ideas freely without ridicule. This is one of the reasons why I feel that our democracy may be in trouble. According to Beane and Apple (2007), one of the principles that are essential to democracy is “the open flow of ideas, regardless of their popularity, that enables people to be as fully informed as possible” (p. 7). By not listening to those around us, we limit ourselves and our potential. Society is controlled by labels, and those often get in the way of trying to understand someone by who they are on the inside, and not what their label defines them as. Students in my classroom should always feel free to ask questions, provide feedback, and discuss problems with their classmates. They will be able to learn so much from each other as people. For participating in democracy, I resonate with the progressive approach because according to Oakes and Lipton, it “creates an environment rich with opportunities for student-directed learning and group problem solving” (p. 107). This approach gives all students the chance to participate in activities that reflect a democratic structure and that allow them to learn from each other. In these activities, students would have to listen to one another and work together to achieve success. Listening to understand is a key part of a democratic society, and group activities where a problem must be solved requires listening, even when there is disagreement. We must do a better job of seeing where other people are coming from, and how we can learn from a statement of which we disagree. I would want my students to know that new ideas, even if they are not common, are always welcome because our differences matter in a positive way, and they help our democracy and the American team if we are willing to learn from one another.  

Team U.S.A. needs to be able to recognize when democracy is in demise so that the proper steps can be taken to get America back on the path to advancement instead of the path of decline. I can do this by teaching my students about times where, how, and why democracy has failed so that they know the warning signs of a team in distress. In the past, the classic coup has almost always overthrown democracy, but ever since the Cold War, a more silent killer of democracy has emerged. Destroying a democracy from within can be done by keeping all the fundamentals of democracy intact. This has been done in Venezuela, where the democracy is now in shambles and turned into an authoritarian controlled nation. This happened slowly, but surely, and no one had a clue. According to Levitsky and Ziblatt (2018), democracies that die from elected leaders on the inside is “because there is no single moment—no coup, no declaration of martial law, or suspension of the constitution—in which the regime obviously crosses the line into dictatorship, nothing sets off society’s alarm bells” (p. 6). Thankfully, there are a few warning signs that Levitsky and Ziblatt (2018) provide for us to look out for when it comes to our leaders, which include weak commitment to democracy, downplay of political opponents, encouraging or tolerating violence, and attempts to curtail civil liberties (Levitsky & Ziblatt, 2018, p. 23-24). It is these warning signs that I would teach because we should all have a common understanding of how our democracy is doing and if it is indeed in danger. If we, as Team U.S.A., can recognize when a leader is stepping out of line, then we can work together and do something about it. It is important to prepare my students for continued life in a democracy, not in authoritarian rule. To be effective contributors to democratic society, students know to be kind and work together because that is how American democracy started in the first place. By being able to recognize the warning signs, students can take the necessary steps in order to save democracy.  Learning about the alternatives to democracy should also raise student awareness in the importance of protecting the dream that makes Team U.S.A. possible.  

All my beliefs stem from experiences in my life and throughout my schooling. I have faith that my teachers and mentors had my best interests in mind as they guided me. The future of America is shrouded in a cloud of the unknown. However, I trust that myself and other future educators will do their part to encourage democracy and active participation with Team U.S.A. A team is only as strong as its weakest link, and it takes a contribution from everyone for the group to run at its highest potential. My goal as an educator is to teach my students that America matters and that everyone that is a part of it matters. I am worried about our future now, but I have the power to change the future by instructing citizens how to be democratic citizens. With the American Creed as our uniting principle, and knowledge about where we have been and where we are going, the American team will rebound, and I will be able to say that I made a difference for Team U.S.A.

Team photo

References 

Ball, S. (2018) American Creed. United States: Public Broadcasting System (PBS) 

Beane, J., & Apple, M. (2007). The case for democratic schools. In Michael Apple and James  Beane (eds.), Democratic education: Lesson in powerful education, 2nd ed. (pp. 1-12). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. 

Levitsky, S. & Ziblatt, D. (2018). How democracies die. New York: Crown Publishers.  

Oakes, J. & Lipton, M. (2006). Teaching to change the world. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: McGraw- Hill. Pp. 105-109 only, from chapter 4.   


Teaching English in S. Korea! Is it possible for me?

Can I really be an English teacher in South Korea? My dream in the future is that I want to become an English teacher in South Korea. I still laugh at this sometimes because even though a lot of my friends and family support me in it, I just think it seems like a crazy dream to have. Growing up i have always loved my teachers and the older I got the more I began to appreciate them. I would always admire how determined they were to see me succeed in life and to accomplish my goals, even if it was something so small. I think that is one of the things that makes me want to be a teacher because, I want to be able to do what my teachers did. I will try to achieve my crazy dream no matter what so that others can have the same great experiences that i got from my teachers.

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