In the chapters that my group and I had for our second Learning Experience was “Inclusivity Is Not a Guessing Game” By Chelsea Vaught, “I Believe You” Responsive teacher talk and our children’s lives By Michelle Strater Gunderson, and On Behalf of Their Name Using they/them pronouns because they need us to By Mykhiel Deych.
In the first chapter, “Inclusivity Is Not a Guessing Game” by Chelsea Vaught. In this chapter we read about how Vaught teaches 6th grade at a diverse suburb of London. One day Vaught notices that one of her students, Noor, was disappointed after receiving a birthday party treat bag that was filled with gummy candy that was made from animal based, non-halal. Luckily, Vaught had halal friendly options and Noor was able to trade out the gummy candies for chocolate, and then Noor was able to call to her two Zeeshan and Amira, so they can do the same thing. In one of the lessons that Vaught had planned for her students she had asked them to create two motifs that represented the students’ culture. One of her students. Ibrahim, is a Somali American Muslim and was not sure on what he should do for his sketch and asked Vaught if he could use an Arabic scrip for Allah as apart of his project. When Vaught said yes to him he was shocked, but Vaught wanted him to know that he would always be safe to express himself in her classroom.
In the second chapter, “I Believe You” Responsive teacher talk and our children’s lives By Michelle Strater Gunderson, which has a blend of general and special education. (27 students, 9 who have special needs, and there are 5 teachers in total). We read about a 1st grade teacher in Chicago. And Ms. Gunderson would always have one student, Lily, would come in every Monday and tell her that her head hurt. Ms. Gunderson would say, “I know you miss your dad. Let’s try participating in school and see if it helps you feel better” and in the News at the time was about Olympic gymnastic physician, Larry Nassar, was sentenced to 175 years for sex crimes. While watching the trial Gunderson would keep on repeating “I believe you” all throughout when the girls would tell their stories. And after watching that she realized that she was discounting what Lily was going through. Ms. Gunderson went back to her team and talked about using “I believe you” in the classroom when it comes to talking with their students. And after 3 weeks of using the “I believe you” statements with the students and got their feedback on what they were doing. And mostly all if the feedback was positive and the students really like what their teachers were trying to do.
In the activity that I did for class I came up with some things that a student might come to you as a teacher, and I had the class reply using the “I believe you” statement or anything else that they were comfortable with. I also related to what I did in the activity to the chapter objective, To Make Sure Every Students Feels Involved and Comfortable During All School Assignment and Activities, by relating to how important it is to take into consideration how you students feel when they come to tell you things. And to make yourself aware in your response, so that in the future your students feel more comfortable and are willing to share with you their experiences.
In the last chapter, On Behalf of Their Name Using they/them pronouns because they need us to By Mykhiel Deych. It talks about how an Urban School with about 100 staff members are waiting for a mandatory meeting to start on the topic of Gender and Sexuality Acceptance. And the group that is presenting this are called the “Queer Straight Allinace” (QSA), and the teacher that is leading the meeting is Transgender and Queer. The teacher felt the urge to advocate for students after having a nightmare where parents labeled the teacher as unfit to teach due to their sexuality. Before this meeting many teachers in this meeting had ridiculed students in front of their entire classes. The students were able to speak out in the group setting about the problems that they faced. And in the meeting they watched a video about the proper ways to use Pronouns. After everyone one was able to introduce themselves and what their pronouns are there was a stronger sense of community.