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Classroom Blog # 5

Through my experiences in kindergarten this semester, I have learned so much! I have learned how to effectively instruct students so that they have fun learning at school. The greatest lesson I have learned this semester is how to view the children. I have always had such a great passion for children however this experience makes me view children in a whole new light. Longwood preaches that every child is different, and you never know their personal story. It is one thing to hear your professor say this statement, and another experience to actually encounter children who only experience love at school. I have learned how to love every child, even the ones that are hard to handle. I have learned that every child makes mistakes and as a teacher, you have to allow them to learn from their mistakes. When a child has a bad day, you as the teacher have to remind them that tomorrow is a new day, and with that new day comes a blank slate in the classroom. This is a lesson that can only be learned through actually being in the classroom. My class of 19 students has taught me more than they will ever realize.

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blog #4- Improvements

One aspect of going through my journey in kindergarten is my demonstration of classroom management. There have been times where I have been able to lead calendar time, or lead a math lesson, and sometimes I struggle being able to regain the students attention. I have observed methods my teacher uses such as singing, or little chants that the students chime into. The purpose of the songs is  to gather the students thoughts, and quiet them down. I would like to implement some of her strategies when I am on my own trying control behavior. I do not like to raise my voice at the students because I feel that is an ineffective strategy when trying to enforce behavior management. I hope to improve my ability to enforce a stronger classroom management, and have the students listen to me the first time directions are given.

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Classroom Blog # 3

Within my classroom, I feel as though there are accomplishments taking place every single day. Every day, I see a child apply something they have learned the previous day, or see a group of students playing together. I have this one student that is very hesitant to trust any adults due to his living arrangement at home. He is in foster care and has been passed around frequently. His behavior sometimes reflects his frustration in the classroom. I made an effort to try and connect with him, and gain his trust. I did this by trying to be there for him and praising him for his own accomplishments. The other day in the hallway he was walking in line, and he reached to hold my hand. I felt like this was such a big accomplishment for me and the student. I felt like I had gained his trust and approval, and he finally let me in.  I don’t think ill ever forget this student or this day in particular.

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Classroom Blog # 2

I have been in partnership for almost a month and I love my class! I am getting exposed to many different situations and am taking note of what is the correct way to handle them. My class has a wide range of learning developments, therefore I am getting exposed to the various ways to differentiate instruction, and how to communicate with each individual child. I love knowing the kids are starting to trust me more and more everyday. They have started asking me to help them more with their work, and feel able to talk to me if they are having a problem. I feel as though I am starting to understand how much responsibility and pressure is put on the classroom teacher. It makes me somewhat anxious but at the same time, I feel like I this experience is preparing me to be able to handle behavior situations and any child that may be in my class.

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Classroom Blog #1.

Over the past couple of weeks in my placement, I have already learned a lot! I was nervous to be placed in kindergarten and how to teach starting from the very beginning. I have learned how to differentiate instruction, and how often times you have to go with the flow! I am getting very close with my students and cant wait to dive further into literacy and watching their growth over the course of the semester!

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Gay Rights and Germany

This article goes in depth of the politics pertaining to gay marriage in Germany. Same-sex couples are allowed to have a civil union but they are not technically allowed to be married. This issue also goes in hand with a same-sex couple wanting to adopt a child. The official who has gone against this states that they only want the child to be in a good home and to her, that isn’t with a gay couple. I find this ridiculous because if they are afraid that being raised by a same-sex couple will make it more likely that the child will end up being gay, they have another thing coming. The environment in which a child is raised has little to do with their orientation. I find that one of the worst arguments against a same-sex couple adopting a child. People get married, usually, to start a family. They don’t really have a secret agenda besides love for each other and a want to be a part of something special to them. So I say let them adopt if they want, and let them be married in the eyes of the law–it doesn’t negatively affect straight couples around them, so why would it be bad?

Littauer, Dan. “Gay Rights Advocates: Merkel’s Victory a Loss for Germany’s LGBT Community.” LGBTQ Nation RSS. N.p., 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 8 July 2014.

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Commonality and The “New Normal”

The American culture as a whole seems to have somewhat of an obsession when it comes to perfectionism and uniform thought. However, the obsession is conflicting in order to satisfy the individual. Let me explain. On one hand, society promotes individuality, being unique and original. On the other hand, there are certain standards that are considered “normal” and whenever one of the said individuals strays from the expectation, they are looked down upon or considered too original. There is a fine line between maintaining a sense of individuality but also conforming to social “norms.” Or is there? Taking a closer look and applying this notion to the field of mental health illnesses, the community as a whole has become somewhat corrupted and broken to the point where it is influencing the general public in a negative way. Individuals that suffer from actual disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, or depression are viewed as different, but also harmful, unpredictable, or unstable. However, who is to say what normal really is? It seems that if someone is going through a particularly rough time in their life that causes sadness, or a period of depression, they are viewed as having an illness relating to something more significant such as major depressive disorder or anxiety disorder. This is not the case. As human beings, one of the amazing capabilities that we do possess is to feel emotion, and very deeply. Just because someone is not perfectly happy, composed, and stress-free at all times, does not make them not normal. In fact, I think that if someone is that way at all times, perhaps that is not normal. Humans are supposed to feel, grieve, experience a range of emotions, and struggle with the purpose to overcome challenges and improve. Rather than facing a conflict or life challenge with an open-mind and positivity, medication is often the first method of treatment. “Here, take this and you will feel better” is often the mindset of many corrupted individuals in the medical and pharmaceutical community. Some may disagree with me, but why do we have to always feel better immediately? Maybe it is good to feel all of our emotions, even if they aren’t pleasant of positive ones. This allows us as human beings to recognize every part of ourselves and how to evolve, progress, improve, and reach our fullest potentials. Counseling is an excellent method to observe the root of someone’s problem. Through therapy, education, realization, and goals can be attained and achieved. Challenges are good because they make us stronger. However, unfortunately, when someone is “diagnosed” with a disorder that they do not even have and medication is prescribed, it is essentially a band-aid that is masking the problem and further encouraging it’s development, dormantly. That being said, there are individuals that truly suffer from such diagnosable disorders and can benefit from medication, but coupled with counseling too. Individuals that are experience a loss or a sudden change can feel a range of emotions that can be classified as some of the symptoms that are observed in depressive and other mood disorders, but that dose not mean that they have that disorder. It does not mean that they should be prescribed a synthetic drug to alter their brain chemistry and emotions. This expectation to be happy, fulfilled, and constantly without pain, suffering, and other maladies is unrealistic and sets a standard of what normal should be by defining it by perfectionism and shame. Humans are not perfect. We are beautifully flawed, and that is what contributes to varying personalities within society to make each person individual, unique, and one-of-a-kind. We need to redefine what “normal” is supposed to be and stop being afraid to push those boundaries. According to Dr. John Grohol,  “perhaps it’s time for a more nuanced, psychologically-based diagnostic system to adopted by mental health professionals, one that doesn’t medicalize issues and turn every emotional concern into a problem that has to be labeled and medicated.” I could not agree more with him and feel that this issue is everyone’s problem and should be treated as such.

Source: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/07/26/overdiagnosis-mental-disorders-and-the-dsm-5/

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Sexuality is Fluid

As promised, I have attached my gender identity map. I will explain the creation of the map and its aspects to make it easier for you to create one.

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I believe sexuality has many aspects and is fluid for everyone. The first line is titled “Sexual Orientation”. This is who a person is physically attracted to. For me, I am mainly attracted to women. There is the rare man that I may be physically attracted to, but usually those men are very feminine men, so I shaded in the side that says “same sex” and a very small portion of the opposite sex side. Now, this may lead to the question “Doesn’t that make you bi-sexual? Not gay?” These labels are used at the discretion of the person they are describing. To me, a bi-sexual is a person attracted to both sexes equally, I am almost exclusively attracted to females, with the rare exception, so I consider myself a lesbian. (Sexuality is very fluid in that sense too. Not everyone agrees on their definitions.)

The next line has to do with a person being sexual or asexual. I defined this as a person enjoying physical touch in a relationship over no touch. I, in this regard, am a very sexual being.

The next line has to do with gender. I see this as a simple, which bathroom do you use? type of question. If someone approached me and asked “What gender are you?” I would, without a doubt, answer that I am female. I may add that I tend to be a tomboy or a more masculine woman, but I am a woman as well.

The next line is simply labeled “expression”. This line was tricky for me. I only recently came out, so I ‘m not actually expressing myself the way I want completely yet. That is a big step, so I went with how I desire to express myself, which is in a more manly, or masculine way.

The final line has to do with romantic orientation. This is who you are attracted to in the sense that you could see yourself living with them for the rest of your life and be happy talking to and basically having as your best friend forever. For this section, I am attracted solely to women, and less feminine women at that. I prefer people like me.

Making a gender map isn’t too difficult, but it is very helpful, especially to someone recently out and proud. It can help them to discover who they are.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know if you have any questions about any topics under the “LGBT Umbrella” and I will do my best to make a post answering them.

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Self Expression

I was looking around youtube the other day and seeing videos posted by people surrounding the topic of homosexuality. There are a LOT of gay “youtubers” out there, and the videos I’ve found have been helpful for years. I remember when I first came out, things were very difficult. I couldn’t quite express who I was yet, because I didn’t know who that was. For me, coming out was a lot like going through puberty again. I had the feeling of liking girls for a long time, but I’d repressed it because I didn’t want to admit it, so when I came out, I began to learn who I really was and it was overwhelming. For me, writing helped, and for everyone I’ve talked to, self expression of some kind helped a lot. It wasn’t always about their sexual orientation, but sometimes it was. This is what led me to what is called “Project Toasty”. I will put the link to one of their videos below. The project is a not-for-profit organization with the purpose of encouraging people to express themselves in whatever way they can. It is not specifically an LGBT organization and never will be, but it has affected people of the LGBT community and people of the straight community alike.  I suggest checking out the website and the youtube videos, doing some challenges, and if you are financially able, making a donation if you like what you see. Later this week I will post a picture of one of the challenges I followed up with. I did the gender mapping challenge presented in the video below, as it aligns most directly with the purpose of this blog. I challenge you to complete the gender mapping challenge and if you would like, submit it in a comment. With the official assignment for this blog drawing to a close, I will continue to post, but my posts may be less formal. I look forward to all of the topics I can share with you all.

 

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9_R0UQY1uI

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What Now?

I thank you for sticking with me throughout this blog so far. This post marks the end of my official agenda, though I do plan to keep my blog up. The past 6 posts have all had the purpose of guiding you, the readers, to become more knowledgeable and aware of why gay rights should be granted. Now I’m sure many of you are asking something along the lines of “Now what?” or “Why should I care if I’m not gay?” These are very good questions that I hope to address in this post. Unless you are a politician, the most you can do to help this cause is to support it. The wheels are already set in motion, so the most important thing you can do is voting in favor of gay rights when the time comes. I understand the confusion in why straight people should be vocally supportive of gay rights, and the answer is simple. This country is free, I’d like it to stay that way, but if the government tries to regulate what 2 consenting adults do in their own home sexually, it is no longer free. Hopefully the video below helps.

 

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

 

My Sources:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtOxmpeHHFQ[/youtube

 

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