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Posted on November 13, 2012 2:54 am
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Yasar Bodur
Yasar Bodur
Reps: 614
De-emphasize Differences.
I was recently assigned to the middle school in the Warren School District. The district serves a community that had once been an all-white middle-class enclave, but has recently become more diverse in its ethnic makeup. I am very interested in multicultural education. I instituted the use of dialog journals in my adviser group, telling the students that they can write anything they want. Some journal entries cause me concern. Warren Jackson, an African American, complains that my emphasis on African American culture embarrasses him. Gail Smith, a white girl, writes that her parents object strongly to her affection for Warren Jackson and that she is considering suicide. My problems come to a head in my first meeting with the principal. The principal suggests that I decrease his use of small groups, that I abandon my dialogue journals, and that I de-emphasize the multicultural aspects of my classes. He suggests that I emphasize similarities, not differences. I donít know what to do. I do think that my methods have some value but I cannot go against my principal.
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted June 12, 2013 3:10 pm

Colleen Keller
Colleen Keller
Reps: 92
I think that the dialogue journals are a great idea to help students get their thoughts out and for teachers to see what they are thinking. The best thing about it is that they are private and the students can really speak their minds. The fact that these topics and themes are very controversial, but when information like that comes up or you see some red flags there is a process that needs to be taken. You really need to contact the counselor to talk with Gail about what was written. Then I would also talk with Warren to really understand the best method of how you should go about teaching multicultural education, and have a better understanding as to why he is feeling embarrassed.
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Comments posted for this solution

gyjyjy
gyjyjy
Reps: 71
I also think that the dialogue journals are a great way for students to privately express their thoughts, ideas, or feelings. I believe that we should teach both similarities and differences within our classroom in all areas, including multicultural education. We need students to understand how our world as evolved and how people from all cultures bring something unique to our country and our classroom.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 11:11 pm

Jessica Briley
Jessica Briley
Reps: 109
I agree that we need to teach similarities and differences among students in our classroom. They need to know that everyone can have the same feelings. They also need to know that not everyone has the same opinions. It's important for students to start learning this at a young age so they don't grow up thinking they are better than another race.
  Posted on: November 19, 2013 11:09 am

A Battles
A Battles
Reps: 115
I also believe this is a great way to talk to Warren and maybe find a delivery method that is comfortable for all students.
  Posted on: November 26, 2013 7:38 pm

Laura Toft
Laura Toft
Reps: 71
I had a very similar post to yours. I think the dialogue journals are extremely effective and Gail probably wouldn't have expressed those feelings verbally so kudos for having her trust. How you use these materials though are what is going to make the difference. It's important that students are able to respect one another without feeling like they are being singled out or highlighted for being difference.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 2:41 am

Caley Copeland
Caley Copeland
Reps: 69
Colleen,

I also like the journals, and the opportunity they provide students to be open and honest with the teacher. I agree that most of the students are probably uncomfortable because of the controversial nature of the topic. However, some embarrassment may also come from lack of understanding, and unwillingness to be open minded. The use of the journals needs to continue to address these issues.
  Posted on: June 14, 2014 2:31 am

ezasyp
ezasyp
Reps: 107
I really liked how you included turning some of these ideas over to counselor. Without this opportunity your students would be keeping this information inside which is not a good thing. We should always encourage students to express their ideas and themselves. This will also help you get to know your students. I definitely think you are correct with creating an action plan in case hot topics of concerns come up.
  Posted on: November 17, 2014 7:48 pm

SaSyXu
SaSyXu
Reps: 105
I totally agree with you! The journals are an awesome idea to get kids to open up about what they are dealing with and a pathway for us to be able to help them!
  Posted on: November 19, 2014 1:59 pm

Myzusy
Myzusy
Reps: 113
Great post! I agree with your suggestion to continue using the dialogue journals and to seek guidance counseling for the student in crisis. I would take it one step further by team teaching a lesson or two with the guidance counselor on cultural diversity topics and social emotional topics that are specific to ideas students are concerned about in their journals. Doing so would help children come up with socially emotionally helpful ways to solve diversity problems.
  Posted on: November 20, 2014 4:13 pm

PyveDu
PyveDu
Reps: 101
I think it is also great that you use these journals to allow students to express themselves. This is a great way to have them think culturally and work out issue they are having. It does become concern when health is being tampered with.
  Posted on: November 28, 2014 2:55 am

aheduX
aheduX
Reps: 112

This is a great idea. This helps the students get their thoughts on paper. Students are able to speak their minds. The student that is having a serious issue needs to speak with someone else, such as a counselor. I like the idea of talking to the other student about how he feels.
  Posted on: December 4, 2014 7:47 pm

LeHyZa
LeHyZa
Reps: 107
I too felt that the journals are a good way for middle school students to express their inner thoughts and feelings as it is such a transitional period in their lives. I also agree that Gail's journal entry needs to be dealt with right away and that Warren may have some great input as to how to teach multicultural education. Hearing his reasoning on what and why his is embarrassed could be very eye opening for you and shed light on how to be a better teacher.
  Posted on: December 4, 2014 11:11 pm

aQazuV
aQazuV
Reps: 105
I agree that the dialogue journals are a great aspect to the classroom and should not be eliminated. I think that the young girl should definitely see a counselor about her suicidal thoughts and the young man would benefit from speaking to a counselor as well. I do agree with the principal that issues of similarities should be more addressed than differences.
  Posted on: December 8, 2014 12:21 am

jamasy
jamasy
Reps: 67
The dialog journals are great but everything changes when a student threatens suicide. Teachers are mandated reporters. The student cannot be left alone until she has seen the guidance counselor and she follows her protocol for dealing with such issues.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 1:23 am

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74
That is a good idea just to deal with the two students independently. The journals are a good way to let the students write down their ideas without having to feel like they are being judged.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 8:49 pm

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
Reps: 70
I agree that the dialog journals are obviously a powerful tool! We need our students to be open and honest with them, so that we can meet their needs. For example, using the information from these journals, we can tailor our instruction to help Warren feel more comfortable, while also getting Gail the help she so clearly needs. Facing these things can be difficult, but we must embrace the important role we play in our students' lives and utilize any tools we have to help them.
  Posted on: June 11, 2015 4:20 pm

yBySuL
yBySuL
Reps: 70
Talking with Warren to see what would be a better approach to the lesson for him not to feel uncomfortable is a great idea. I do believe the journals are a great idea. It's a private section of the classroom or school, for that matter, for the students to express themselves freely and openly. It also allows you, as the teacher, information to better understand your students and make accommodations that may be necessary to provoke their full academic potential.
  Posted on: June 12, 2015 4:15 am

Beth Jackson
Beth Jackson
Reps: 71
I love dialogue journals and believe they provide students some freedom and choice in the classroom. I would hate for the teacher to have to remove these from the classroom. I agree, some facts are controversial but not everyone is going to have the same beliefs about everything. I would encourage the principal to allow you to continue with the journals and teach about both similarities and differences. In the real world, people arenít just going to focus on things that are the same. We must prepare these students for the real world and not coddle them. I also agree that you could talk with both students discussed in this post to see what deeper feelings they have regarding the subject. I would also bring the suicide comment to the attention of the counselor.
  Posted on: June 12, 2015 9:01 pm

Puzesu
Puzesu
Reps: 21
I like the idea of the openness of dialog journals. I think it gives the students the opportunity to speak clearly without judgement. I would continue these journals.
  Posted on: June 13, 2015 6:25 pm

Nicole Turner
Nicole Turner
Reps: 70
I agree that a counselor must come in and speak to the student who wanted to harm herself and also that the journals provide the students with opportunities to express themselves.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 5:27 pm

Katy Fitzgibbons
Katy Fitzgibbons
Reps: 71
I agree with several of the points in your post. The counselor does need to be contacted. Moreover, I think the dialogue journals would be a great way for students to communicate their feelings as well as maybe how the teacher should modify his or her instruction to make it more meaningful for the students. Dialogue journals would also help the students feel more invested in the instruction since they would have an opinion in regards to how and what material is being taught.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 8:25 pm

yzaSeR
yzaSeR
Reps: 68
I think a counselor is the way to effectively deal with the Gail situation. I also think that I would speak to the other student one on one to see what I was doing that was embarrassing him. That was you can get a dialogue going between you and that student.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 9:28 pm

Meagan Cook
Meagan Cook
Reps: 53
I think that we should talk about the differences and not settle to show similarities. The talk of suicide is extremely important and should be addressed immediately with the student and counselor. Maybe stepping back from the lessons and teaching them a different way may be more appropriate, but I think the dialogue journals are absolutely perfect for the situation and allow for the teacher to recognize how the students feel in response to the prompts.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 12:36 am

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
I might use this if i come across this problem
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:50 pm

Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
I agree with you that the journals are a great way for the students to express themselves privately. The comment that Gail wrote should be shown to both the principal and a guidance counselor. I would not decrease the use of these journals because they help the students speak their minds. I would have a talk with Warren to understand why he is feeling embarrassed.
  Posted on: November 19, 2015 11:36 pm

ehyNyn
ehyNyn
Reps: 109
I agree! Somebody needs to be notified about Gail. Remember that you are a mandated reporter and you could be in trouble if it is not reported and something happens to her. Warren being uncomfortable with the information being presented is a great reason as to why multicultural education is needed at the school. In my opinion, students need to be uncomfortable at times because all topics are not comforting...
  Posted on: November 21, 2015 4:26 pm

ezajaV
ezajaV
Reps: 102
I also think that dialogue journals are a great way for students to get their thoughts down on paper. Dialogue journals also let the teachers know what they are thinking.
  Posted on: December 2, 2015 2:33 pm

uPaSeW
uPaSeW
Reps: 209
I agree that the dialogue journals are a great way to make sure that students get a chance to express themselves. This could be the only way that they are getting their thoughts out.
  Posted on: December 7, 2015 2:25 am

Kady Schlemmer
Kady Schlemmer
Reps: 101
This is a very thoughtful solution. It is very helpful.
  Posted on: July 9, 2016 7:15 pm

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Solution 2
Posted June 13, 2013 6:32 pm

Johnnie Skelton
Johnnie Skelton
Reps: 104
First and foremost, if you have a student who has indicated to you that he or she may be considering harming him or herself or others, you are bound both ethically and legally to report it, using the appropriate channels. I have always used our counselor as my first step. It does not matter if these journals are private or confidential. You are a teacher dealing with a student, and there is no legal expectation of confidentiality as would exist between a doctor and a patient. Report this immediately.
I am interested in how your multicultural lessons could be embarrassing an African American student. Is it possible that your interpretation of multiculturalism has targeted African Americans more than other cultural groups? Or is Warren Jackson the only non-white student in the class? I can imagine how that would cause embarrassment for a student if that were the case. You should avoid singling out a student. Donít teach multiculturalism in such a way that the message comes across as praising a person from another cultural group for something that they did. Teach it so that the message is that there is a great person or group of people who did something amazing, and they happen to be from another culture.
This is a situation in which you may have to consider how far you are willing to go to do the right thing for your students. So far, the principal has suggested that you stop the journaling. If you analyze the way you are using the journals and make some strategic changes, and your principal is still opposed to multiculturalism and journaling, you may have to find a different way to teach the subject. You canít help your students if you are suddenly unemployed.
It is also worth mentioning that these are teenagers that you are dealing with, and embarrassment is their natural state. They may grow out of their embarrassment and appreciate and benefit from what you are doing.
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Comments posted for this solution

Stephanie Harmon
Stephanie Harmon
Reps: 84
I agree that the first step needs to be contacting the counselor about the student who has expressed an intent to harm themselves. I also wonder what about these lessons in causing embarrassment for the student. Focusing too much on injustices and differences can make students uncomfortable so I think that there needs to be a balance between discussing these and teaching the many positives of cultural diversity.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 9:59 pm

Love Joy
Love Joy
Reps: 78
I agree that there is something not being told about why he is embarrassed. If he would say he does not like it just because is one reason but being embarrassed is not normal. Is he biracial? If so, this could be the cause especially if race is not discussed in his household. You can discuss multiculturalism in different ways such as discussing personalities or family traditions. This can then bring about other conversations. Then discover different activities instead of journal writing.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 11:21 pm

Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I would also be curious to know how the lessons are embarrassing the African American student. I think explaining to him (and maybe the class) that was not the intention, may be helpful.
  Posted on: November 19, 2013 7:27 pm

BeWuXe
BeWuXe
Reps: 117
Since the school district was restructured, it is possible Warren may be the only or one of the few African Americans in the classroom. If so, it is important to understand that this change in the demographics of the school affects him as well. It is quite possible he has never been in a classroom with whites and this may actually be the cause for this embarrassment and not just the topic of multiculturalism. Regardless of the reason for embarrassment, it is important to hold a conversation with Warren to discuss the reasons for his embarrassment.
  Posted on: November 23, 2013 3:14 pm

Tracy C
Tracy C
Reps: 104
I think the African American student is feeling embarrass because he may be outnumbered, and thus made more aware of his cultural difference. Not one likes to feel singled out. However, it is important that this student develops a positive self-concept so that he does not have to feel embarrass or inferior to the dominant culture represented in the classroom.
  Posted on: November 26, 2013 9:24 pm

LaChristen Boyd
LaChristen Boyd
Reps: 68
Definitely report the student contemplating suicide immediately to the guidance counselor. Then I would re- evaluate my delivery of information and definitely focus more on similiarities. But history is history and everything cannot be peaches and cream all of the time because that's just not the way things happened. A medium must be found.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 1:40 pm

ePeHyM
ePeHyM
Reps: 105
I agree that the first step in this situation would be to contact the counselor to get help for Gail. Once that is done, the next step would be to talk with Warren and find out why he is embarrassed. I agree that it is important not to focus on one specific ethnic group but great people from various groups.
  Posted on: December 1, 2014 9:37 pm

NyVyTy
NyVyTy
Reps: 90
I agree, as a mandated reporter it is the teacher's job to report Gail's problem to the counselor and get her the attention that is needed. It is also great that your pointed out that Warren's problem may be how the information in presented to the class that makes him embarrassed. I think that the teacher needs to pull Warren to the side to find out exactly why he's embarrassed.
  Posted on: December 4, 2014 2:00 pm

Amanda Morris
Amanda Morris
Reps: 70
I totally agree that with a situation like Gail's, you need to go directly to the counselor. If the teacher did not do dialogue journals then it is a good possibility that no one would have found out about Gail's feelings. I think I would go to the principle and tell him the possitives about incorporating this journals into the curriculum, but if he/she is still against it you need to do what they recommend.
  Posted on: June 8, 2015 5:59 pm

jamasy
jamasy
Reps: 67
You must bring the student who threatened suicide to the guidance counselor immediately according to the law. It is possible you are embarrassing the African American student because you are constantly bring up this subject when he wants to be treated the same as everyone else. It would be impossible for him to just fit in when you keep telling everyone how different his people have been treated in the past.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 1:25 am

Kalie Walker
Kalie Walker
Reps: 66
You had a great point when mentioning that the teacher may be targeting the African American culture more than any others. I can see a student becoming embarrassed as well if they are the only student of a different culture in a class of students all from the same culture. I imagine myself in a class full of African Americans and could become embarrassed when talking about the white culture. You said it best when saying you do not want to single any one student out and talking more about the culture as group and the good/positive things they accomplished.
  Posted on: June 10, 2015 1:47 pm

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
Reps: 70
I agree with you that Warren's embarrassment is most likely caused by an disproportionate focus on one ethnicity or even just ethnicity in general. We are all shaped by many aspects of our being, including our age, sex/gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status. These are things that should also be included in multicultural education to ensure that our students are getting the "bigger picture" of the world and factors that influence one's worldview.
  Posted on: June 11, 2015 4:23 pm

Katy Fitzgibbons
Katy Fitzgibbons
Reps: 71
You made a great point in stating that the teacher should consider the racial and cultural demographics of the classroom. The teacher does not need to single out any one of the students. I think a great way around this issue is to provide instruction to the students involving different cultures, not just the ones that are in the classroom.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 8:30 pm

Alyssa Wright
Alyssa Wright
Reps: 69
I agree multicultural education should be taught as facts and as not to cause bias among groups. When just the facts are presented students can form their own opinions of the information.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 1:06 am

emuZuW
emuZuW
Reps: 69
I think your solution was right on point, what I suggested was very similar. I too said that the mention of suicide was the top priority and then move on from there. Also, I like that you suggest that the journaling be analyzed more before throwing it all away. It seems n depth research of practice is the suggestion you are getting at as you also suggesting not looking at the lessons to ensure that you aren't singling out one student (the embarrassed Black student). Sound advice.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 2:57 am

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Great idea
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:48 pm

nydyra
nydyra
Reps: 202
You have a wonderful and well-worded perspective on the matter. Thank you for being so thorough. As little people should be involved in this issue as possible, but protection must be provided and a counselor can help.
  Posted on: October 17, 2015 7:45 am

Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
I like your response to the situation and agree that there must be more to the matter on why Warren is feeling embarrassed. I would also consider and ask if he is out-numbered in the classroom. Putting that much attention on him may make him feel alienated. In response to Gail, I completely agree that it should be reported. If something were to happen to her and you knew about it, I know that it would not go over well. I would re-evaluate the assignments and possibly adjust them to make all students feel comfortable.
  Posted on: November 19, 2015 11:40 pm

ehyNyn
ehyNyn
Reps: 109
It is absolutely necessary to report the information about Gail because he is a mandated reporter. Also, I agree that one student does not need to be singled out. It is imperative that you take multiple cultures and present these within class and not just African American (if that is what is happening).
  Posted on: November 21, 2015 4:29 pm

ezajaV
ezajaV
Reps: 102
I also agree that the first step would be to contact the counselor. I would also like to find out why he would be embarrassed.
  Posted on: December 2, 2015 2:34 pm

Amanda Robinson
Amanda Robinson
Reps: 98
I also agree that the first step in this case is discussing the journals with the counselors. But also figure out what is making the young boy feel embarrassed during the discussion. I also think that this would be done best in private.
  Posted on: December 3, 2015 1:06 am

Kateline Vaughn
Kateline Vaughn
Reps: 106
I agree. My first step would definitely be to contact the counselor or principal to talk to Gail. I also agree that it is best to not try to single anyone out. Maybe it would help to talk about a variety of ethnic groups and cultures and also bring up positive aspects about them.
  Posted on: December 4, 2015 7:07 pm

uPaSeW
uPaSeW
Reps: 209
I agree that any time a student suggests suicide, a counselor should get involved. As far as the African American student is concerned, examining why the student is embarrassed by this is the first step.
  Posted on: December 7, 2015 2:28 am

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Solution 3
Posted June 11, 2013 4:49 pm

Monique Cook
Monique Cook
Reps: 70
In my opinion, I believe there is no correct solution for this particular situation. If you strongly believe that the emphasis of multicultural aspects in your classroom are beneficial to student learning and progress then take evidence to the principal. I think the principal may have negative thoughts about your classroom setting because of the one situation you've had. Once you present the benefits to the learning environment you are tying to create, hopefully the principal will have a better understanding.
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Comments posted for this solution

April Rozier
April Rozier
Reps: 110
Providing evidence is certainly the route I would take when trying to convince the principal that my methods are valuable. You must present your perspective and back it up in order to get the principal to consider your approach.
  Posted on: November 24, 2014 3:16 pm

GyJeWy
GyJeWy
Reps: 105
Providing evidence for the principal could definitely help since he seems to be thinking completely negative right now.
  Posted on: November 25, 2014 12:51 am

ePeHyM
ePeHyM
Reps: 105
I agree that the principal is basing his suggestions off of the one incident and that it would be a good idea to bring positive evidence to him/her of your teaching. Also, it is important to remind him/her that the issue with Gail has nothing to do with the way you are teacher rather her home life.
  Posted on: December 1, 2014 9:33 pm

LeHyZa
LeHyZa
Reps: 107
Before listening entirely to the principal or yourself, I would reach out to Warren and any other students who are feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable with the content being taught. They can probably suggest better alternatives and find a happy medium between your view and that of your principal. Also, it is important to address Gail's entry.
  Posted on: December 4, 2014 11:13 pm

aQazuV
aQazuV
Reps: 105
I agree that the teacher should speak with the principal about the positive effects of multicultural education in the classroom. Perhaps once the principal as a better understanding for the teacher is trying to accomplish, they then may be able to work more as a team to reach their goal. I'm sure the principal has some great advice and strategies he/she can share to make multicultural education successful in the teacher's classroom.
  Posted on: December 8, 2014 12:23 am

Qureby
Qureby
Reps: 102
I also suggested providing evidence to the principal. I think it would be helpful if there were some clear evidence that the teacher's multicultural approach is improving student performance and/or engagement.
  Posted on: December 8, 2014 2:06 am

ynyqaz
ynyqaz
Reps: 64
i think having an adult conversation with your principal with supporting evidence as to why your teaching methods are beneficial will shed some light. It seems like the principal may not have been in a situation like this before and he or she needs to be enlightened into the benefits. At this point it is the only thing you can do as teachers do not have much authority over their principal.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 3:05 pm

zyWyma
zyWyma
Reps: 70
I agree to you to an extent. I feel like there is a lot more pertinent information that we need to know for this problem, and there is no clear cut solution. This sounds like a very beneficial activity for students. Maybe it just needs some minor tweaking to please all parties involved.
  Posted on: June 10, 2015 2:21 am

Syjetu
Syjetu
Reps: 70
I really like your idea of presenting evidence to the principal. I do not think teachers should live in fear of teaching. It is our job to teach and to teach different perspectives within every classroom. Therefore, own up to what you are doing if it is benefiting the students. If there is still trouble after evidence is presented then try to present the information differently or find a school system that will support your teaching.
  Posted on: June 10, 2015 3:35 am

Kaitlin Stringer
Kaitlin Stringer
Reps: 116
I really like the idea of taking your progress to the principal. Having a positive impact of these students and teaching them things that matter in the real world are sometimes more important than learning multiplication facts.
  Posted on: June 10, 2015 12:39 pm

Melissa Aspinwall
Melissa Aspinwall
Reps: 79
I agree with your solution. I think it would be good to invite the principal and let the students know that their dialogue journal entry for the day would be shared with the principal. This may help give evidence to support the teachings of multiculturalism in class. The point is there is always going to be those who have a problem and try to ruin it for everyone else. I do feel that it is important for the teacher to continue his lessons but maybe modifying them if needed.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 2:21 am

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Great idea.
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:49 pm

Kristen Bagwell
Kristen Bagwell
Reps: 107
I, also, don't think there is a great solution to this situation. I disagree with the principal, and I think he/she is only thinking about how things will look to outsiders. Multicultural education is important to all students, and although some situations are difficult, letting students learn to deal with situations in the classroom where there is a responsible adult is preparing them for the real world of inequalities.
  Posted on: November 20, 2015 7:49 pm

Amanda Robinson
Amanda Robinson
Reps: 98
I also agree that presenting your findings to the principal is a great way to get him on your side. If the class in questions demands this type of discussion, there is no question that the journals should continue.
  Posted on: December 3, 2015 1:09 am

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Solution 4
Posted December 2, 2013 2:49 pm

jaMyDu
jaMyDu
Reps: 119
I definitely would not abandon the free-write journals because this has been a way for students to open up and share their feelings with you. Gail's feelings may have never been discovered had it not been for these free-write journals. I would definitely share Gail's situation with the counselor immediately as this may be a serious cry for help. I would make sure that I did a better job of not singling out one culture for an extended period of time. I would make it a point to apologize to Warren Jackson if he felt like he was singled out at all. I would continue to celebrate and embrace 'cultural diversity' through journal writing. I would explain to your principal that students are often unable to express their feelings orally, and that by allowing them to use a pen or a pencil is sometimes the most effective way for them to express their feelings to an adult. I would let your principal know that cultural diversity is something that should be embraced and celebrated. Everyone should feel as if they belong and that their heritage is just as important as the dominant 'Anglo-Saxon' culture is. The principal needs to understand that you are giving the students multiple ways to express their feelings about what is going on in the world around them. You are also giving each and every student in your classroom the opportunity to express themselves freely and without prejudice in these journals.

I think that the teacher should allow the students to write about whatever is on their minds once a week. For the rest of the week, I believe that the students should have to write about global issues or topics concerning their nation. The teacher could present hypothetical situations for the students to respond to in their journals. They could be given a problem that someone from another part of the world may face. Next, they must figure out how they would get themselves to safety. After they have been given ample time to produce an answer, allow them to share their solutions with one another. Then show them how people from that region of the world solve a problem like that. Providing them with opportunities like this would broaden their world perspective and still give them the opportunity to write what is on their minds.

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Comments posted for this solution

Josh Oglesby
Josh Oglesby
Reps: 69
I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about discovering Gail's feelings. This could be used as evidence for a time when the teacher re-approaches the principal as to the validity of using the program that is in place. In reality though, if the principal has asked the teacher to stop and the teacher continues, that could be grounds for whatever discipline the principal wishes to lay on for disregarding their request.
  Posted on: June 10, 2014 2:25 pm

Myzusy
Myzusy
Reps: 113
I agree with your suggestions on getting aid for Gail. Had her feelings not come out in the journals intervention possibly would not have been available until it was too late. I also agree that the teacher should apologize to students who may have been offended in the cultural diversity discussions. By acknowledging that the teacher may have spent too much time or offended students in some other way he/she will demonstrate a willingness to communicate with students in a supportive way. Hopefully that will encourage the students to continue participating in the diversity discussions.
  Posted on: November 20, 2014 4:17 pm

Monica Rainwater
Monica Rainwater
Reps: 71
The ideas that you suggested for other ways to use the dialog journals are thought provoking, and I definitely plan on using these ideas in my classroom. Thanks for the ideas. I like your idea of free writing one day a week but then provide them with real world scenarios to collaborate and discuss with peers on the other days. This is a great way to encourage students from differing cultures to share similarities and differences as to how they would solve different problems. I do think that it should be noted that if some students do not want to speak aloud, they should not be forced to. The collaboration piece while in small groups is very helpful and beneficial for all students though.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 1:15 pm

yteduM
yteduM
Reps: 77
I agree with your solution because I also feel that the journals are a great way for the kids to embrace their feelings. I think multicultural education should play a part in the classroom curriculum. It is also important that the counselor should be contacted about suicidal thoughts from one student. If they had not been writing their thoughts in their journal it would not have came out about their suicidal thoughts.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 4:09 am

Jasmine Bringuel
Jasmine Bringuel
Reps: 102
I do like the journals as well for the students to express themselves in a way they can not do verbally. I like your idea about giving them a problem that may be going on in the world and coming up with solutions to the problems. The students can really dig deep to find solutions to others problems while making their problems seem less chaotic.
  Posted on: November 15, 2015 11:22 pm

Daisy Dumler
Daisy Dumler
Reps: 106
The journals are such a great way for them to express themselves. I also wouldn't abandon them.
  Posted on: December 1, 2015 5:15 pm

Amanda Whittaker
Amanda Whittaker
Reps: 114
I like your idea of writing about topics going on around the world and having them come up with a solution. This explores multiculturalism without you directly teaching it to them. Students need to be writing and when they have a chance to free write then we can find out a lot more about them. Students don't always want to directly tell you about what it going on in their life, but they will write about it with no problems. Definitely keep that part of the lesson going in your class.
  Posted on: December 1, 2015 7:25 pm

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Solution 5
Posted June 15, 2013 10:19 pm

L. Carrell
L. Carrell
Reps: 63
Providing the opportunity to write about whatever the students want to write about is a very common for journal entries. If a student is writing that she has suicidal thoughts, she need to immediately see the counselor. If teaching multicultural education is not part of the required curriculum, and it is causes conflicts within the classroom, and the principal has told you to stop then that is what you need to do, stop. If a teacher is teaching something that is not part of the required curriculum and it causes conflicts, then that will also cause problem for the learning environment and the students will begin not to learn what they are actually in that class to learn. Doing that would be hurting the students because when it comes time for state testing they may not know the material. If the teacher really wants to continue to try to incorporate multicultural education into their lessons, then the teacher needs to come up with a different approach in doing this.
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yVyLyG
yVyLyG
Reps: 69
I think you bring up a good point, if this type of instruction is not part of the required curriculum, it should still have its place but this may not be the optimal method. Perhaps doing some research on multicultural lesson plans and using collaboration with other teachers and the principle can build support for these ideas in this school that is still adjusting.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 9:24 pm

Nick Thrower
Nick Thrower
Reps: 67
I agree Carrel. Is the content based on state standards? The state has done a good job of setting the standards up so that they can be taught a variety of ways. I think integration of multiculturalism is important here. We can use the journals but mix up the topics so they all aren't race related.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 3:04 pm

aHeRaL
aHeRaL
Reps: 112
I think your thoughts and comments are well advised. As teachers, our first job is to teach. Certainly we can incorporate some additional life lessons and values. I would think that journal entries could easily be justified through the increased emphasis on literacy. However, you could have students write on specified content related topics. Even if this does not address the exact area you were initially after, it still allows students the opportunity to write and express their ideas on paper.
  Posted on: November 20, 2014 10:34 pm

yXeBeX
yXeBeX
Reps: 114
I agree that incorporating too much extra material into the curriculum may lead to the important content being left behind. Also, the emotional issues that are being brought into the classroom might hinder the students ability to learn the required material. I think the journals are a great way to allow students to express their feeling however, their focus in writing needs to somehow relate to the content of the class.
  Posted on: November 30, 2014 5:32 pm

aheduX
aheduX
Reps: 112
I agree with you. Letting students write about their thoughts is a great idea. I agree that the girl needs to seek help from a counselor. I like how you said that if it is not necessary to teach this skill, then maybe it would be a good idea to stop because it is putting so much at risk. The learning environment needs to stay positive.
  Posted on: December 4, 2014 7:50 pm

vabehe
vabehe
Reps: 69
"If a teacher is teaching something that is not part of the required curriculum and it causes conflicts, then that will also cause problem for the learning environment and the students will begin not to learn what they are actually in that class to learn. Doing that would be hurting the students because when it comes time for state testing they may not know the material."

I see your point, but are we really benefitting our students if all we care about is how they do on a state test? I don't think so. There is plenty to be learned within the content. While teaching content you can also discuss relevant and meaningful information that will cause conflict and discussion, but why does that have to be a bad thing? There are way too many students who will one day become adults who don't value the people around them who are different. I see no valid problem with what this teacher is doing.


  Posted on: June 8, 2015 1:57 pm

avuNaD
avuNaD
Reps: 36
Like many others I do think that allowing students to write down their thoughts and feelings about life is extremely important. If someone is writing suicidal thoughts then it needs to be brought to the attention of administration as soon as possible. Agreed if the teacher is teaching things that are not required then he or she needs to stop but if you want to teach your students about multicultural education then I agree that a different approach needs to be taken.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 3:07 pm

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74
I do not think stopping the cultural diversity teaching is too bad of an idea. If it is causing more problems than it is doing good, then I would consider changing the journal writing topics for the students.
  Posted on: June 11, 2015 8:17 pm

yBySuL
yBySuL
Reps: 70
The state standards are a good point you brought up. During certain state holidays that observed in the U.S. throughout the school year give an opportunity to incorporate multiculturalism to be taught and discussed. Race, gender, and religious beliefs are a few examples of details of certain U. S. holidays. Diversity has to be addressed because its all around us. I believe meeting and discussing with the principal about a different approach and process may help in having his/her support. As long as you present the best interest of the students first, a solution will present itself.
  Posted on: June 12, 2015 4:25 am

Nicole Turner
Nicole Turner
Reps: 70
I agree that you do not necessarily have to teach multicultural topics if it is causing issues within the classroom, but that does not mean that you cannot encourage the diversity within your own classroom.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 5:29 pm

Jasmine Bringuel
Jasmine Bringuel
Reps: 102
I agree with you that if the teacher is not suppose to be teaching the concepts they are teaching then they do need to stop, but if they are suppose to be teaching diversity among the different cultures they may want to tone it down and bring other cultures that are not represented in the classroom.
  Posted on: November 15, 2015 11:25 pm

Japuje
Japuje
Reps: 107
I agree. If multicultural education is not a required standard to be taught in class it should not be focused on. Stick to the standard and use methods that are less controversial and more appropriate for the class. You should also listen to the principal.
  Posted on: November 18, 2015 5:07 pm

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Solution 6
Posted November 25, 2013 10:45 pm

Tracy C
Tracy C
Reps: 104
First, I don't think you should start a war with your principal. However I would suggest you sit down and rethink your approaches to multicultural education. In more detail, it is very important that you are very reflective and clear about what you want your students to learn and be able to do as well as the best instructional tools that can help you achieve your objectives. For example, I have learned that the application of small group/cooperative learning must serve a purpose and be well manage in order to provide students with a meaningful learning experience. With that said, telling students to write whatever they want is not a good idea--they should write with a specific objective in mind pertaining to an issue or concept you are teaching regarding multicultural education.

Next, in regard to the feelings express by your student of color, it seems that you may be placing too much emphasis on his culture (cultural differences) versus teaching him to recognize and honor his own cultural beliefs and practices while learning the skills and knowledge to access the dominant culture (Ladson-Billings, 2006). As for your Ms. Smith, she needs a cultural intervention where she can learn about her cultural heritage, particularly its cultural frame of reference toward dominated cultures.

Furthermore, the teaching of differences should be balanced with the teaching of what cultures have in common that can be highlighted and celebrated and used to solve inequities.

Reference:

Ladson-Billings, G. (2006). "Yes, but how do we do it: Practicing culturally relevant pedagogy. In J.

Landsman & C. W. Lewis (Eds.), White teachers and diverse classrooms (pp. 29-42). Sterling, VA:

Stylus Publishing.
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vabehe
vabehe
Reps: 69
Maybe you could sit down with your principal and show him or her the good things that are coming from these journals. We heard two negative examples, but what are the other students sharing? Are they showing connection to their own lives from the content and standards you are teaching? Maybe there have been some amazing understandings from the material? I would highlight those things and continue using the journals unless the principal was adamant that you stop and had strong reasoning for why.
  Posted on: June 8, 2015 2:00 pm

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Solution 7
Posted June 10, 2013 5:20 pm

yheraZ
yheraZ
Reps: 68
First and foremost if your meeting with the principal wasnít to address the topic of Gailís writing, the first thing you should do is let your school councilor know about Gailís journal entries and see what he or she advises you do form there.
Second, I think your dialog journals are an excellent idea and I donít think I would stop using them, but maybe you could change the way you assign them. I think having students focus on one topic but be able to write freely anything in any form about that topic might be more constructive. It may turn the journal from a personal diary, which can be inappropriate in a school setting, into a more educational tool that allows students to express themselves while developing their writing techniques and personal writing style.
Third, I think I like to approach of emphasizing similarities better than differences, this has always been my style preferences just because I agree that sometimes emphasizing these differences can be embarrassing and hard to deal with for many students. You should not go against what your principal tells you because it could land you in hot water quickly. And also because most principals have many more years of teaching experience and may have some for site on issues you may not have previously thought about. Maybe after explaining why you think dialog journals are an important part of your teaching style you can see if he or she will allow you some leniency on this assignment.
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vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
Absolutely, the counselor should be contacted right away. I also agree that the journal topics should be clear rather than students writing about whatever they want. This could lead to very uncomfortable circumstances should students write about something thinking it is private but which the teacher is obligated to report to the administration (such as romantic affections).
  Posted on: June 11, 2013 2:35 pm

Carol Whitfield
Carol Whitfield
Reps: 56
I agree. The teacher should inform the counselor about Gail's response in her journal. I wouldn't stop using them either. I think they are great tools to allow students to share their feelings with someone they trust. Those journals could save lives and reduce tension that young adolescents have built up. I disagree on recognizing similarities instead of differences though. I feel as if a teacher should highlight on both. A person's differences makes them who they are, and we need to make students feel proud of their differences.
  Posted on: June 13, 2013 12:37 am

Johnnie Skelton
Johnnie Skelton
Reps: 104
I can't agree more. Gail's comments are absolutely the most urgent part of this situation. There are a lot of false alarms, but we must always err on the side of caution.
  Posted on: June 13, 2013 6:38 pm

qyzeha
qyzeha
Reps: 105
I agree that the most important thing do is contact the counselor about Gail's situation. I also agree that the journals are a great way for the students to express themselves, but that it may be benefical to assign them a topic to write about.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 11:37 am

Meredith Bryant
Meredith Bryant
Reps: 106
Gail's parents also need to be brought in on the situation. I firmly believe that they could help here by showing Gail that racism isn't that big of an issue in their home--so much as for her to contemplate taking her own life. The counselor definitely needs to be brought in; as well.
  Posted on: December 8, 2013 3:24 pm

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Solution 8
Posted November 19, 2013 7:22 pm

Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I do not think you should discontinue the use of the dialogue journals. The students are obviously confiding in them. It is a great communication tool and a way into the mind of the student. The first thing I would do is contact the counselor and parents of Gail Smith. Thoughts of suicide are something that should be taken seriously, and that should be the concern first and foremost. As far as teaching, I think that rather than soloing out one particular ethnic group, I would use that opportunity to speak about diverse groups of people (ex. not just African American people). Another example would be to give students a survey and see what their likes/dislikes are, what they would like to learn about and then go from there.
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jaMyDu
jaMyDu
Reps: 119
I totally agree with you. I do not think that you should discontinue the use of the dialogue. It is obvious to me that the students are confiding in the teacher. Gail may have kept her feelings to herself and could have potentially hurt herself. Once the teacher had knowledge of how Gail was feeling, he/she should have immediately contacted the counselor and let her take it from there. I don't think that I would contact the parent personally. I think that the counselor would contact the parent and take it from there. It was obvious that her journal was a cry for help. It is evident that she wanted to cry out for help, and this was her way of doing it. Interest inventories of what students likes and dislikes are would definitely give the teacher a better idea of what they would like to learn about. I feel that with this knowledge the teacher could then take the opportunity to teach the students about various cultures that exist within the classroom and across the world. Then at the end of the cultural activities they could compose a journal and/or conduct a forum about what they just learned. That way no one feels left out or singled out. Great post Stormye.

Jamydu
  Posted on: December 8, 2013 6:17 pm

zuPeQy
zuPeQy
Reps: 99
I agree that the use of the journals should be continued. The student with suicidal thoughts may not have told anyone else except her journal writing. I think it is a good way to release emotions for the students, plus it is private. I also agree that the counselor needs to be contacted first because the suicidal situation takes priority. I like your idea about the survey. It gives the students a voice in their learning.
  Posted on: December 3, 2014 2:55 pm

Beth Jackson
Beth Jackson
Reps: 71
I agree, the dialogue journals seem to really be working in the classroom. They are giving the students the freedom to discuss things they may not discuss out aloud or with their parents. I would not discontinue these. I also agree that the counselor should be contacted to discuss Gailís comments regarding suicide. I would not change my teaching and strictly teach about the similarities between everyone because that is not the real world. There will always be differences and they need to be embraced.
  Posted on: June 12, 2015 9:03 pm

ReMuXy
ReMuXy
Reps: 78
I really like your idea about the survey and think that would work. I don't think you need to focus on one culture such as African Americans, or maybe focus on one culture at a time. I also agree that you must report the suicide to a counselor. I think you must talk to the principal before you continue.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 5:05 am

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Solution 9
Posted June 11, 2014 11:52 pm

Kimberly Rahn
Kimberly Rahn
Reps: 70
I agree with your decision to tell the principle and you should respect his suggestions; but you as the teacher have to make your decision based on your class and what you feel is best also. I would continue the journals, they are a great way to get your students to express their feelings and emotions. I would possibly go back and discuss with the principal your opinions and alternative ideas.
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Hannah Nabors
Hannah Nabors
Reps: 68
Kimberly,
I like how your response speaks to the professional issues of this situation. As a teacher, you must balance the requests of your principal with your role responsibilities. A second meeting with new ideas and alternatives solutions is a great idea. What alternatives do you suggest?
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 2:30 am

Kim Lucas
Kim Lucas
Reps: 107
I agree that you should respect and follow your principal's advice. I would also respectfully ask him to come and observe a lesson, to give you advice on how to make it better, but also to give him a better idea of what you are trying to accomplish. Sometimes, this can help broaden the perspective and bring a more clear picture of what you would like to see happen.
  Posted on: November 24, 2014 2:39 am

uzyXuV
uzyXuV
Reps: 208
I agree with discussing options for different teaching methods with the principal right after I discussed what Gail wrote in her journal with counselor.
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 2:26 am

Kateline Vaughn
Kateline Vaughn
Reps: 106
I would definitely have a conversation with the principal about the benefits of journaling in your class. For example, you might not have known that Gail was having these thoughts if it wasn't for her writing it in her journal. I think you can come to a solution together if there is a mutual understanding.
  Posted on: December 4, 2015 7:08 pm

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Solution 10
Posted November 20, 2014 4:10 pm

Myzusy
Myzusy
Reps: 113
Your dilemma is very interesting. First I think you should continue to use the dialogue journals. They will enable students to articulate their feelings privately and will give teachers a positive means of communicating with students. Had the journals not been in place the school and parents may not have been alerted that there was a child in crisis who was contemplating suicide. You should seek guidance counseling for the student. I would also arrange a meeting with the students parents and guidance counselor to seek assistance for the suicidal student. I would also consult with the guidance counselor on strategies to continue teaching cultural diversity concepts in a way that could be less emotionally detrimental to the students. Perhaps you could team teach a lesson dealing with diversity and social emotional topics identified in students journals. Follow the principals advise by focusing on what unifies the students as an academically, culturally successful learning community rather than what separates students.
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Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Reps: 107
I agree with your ideas. The journals have been an effective learning tool that students feel comfortable with to express their innermost feelings.
  Posted on: December 7, 2014 10:56 pm

RuXuqe
RuXuqe
Reps: 67
I agree with your assessment. Based on the principal's comments I wonder if the teacher is unknowingly presenting the information as divisive rather than just as multicultural.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 3:20 pm

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Solution 11
Posted December 8, 2014 4:45 am

Jordan Nelms
Jordan Nelms
Reps: 104
My first response to all of this would be to report the consideration of suicide to the principal and counselor immediately. Then, I would eliminate activities that place emphasis on African Americans. After both of those things were handled, I would try to implement my principal's suggestions to see if I got the same type of results.
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Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
I said the same thing about referring the female student to the counselor. We all need to know the limits of our relationships with the kids.
  Posted on: June 8, 2015 5:42 pm

Japuje
Japuje
Reps: 107
I agree. This should definitely be reported to the counselor because it needs to be handled immediately by the appropriate people.
  Posted on: November 18, 2015 5:00 pm

Laura Doolittle
Laura Doolittle
Reps: 109
I agree about contacting the counselor for the female student. I think that the journals should be kept. The teacher would not have been able to find out about the girls feelings without these journals. It is hard to go against what your principal says even when you know they are wrong.
  Posted on: November 18, 2015 11:08 pm

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Solution 12
Posted December 9, 2012 10:22 pm

Lindsey Harrison
Lindsey Harrison
Reps: 108
I agree with the principal and I would think it would be best to emphasize similarities. We all know and are all continuously told of the differences, and it is a nice change to focus on the similarities. I also think that the journals will bring you more problems as a teacher, and I would also get rid of those as well.
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Jessica Heilman
Jessica Heilman
Reps: 58
I agree with this solution. The journals could just cause more problems. It would be a good idea for documentation in case anything happened but they seem to be causing more harm than good.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 7:18 am

Emilee Roberts
Emilee Roberts
Reps: 69
I do not think that the journals are the problem. Sometimes it takes a free writing activity to really allow students to feel the freedom to express themselves. Whether these students wrote these words on paper or not, they are still thinking them. By allowing them the chance to write them down, the teacher could be helping these students and potentially be saving ones life!
  Posted on: June 11, 2013 12:58 pm

Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson
Reps: 103
I think the journals are bringing great insight to who the students are and problems the students are facing. As effective teachers, we need to know this information. One positive thing that came from the journals already is that a suicidal student has been identified. By knowing this, these journals may have just saved a life. The differences in cultures and races is a lot easier to see than the similarities and I agree that similarities should be the focus but we also need to teach the differences to show the true background.
  Posted on: June 15, 2013 6:51 pm

Emily West
Emily West
Reps: 102
I also think that it would be a good idea to start focusing more on emphasizing the similarities between students rather than the differences. And maybe once the students feel comfortable discussing similarities you could ease into discussing the differences in culture. I think you could either get rid of the dialogue journals or make them more focused instead of about anything. You could ask them to write about things such as family traditions.
  Posted on: November 10, 2013 9:17 pm

BazuTy
BazuTy
Reps: 116
Yes, I agree correlations should be made on each end of the spectrum.
  Posted on: December 8, 2013 10:01 pm

LaChristen Boyd
LaChristen Boyd
Reps: 68
I agree that the journals would decrease some of the issues in this scenario. However, the journals also allow students to share things that they would not say aloud for fear or rejection or embarrassment. I guess the pros and cons would have to be carefully considered here.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 1:43 pm

ezasyp
ezasyp
Reps: 107
I do not agree with your statement. I think far too often people focus on the similarities of people as opposed to the differences. Some students are afraid to be different because they think it is wrong. I think it is very important to approach this situation in a better way instead of getting rid of it all together. This is not going to teach the students anything. Adding the idea of similarities can be useful but it should by no means be the only thing you focus on as a teacher.
  Posted on: November 17, 2014 7:46 pm

BazaNu
BazaNu
Reps: 89
Good point ezasyp! That's a perspective I had not considered - social conformity.
  Posted on: November 18, 2014 11:45 pm

SaSyXu
SaSyXu
Reps: 105
I think differences should still be discussed!
I think the journaling is a great idea, but the teacher should write some of the students back and talk to them about their problems through writing!
  Posted on: November 19, 2014 1:58 pm

NyVyTy
NyVyTy
Reps: 90
I think that it is important for the students to discuss both the differences and similarities. While I think it is important for the teacher to keep in mind the types of things a student may reveal to him/her in the dialogue journals, I don't necessarily think getting rid of them is a good idea. I think that teachers have to simply be prepared to receive any and all types of thoughts when they decide to use the dialogue journals. It is important to discuss both because it's important for students to be able to hear the positive and negative things that are surrounded his/her culture early on.
  Posted on: December 4, 2014 1:55 pm

vabehe
vabehe
Reps: 69
I wouldn't scrap the journals so quickly. Have you ever read the book The Freedom Writers? It's a true story of a teacher and her students in a rough inner city neighborhood. She allows them to write in their journals about anything and it opens them up. She is able to make an incredible difference in their lives by allowing them to express their minds and hearts. These students were completely transformed. I would suggest reading this book, or watching the movie. This won't work for everyone, I know, but it would be interesting to see how this unfolds if the teacher continues to allow them to write.
  Posted on: June 8, 2015 1:53 pm

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Solution 13
Posted June 10, 2013 7:18 am

Jessica Heilman
Jessica Heilman
Reps: 58
I agree with the principal. It is best to emphasize the similarities. Plus, with the way some parents can behave these days, it is best to cover yourself in case anything happens. You wouldn't want a parent coming in saying "my daughter attempted suicide because of what YOU were teaching." I don't know if I agree with abandoning the small group idea because kids sometimes tend to learn best from each other, especially if they are of different cultures and learning levels.
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Nicki Kinner
Nicki Kinner
Reps: 68
I believe as long as the lessons are positive that it is important to explain to students their similarities and differences. I believe these journals were a fantastic idea because he would have never known the degree in which these students felt about these multicultural subjects. Now the teacher can help the girl get the help that she needs, because as you read, she was upset about how her parents felt about her feelings, not how the teacher felt about her feelings. The teacher just insisted the students write about how they felt. I agree with the part that the teacher should listen to the administration, but I also believe that the administration should help come up with a solution to what the teacher should do next.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 12:07 pm

vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
If you only emphasize similarities, how will you get at some of the concepts of privilege and oppression that need to be discussed? You cannot have a classroom focused on multicultural education that only focuses on similarities. Students need to learn how to think critically about race, gender, and social class.
  Posted on: June 11, 2013 2:38 pm

Emily West
Emily West
Reps: 102

I think you make a good point that it is important for teachers to "cover" themselves in any situation just in case something were to happen.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 2:56 pm

Cardia Foster
Cardia Foster
Reps: 73
I agree with doing what the principal ask him to do, but I would also get the parents to sign a consent form.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 12:06 am

Caley Copeland
Caley Copeland
Reps: 69
I think it is important for students to learn the similarities and differences. I understand where you are coming from, but we canít shelter our students from everything. They are going to learn about inequalities and things from home and other classmates, so to me, it is better to address they things they hear in class to make sure the things they are learning are true. If the principal is adamant that the teacher change his lesson, then perhaps they can come up with a comprise to get the best of both worlds.
  Posted on: June 14, 2014 2:35 am

HyZery
HyZery
Reps: 70
Perhaps a more balanced approach would be better where both difference and similarities are examined.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 12:29 am

Monica Rainwater
Monica Rainwater
Reps: 71
I'm not sure if just focusing on the similarities is the best way to go about this. I do agree that when parents are more opposed to the teachings of awareness of differing cultures, it complicates things in the classroom. How do we go about educating parents of our youth, as we are educating our students? Can we, or should we just settle and continue down the same path we have been going for years? I feel like the only way we can bring peach and acceptance of other cultures is to shine the light on both similarities, as well as differences. Teachers can play a fundamental role in this. By carefully planning and crafting lessons that integrate multicultural education on an on-going basis, I feel that we can begin moving into a more accepting society. It will take a while, but I say we take it one step at a time.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 1:01 pm

Ashley Lawrence
Ashley Lawrence
Reps: 70
I would definitely do what the principal said but try to come up with a way to incorporate what you mention. I would take the plan to the principal before incorporating it into my classroom. I would seek approval.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 2:13 pm

avuNaD
avuNaD
Reps: 36
I agree that in this day in age it is critical to take into account the way that parents are now. You have to be sensitive to students and their needs. I agree that keeping small group is important because I am a strong believer that students learn more from each other than adults at times.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 3:03 pm

Syjetu
Syjetu
Reps: 70
I do not think that only emphasizing similarities is a good thing. America is a land of freedom. Students should learn to individualize themselves and realize that everyone is different. Only focusing on similarities seems like you are telling the kids to be a certain way. What if one of the students in the class did not feel they could relate to any of the similarities? Then you would make them feel like an outcast. Therefore, show how each culture is similar and different but that people within those cultures also are individuals as well.
  Posted on: June 10, 2015 3:32 am

Kaitlin Stringer
Kaitlin Stringer
Reps: 116
I don't agree with only discussing the similarities. Each person/student is different and it is important that all students realize and understand that differences are a good thing! As for covering yourself, I think it is more important to discuss with the student why she is feeling that way. Perhaps even letting the parents know that she is feeling this way might be able to help her. If she is writing these feelings in her secret journal, then she might not be telling her parents and this is her cry for help. I would be less worried about covering yourself and more worried about the safety and wellbeing of your students.
  Posted on: June 10, 2015 12:22 pm

aQanaD
aQanaD
Reps: 67
I do not agree that you should disregard discussing any differences. Yes, this is very touchy information revealed through the journals. Her feelings of suicide have nothing to do with what they teacher taught. The student obviously felt comfortable enough with the teacher to express these feelings in the journal. I don't think that it does our students justice to focus only on similarities. It is setting them up for failure! We aren't all the same. We have to find a balance in addressing this. yes, it's a touchy subject, but the last thing we need to do is just to ignore.

If this student was going to submit suicide because of her parent's pressure, this journal was a cry for help. In my opinion, it's a good thing.
  Posted on: June 12, 2015 12:25 am

Meagan Cook
Meagan Cook
Reps: 53
I agree that we cannot let someone tell us the students feelings are our problems, but now that we know, it is our responsibility to keep the students safe and share their feelings with those in needs.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 12:43 am

Hedynu
Hedynu
Reps: 112
I agree! I do not think the suicide notice was influenced at all by the journals. It is apparent that the student has deeper problems rooted from home. This is very obvious simply by referencing the parentsí poor regard of the studentís classmate, just as a result of the color of his skin. Outright rebellion for the Principalís suggestion would not be a wise way to handle the situation either though. The childís ďcry for helpĒ needs to be referred to a Social Worker.
  Posted on: November 20, 2015 10:02 pm

Hedynu
Hedynu
Reps: 112
@ Kaitlin Stringer- I would be hesitant of contacting the parents about the suicide statement, especially since the parents seems to be the source of the studentís frustration. I think it would be more appropriate to contact a Social Worker or the School Counselor. These are trained professionals that are skilled for handling such sensitive cases.
  Posted on: November 20, 2015 10:06 pm

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Solution 14
Posted November 29, 2012 8:26 pm

Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams
Reps: 118
I think it's okay to emphasize similarities without forgetting that everyone is ultimately still different. Pointing out too many similarities may cause a riff between you and parents who want their child to be taught how they are different. The dialogue journals should not be stopped, however; I do think that the student's admission of considering suicide is something you should think about mentioning to the guidance counselor. As for the situation with Warren, I would recommend spending time on many different cultures represented in the classroom. Maybe then Warren won't feel singled out. I also think your methods have some value, but tweaking them for the sake of your job wouldn't be bad. Dialogue journals could be turned into "weekly writing assignments" where students will be able to choose a topic and express how they feel about it.
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Nicki Kinner
Nicki Kinner
Reps: 68
I definitely agree with you! I believe it is important to discuss similarities and differences. I believe this because all cultures are different any many ways and if you teach the students only the similarities could make them confused in the long run. I love the ideas of the journals because the students will open up to the teacher, where as before, they would have never said anything. I think discussing how to tweak the lesson with the administration would be a great idea because it involves multiple ideas and in the long run, help the students understand the content being taught.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 12:12 pm

Colleen Keller
Colleen Keller
Reps: 92
I completely agree with you. It is extremely important to have an understanding of similarities and differences. Everyone is different and their cultures are different as well, but you have to teach them to be understanding of others. It is also important to teach the similarities because they need to have something they can relate to and know that they have in common with people from other cultures.
  Posted on: June 12, 2013 3:12 pm

Sara LeClair
Sara LeClair
Reps: 68
I agree that tweaking your teaching methods can be done, just make sure you have permission from your principal. It isn't worth losing your job over. But what is important is that you are learning about your students on such a deep level, and that is amazing as a teacher. You should definitely praise yourself for using these methods, just changing them a little would not hurt.
  Posted on: June 11, 2014 3:27 pm

Kim Lucas
Kim Lucas
Reps: 107
I like your idea of tweaking your lessons. I think that is what we do with all of our lessons, because some things work with some groups of students, and some things don't. We are constantly seeking the best way to reach the group of students that we have in our class that particular year. I also think that the journals have merit, and should be continued. However, if you were told to stop, unless you are able to change your principal's mind by asking him to observe the benefits and lessons himself, you will need to change the way that you are doing them. I like renaming them and structuring them a little differently, but still allowing the students to write freely their thoughts and feelings. Please get help for Gail. This is a situation that can escalate quickly.
  Posted on: November 24, 2014 2:45 am

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Solution 15
Posted November 29, 2012 8:26 pm

Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams
Reps: 118
I think it's okay to emphasize similarities without forgetting that everyone is ultimately still different. Pointing out too many similarities may cause a riff between you and parents who want their child to be taught how they are different. The dialogue journals should not be stopped, however; I do think that the student's admission of considering suicide is something you should think about mentioning to the guidance counselor. As for the situation with Warren, I would recommend spending time on many different cultures represented in the classroom. Maybe then Warren won't feel singled out. I also think your methods have some value, but tweaking them for the sake of your job wouldn't be bad. Dialogue journals could be turned into "weekly writing assignments" where students will be able to choose a topic and express how they feel about it.
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yheraZ
yheraZ
Reps: 68
I agree I think itís a good idea to emphasize similarities, while not ignoring the past, our history and reality. I think teaching on multicultural aspects can be tricky and should be handled with care to avoid injuring studentís perceptions of themselves and others.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 8:00 pm

eDaNep
eDaNep
Reps: 66
The suicide note should certainly be referred to a counselor. I also agree that the journals should not be stopped. If they were never started how would the teacher have known about the struggles within the classroom?
  Posted on: June 15, 2013 3:14 pm

Kimberly Spicer
Kimberly Spicer
Reps: 71
I definitely agree that talking about more than just the African American culture would be the best idea for Warren. I wonder if Warren is thinking about this because his love interest is white and her parents disapprove. I wonder if he doesn't want it emphasized because it reminds him of this. We will never know the reasoning, but I definitely like your suggestion about talking about more than one culture. :)
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 10:57 pm

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74
I agree that maybe some things should be modified in order to not ruffle too many feathers. I do think the lessons have value, but should maybe be approached more carefully.
  Posted on: June 11, 2015 8:14 pm

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Solution 16
Posted December 4, 2012 6:14 am

David Sanders
David Sanders
Reps: 143
I am trying you read between the lines here. You must be doing more than just "emphasizing" African American culture to get a suicide reaction from one student and an embarassed reaction from another. Without knowning what you are doing I can only suggest that you cease and desist multicultural education this year and get your supervisor to help you with a multicultural lesson plan next year. The classroom is not the place to develop a multicultural lifestyle.
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Monique Cook
Monique Cook
Reps: 70
I agree, maybe he should reconsider the way he is presenting the multicultural aspects in his classroom. You don't want to be demeaning to any of the cultures you are blending. I suggest before discussing a specific culture as a whole class, discuss the topics with the students of the that culture first. This way the students can lead the discussion and be comfortable while doing so.
  Posted on: June 11, 2013 5:15 pm

Colleen Keller
Colleen Keller
Reps: 92
I completely agree that he should reconsider how he is presenting the multicultural aspects in the classroom. You want to be accepting of all cultures and make everyone feel comfortable. I think that there also needs to be guidelines of how things are discussed in order to eliminate future issues.
  Posted on: June 12, 2013 3:16 pm

L. Carrell
L. Carrell
Reps: 63
ďCease and desistĒ of the multicultural education is also what I think. The reactions in the journals are some really strong student reactions to the lessons and I cannot help but wonder if the teacher is doing something incorrectly. Seeking the help of the supervisor or other teachers for lesson planning that could take place next year to include the multicultural lessons is a great idea. Working with other teacher on this would help in getting more appropriate ideas on how teachers can present this in the classroom and could even get other teachers to use multicultural lessons as well.
  Posted on: June 15, 2013 10:30 pm

A Battles
A Battles
Reps: 115
The lessons did not bring on the suicidal thoughts. I feel the only problems that would be here are: A student is uncomfortable with the lessons (which these journals may lead to a different approach to these lessons) and someone else mentioned maybe these journals are a little too personal and not on topic with what he is trying to teach.
  Posted on: November 26, 2013 7:37 pm

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Solution 17
Posted December 4, 2012 9:29 am

Adam Vandenhouten
Adam Vandenhouten
Reps: 97
I think the dialogue journals are a good idea but I would give them a specific topic to write about in order to focus their writing. I think students need and like the idea of being able to express their opinions through writing, especially if it is an assignment that only you will read. I agree with the other responses that if the focus on African American culture is bothering someone, you need to make sure and focus on other cultures as well whether they are in your classroom or not. Students need to be introduced to other cultures even if they don't have any direct contact with them. I would come up with some changes to my lessons and present them to the principal to show that you have solutions to these issues. As far as a student threatening suicide, she should definitely be referred to the school counselor and could possibly attend group meetings with that person in order to talk out her problems.
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Carol Whitfield
Carol Whitfield
Reps: 56
Agreed. I would also refer that child to the school's counselor. I also believe that allowing students to freewrite without any restrictions or questions allows them to be themselves. Yes, questions and guidance are great, but we also need to teach students to be comfortable in the skin they are in.
  Posted on: June 13, 2013 12:44 am

VyQaqu
VyQaqu
Reps: 71
I agree that structured writing to begin with will benefit the students. After each lesson, the teacher could give the students a list of about 5 questions to choose to respond to. The questions can consist of thought and emotion provoking questions regarding cultural issues. The students could also help create the questions that will be presented to the class.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 10:32 pm

Emily West
Emily West
Reps: 102

I also think the dialogue journals should not be stopped, but instead more focused. You make a good point about the importance of student expression through writing. I also think it would be a good idea to focus more on all different types of cultures, not just African American culture. And I definitely agree that writing related to a student thinking about suicide should be reported and addressed by a school counselor.
  Posted on: November 10, 2013 9:45 pm

aHeRaL
aHeRaL
Reps: 112
I agree that giving students a specific topic to write on will help to focus the writing and could keep students away from more controversial topics. If your primary objective is writing, this should be a viable alternative. If a student feels uncomfortable, you need to re evaluate what your objectives are, no matter how pure you feel they might be. If what you are trying to do is not effective, then it is time to rethink and retool.
  Posted on: November 20, 2014 10:37 pm

vasere
vasere
Reps: 70
It would be awkward to be of a different culture and be the only one pointed out. Teaching about other cultures will help Warren feel more comfortable while opening the eyes of all the students to different cultures. I appreciate that you mentioned that multiple cultures should be addressed, whether they are present in the classroom or not. Students will likely have contact with other cultures eventually and should be taught how to be accepting and gracious.
  Posted on: June 12, 2015 2:16 am

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Solution 18
Posted December 8, 2012 2:02 pm

areli saucedo
areli saucedo
Reps: 119
The use of journal is something that is very useful in classes, however using it as a personal journal, such as a diary is not recommended for a school setting. I understand that teachers care for their students and would like to help them in every way possible, however there is a limit to what they can do. I would suggest that you use the journal as a reflection of what they learned that day or the day before. Also, I believe that you should educated these students not about racial differences but about the history of both groups.
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Brittany Smith
Brittany Smith
Reps: 69
I agree with you in that journals are very useful and should be used to reflect the lessons that the students have learned. I also think that their responses should be limited, but these responses also help alert the teacher to any problems that might be going on in a student's home, so I also think there should be some self-reflection and expression in these journals. Taking them away completely would hinder the students.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 6:04 pm

Heidi Landon
Heidi Landon
Reps: 58
Great point about the journals. These can be an effective way to check for writing abilities and even to find out student interest. However, using them as diary type journals can be very dangerous/inappropriate. I think by keeping the journals but giving topics that relate to topic within the school would be more beneficial.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 10:47 am

Kimberly Spicer
Kimberly Spicer
Reps: 71
I definitely see your point with the journals being a little invasive when they are able to write anything. There may be things that parents don't want the teacher knowing that a student may write in them. I originally said I wouldn't change the journal thing, but I change my mind. I like your idea about the reflection.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 10:54 pm

Cardia Foster
Cardia Foster
Reps: 73
Great strategy for the use of journals. The journal could also be used to know how the students are feeling about the content that is being taught.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 12:09 am

Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
I like the idea of journals being used for reflection purposes. Using what the students have learned to form an opinion or state their own idea would be beneficial. I would recommend reflecting on the entire use of the journals on how they are being used now in the classroom and think if it is helping or hurting the students.
  Posted on: November 19, 2015 11:42 pm

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Solution 19
Posted December 8, 2012 2:49 pm

Anna Washinger
Anna Washinger
Reps: 121
I believe dialogue journals are a great idea. Growing up, I remember specific classes of teachers who would have us journal every day. I always enjoyed journaling. I believe journaling in the classroom is a great idea for students to release their feelings and talk about them openly through writing. When thinking about this, a dialogue journal may be the only portal a student gets to channel his/her feelings. I do not think that by encouraging multicultural education you are doing anything wrong. Students just may not have the right concept of it. Maybe if you discuss the topic in further detail, students could grasp a better understanding of the term.I think that a possible solution could be to explain that we do have differences, but yet we are all equal. Because we are all different human beings with different backgrounds, it would be hard to just mask those differences and only look at similarities. I think an issue here may be equality and not differences. Encourage students to show their individuality and embrace who they are, but also enforce that even though we are all different, we are all created equally.
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VyQaqu
VyQaqu
Reps: 71
I agree that journals and free-writing are a great way for students to be able to express themselves. Journals can help the teacher to monitor and help accommodate students needs. Journals can allow students to ask questions about cultural differences and stereotypes. These journals can be so beneficial and I would hate to see them eliminated all the way because of one bad occurrence.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 10:18 pm

Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
I agree that the journals are very beneficial; especially to students at this age- they all need someone they can talk to. I also like your suggestion of discussing the topics more in-depth so that students become more familiar with them.
  Posted on: November 25, 2013 4:48 pm

jaMyDu
jaMyDu
Reps: 119
I agree with you. I think that we need to keep in mind that this school was and has been predominantly white for a long time and that 'multicultural education' is something very new to them. I think that giving them more structure in their writing by giving them prompts may be a good idea. Perhaps they are given an scenario about people from different parts of the world each week and they learn about that culture for a week. That way students don't feel like you are singling them out in any way. I believe that Warren feels singled out because he is at a predominantly white school and is probably a a part of the minority. He needs to be encouraged and supported so he can develop that positive self-concept so that he does not feel like he is being singled out when his culture is discussed in his class anymore. I believe that the journals potentially saved a girls life. Gail was seriously crying out for help. Hopefully the counselor was notified and they were able to get her back on track. Great Post!
  Posted on: December 2, 2013 3:02 pm

Amy Fletcher
Amy Fletcher
Reps: 67
I agree with you about the journals. They are a great way to express feelings. Also, I like your idea about discussing more in depth what multicultural education means so that the students would have a better understanding.
  Posted on: June 11, 2014 3:37 am

Megan Teague
Megan Teague
Reps: 55
My students have never been old enough to write out their feeling, but next year I had hoped to use something similar to the journals in my classroom. Journaling is a great outlet for students. The teacher might have given Gail a way to cry out for help without directly saying she needed it.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 3:19 am

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Solution 20
Posted December 9, 2012 10:04 am

Suzi Hancock
Suzi Hancock
Reps: 134
I think you should try and re-evaluate your strategy. I would continue using the journals, but I would start giving topics that the students must address. I think you may have too much going on at once, so you may want to consider your principal's advice! His interest is in the safety of the students, faculty, and school, and obviously there's an issue with your class. Take some time and dissect what's going on, and I think you'll find your answer.
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Brittany Smith
Brittany Smith
Reps: 69
I definitely think that the teacher's strategy should be reconsidered. He may be emphasizing certain aspects of culture that make the students feel uncomfortable, and while it is important for students to understand cultural differences, there are other ways of teaching from a multicultural perspective without causing these types of problems.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 6:30 pm

Stephanie Harmon
Stephanie Harmon
Reps: 84
I agree that students should probably be given broad topics to focus their journaling. I also agree that focusing too much on the "tough" aspects of cultural injustices can be uncomfortable. There needs to be a balance between positive and negative.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 10:01 pm

Jordyn Nail
Jordyn Nail
Reps: 108
I agree with Harmon. Students are uncomfortable and sometimes that's not a bad thing. But we do not want to overdo it so that we end up "losing them" in the process.
  Posted on: November 22, 2013 3:54 pm

yJaGus
yJaGus
Reps: 106
I think what the teacher has is a good thing. However, I do agree that it may be too much for the students to process without being overwhelmed. Maybe reevaluating what he already has and using the principals advice will help his class to move forward from this.
  Posted on: December 8, 2013 6:45 am

Krissy Chance-Bailey
Krissy Chance-Bailey
Reps: 65
The teacher has a good lesson but, the safety of the student is the first and foremost issue. Any mention of suicide and it must be reported and handle immediately. Halting the lesson in class is the only right thing to do.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 2:41 pm

April Rozier
April Rozier
Reps: 110
I agree that he should reevaluate his approach to teaching multicultural education. I really like the idea of keeping the journals but providing a topic or prompt to direct the students in the appropriate direction.
  Posted on: November 24, 2014 3:13 pm

emuZuW
emuZuW
Reps: 69
I think you have a good point about the principle having everyone's best interest in mind-- but do you? The first thing all of us should be concerned with is Gail's note that mentioned suicide! Be sure that you aren't overlooking MORE important cries for helps while sifting through the other.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 2:59 am

Qybuse
Qybuse
Reps: 118
I like your suggestion of giving the students topic or situations to write about. When students' writing is narrowed down to a response type journal, they are likely to have more similarities than they realized. It might even be that the people who used to write about fundamentally different things start to realize that they have more in common than they initially realized!
  Posted on: December 2, 2015 2:59 am

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Solution 21
Posted December 9, 2012 1:42 pm

Erin Warren
Erin Warren
Reps: 142
I think that the dialogue journals are a good idea, however I woulde give them a few topics to choose from to write about. I would discuss with them what is appropriate to write about, this way you arent having terrible things they are writing about. I would suggest having some kind of box in the room that is anonymous for students to write other concerns, this way if you get something like a contemplating suicide letter, the counselor can step in and have a class discussion.
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Monique Cook
Monique Cook
Reps: 70
I agree with this solution. I actually think it's a very good idea because instead of free write the teacher has more control over what the students write. The teacher could give the students choices for topics so the learning is still student-based. Each day in class could have a different focus or theme.
  Posted on: June 11, 2013 4:57 pm

gyjyjy
gyjyjy
Reps: 71
I really like the idea of having a box in your room that students can use to place letters in. I think that students sometimes feel more comfortable writing the thoughts or concerns down, instead of saying them out loud to someone. I also thought that the dialogue journals should stay and you can inform the counselor of theses not so happy entries.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 11:06 pm

Jordyn Nail
Jordyn Nail
Reps: 108
The box is a good idea. I hated the idea of taking away an outlet for them to express their inner feelings. This way the journals can be more guided and focused.
  Posted on: November 22, 2013 3:46 pm

Nick Hanna
Nick Hanna
Reps: 71
I totally agree with your idea to add topics to the dialogue journals. Middle School age kids need some guidance with writing and by adding the topics, it helps the kids focus on a specific thing.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 5:17 am

PyveDu
PyveDu
Reps: 101
I agree with giving different topics to discuss in their journals. Then what if she would have never opened up abotu her feelings toward suicide. I think the journals are a great way for students to feel comfortable enough to express their ideas and feelings.
  Posted on: November 28, 2014 2:56 am

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Solution 22
Posted June 10, 2013 12:01 pm

Nicki Kinner
Nicki Kinner
Reps: 68
I believe that the dialogue journals are a wonderful idea. These students would not have told you the kinds of feelings they were having without these journals. Gail would have never come up to you and told you of her thoughts about suicide. These journals could have possibly saved this little girls life. As for Warren, I do not know how to respond because I do not know what you taught in the classroom. I would remind him it is important to embrace his culture background. After knowing his concerns, I would have the class do a presentation project on their culture backgrounds so that all students can share their beliefs with one another. This will take the spot light off of Warren. As for the principal, I would agree to what he asked me to do, considering it would be my job on the line. I would then work with the administration on how I should teach these students multicultural aspects without being to bold.
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yheraZ
yheraZ
Reps: 68
I agree that these journals could have potentially saved a childís life, but I donít think having journals that usually turn to personal diary entries is appropriate in a school setting. Many parents would probably agree with this and feel that the teacher may in some way be invading studentís privacy by reading such entries. I think these types of journals are better used as tools to allow students to creatively write about assigned topics. And I do agree that it might be a good idea to seek advice from the administrator about how these issues should be addressed.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 5:25 pm

vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
It is very hard to know what to do about Warren. It is possible that this teacher is not showing enough strong images of African Americans fighting against oppression and this is why he is embarrassed. I agree that this girl is crying out for help, and the teacher could potentially help avert a horrible tragedy.
  Posted on: June 11, 2013 2:41 pm

Kyle Chambers
Kyle Chambers
Reps: 68
You make a good point about how the journals are a way of expression. Like you said, it could have saved that young girl's life. You must also actively work with the administration to find ways of addressing cultural diversity in the class. I do not think that it is necessary to do away with addressing this topic, however, it might be useful to decrease the talk of differences and focus more on similarities.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 8:43 pm

BeWuXe
BeWuXe
Reps: 117
I agree it is important to do as requested by the principal. However, your idea of asking his advise or opinion on strategies to use in the place of those he is requesting you to stop is a very good suggestion. It may also be helpful if he comes into your classroom and model other instructional strategies he feels may be more appropriate. I think it is important administrators be involved within the classrooms of the buildings they supervise.
  Posted on: November 23, 2013 3:34 pm

Josh Oglesby
Josh Oglesby
Reps: 69
I would also like to talk to Warren in a private setting to figure out why he feels I am overemphasizing and causing him issues. Maybe the teacher is placing too much emphasis on certain aspects or possibly the student is very sensitive to discussing race or culture due to some issues in his past. Without a conversation in which the student feels OK with opening up with the whole truth, one can only speculate to the validity of his journal writings and your teaching methods.
  Posted on: June 10, 2014 2:28 pm

LeeAnna Elder
LeeAnna Elder
Reps: 75
I agree with wanting to meet with Warren. He may have had a bad experience related to his culture or the education of his culture. The last thing a teacher wants to do is single out or oestrasize a student.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 9:55 pm

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Solution 23
Posted June 10, 2013 5:56 pm

Brittany Smith
Brittany Smith
Reps: 69
I think the principal is correct about emphasizing similarities over differences. While everyone is different and teachers should strive to celebrate cultural diversity, there is more benefit in showing the students their similarities to one another over their differences. Emphasizing differences can cause contention among different groups, but the similarities will help them. I think you should discuss the value of the dialogue journals with your principal. These are effective modes of communication and self-expression that should not be taken away from the students. As far as decreasing the multicultural aspect of education, I think you should talk to the students who feel uncomfortable about why they feel this way, and then you can modify your teaching to fit these needs. If you see successful results in the new method, inform your principal and see if he will allow you to continue with the multicultural aspects of your lessons.
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Emilee Roberts
Emilee Roberts
Reps: 69
I agree with you and I disagree. I think that every culture should be celebrated. Something that is "different" about someone could make them more attractive. Focusing on the similarities and the differences could be the best route to take.
  Posted on: June 11, 2013 12:56 pm

Heidi Landon
Heidi Landon
Reps: 58
I agree that pointing out similarities can unite a diverse group. Also by pointing out the similarities students how feel uncomfortable about their differences may become more at ease. I would explain to the principal the importance of the dialog journals and try to focus on different topics instead of just allowing free writes.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 10:45 am

qyzeha
qyzeha
Reps: 105
I agree that it would be beneficial to talk to the principal about the value of the journals. They are a form of self expression the students need, and I agree they should not be taken away. I also agree that focusing on similarities between cultures can help students celebrate all cultures, but I do think the differences need to be taught as well.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 11:35 am

Kyle Chambers
Kyle Chambers
Reps: 68
I agree with your assessment of this issue. One of the most important things to consider in this situation is if you are teaching cultural differences in a way that is dividing the class. In this situation, it seems like the teacher has good intentions but may not be focusing on the similarities enough. I also like your idea about talking with the students about what is working and what may make them uncomfortable, like in the case of Warrenn.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 8:39 pm

Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
I feel that it is important to focus on similarities, but we should not avoid looking at differences. Students are fully aware that they differ from one another, so why not discuss it?
  Posted on: November 25, 2013 4:50 pm

James Moran
James Moran
Reps: 62
I think it is difficult to talk about similarities or differences without talking about the other. I think that in discussing differences the teacher will also discuss the similarities between different groups of people.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 6:36 pm

aBugeS
aBugeS
Reps: 77
If this school has a majority white population than focusing on the differences of a select few students may have the opposite effect of what the teacher is wanting. Focusing on differences, may make some students feel singled out or alienated from the group which would not be the purpose of the lesson. I think that focusing on similarities may help to unify the class and bring these students into the fold of the others.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 10:44 pm

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74
I also think it is a good idea to really emphasized similarities the students share and to make sure I am not singling out one culture over another to often to make students feel uncomfortable.
  Posted on: June 11, 2015 8:16 pm

Amanda Whittaker
Amanda Whittaker
Reps: 114
I think the principal is correct about emphasizing similarities over differences. While everyone is different and teachers should strive to celebrate cultural diversity, there is more benefit in showing the students their similarities to one another over their differences. Emphasizing differences can cause contention among different groups, but the similarities will help them. I think you should discuss the value of the dialogue journals with your principal. These are effective modes of communication and self-expression that should not be taken away from the students. As far as decreasing the multicultural aspect of education, I think you should talk to the students who feel uncomfortable about why they feel this way, and then you can modify your teaching to fit these needs. If you see successful results in the new method, inform your principal and see if he will allow you to continue with the multicultural aspects of your lessons.

I agree that emphasizing the similarities between the students is the better way to join the students together. Showcasing all the differences will put a larger divide between the students. Also, talking to the students who are feeling uncomfortable will help you better understand their standpoint. You need to make sure that you are also following your principals directions in what they want you to do, they can make it bad for you if you don't.
  Posted on: December 7, 2015 2:07 am

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Solution 24
Posted June 11, 2013 12:54 pm

Emilee Roberts
Emilee Roberts
Reps: 69
I think that dialog journals are a good way to enstill trust with in the classroom. Many teachers use them for feedback on a topic or to find out an opinion. Maybe you should limit the variety of topics that are allowed to be written about. Give the students three or four topics and allow them to elaborate on them. I also beleive that focusing on the similarities is a good thing as long as more than one culture/group is being included. I would refer the student that wrote the suicide journal to the school counselor and I would also refer the student that was embarressed. These students need to feel a since of pride, not have thoughts about death and embarressment. I too understand that you cannot go against your principal. I would take what you talked about under advisement and maybe come up with an alternative?
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Johnnie Skelton
Johnnie Skelton
Reps: 104
Your suggestion of giving the students choices between three or four prompts is a good one. Students love to have the freedom to choose, but giving them complete freedom to write anything doesnít seem to provide must academic value.
I also think that balancing the curriculum with similarities would go a long way in appeasing the principal and building relationships within your class.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 12:19 pm

Jessica Briley
Jessica Briley
Reps: 109
I agree that journal writing allows for a sense of community in the classroom. I think this is also the risk you take as a teacher when you assign writing assignments like this. Some kids may need help, and they don't want to express it verbally, but they do want someone to know about it. This is the best way for them to reach out for help.
  Posted on: November 19, 2013 12:06 pm

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Solution 25
Posted June 11, 2013 2:55 pm

vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
I think that having students write in journals is a great way to learn what students are thinking as well as help them develop as reflective thinkers. However, providing topics or themes to explore is preferable to telling students they can write about whatever they want. Regardless, you have learned two important things. First, the counselor should be consulted immediately regarding Gailís contemplation of suicide. Second, I would talk with Warren as well as re-evaluate my methods for multicultural education. A conversation with Warren could reveal a lot of information about why he is feeling embarrassed and help guide any changes you might make. Additionally, we know from Springís text that it is important to include images of strong African Americans as well as Whites who fought for emancipation of slaves and civil rights. This will help African Americans and Whites feel they have strong role models for fighting against racism and bias. Finally, the principal has put you in a difficult place. I would consider making sure that my approach is well-rounded, but I would also discuss with the principal why I felt that it was important to present materials that explore the issues of racism, sexism, and social class so that he understands your reasoning for what you are doing. This might help him be more supportive of you should you encounter any backlash from students or parents.
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Susan Esra
Susan Esra
Reps: 68
I agree that talking with Warren could lead to some insight, and asking for his input could possibly help repair the rift that may have been caused by his embarrassment.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 1:59 am

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Solution 26
Posted June 11, 2013 11:40 pm

gyjyjy
gyjyjy
Reps: 71
Wow! I feel as if your principle does not want to deal with this issue that definitely could use attention, so by abandoning the journals we can act like there is no problem. When we look at stories in reading books we always look for similarities and differences. When we discuss wars in history we describe and examine similarities and differences in the two armies. We are taught as teachers to have students dig in and look at the whole picture, by taking it apart to make a larger picture. If we teach students only the similarities that exist among different cultures or races then we are telling kids that we are all the same and we do not highlight what makes us special; we are denying them their heritage. I would discuss my reasons behind my teaching and prove its benefits by providing research. I would then talk with the school counselor for suggestions on reaching out to these two students and how you can help them feel better about who they are.
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eDaNep
eDaNep
Reps: 66
You are exactly right! We must stand up for what we believe even if it is in direct opposition to our principal. How we approach our disagreements can make all the difference in the world.
  Posted on: June 15, 2013 3:15 pm

Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson
Reps: 103
Yes the dialogue journals should stay and I also agree with your stand point on similarities and differences. We should not pick one or the other to teach. It should be a combination of both to really teach the entire truth.
  Posted on: June 15, 2013 6:48 pm

Love Joy
Love Joy
Reps: 78
I agree totally. You should stand up for what is right. It just may take a different approach and a little more emphasis or help from another source. But, not providing the differences is not doing justice for the students. Warren should be taught that it is usually things he does not like that are the things that matter more in life. There will be other things he does not like but he will have to deal with it. Also, having the students write on a particular topic usually produces more results and better results because they actually have to think about what is written. This may be a better approach to the writing than writing what they want.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 11:14 pm

upyNuX
upyNuX
Reps: 100
Abandoning journals definitely will not solve anything. That sounds like trying to pretend these issues don't exist. But at the same time the right balance needs to be found when looking at similarities and differences. It sounds to me like this teacher needs to re-evaluate the way she is presenting the multicultural topics and the journals are a good way to see how she is doing reaching her multicultural goals. The principal is definitely not comfortable dealing with these issues and I think that makes it more important for her to continue what she is doing because it sounds like the people in that community are struggling with cultural issues.
  Posted on: November 26, 2013 8:21 am

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Solution 27
Posted June 12, 2013 10:49 pm

Carol Whitfield
Carol Whitfield
Reps: 56
This is a very interesting situation. I don't see anything wrong with the freewrite journals. If students are sharing things of that serious magnitude with that teacher that means that they are comfortable with her, and they respect her as a teacher and person. I actually feel like one of the things that are wrong with our society is our fear of awkward and "sticky" situation. Instead of ignoring these issues, teachers, parents, and administrators need to be more proactive. We need to get to know out students and children better. It seems that we live in a time where more kids are hurting themselves because of things adults don't even know about, and sometimes because we as adults brush them off when they are indirectly or directly telling us to hear them out. This teacher is doing the right thing by allowing the students write about what they want. She could honestly be helping them release those built up feelings and make for a better tomorrow.
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yZaveh
yZaveh
Reps: 109
I would completely agree that the reason so many issues aren't being dealt with are because they're being brushed off by adults, or because these issues make people uncomfortable. However, how should the teacher deal with their superior not supporting them?
  Posted on: November 28, 2013 8:07 pm

Meredith Bryant
Meredith Bryant
Reps: 106
I would also have to agree with you--banning the journals simply does not make sense. It provides an outlet for these students about very serious issues. Furthermore, these journals are private. What happens in Gail never wrote this and you, as the teacher, were never able to help her? To have written this down could have ultimately saved her life. Of course, I hope that the purpose of these journals isn't for such serious issues, but it is great for students. Would administration ever ban journals in an ELA classroom for the use of a daily writing activity? Absolutely not. The problem here isn't the journals, so those shouldn't be eliminated.
  Posted on: December 8, 2013 3:23 pm

Alisha Wesley-Moore
Alisha Wesley-Moore
Reps: 60
Journals are probably helping the children more than anything. They are able to release and I think banning them definitely be wrong. Banning the journals is really taking away the students method of expressing how they truly feel. Such a difficult situation.
  Posted on: June 20, 2014 2:43 am

Amanda Morris
Amanda Morris
Reps: 70
I agree that free writing is a good idea. It allows students to write down their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time they feel more comfortable writing down their thoughts then going to someone and telling them how they are feeling. I think this would be a great opportunity for the teacher to incorporate teacher-student conferences. But at the end of the day, the teacher needs to listen to their principle and do what he wants them to do.
  Posted on: June 8, 2015 5:55 pm

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Solution 28
Posted June 14, 2013 10:51 am

Heidi Landon
Heidi Landon
Reps: 58
I think you can incorporate multicultural issues just not so bluntly. Finding ways to use it in your advisory group to highlight and discuss difference but mainly similarities is one way to do that. Students in middle school are very judgmental yet very egocentric. By showing students that there are many things they have in common is one way to bring the group together. I understand you do not want to go against your principal but if you find other ways to use the journals and maybe even suggest that students bring in something that relates to their backgrounds can take the focus off you and maybe unite the group even more.
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Erin Ashurst
Erin Ashurst
Reps: 73
I agree. Teaching about multiculturalism requires tact and sensitivity. Creating a classroom that is supportive and safe should help teach the students to become colorblind.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 7:43 pm

Emily West
Emily West
Reps: 102

I think that when you discuss similarities between cultures the differences are bound to come up also. I think that beginning by talking about similarities is a good way to lead into discussing the differences and may be more accepted by the students. Like you said, I think that students need to understand that they are all different and unique and various ways and when they do begin to understand this they will actually become closer as a class because they are accepting each other for their differences.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 2:55 pm

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Solution 29
Posted June 14, 2013 11:32 am

qyzeha
qyzeha
Reps: 105
The first thing I think should be done is to contact the counselor about Gail's situation. As for the dialog journals, I think they are wonderful idea to use in the classroom. The students need a safe place that they can express their thoughts on issues. I personally do not think the journals should have to be changed, but if the principal strongly feels they should be then maybe you could try having the students only write about certain topics in their jourals. I do think that emphasizing similarities between cultures could eliminate embarrassment for students like Warren, but students still need to be taught differences in cultures. Focusing on many different cultures other than just African American could also help eliminate Warren's embarrassment.
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Johnnie Skelton
Johnnie Skelton
Reps: 104
I agree that guided journaling might be more helpful than allowing the students to write about anything at all. This would probably eliminate some of the unwanted discussion as well as increasing the instructional value of the exercise.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 12:07 pm

Qureby
Qureby
Reps: 102
I agree that the teacher should continue to use the dialogue journals as the students obviously feel comfortable expressing themselves through writing. However, if it is too much of a problem with the principal I like your suggestion of limiting the topics students are able to write about. I also agree that there could be a compromise of teaching about similarities and differences between different cultures.
  Posted on: December 8, 2014 2:15 am

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Solution 30
Posted June 14, 2013 7:12 pm

VyQaqu
VyQaqu
Reps: 71
I believe that in your anticipation to go in and embrace multicultural education in the classroom you may have skipped some pivotal steps that would have building blocks to the types of things that you would like to integrate into the classroom. The African American boy, Warren Jackson, probably feels that you are isolating him in some way. He may also feel embarrassed because when historical aspects of their ancestors are discussed because their ancestors are portrayed as defenseless victims. Gail Smith, the white girl in your class, apparently lives in a household that contradicts your teachings. I would first make sure that I spoke with the counselor in the class about Gail. This needs to be reported immediately so that other interventions can take place. I would not stop the journals because I believe that students need to be given the time to reflect upon their experiences and articulate them in writing. I do, however, think that you should give students specific topics to discuss, rather than letting the students just choose what they want to write about in the journals. Next, I would make sure that when I taught about African American culture and historical aspects, it will be a good idea to not forget the contributions of other races throughout the course of history. Also, I believe that it would be a good idea to move to different cultures in your teaching and not only on American white or black culture. The students in this town also need to see representations of cultures outside of their communities. This would help with possible future culture shock and intolerance.
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Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker
Reps: 60
I agree very strongly with your solution. I think that the situation should be reported to the counselor immediately as well. I think giving the students a topic to discuss is a good way to structure the dialogue journals more while still allowing the students to express their feelings and reflect. I also agree that other cultures should be focused on as well so that it doesnít seem like there is a one-or-the-other type of cultural picture being painted in the classroom.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 1:38 am

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Solution 31
Posted June 14, 2013 9:48 pm

Stephanie Harmon
Stephanie Harmon
Reps: 84
I think that journals are useful tools for promoting interest in writing but I do think that you need to give broad topics for students to write about to focus their writing. That said, you have learn some information from the journals you have and they need to be addressed. First, you need to talk to the counselor about the student who has expressed suicidal intent. They will know what steps to take from there. Second, if your multicultural approaches are embarrassing students adjustments need to me made. I think that instead of focusing on racial differences and focusing so much on a specific race, you need to teach students about a variety of different cultures. Also, make sure you are not focusing solely on the negatives of injustices (though it is important to keep the lines of communication open where these are concerned) but focus on the positives of cultural diversity. I would do some professional development and research into effectively incorporating multicultural education into your curriculum before going any further.
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Solution 32
Posted June 15, 2013 3:19 pm

eDaNep
eDaNep
Reps: 66
Your journals should not be stopped. Students are allowed to write about what they want and are providing you useful information about the students in your class. The principal does not seem to have a good grasp on the importance of multicultural education. Perhaps you could meet with your principal again to discuss the importance of what you are doing. Make sure to use research and examples of multicultural lessons to support your position. Finally, you cannot ignore what is going on with both Warren and Gail. They need to be referred to the school counselor and their journals need to be monitored for additional signs of concern.
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yZaveh
yZaveh
Reps: 109
I agree with all of your suggestions, and I included them in mine. In addition, the teacher could use the students' dialogue journals to identify the issues students are struggling with and to pick supplemental texts focused on these issues to use in the classroom.
  Posted on: November 28, 2013 8:06 pm

uzyXuV
uzyXuV
Reps: 208
I personally like the I idea of the journal, but I wouldn't go against my principal. I would look for ways or guidance on working together with the principal.
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 2:36 am

Edward Kim
Edward Kim
Reps: 106
I agree that the principal seems to be a bit out of touch with reality here. I am confused as to why he is not for multicultural lessons. Does he not want to prepare his students for the real world? Is he really that scared of some controversy and dealing with parents? I think that it is a good idea to approach him with some information and research about the topic. Clearly he is already worried about something so you have to be careful and approach him respectfully about your issues and concerns.
  Posted on: November 18, 2015 2:44 am

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Solution 33
Posted June 15, 2013 6:45 pm

Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson
Reps: 103
I think that having journals for student reflection is a great way to receive feedback and for students to really explore their own thinking but with multi-cultural education I think we need to look at the differences but also show how everyone is internally the same. Having distinct groups and races is what will foster racism and discrimination. We need to embrace different cultures but not bind people to only be in one group.There are many different amazing cultures to share within a school but when it all comes down to it, we are apart of a school culture and no one should be excluded or singled-out. The part of this that would frighten me the most is the student who is having suicidal thoughts. I understand you told them that they can write whatever they like but when it comes to the safety of a student, steps need to be made immediately to help that student through.
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Erin Ashurst
Erin Ashurst
Reps: 73
I like your point of the students being a part of the school. I think a great writing prompt would be, "What makes up the culture and traditions of this school?" This would help bring the students together. Also, I would explain the salad metaphor opposed to the melting pot metaphor.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 7:41 pm

Nick Hanna
Nick Hanna
Reps: 71
You make a good point in showing that even though the students have many difference, they also have similarities that need to be pointed out and appreciated. Many time people focus on the acceptance of different cultures, but rarely say anything about trying to highlight the similarities among culture groups. Also your comment on how they all make up the school is a great intro to pointing out their similarities.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 5:23 am

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Solution 34
Posted June 16, 2013 7:35 pm

Erin Ashurst
Erin Ashurst
Reps: 73
I would emphasize both differences and similarities. Those two things makes out country so interesting. I would suggest when teaching about famous persons, ask the students what made them successful, was it there race or their motivation? This reminds students that ultimately we decide what's important to us. Also, suggest this free writing subject to your students, "American classrooms looked a lot difference 70 years ago. How do you feel about these differences?" Allow students to see progress for themselves. Also, there are so many examples of American traditions that are not race related you could teach on. For instance, teach traditions that came from Germans, north Africans, Chinese, etc. Emphasize culture, ethnicities, and nationalities, not race.
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yJaGus
yJaGus
Reps: 106
This is a good way to look at teaching multicultural education. Definitely pointing out the positives will help the students to not feel embarrassed.
  Posted on: December 8, 2013 6:42 am

Susan Esra
Susan Esra
Reps: 68
I agree that teaching about a variety of cultures, and not overemphasizing one, will help make all students feel comfortable and celebrated.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 1:58 am

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Solution 35
Posted June 16, 2013 8:47 pm

Kyle Chambers
Kyle Chambers
Reps: 68
The first thing I would do is to talk with my class about cultural diversity and the similarities between different cultures. In this case, the teacher may be focusing too much on the differences between cultures. This could be the reason why Warren is feeling uncomfortable in the classroom. Warren is feeling the stress of being in a culturally different school. He may feel like you are only doing this activity because he transfered into your class. As far as the journals go, I would continue to use the journals to help the students express themselves. It may have saved this young girl's life. You must also talk with the administration to find ways of changing the curriculum to incorporate cultural diversity and journal activities while also ensuring that all students are comfortable inside your classroom.
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yVyLyG
yVyLyG
Reps: 69
I agree the journals are a helpful tool. If the young suicidal girl had confessed this in an essay or other scholastic format, would the principle want to forgo essays as well? Suppressing the children's ideas is not the answer.
  Posted on: June 16, 2013 9:17 pm

Kristen Eason
Kristen Eason
Reps: 57
I think youíre right. Journals can have a way of allowing students to express themselves in a private matter. I also believe that itís important that the teacher not only focus on the differences of studentís culture but also on the similarities. Students typically see positive things when understanding how weíre alike but yet different. Otherwise, I would get the impression that these students are single minded and live under a rock. Knowledge is power!
  Posted on: June 9, 2014 6:05 pm

Ashley Mays
Ashley Mays
Reps: 64
I do agree with your point of view that the journals may have saved this young girl's life. However, I do think it is important for the teacher to speak with a guidance counselor. I think that Gail could benefit from speaking with someone about the issues she is going through.
  Posted on: June 11, 2014 1:01 am

Sara LeClair
Sara LeClair
Reps: 68
Great point! You could definitely use Warren's comment as a point in the right direction. He may not be the only student feeling embarrassed, so you can teach more about cultural acceptance and diversity based on what he wrote. This will make him feel more comfortable, and all students can get a wider perspective on multicultural education. Ask your principal for advice on how you can incorporate more multicultural education without using the journals.
  Posted on: June 11, 2014 3:29 pm

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Solution 36
Posted June 16, 2013 9:14 pm

yVyLyG
yVyLyG
Reps: 69
I think you and your principle both offer valid ideas. I think placing value on similarities is a wonderful method for teaching multicultural diversity if constructed in a manner that showcases cultural differences but then relates them to each other. This is how you can accommodate your principle and retain your values about the importance of your lessons. In regard to the journals, I cant come on board with any free thinking or writing suppression; I believe whole-heartedly in the journals and if the students feel comfortable enough to express true feelings, than even better.
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Solution 37
Posted June 16, 2013 10:52 pm

Kimberly Spicer
Kimberly Spicer
Reps: 71
I think both suggestions can be warranted. The use of journals in a classroom are crucial. Students are able to write down and express their thoughts in those...sometimes write things that they would normally not say to anyone. The case with Gail Smith is something that is so major and what if she didn't keep a journal? Would she have gone through with her suicide? We will never know, but at least now you can try to help her. The case about Warren Jackson not wanting you to put so much emphasis on the African American culture helps you, too. The journals can help you adjust things that make students uncomfortable.
I definitely agree with the journals and the small groups staying just the way they are. Since it was just a "suggestion" from the principal, there shouldn't be a problem, right? As far as focusing on the similarities instead of differences of cultures other than American is actually a good recommendation. Yes, there are differences, but the students know the differences.
I don't think it's logical to change up your entire plan, because maybe these are just two cases that are extreme and every one else is really enjoying them.
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Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I think focusing on the similarities of the students, rather than the differences is important. Great idea! I also agree that the journals may be a good idea that should not be completely discontinued.
  Posted on: November 19, 2013 7:25 pm

Amy Fletcher
Amy Fletcher
Reps: 67
I agree that journals are important and you should not stop them. Also, focusing on the similarities and differences is a great idea and the more time spent in class discussing this the more comfortable they will be. This will help them to learn to respect everyone and understand that we are all different in some way.
  Posted on: June 11, 2014 3:44 am

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Solution 38
Posted June 16, 2013 11:26 pm

Love Joy
Love Joy
Reps: 78
If Warren complains on your emphasis of African American culture, is it because you compare all cultures to African American culture? Or do you present it in a negative light? Maybe you should reevaluate how you present African American culture and then understand your students. Why does he get embarrassed? There is a reason that you have not discovered. Then you should definitely do what your administrator states. There may be another approach but you should consult with him first to present your ideas. The counselor should definitely be consulted on Gail and could be on other writings as well. The counselor may see more underlying issues that you may not have noticed. When doing this type of lesson and giving feedback could allow students to give you more information and give you a better understanding of their statements.
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Solution 39
Posted November 10, 2013 9:14 pm

Emily West
Emily West
Reps: 102
Middle school can be a difficult time for many students. They are beginning to be attracted to other peers and their emotional states can be fragile. I think embarrassment and extreme feelings are common and when you allow students at this age to write freely you will find they write about concerning issues. I don't think that you should stop the dialogue journals or decrease emphasis on multicultural aspects of the class but instead go about this a different way. I think that helping students realize the importance of understanding multicultural differences is important. You could allow them to share about their cultural differences and learn from each other. Instead of using the dialogue journals as a way for students to write about anything, I think you should give them a specific topic or a question, maybe even a set of topics and/or questions they can choose from. The writing will then be more focused in the journals.
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Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I agree. Middle school is a very difficult time. I think the dialogue journals are important because it helps the teacher understand what is going on in the mind of the student. Who knows-- he could have prevented a suicide!
  Posted on: November 19, 2013 7:24 pm

Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
I do not think the dialog journals should be done away with, but I do like your idea of narrowing down the journals to a variety of topics.
  Posted on: November 25, 2013 4:46 pm

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Solution 40
Posted November 19, 2013 11:05 am

Jessica Briley
Jessica Briley
Reps: 109
I would not want to go against the principal either. However, I like the ideas of free write journals. Gail is searching for some help from a trusted teacher. If I were her teacher I would contact the counselor first and take appropriate steps from there. Her parents also need to be aware of her feelings. Warren may need some help learning how to embrace his culture. Maybe rather than focusing on one culture in lessons, try to be unbiased toward all cultures. I think the differences among students are what make a classroom so interesting.
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upyNuX
upyNuX
Reps: 100
Good point about Warren. My initial thought was that the teacher is putting too much focus on differences but I'm now thinking more about the history of this community and how it has historically been white. I'm sure this plays a large role in his feelings of embarrassment. We don't know, but IF he knows how Gail feels about him and the feelings are mutual and if he knows how her parents feel, that could be what is really behind his feelings of embarrassment more than anything the teacher is saying. So many possibilities and complexities.
  Posted on: November 26, 2013 8:38 am

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Solution 41
Posted November 22, 2013 3:42 pm

Jordyn Nail
Jordyn Nail
Reps: 108
I think it is important that students have an outlet, the dialog journals, to express how they feel. After all, had Gail not mentioned her suicidal thoughts to you she may not still be alive. So I disagree with many of the comments that suggest that you should limit the topics. Gail was having suicidal thoughts whether she has the chance to express it or not. However, with all that said, you cannot go against your boss - so you must make a change in your practices.

I would adjust small things until he was satisfied. Keep him informed of any topics that could be controversial. Leaders tend to panic when they are caught off guard and they make rash decisions in these moments. Keeping your boss well-informed will help. He will loosen the reigns when he starts to trust you again.

DO NOT just give up. You are doing a great thing by making your students more culturally aware. And sometimes that is uncomfortable, like for Warren. Many students feel uncomfortable talking about their differences because we are taught to ignore these things- and that's not okay either. We must find a balance.
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udydyV
udydyV
Reps: 108
I agree that students should have the right to express themselves, but remember, we live in a very politically correct world. No where is this more prevalent than in schools. I would have the students develop their own topic of conversation to write about in their journals. Then, I would provide guidelines or borders for which they must stay within.
  Posted on: December 5, 2013 2:27 pm

Laura Toft
Laura Toft
Reps: 71
Well said Jordyn. I think we need to see the major positive in this situation and that is that we can get Gail some help. The dialogue journals are effective and are clearly serving their purpose. By tweaking our instructional practices to better accommodate the different needs of our students like Warren who is uncomfortable should be our first priority. Students won't reap the benefits of the instruction if they are too busy feeling like they are being singled out.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 2:44 am

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Solution 42
Posted November 23, 2013 3:06 pm

BeWuXe
BeWuXe
Reps: 117
The use of a journal in the classroom is a common practice. Since writing across the curriculum has become a focus in many school systems, it is important to integrate writing in all content areas. However, if free-writing is new to your students, limiting their topic choices may be a better way to begin. However, as many have already posted, I totally agree Gail's journal entries should be discussed with a counselor. As a teacher, I also think it is important to speak with Warren about his feelings of embarrassment regarding the topic of African American culture. If the emphasis is related to the curriculum, it must be discussed. However, you might need to reflect on your word choices and be sure any personal feelings or opinions are not reflected in your classroom instruction. It is important that Warren realize we are all different and culturally diverse. Although some topics are "uncomfortable" we cannot change history, however, we can use it to change the future.

I think it is important for you and your principal to sit down and have a conversation regarding your choices of teaching methods in reference to small grouping and use of journals. I agree with his suggestions of discussing similarities, maybe even emphasizing the similarities. I would provide your principal with research-based documentation of using small grouping and the use of writing journals as it relates to enhancing student learning. If he is an effective principal and cares about his students and teachers, he should be willing to read the information and revisit the conversation with you again. However, ultimately, he is your supervisor and it is important to follow his request if he feels your methods of instruction or not in the best interest of your students.
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udydyV
udydyV
Reps: 108
First and foremost I think Gail's comments warrant further attention. You should notify the counsel or the school psychologist in reference to her wanting to commit suicide. In reference to the dialogue journals, I would explain to the students what your intentions were and how you might have missed the mark in your efforts. I would consult with the student and ask THEM what they would like to write about. I would ask them what matters most in their life. Too often, what teachers think is important in students' lives, actually have little relevance.
  Posted on: November 23, 2013 6:03 pm

Alicia Garcia
Alicia Garcia
Reps: 69
I agree. You can defend the journaling in light of the new literacy standards. Providing prompts at first and gradually releasing responsibility t the students for journal topics might work to greater effect with regard to simply promoting literacy. This would also allow you to honor your principalís request until you figure out where you went wrong. Once you have a solid stance and curriculum plan in place you can sit down with your principal and reevaluate the situation. I also agree with reporting Gailís suicidal ideation and talking to Warren. Perhaps it isnít the curriculum he has a problem with but how you are teaching it. How many other African American students do you have? If he is the only one are you calling on him more frequently than other students? Are you drawing special attention to him or seeking approval with body language or your own unconscious expectations? Is it you and not the lesson that is making him feel embarrassed? I know these sound like tough questions but self-reflection is one of the most critical and difficult tasks we as teachers must undertake when a student is not responding positively to a lesson or teaching style. At some point it would be great if you could sit down with this young man and find out what is not working for him and then try to restructure to accommodate his needs.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 6:28 pm

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Solution 43
Posted November 24, 2013 7:46 pm

A Battles
A Battles
Reps: 115
I would try to explain to the principal that you feel the journals are a good idea. Because these journals are providing you insight to your students thoughts that you may never hear otherwise. You understand how Warren feels so maybe you could switch up your delivery of those subjects. While it's unfortunate a student is considering suicide maybe this journal entry was a way to get her the counseling she needs.
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udydyV
udydyV
Reps: 108
I agree. To often administrators want to "throw the baby out with the bath water" because of a few complaints. Sure, there are some things that might need tweaking as far as content, but look at the good that came out of the journals. A possible suicide was prevented. Certainly, that should be taken into consideration.
  Posted on: December 5, 2013 2:19 pm

aQanaD
aQanaD
Reps: 67
I totally agree with you hear. There could be a more balanced approach to make Warren feel more comfortable. I think that the principal should reconsider the dialogue journals. The environment the teacher has created is obviously one where the students feel comfortable enough to share their true feelings. Only until then can we really help students.
  Posted on: June 12, 2015 12:27 am

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Solution 44
Posted November 25, 2013 4:44 pm

Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
I agree that it is important to listen to the advice of your principal; however, I do not feel that you must follow his instructions verbatim. It sounds like your principal was merely offering suggestions (not demanding that you change your curriculum).

Now, in regards to your use of journals, I would continue with them. These are a great communication tool that allow you access to your students you would not get regularly. It is because of these journals you have an idea of what is going on with Gail and can get her some help and quick! The journals also let you know how your students respond to what you have been teaching. Warren expressed his discomfort with some of your topics; now you can adapt the focus of your discussions.

Keep teaching the important topics while listening to your students. Your kids will always tell you what you need to know.
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Krissy Chance-Bailey
Krissy Chance-Bailey
Reps: 65
Reconstruction the lesson may be an option but, the safety of the young lady is vital. The young man I would advise to write down his reason of discomfort and perhaps you and him could discuss it further or you could provide some reading material. Most time the discomfort is due to the "unknown" facts and this could be a good experience for the student.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 2:44 pm

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Solution 45
Posted November 26, 2013 8:10 am

upyNuX
upyNuX
Reps: 100
Based on Warren's comments, it does sound like it might be good to shift your focus a little. This doesn't mean to totally neglect multiculturalism, but to make sure you are presenting it in a way that will benefit students. If it is making some of the minority students feel singled out, that is not what you are trying for. At the middle school age, students are noticing racial differences and starting to form their internal stereotypes based on that. By focusing on differences you can drive a deeper wedge between races. Students will notice the differences on their own. So spending a little less time on the differences (even when putting these differences in a positive light) and more time on showing them how they are similar and that they are really the same on the inside is a good idea.

Concerning Gail's comments, I would go to the school counselor immediately since Gail mentioned suicidal thoughts. This is something that needs to be addressed before she takes things any further.
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Solution 46
Posted November 28, 2013 8:05 pm

yZaveh
yZaveh
Reps: 109
The fact that your principal isn't advocating for a multicultural curriculum concerns me. I would start by typing up a letter or putting together some type of portfolio that demonstrates (with research) the value of a multicultural curriculum. I would then schedule a meeting with your principal to discuss these things. Also, look at your district's standards- surely there is something in the standards that addresses multicultural education, and you can use this to support your research.
If he agrees, I would continue your students' dialogue journals. Use this as place to have conversation with your students as opposed to them using them as a one-way outlet. Discuss what Gail and Warren what they're going through. You don't address what content area you teach, but you can supplement your curriculum with texts that deal with the same issues your students are dealing with and use this as an impetus for discussion on these issues.
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Solution 47
Posted December 8, 2013 6:41 am

yJaGus
yJaGus
Reps: 106
I think it would be a good thing to try his suggestions. See if it works. Incorporate your methods with the principals. You may find that it is overwhelming for the students to dialogue their true thoughts. However, if you have a student that still wants to talk to you about what is going on in their life maybe you could start an e-mail club or something for them to still feel connected to you. I like the idea of emphasizing the similarities instead of the differences.
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Alicia Garcia
Alicia Garcia
Reps: 69
I would be wary of starting an e-mail club. That seems too private. Perhaps if you want an electronic medium for student communication a class webpage that parents can also access would be more appropriate. An added bonus of this is that it might encourage some parent participation as well, which is sometimes difficult to get. Some students who are suffering emotionally might be inclined to try and become too personal with you over one to one e-mails. Iím not saying we canít care for and support our student but there is this fine line between supportive and too close that we all have to figure out.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 6:14 pm

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Solution 48
Posted December 8, 2013 3:20 pm

Meredith Bryant
Meredith Bryant
Reps: 106
Your principal is only trying to do what he perceives as best for the situation--and that is helping your students by not voicing such strong opinions, as in Gail's case. Is this fair? Absolutely not. He is not advocating for multicultural education, which sadly, is a norm in our schools today. I would obey your principal's orders; however, in the mean time, I would ask to have a sit down meeting with him and explain your position. Tell him why you implemented the use of such journals and together, see if the two of you could work out a compromise--one where you still get to embrace such cultures in the classroom, but maybe in a more private manner. I would also set up a meeting with Gail's parents and explain that you are also having her to see the counselor. Her parents could really make a difference in this case.
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Solution 49
Posted December 8, 2013 9:55 pm

BazuTy
BazuTy
Reps: 116

Displaying history in a 360 view allows every perspective to be viewed. If the students feel embarrassed, addressing a perspective that address the positive aspect of the particular history is necessary. I agree, that the teacher should follow the directions of the principal, but the problem should be readdress in a staff meeting.
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Solution 50
Posted June 9, 2014 6:01 pm

Kristen Eason
Kristen Eason
Reps: 57
Going against your principal wouldnít be a wise decision. However, by allowing students to use journals as a way of personal and private communicate, the teacher needs to respect each students journal. I think itís important to express both seminaries and differences. You donít want these students growing up to be single minded just so their feelings donít get hurt, but you also donít want to push students to any dangerous extremes. By conducing the journal exercise, students are becoming more culturally aware and more aware of themselves through their thoughts and actions. I would make sure that students understand that by doing this particular journal exercise that there is not one particular wrong or right answer.
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Michael Herndon
Michael Herndon
Reps: 68
I agree that focusing on the similarities as well as the differences would be more beneficial. Understanding our similarities can help bring us together; whereas, focusing solely on differences could lead to divisiveness. We need certainly do not want to go against what our principals want, but we must also do what we think is best for our students.
  Posted on: June 10, 2014 5:37 pm

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Solution 51
Posted June 10, 2014 2:23 pm

Josh Oglesby
Josh Oglesby
Reps: 69
First and foremost you mus consider the state of mind of the student who is contemplating suicide. This should be brought to the attention of counselors and admin before innocent writing turns into a horrible reality. As far as your principals "suggestions", he/she is your superior and it is their school to run as they wish. The best advice that I can provide would be to re-state your case to the principal and test the water to see how serious they are about stopping and to re-emphasize your desire to continue the program. Do not approach it from a personal aspect but more from an educational level and how it will benefit the students.
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Michael Herndon
Michael Herndon
Reps: 68
I agree that the girl writing about suicide should be handled immediately. Pass the information on to the counselors and let them determine the next course of action. I also agree that the principal is in charge and we are to do what s/he says. I would do as you suggested and meet with the principal and discuss your views on multicultural education and see if a middle ground can be found. Most principals want what is best for the students, but they also want to keep the parents/community happy. Surely a discussion could result in a compromise.
  Posted on: June 10, 2014 5:49 pm

James Moran
James Moran
Reps: 62
These journals are not the kind of thing that I would do. I would not want students sharing information of a personal nature with me. However, if a teacher wants to do journals about cultural issues, the journals should be more structure. The teacher should give students a particular question or subject to write about. That way the teacher has more control of the journals.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 6:33 pm

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Solution 52
Posted June 10, 2014 5:30 pm

Michael Herndon
Michael Herndon
Reps: 68
This seems to be an extremely sensitive situation. Initially, I would pass on Gail Smith's feelings to suicide to the counselors and allow them to determine the appropriate course of action. I can also understand Warren's feelings of embarrassment. There does not need to be an emphasis on one culture, but an balanced emphasis on all cultures.

I would definitely not want to continue to do something that my principal had asked me to do. I would agree with the principal that it is also important to focus on cultural similarities. Perhaps finding a balance between the similarities and differences would be most beneficial to students. I would discuss with the principal the merit and benefits of multicultural education and maybe a middle ground can be reached.
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Solution 53
Posted June 11, 2014 1:00 am

Ashley Mays
Ashley Mays
Reps: 64
I think it is important to focus on similarities and differences in the classroom. I think both areas are important for discussion. I think in order to make Warren feel as thought he is not singled out that it is important to focus on many different cultures so that no one feels as if they are singled out or the topic of conversation. Also, I think it may be a good idea to not continue with the journals. I also think it is important to involve the guidance counselor with the situation with Gail. It may be helpful for her to talk to a counselor about her feelings.
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Tiffany Parker
Tiffany Parker
Reps: 69
I agree, counselor guidance is extremely important for this situation. I also think parent involvement would be best.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 12:57 am

Megan Teague
Megan Teague
Reps: 55
I liked the journal idea. If it was more of a suggestion from the principal than the journals should continue in my opinion. They are a great resource for teachers to learn what their students understand in the class. They are also a way for students to cry out for help, which Gail seems to be doing. Having her feelings documented is important. He might alter what topics they can write about, but it doesnít hurt to have free writes.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 3:13 am

Alisha Wesley-Moore
Alisha Wesley-Moore
Reps: 60
I will agree that the counselor should be involved especially with a situation as serious as that. However, as far as the journals....what if the teacher never started with them? He would have never known about the student and her thoughts of suicide. So I think that the journals could be helpful, even life saving.
  Posted on: June 20, 2014 2:47 am

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Solution 54
Posted June 11, 2014 3:35 am

Amy Fletcher
Amy Fletcher
Reps: 67
As a teacher I think it is very important to use journals because you are helping students talk about their feelings that they would not normally openly discuss with someone. It is very important that you report the student who talks about suicide to the school counselor so that they can intervene in the situation and get help to the student. Although I do agree that you can not go against your school principal I think that maybe students should write about a specific topic that you give them that is discussed in small group time. When you allow middle school students to freely write you are opening yourself to reading things that may shock you, but if you are allowing them to really express their feelings then you may have saved a life.
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aBugeS
aBugeS
Reps: 77
I really like the idea of a selective topic for the writing. I think that by you giving the students a topic to write about you may force them to think more deeply on what they are writing than with just a simple free write. It also allows for more control and direct in the writing.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 10:40 pm

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Solution 55
Posted June 11, 2014 3:25 pm

Sara LeClair
Sara LeClair
Reps: 68
Racial issues and difficult situations will always arise when discussing multicultural education, but it is the way the teacher handles the situation in a professional manner. I think it is very important for students to be journaling and writing daily, which I think is something that should never be abandoned in a classroom. Yes- you may adjust the topics from day to day, but I would not abandon it all together. Maybe ask your principal for permission to journal, yet use specific topics that the teacher creates daily. I think as a professional, you should discuss with Warren what you could do as a teacher to not embarrass him and find ways to accommodate his needs. For Gail, I definitely would turn in her journaling to the counselor and speak with her parents. Suicide is not something to take lightly these days, and you cannot ignore this fact. You cannot solve the issues of these children, but you can point them in the right direction based on what you know.
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Jill Elton
Jill Elton
Reps: 108
I agree Middle School is a difficult stage in life. For that reason, I would encourage the children to make it a habit to talk to someone they trust regularly. Students need to know that we all have feelings and it's best to express them. If not, we will all be ticking time bombs! I would also encourage the students to journal their innermost thoughts at home. I would not do away with journaling at school altogether, however. I would implement journal topics that are more specific. Lastly, I would not want to make students feel uncomfortable. I would reevaluate what my objective is when teaching multiculturalism and try to deliver the content in a less offensive manner.
  Posted on: November 15, 2015 6:31 am

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Solution 56
Posted June 12, 2014 1:53 am

Susan Esra
Susan Esra
Reps: 68
It seems that your intentions are good, but maybe you have pushed students further than they are ready to go at this time. I think it would be wise to take your principal's advice. I think journaling is a good thing, but students may need more parameters than just "write whatever you want." I would attempt to be multicultural in selection of texts, and encourage students to see things from the perspective of others, without overdoing it. All students should feel represented in the classroom, and no one should feel singled out. Also, the counselor should be notified about Gail's journal entry.
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LeeAnna Elder
LeeAnna Elder
Reps: 75
I agree. The journals seem like a great idea, but there needs to be a specific topic idea to write about each time the students write in the journals. Also the teacher can provide examples of his/her own writings on similar topics might be a good strategy.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 10:01 pm

Hannah Nabors
Hannah Nabors
Reps: 68
I mentioned similar solutions. Referring Gail to the school counselor will be helpful to address her emotional needs. Weaving multicultural references into class texts and content is a great way to speak to both the similarities and differences among students. How would you organize a more structured journal assignment?
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 2:28 am

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Solution 57
Posted June 12, 2014 2:39 am

Laura Toft
Laura Toft
Reps: 71
I feel like there are a lot of red flags in this situation. The most crucial point is that you need to talk with the counselor immediately about Gail's suicidal thoughts. As an educator we know that small groups are effective and so are dialogue journals, however, there needs to be some etiquette discussed with the class so that these times are not taken out of control. Unfortunately you cannot change parents opinions of other races, but the presentation of the content is being presented ineffectively if you are making Warren uncomfortable. Reassessing your instructional techniques are important and toning down the multicultural lessons as well. Students should be embracing others differences, not feeling like they are being singled out for them.
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Jennifer Loncon
Jennifer Loncon
Reps: 68
Great solution Laura! Focusing on the similarities that connect us through multicultural education is a great way to find a balance instead of students feeling singled out.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 1:05 am

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Solution 58
Posted June 12, 2014 1:50 pm

LaChristen Boyd
LaChristen Boyd
Reps: 68
I think that the use of journals is having both a positive and negative effect in this class. It is providing and outlet for students, which is positive, but on a negative standpoint they are not fully understanding of the overall content they are learning about. Warren may feel embarrassed because he is a minority. When you are a minority it is easy to feel out of place, so I would proceed with caution because you never want him to feel discriminated against or picked on because of the color of his skin. I would report Gail to the guidance counselor for her own well being, that way her parents can know how they make her feel about liking someone from a different race. They maybe old fashioned and not believe in dating outside of their race, but they should be reminded that we all bleed red blood and we are all the same on the inside. I think that history needs to be taught but from a less offensive manner if possible. I wouldn't stop my instruction. I would talk to Warren one on one alone and explain my intentions of my lessons and communicate with his parents as well so that they understand my intentions and know that I am not trying to offend or harm him or them.
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Solution 59
Posted June 12, 2014 2:40 pm

Krissy Chance-Bailey
Krissy Chance-Bailey
Reps: 65
In this case of the young lady speaking of suicide i would abandon the small group journal time. Even the mention of suicide the best point of action is to discontinue what is causing the conflict. Although it is a good lesson for the students allowing the conflict to build within the class can have an awful turn out. I would go with your principals advice and get the young lady into the counselors office. In this case it must be reported immediately and action is to be taken. It has nothing to do with the value of the lesson at this point.
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Jennifer Loncon
Jennifer Loncon
Reps: 68
I definitely agree that a counselor should be brought in to help this girl through. It is time to take a step back and put the students' well being emotionally and physically first, then put some thought into adjusting the approach.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 1:03 am

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Solution 60
Posted June 12, 2014 3:41 pm

Nick Thrower
Nick Thrower
Reps: 67
First, the journal needs to be turned into the appropriate people at your school. Every school has a protocol when dealing with situations like suicide. My guess would be the guidance office. Next, during this weeks readings it seems that you are not integrating the culturally relevant texts. Placing an emphasis on African American culture isn't being culturally relevant. You said that there was a diverse ethnic makeup, so mix it up. Your dialogue journals can still focus on differences but there needs to be an element of connection across cultures as well.
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Solution 61
Posted June 12, 2014 5:58 pm

wendy burns
wendy burns
Reps: 80
I believe the small groups and the dialogue journals are a great way to promote conversation and understand what each student is thinking. I think I would have the students share background information with each other so they can compare their similarities and differences. I think we should teach our children at an early age thewe are all the same, but different. What these students are sharing are their most private thoughts and in the case of the girl who is comtemplating suicide, she most definitely needs intervention. The use of dialogue journals may have saved her life. Somehow, I would work to positively promote and celebrate multiculturalism in the classroom and emphasize the postives within all people, but students are aware of prejudice and sterotypes and those issues needs to be addressed as well. There are a variety of ways to implement multicultural education and if you choose not to use dialogue journals, there are many other tools and activities that could be utilized. I myself think celebrating each persons culture and sharing how we are alike and different by examining our own cultures and the cultures of others is a great way to teach and learn about how we are alike and different.
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Tiffany Parker
Tiffany Parker
Reps: 69
I really like your ideas about this situation. It is very important to intervene with the young girl and work hard to help her overcome her thoughts. Also, I agree that the journals probably saved her life. Keeping a strong emphasis on similarities, while celebrating differences is very important in the classroom.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 12:36 am

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Solution 62
Posted June 12, 2014 9:18 pm

Elizabeth Comella
Elizabeth Comella
Reps: 51
In the classroom it is important to teach about the similarities and differences of other cultures. The problem is that now you have two students who are bothered by the lessons. Perhaps the methods you are teaching do have value but they are creating huge barriers in the classroom. I have to agree with the principal to focus on similarities of cultures for a while until all the students feel comfortable and understand that even if you are a different culture you are still very similar.

As for Gail Smith I start by talking with the guidance counselor about her suggestion of suicide. Then I would talk with the parents of Gail, so they understand how upset Gail is about the whole situation. I would ask them what they think I can do to help Gail. When a student suggests suicide as a solution to their problems we have to take it very seriously.

As for the journals, I would continue to allow students to write their own thoughts and feelings. The journals allowed you to see where you need to change your teaching strategies to help the students understand about multicultural. Do not take that out of your lesson.

Elizabeth Comella
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ReMuXy
ReMuXy
Reps: 78
I like what you said about getting the students help and using the journal to help the students out. I also agree that the similarities and differences may not be the best things to write about. I thought about giving the students a page with certain writing choices that would not allow the students to express negative suicide thoughts.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 5:03 am

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Solution 63
Posted June 13, 2014 12:04 am

Cardia Foster
Cardia Foster
Reps: 73
I would first deal with Gails situation by speaking with the counselor. Even though the students need to be aware of the content,you should be careful how you teach it, so that no students would be embarrassed.I love how dialogue journals are used to incorporate writing. I think it's best to do what the principal ask you to do, but also ask him about other strategies on how to teach the content.
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Brad McMahon
Brad McMahon
Reps: 71
I agree that the situation where the student mentioned suicide is important and that that information must be shared. It is too important to keep to yourself. I agree that the journals seem to be an effective way to encourage students to write, but you have to do what your principal tells you. I think adding more structure, such as giving the students writing prompts, will help satisfy your orders and keep the students writing.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 5:28 am

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Solution 64
Posted June 13, 2014 12:34 am

Tiffany Parker
Tiffany Parker
Reps: 69
I would not go against what the principal is telling me to do. However, I would try to emphasize that differences are not bad and it is good to be unique. Also, I would talk to these students and make sure that they understand that you value a multicultural classroom. It is very important that you get the counselor involved into this situation as well.
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yXeBeX
yXeBeX
Reps: 114
I agree that focusing on differences between cultures can be seen as negative if not presented in the proper way. Maybe focusing on the many different achievements that cultures have made or the many famous people from different cultures would be a good direction. This way the focus is on the positive contributions rather than negative differences.
  Posted on: November 30, 2014 5:29 pm

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Solution 65
Posted June 13, 2014 1:33 am

Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker
Reps: 60
I think that the dialogue journals are a good idea and they allow for the students to express their thoughts and feelings. Any time a teacher gives an opportunity like this there is the possibility that concerns will arise. It is important that if a concern arises to alert the people in charge, mainly the counselor. They will be able to help the students process their thoughts and feelings in healthy way. I think that for the way you are teaching that you should emphasize differences AND similarities. By doing this you will allow the students to see what is more individualistic about their cultures while also seeing commonalities. It is just important to make sure to strive for balance between differences and similarities in your teaching.
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Nick Thrower
Nick Thrower
Reps: 67
I like the word you used: balance. I think that's important here. A balance between racial issues and non-racial issues could be used. You also mentioned a balance of differences and similarities. That's also good.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 3:06 pm

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Solution 66
Posted June 13, 2014 3:04 am

Megan Teague
Megan Teague
Reps: 55
First off I believe Gail has more issues going on and you should consult with the counselor in her case.
Next, your principalís advice seems to be more of a suggestion and not a demand. The journals allow students to communicate with you without the one on one conversation. They obviously, from your examples, feel comfortable telling you about their discomforts. This can be a great resource for your classroom and I do not believe you should get rid of them.
Lastly, we look at the content. I would have to find out why Warren is so uncomfortable. Was it parts of the lessons or the whole thing? I would ask more questions. I guess it goes to show that teachers have to be careful in how they present their material. I would also look at my lessons and really see if it benefits their understanding of differences and acceptance. Am I teaching them that we have to identify ourselves by color or am I teaching them that we are all the same, despite our skin color? I hope that makes sense. I struggle with teaching differences, because at times I do not see the point. I think heritage and where people come from is interesting and could be a great way for students to learn diversity, but talking specifically about race, gender, etc can be tough. Those ideas can be twisted so easily. A student in Jane Elliottís class did just that. Once he was told that he was superior, he turned on his friends. They were the lesser of the group and he in turn was mean to them. Jane even stated that she saw nice students turn into mean ones and that was only after they were told they were different. What does that tell you about use teaching them about those differences?

With all of that being said. Get Gail some help, continue the journals, ask Warren more questions, and find out if your curriculum is focusing on the most valuable ideas.
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Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
I agree. You have a powerful thing going and you should continue your work! Always make sure to report anything troublesome to a counselor and/or principal.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 12:19 am

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Solution 67
Posted June 13, 2014 5:47 am

Nick Hanna
Nick Hanna
Reps: 71
When it comes to multicultural education, there should be a happy medium between studying difference and similarities. If all we focus on is differences, then all students will think is that everyone is different from them and that they have nothing in common. Same problem would occur if you just focused on the similarities, then you would miss our on the rich uniqenesses of each culture. To help achieve this, you should have activities where students have to draw topics out of jar and discuss the topic with a random student in class. The topics can range from how many relatives you have to what holidays you celebrate. The whole point would be to setup situations where students would have conversation with other student in the class that would not have happened before. Something that I dont understand in the topic is how Gail's journal is tied to a problem with discussing multicultral education. Her issue seems to be a problem between her and her parents. That problem is one that you should contact the councelor immediately about too.
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Solution 68
Posted June 13, 2014 6:04 pm

Alicia Garcia
Alicia Garcia
Reps: 69
I believe the most serious journal entry is that written by Gail Smith. You cannot ignore this. You need to let the school counselor and perhaps the school social worker know right away. This may just be teenage venting but, what if it isnít?
Advising is done really differently at most schools. Iím not sure it this is an enrichment or remediation class or if it is simply the group of student you are shepherding through class enrollment. Your solution will be dependent on your objectives but providing more structure and having clear objectives may help both you and your students. Remember sometimes it is not what we teach but how we teach it that really defines if we are providing a multicultural education.
Next I think there is a way to accommodate your principals wishes while still honoring many cultures. For example, you could highlight a significant American or world citizen each week and teach about that personís contribution to society. You could then have the students choose a related prompt to write about in their journals. Hopefully each prompt will allow them to express emotions but will also be topical. If each of these figures is great writer you can compare and contrast author styles and contributions. This will allow you to both compare and contrast the figures through a cultural lens and you can also support your logic for doing this in relation to Bloomís taxonomy. I think this will honor both objectives and if you emphasize a variety of cultures perhaps Warren Jackson will feel less embarrassed.
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Solution 69
Posted June 13, 2014 9:50 pm

LeeAnna Elder
LeeAnna Elder
Reps: 75
First off I'm surprised that the principal nor the teacher took this concern that the girl wants to commit suicide seriously. I would definently have the counselor speak to this young lady. Yes, I agree with the administration, have the students look for similarities. They will notice the differences that is human nature. Serious issues are happening amongst the students and soon their parents will be calling and complaining about the instruction. It is good that the teacher spoke with the principal so that principal is better prepared to make comments and back you up if parents do complain about the instruction. However, if the teacher does not make changes to instruction, then the administration cannot support the teacher.
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Solution 70
Posted June 14, 2014 2:27 am

Caley Copeland
Caley Copeland
Reps: 69
The first thing I suggest is to pull Gail aside and find out what is going on with her. If she is contemplating suicide, there must be some other issues and she needs help quick! You may even want to pull the counselor into this situation.

The next thing you have to look at is your use of journals. I think it is important to consider the advice of your principal, but it is your classroom. You have to use your professional judgment in this matter. Personally, I like the journals. I think they are a great communication tool.

Lastly, find out more about why Warren is uncomfortable, perhaps he lacks knowledge on the issues being addressed. Change is hard, and if the school has been a predominately white area for a long time, there will be some prejudices still in place. People are uncomfortable when their ideas and way of thinking is challenged. I say keep doing what you are doing, and just make sure to be open and respectful with your students.
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Solution 71
Posted June 15, 2014 12:59 am

Jennifer Loncon
Jennifer Loncon
Reps: 68
I agree that your methods may have some value, but maybe they are too much of a change too quickly for the students. Maybe you could provide more specific topics or guidelines for the journals. As for the male, I feel that you should respect his thoughts and change your approach to incorporate more multicultural education opportunities that do not focus on one element. For the female, this may be a good time to involve the counselor to try and provide this girl with someone to talk to who can maybe help her through her suicidal thoughts.
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Solution 72
Posted June 15, 2014 2:25 am

Hannah Nabors
Hannah Nabors
Reps: 68
Assuming the principal has given you the freedom to determine your own course of action, I would continue to use the journals. It sounds like they are a valuable tool for student insight. As for the small groups and multicutural education, I would continue with both, but adapt them a little. For small groups, rather than using the same students in each group, mix up participants. This gives students the opportunity to work briefly with all peers. I agree with you that multicultural education is important, however, work to weave this content into your state standards rather than teach as a separate unit. For Warren, I would pull him aside and ask him to clarify is journal entry for you. Unfortunately, Gail's romantic interests are out of your realm of responsibility or appropriate interaction, therefore I suggest you offer her counselor support.
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Solution 73
Posted June 15, 2014 6:22 pm

James Moran
James Moran
Reps: 62
I think that teachers should teach about student differences however, these differences should be viewed through the lens of what people have in common. Human being have many differences. However, we also have many things in common. Discussing cultural differences is important but if we focus on our differences without discussing our similarities we risk causing division instead of unity.
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Jill Elton
Jill Elton
Reps: 108
I agree that it is important to focus on both our similarities and differences. In Pre-K, we teach our students that life would be BORING if we were all the same. It's our differences that make us special and unique. Yet, it is our similarities that bring us together. Students, especially middle school students, need to know that we all have feelings and that we need one another to lean on.
  Posted on: November 15, 2015 6:42 am

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Solution 74
Posted June 15, 2014 10:36 pm

aBugeS
aBugeS
Reps: 77
I like the attempt at inclusion of culture in the class. If you do not have the backing of your administration than continuing to do this may be difficult. I would recommend that you help the girl in your class receive help for her issues. If the class is majority white than placing an emphasis on African American culture maybe making Warren feel singled out in class. I would listen to his concerns and modify the lessons to prevent this. It may be best to take the advice of your administration for the time being until a new plan can be implemented.
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Solution 75
Posted June 16, 2014 1:31 am

Cierra` Barksdale
Cierra` Barksdale
Reps: 61
Although similarities among diverse groups should be highlighted and emphasized, it is both socially and academically irresponsible to ignore differences. Teachers share a moral obligation not only to teach content but to also build character. As a result of the journal exercises, dejected feelings from students have been brought to the forefront. While these sentiments would ordinarily be categorized as negative, these expressions unearth the true aim of cognitive challenge: to intelligently convey the raw issues with the aim of corrective insight. The teacher must consider a strategy to present to the principal that outlines the necessity of keeping the journals while also offering constructive and compassionate course of action for students. Whichever course of action is taken, the teacher must exercise judgement, discernment and sensitivity.
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Solution 76
Posted June 16, 2014 8:24 am

Justin Redmond
Justin Redmond
Reps: 51
I use journals in my classroom, and they are very insightful for me to understand what my students are thinking. However, it is evident that you are having difficulties. I would provide students with topics to write about. When you give students free reign of what to write about, they often tell things that you do not need or want to know. Before I began giving students topics, I also allowed them to free write. A girl in my class wrote that she thought she was pregnant. When something like this and the example you provided about the girl contemplating suicide, it is important to go to the counselor. This is very important to not only cover your butt, but also to seek help for these students. At a young age, students have trouble handling difficult issues themselves. However, once I gave students a topic, I began getting very useful responses. As a teacher, it is important to build relationships with your students, in order for them to feel comfortable in your class. With journals, you can find out a lot about their interests, which can help you build those relationships. For Warren, I would definitely talk to him and ask him how you could change your approach to African American culture. Also, I would find some research that suggests the importance of multicultural aspects in class. You should be able to provide examples of why you feel it is necessary to include this aspect in your class. I would also make a point to explain that you are not so much pointing out differences as you are trying to make your students more culturally aware.
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Solution 77
Posted June 20, 2014 2:53 am

Alisha Wesley-Moore
Alisha Wesley-Moore
Reps: 60
Focusing only on similarities is so unrealistic. We need to know about each others differences. This is what helps us to understand and respect the different cultures. I would definitely to try plead my case as to why learning about differences and having journals is helpful to the students. Without the journals, Gail's thoughts may have never surfaced. Placing and emphasis on multicultural aspects are so important because of the integration of different cultures in schools, jobs, communities, etc. So definitely map out all the positive aspects of your approach and address the principal accordingly.
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Solution 78
Posted November 17, 2014 7:35 pm

aHeRaL
aHeRaL
Reps: 112
It sounds to me like regardless of your intentions, some things have not gone according to plan and it may be time to retool. Re configuring lessons based on outcomes is a practice of good teaching, regardless of how we personally feel about specific lessons we believe are good or that they may teach. In this case, your journals are not the problem (just because a child reveals some problematic information does not mean the journals are not worthwhile), but your approach to multiculturalism is a problem. First, for Gail, you need to follow the appropriate protocol for reporting such a situation. As for embarrassing Warren, take his feelings to heart and rethink how you are approaching this concept. Do you only want students to learn about African American culture or the cultures of many different people groups? Based on your post, I am not sure what content you teach, but I might suggest introducing different cultures in each unit (maybe even give students a schedule so they can anticipate what they will learn next). Make sure your involvement of various cultures stays within the framework of the curriculum and the standards you are charged with teaching. And try not to make it an "us versus them" them, but how many people from many places have contributed to the body of knowledge in your content area.
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Solution 79
Posted November 17, 2014 7:44 pm

ezasyp
ezasyp
Reps: 107
Unfortunately it seems like your principal is not wanting to accept the changes being made in your school in order to better prepare your students for reality and their future. I would continue with the journals but instead I would give them specific topics to focus on. They could reflect on current events or over content being learned in class. This will still give students the opportunity to share their ideas openly but they will need to stay on a topic instead of being free to write about whatever. I would then discuss with your class different outlooks of different cultural perspectives on this current events or topics. I feel like this would be the solution I would take in this circumstance. I would definitely not ignore the differences in your students but I would help direct them in a better way of expressing these feelings so all students will see the value and understanding.
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Solution 80
Posted November 18, 2014 3:57 pm

zuPeQy
zuPeQy
Reps: 99
This is a really tough situation to be in. It is good to teach students about cultural differences but at the same time teaching in this way is touchy. It is apparent that the students are expressing their thoughts and feelings which is good. I would want to dig deeper into Warren's responce and want to know the reasons for his feelings of embarassment. I would tell the counselor what is going on with Gail because the law tells us that it must be reported. I would want to have a class lesson on different cultures and discuss it openly. I would then want them to write in their journals. It is also important to follow the principals guidance. If he thinks that it is causing more harm than good then it may be wise to consider stopping it and doing something differnt.
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BazaNu
BazaNu
Reps: 89
I completely agree with your solution. Examining different cultures is important, in my opinion and shouldn't be thwarted. I think it may be better to put more focus on similarities of cultures than pointing out differences. Differences shouldn't be overlooked, but it seems like this area has had limited "multicultural interaction" and identifying differences may lead to more problems.
  Posted on: November 18, 2014 11:44 pm

Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson
Reps: 97
I agree with your solutions- mine were very similar. Perhaps toning down the lessons would work as well--focus more on content.
  Posted on: November 26, 2014 4:04 pm

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Solution 81
Posted November 18, 2014 11:41 pm

BazaNu
BazaNu
Reps: 89
I would discuss with the principal what his concerns are with the multicultural aspects of your lessons. Perhaps together the two of you could come up with a solution that addresses the differences in cultures yet is still on par with what the school (and parents) expect.
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Solution 82
Posted November 19, 2014 1:57 pm

SaSyXu
SaSyXu
Reps: 105
I think the dialogue journals are an awesome idea to get students to open up! I would also take some time and write back to them about what they have written! I think you should emphasize the similarities, like the principal said, but continue to emphasize differences as well. Students need to be able to see that they are similar and different at the same time.
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Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Reps: 107
Great idea! A compromise is made by focusing on similarities and differences and it will make everyone involved happy.
  Posted on: December 7, 2014 10:53 pm

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Solution 83
Posted November 24, 2014 1:54 am

aheduX
aheduX
Reps: 112
I think that the journals are great for allowing the students to privately express what they are thinking. This allows students freely write what they want. I understand that the topics are very controversial and can be argumentative. I would talk to the counselor about Gail. That is concerning and could potentially lead to something negative. I would speak with Warren about how he feels to possibly work out a solution or understanding of his thoughts.

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Solution 84
Posted November 24, 2014 2:34 am

Kim Lucas
Kim Lucas
Reps: 107
The principal may not fully understand himself what you are trying to accomplish by using the dialog journals and might benefit by seeing your lessons in action. The journals have been successful for the students, in that they feel safe in writing things that you may not have discovered had you not been doing them. I would absolutely follow the correct procedures for Gail, and quickly. I would also speak with Warren, either in person or by writing back to him in his journal and asking him why he feels embarrassed. If he is feeling singled out, then I would thank him for his honesty and let him know that that was not your intention. Then change the way you approach teaching your multicultural lessons.
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Solution 85
Posted November 24, 2014 3:11 pm

April Rozier
April Rozier
Reps: 110
You should first explain to your principal why you feel that your methods have value. He is obviously making a rash decision about your approach to multicultural education. You may consider discussing a compromise with your principal and also allow your students to provide suggestions. By allowing the students to be involved, you can avoid embarrassing anyone and possibly learn new approaches that you have not previously considered. Most importantly, do not completely abandon your attempt to teach multicultural education.
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GyJeWy
GyJeWy
Reps: 105
Great post! I immediately thought the principal was making a rash decision as well. I also said he shouldn't abandon his methods as I feel they can pave the way for understanding of different cultures.
  Posted on: November 25, 2014 12:50 am

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Solution 86
Posted November 25, 2014 12:47 am

GyJeWy
GyJeWy
Reps: 105
I understand not going against your principal but I do feel your methods have great value. Maybe if you focus on similarities and differences instead of solely differences it will help some of the students in the class. This way your not going against your principal and your not completely giving up on your methods. You should definitely let your counselor know about the concerns of your students.
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Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson
Reps: 97
A pros and cons list would definitely be beneficial. Administrators like to base most of the content being taught off of data. So, if you could prove that your methods are working through data, then your small groups and journals would be more credible.
  Posted on: November 26, 2014 4:02 pm

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Solution 87
Posted November 26, 2014 4:00 pm

Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson
Reps: 97
Middle school is a very important time in young adolescents' lives as they are figuring out who they are in life as well as considering experimenting with different aspects in life. While part of me believes that middle school aged students like to rebel against their parents' beliefs/standards, the other part of me thinks that there may be some truth to the situation. If Warren Jackson feels that he is embarrassed by African American culture in class, then discuss with him why he feels embarrassed toward the subject-- is it because he is in a mainly white school? Is it the content of what you are teaching?

If Gail Smith is emphasizing that she loves Warren Jackson and is considering suicide, then that is when you as the teacher seek outside help from a counselor in regards to her suicide threats. If you do not report this and something happens to Gail, then you are going to be held partly responsible for not reporting a student in danger.

As always, a teacher must follow the guidance of his or her administrator. Perhaps toning down the dialogue journals would help alleviate some of the issues. Perhaps a hand-on assignment in class would help students realize that racism is "not cool." Try looking at some events/situations from the past so that students can relate. I would even go as far as finding celebrities that students can relate to in regards to racism.
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Solution 88
Posted November 28, 2014 3:00 am

PyveDu
PyveDu
Reps: 101
It is hard to be at a school that does not back you in your teaching. A school that embraces the different cultures allows for mroe learning to be taken place because students and staff are comfortable with one another and allow for learning from each other to guide the achievement. I would definitely put together research that shows how this helps inside the classroom. First business, Gail was able to open up and trust her teacher due to having the connection and learning of the different cultures in the classroom. This shows how having the journals allows for students to discuss topics that when brought up in conversation would be too tense and students hide behind these issues.
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Solution 89
Posted November 30, 2014 5:27 pm

yXeBeX
yXeBeX
Reps: 114
If the principal is not in your corner on what and how you are teaching, then your curriculum and method of teaching must be altered. If something were to occur and it was made known that you continued doing something that your principal told you to change, that would not be a good situation. I do like the idea of the free write and think it is a wonderful opportunity for the students to express themselves, however, this puts an enormous responsibility on you. Anything that they write you need to take special care of especially when a students is claiming they want to hurt themselves. If your focus on African American culture is embarrassing a student, you might need to take a good look at your methods and see why this may be. Depending on what content you teach, focusing so much on multicultural education may not be the best idea if there have already been issues.
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ePeHyM
ePeHyM
Reps: 105
I agree that if the principal continues to push De-emphasizing differences and banning the use of the journals then something must be altered in the curriculum and methodology.
  Posted on: December 1, 2014 9:39 pm

egyveW
egyveW
Reps: 103
I agree that to go against your administration would be a difficult, and I think that it makes a big difference in how the situation would be handled if the principal is telling the teacher to take away the journals.
  Posted on: December 3, 2014 6:58 pm

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Solution 90
Posted December 1, 2014 9:46 pm

ePeHyM
ePeHyM
Reps: 105
The first, and most important thing to do is report Gail's suicide attempt (start with the guidance counselor). You are obligated to report if a students intends to harm themselves or other (even though the information was written in what may be considered a confidential journal). The next step would be to talk with Warren to find out what makes him embarrassed. Change your methodology based upon his responses. Remember not to focus on one specific culture but great people from various cultures. Also, emphasize similarities as well as differences relating to your students that the things that make us different are much smaller than the things that make us similar.
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Solution 91
Posted December 3, 2014 6:54 pm

egyveW
egyveW
Reps: 103
I think the first step would be to go to the counselor and report what the little girl wrote. It would need to be addressed before anything else. Once the proper actions were taken to ensure her safety, I would then start addressing the other cultural questions. I believe that the dialog journals are a good thing for students and could be very beneficial. If they were not being used, then you would never have been aware of the important feelings that these students were having. I think that you have to use the journals to find balance with the students. It is important to note differences and make sure a student feels welcomed, but they do not need to be emphasized so much so that a student feels alienated. However, I would ask the principal to consider keeping the journals and to consider how it could benefit the students.
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Solution 92
Posted December 4, 2014 1:51 pm

NyVyTy
NyVyTy
Reps: 90
I think that it is important to emphasize both similarities and differences between cultures. With this in mind I think that it is important that you continue to allow students to use the dialogue journals and that you also continue to allow the students to be in small groups. The students seem to be most comfortable with in the groups and when using the dialogue journals. I would also suggest getting in contact with the counselor to allow the counselor to come in and speak to students about the importance of appreciating and respecting all people of all cultures. I would pull Warren to the side to see exactly what it is that makes him so embarrassed. Teach Warren that he should ALWAYS be proud of his cultural background, and that he should never feel ashamed. I would explain to Warren that the things discussed in class are part of a curriculum that I must follow, but Iím willing to accommodate him in any way that I can. Something you could do is every time you have to give a lesson that pertains to African Americans, you could find a different culture that faced similar situations, so Warren wonít feel singled out. As for Gail, Gail needs to speak with the school counselor and have a sit down with her parents to explain how overwhelmed she feels.
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Solution 93
Posted December 4, 2014 11:07 pm

LeHyZa
LeHyZa
Reps: 107
The dialogue journals sound like they can cause for conflict as a teacher in knowing the right approach on how to step in and confront entries like Gail's. Middle school is a difficult age for most students and having an opportunity to freely write what comes to mind could be a great exercise for them. It also can help point out red flags such as the serious thoughts of Gail. I would suggest talking to administration at your school to see if you should contact her parents and refer her to the school counselor right away. I would also speak with Warren to get his take on what may be a better approach to multicultural education in your classroom. Perhaps your principal has a valid point in focusing less on the differences. Share what Warren suggests with your principal and perhaps the two of you can come up with a compromise of how and what content is taught. I think that small groups are good for the students as it gives them a chance to interact with every student in the classroom and gives them exposure to the mix of diversities.
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Solution 94
Posted December 7, 2014 10:51 pm

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Reps: 107
I think your dialogue journals have pushed to light some very important issues that need to be addressed immediately for the safety of students. I would suggest having a whole group conversation about topics that students want to discuss. Peers can state their ideas and possible solutions for problems. I would suggest speaking with the principal to find ways that these issues can still be discussed in a way that is acceptable with administration.
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Ashley Lawrence
Ashley Lawrence
Reps: 70
I agree with seeking approval from the principal before doing anything more in the class with culture.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 2:13 pm

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Solution 95
Posted December 8, 2014 12:28 am

aQazuV
aQazuV
Reps: 105
I think multicultural education in the classroom can be very successful as long as it is implemented effectively. I do not believe you should abandon the program however, maybe you should re-evaluate your approach. I like the idea of dialog journals. I think this can be very beneficial because it allows students to speak their mind without fear of what their peers may think or say. I do agree with your principal that you should begin your multicultural education with more positive aspects. Discuss the positive things different cultures bring to the table and interpersonal skills. Since it appears that issues of prejudice have already arose in your classroom, try to address this issues in a positive manner. I believe both students, Gail and Warren, would benefit from speaking to a counselor. However, I think you should show your principal what you are trying to accomplishment and work together to make it work.
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Solution 96
Posted December 8, 2014 1:13 am

Qureby
Qureby
Reps: 102
I would begin by addressing the use of dialogue journals. I would explain to the principal that the journals are an important way for you to communicate with your students and also explain that some students feel more comfortable communicating in their journals than they do verbally. I would also involve the counselor in Gail's case, this is not something you should try to handle on your own. But it will take some tact so that Gail does not feel betrayed. In regards to the multicultural aspect of the class, I would try to come to a compromise with the principal. You could discuss ways that you could discuss similarities while also recognizing and respecting differences among and within cultures. Since you feel that your methods are valuable I would try to compile some "evidence" that shows your methods have made a positive impact on student learning in the classroom. Maybe you have some assignments or classroom discussions that point to the emphasis on cultural awareness as being an engaging and effective method.
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Solution 97
Posted December 8, 2014 3:19 am

zaSyNu
zaSyNu
Reps: 58
This a tough situation considering what your principal said. I would definitely stop the dialogue journals for regular use, but I would still use them at perhaps the beginning and ending of a unit. I feel this is an important way to get into the minds of students and their personal issues. This is an issue that many students probably face, and it certainly needs to be addressed. Without these dialogue journals, you would have never known there was anything going on. Gail and Warren need to speak to a counselor about what they are feeling and experiencing. Although, you definitely need to also consider Warren's request to stop talking about African-American culture too much. It is imperative for it to be discussed, but knowing how it makes Warren feel, I would definitely decrease the amount in class.
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Solution 98
Posted June 8, 2015 1:49 pm

vabehe
vabehe
Reps: 69

I like the ideas of journals, but maybe instead of allowing students to write whatever they want there could be specific assignment that reflected learning for the day, or gave you insight on what they know before you teach. Writing in responses to a lesson would give you great insight on what the students had learned and also give you an indication of what you didnít teach as well or need to review. It would also be beneficial to have them write what they know about something before you teach it to discover any misconceptions or gaps in learning. I would definitely sit down with the student who feels targetedÖor write him back about why he feels embarrassed and targeted. The girl who has said she has considered suicide needs to be seen by the counselor.
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Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
I like how you would follow up with the kids individually. It is important to know that they are heard and valued in their opinions. I also like like how you can focus the journals on specific lessons. That way there response can be whatever they want it to be on--similarities or differences.
  Posted on: June 8, 2015 3:12 pm

Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis
Reps: 69
The suggestions you present for this teacher are great. I like the idea of allowing the students to respond to a prompt by the teacher about the multicultural lessons being taught. This will allow feedback and reflection for both the students and the teacher. I also like the idea of meeting with the students individually to discuss the problems at hand. The teacher should also address the school counselor concerning Gloria's issue.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 8:00 pm

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Solution 99
Posted June 8, 2015 3:03 pm

Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
Well, it has always been easier to see differences than similarities. I agree with you when you say that you can't go against your principal but I think that it is important to point out what makes kids similar. Like I said, differences will always be more visible so acknowledging them will always be present.
I would address the journals that you have already read and tell the class that while they wrote about differences, the only way to overcome the differences is to embrace what all kids have in common (regardless of race and culture).But before I did anything, I would immediately refer the female student to a counselor and follow the protocol that is set up within your district!

All in all, I would focus more on similarities but differences don't need to be the main focus of the journals.
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HyZery
HyZery
Reps: 70
I agree with you that the differences should not be the primary focus. Students seem to understand the differences more easily than they seem to notice similarities. If we expect students to practice empathy, they must understand the ways that they are the same as others.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 12:32 am

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Solution 100
Posted June 8, 2015 5:48 pm

Amanda Morris
Amanda Morris
Reps: 70
I love the idea of incorporating dialog journals into the lesson. The students are able to write down there thoughts without everyone being about to read them or know what they are thinking. I think it would be great to also incorporate conferences. After reading their journals you can conference with them about that thought and feelings. This would be a great time to talk to Warren about his worries and embarrassments about talking about his culture. In the situation of Gail, I would definitely contact the counselor. She is trained and knows what to do in a situation like that. But at the end of the day if your principle does not support what you are doing then you really need to reconsider doing something else. You can even go back and tell him what you thing the benefits of teaching multicultural educations and dialog journal. But if he still doesn't support you then I would listen to him and not do it.
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vasere
vasere
Reps: 70
I really like the idea of having conferences with your students. This is a great opportunity to follow up with students about their writing. They can explain themselves further, and you can address some concerns. These journals do seem to be a necessary outlet for the students. They needed to share these thoughts somewhere. Hopefully, you will be able to continue them.
I also think this is a great opportunity to teach your students to be gracious towards people of different cultures.
  Posted on: June 12, 2015 2:12 am

Rebecca Ritch
Rebecca Ritch
Reps: 70
I really like the idea of setting up conferences with students. Not only do you get to see their writing mechanics, but you can dialogue with them on what it is they are feeling. This is a great way to connect with students. Also, by doing this you get a better idea if your lesson was a success, or if you need to go back and reteach, or rethink the process entirely.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 3:17 am

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Solution 101
Posted June 8, 2015 8:05 pm

uqeXun
uqeXun
Reps: 69
I like your use of dialogue journals and through them you have learned valuable information about your students. As a professional, I'm sure you handled the suicide threat appropriately. I'm not sure if you should decrease their use. My suggestion to you is to do more culturally responsive teaching. Emphasize mutual respect for all types of diversity. Focus on teaching multiple perspectives with your class as well. I think students need to see that all events are interpreted through different eyes, different times and different places. Students can accept and affirm these multicultural understandings. Unfortunately, not all administrations are ready or willing to be on-board with the challenges of teaching multiculturalism. Be aware of that as you blaze the trail for others.
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PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Kewl
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:48 pm

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Solution 102
Posted June 9, 2015 12:26 am

HyZery
HyZery
Reps: 70
The most important part of this case is that a child is considering suicide. A counselor should be notified along with the proper authorities. With regard to the dialog journals, it is important for students to be able to communicate their feelings and these journals offer an outlet. Teaching similarities is just as important as teaching difference, in fact it may be even more important because students are well aware of difference and it is often overemphasized while similarities are overlooked. A balanced approach may be better than a focus on difference.
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Solution 103
Posted June 9, 2015 1:21 am

jamasy
jamasy
Reps: 67
I think the dialog journals are a great idea but you should be ready for whatever answers you might get in an open forum such as this one. You are a mandated reporter for suicide threats so that student should be taken to a guidance counselor immediately and cannot be left alone until the guidance counselor is notified. The student who is embarrassed because of your references to African American culture is giving you feedback on your teaching. You can choose whether or not to use this information or not but that is just his opinion. It also would not be a bad idea to focus on similarities instead of differences.
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Solution 104
Posted June 9, 2015 12:54 pm

Monica Rainwater
Monica Rainwater
Reps: 71
Like you, the elementary school that I teach at right now used to be all white just 10 years ago, but now we are one of the most diverse schools in the county. The different make up of the class has made me even more aware of the importance of multicultural education. I most definitely would not give up the dialog journals. These journals provide your students with a safe, non-threatening place to share their inner most thoughts and feelings. When I read what Warren Jackson said about feeling uncomfortable when you place emphasis on his culture, I begin to wonder why? Does it have something to do with you and your teaching methods, or is it more about the way his family feels about topics you are discussing in the classroom. Something to keep in mind was stated in Joel Spring's text, The Intersection of Cultures, "Schools can promote the welfare of humanity by helping children learn to adjust to and understand a world undergoing rapid cultural changes as a result of globalization" (p.305). Make sure your multicultural education is embedded in your everyday teaching, and that way it wouldn't be so obvious to Warren if and when you are referring to his culture. Black History Month and other "specific times" allocated to focus on certain cultures could quite possible bring feelings of insecurity to some cultures. The situation with Gail Smith is very concerning. Not only is she is teenage girl that is experiencing all different kinds of feelings and emotions solely because of puberty, but now she is even more emotionally disturbed because of her parents' reaction to her affection she has to an African American male. First and foremost, the counselor must be notified. The Code of Ethics requires you to report any talk of suicide. There could possibly be much deeper issues here that need to be addressed and discussed. The times are changing. Our world is more diverse than ever. It is more important than ever to explicitly teach about racism, discrimination, feminism, etc. at an early age. Children must be told because they have the power to make a difference as they get older. Adults are much more challenging to alter their thoughts and feelings on subjects. This is probable why Gail feels like she can't speak to her parents. Thankfully, you had the dialog journals, otherwise Gail may not have been heard in her "cry for help." I would request a meeting with your principal, and share with him your reasoning for using the journals in your classroom. I would also share with him the importance of including multicultural education in the classroom each and every day. Otherwise, these prejudices, discrimination, etc. could and will continue for years.
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zyzaSy
zyzaSy
Reps: 68
Thank you for sharing about your own experience with a similar situation. It really helped give some more perspective to the situation. You make an enlightening point in that students' cultural worlds are changing rapidly and as such students need to be taught how to interact with persons of another culture. You are absolutely right in suggesting that the teacher request a meeting with the principal to make a case for the journals. Without their use, the teacher wouldn't have known about Gail's suicidal thoughts or Warren's discomfort. They are beneficial in this way, yes, but like you said they provide students with a safe place to express themselves without judgement. This is so crucial for middle school young adolescents that feel they are constantly 'under the microscope'.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 3:43 pm

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Solution 105
Posted June 9, 2015 2:10 pm

Ashley Lawrence
Ashley Lawrence
Reps: 70
I agree with your last statement, you cannot go against your principal. I would take the principal's suggestions and see if they help. If not, you must go back to the principal for more help. I would also turn in the suicide entry to the counselor for her to handle.
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Solution 106
Posted June 9, 2015 2:45 pm

TyhyMa
TyhyMa
Reps: 84
I think that your efforts are very affective. I believe that every student should be able to get their feelings out on paper every now and then. Writing is a great way to convey emotions or anything really. Some people write down what they wont come out and say. This is why I think what you are doing with the journaling is a good thing. Despite there being some things that you don't like to read, this could allow the student to actively seek some help if they need to talk to someone about what is going on. Do I think you should get involved? No. I think the counselor should be the one that handles this situation. I do not think you should stop doing the journaling though. It is obvious the students need to let out some of their emotions instead of keeping them balled up inside.
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ynyqaz
ynyqaz
Reps: 64
I too see the importance of the dialog journals. It seems to be a good outlet for the students and a great way for the teacher to reflect on his teaching by what the students write about. I agree as well the the teacher should not directly speak to the child. You do not want to intimidate the student and want them to continue to write about meaningful topic in their journals. Seeking advice from the school counselor and finding a way to be discreet in talking to Gail would be beneficial to all. But the teacher MUST report the information he read.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 3:03 pm

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Solution 107
Posted June 9, 2015 2:59 pm

ynyqaz
ynyqaz
Reps: 64
This is a difficult issue to address, especially when your principal is not on board. I would strongly explain the importance of the dialog journals and how the is an opportunity for students to share their feelings and a gateway to express their life problems, concerns and values. I hope your principal will come around to see the importance. Its also a great writing tool as all learners need practicing on writing. The information you gained while reading these dialog journals is critical information. As educators we never want to interfere too much with our students personal life but we wan to ensure they are safe and happy. However based Gails submissions it is critical that she speaks with the school counselor. Warrens submissions is a learning tool for the teacher directly. Now you can reflect on how you convey cultural differences in a way that doe snot single any race out.
Ultimately teachers have little authority and we must follow what our administration tells us, but by supporting what you doing your classroom and voicing your opinion is definitely a respectable thing to do.
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Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis
Reps: 69
I agree that the teacher should share his thoughts and opinions about the impact the dialogue journals have on the students. I would even suggest taking a few journals to the principal to show the positive effects they have for students to express themselves. As for the two negative situations presented, I would definitely have the school counselor involved to ensure the proper measures are taken for both students. I do not think that the journals should be completely extinct, but the principal must be on board to continue.
  Posted on: June 9, 2015 7:58 pm

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Solution 108
Posted June 9, 2015 3:01 pm

avuNaD
avuNaD
Reps: 36
I love the thought of our dialogue journals. Your students are able to be themselves and voice their concerns and feelings about things that are going on in their everyday lives. This reminds of one of my favorite movies and one of the reasons that I started teaching; Freedom Writers. I think that you a class of mixed cultural students who are struggling and need to have a voice. I do think that you should continue the journals because you are learning so much about your students and as I stated you are giving them a voice. After talking with your principal I would recommend keeping the journals but also showing your students that they are more alike than different and have them grow into a tighter class.
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Solution 109
Posted June 9, 2015 8:04 pm

Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis
Reps: 69
This is a difficult situation to be in especially when your administrator is not in support of the journals. I like the idea of your dialogue journals, and I believe you should continue them. I would suggest providing specific journal prompts for your students to respond to that are related to lessons being taught. As you feel that students are ready to journal freely I would transition to more open-ended dialogue journal activity. I would also address Gloria and Warren individually to discuss the issues at hand. The counselor should also be contacted concerning Gloria's comment. I also suggest defending the dialogue journals to your principal by showing him positive outcomes that have occurred from them.
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Solution 110
Posted June 9, 2015 8:27 pm

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74
I would do my best to try and focus on how cultures are alike as well. If I were having so many negative issues with the journals, I would probably re-evaluate the way I was presenting the material or try something other than the journals.
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zyWyma
zyWyma
Reps: 70
I agree that the teacher needs to focus on more similarities between cultures. Focusing solely on differences could alienate the students. However, I think that this is only a small look at the activity and that there may be many students who are responding positively to the activity. Sometimes activities like this provide the students with a chance to ask for help, and these two journal entries are just that.
  Posted on: June 10, 2015 2:19 am

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Solution 111
Posted June 10, 2015 1:14 am

zyWyma
zyWyma
Reps: 70
While it is important to talk about differences and celebrate them, it is important to talk about the things that make us similar. Differences can help us to grow as individuals and help us to teach others, but similarities unite and bind us as a whole. I would continue with the journals, and I would try to conference with each of the students. They wrote those entries as a way to talk to you and ask for help. For Mr. Jackson, I would ask him what I could do to help him feel more comfortable in the class; what ways could I change my teaching style to help him. For Mrs. Smith, I would talk to the school councilor first. Based on his or her recommendations, I would decide what to do next. Maybe I could conference with the parents and talk to them about their daughters feeling with the councilor. It is important for her parents to know how important they are to her and how much their support means. In the end, your class activities are for the students, so it is important to use their feedback and make sure to protect their well being.
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Solution 112
Posted June 10, 2015 3:28 am

Syjetu
Syjetu
Reps: 70
I think that you should still use dialogue journals. This is a way for students to express themselves in the class and that has great value. If your principal wants you to decrease the use of small group then do what he says. You can create other size groups or activities that could be just as useful within your classroom. You can emphasize multicultural similarities; nevertheless, I do not think that will stop any of the opinions floating around your class. I think that you, the principal, class, and parents should embrace the questions and commentary. Middle school students are like sponges; therefore, it is the perfect opportunities to share different view points, raise questions, and discover individual thoughts and opinions.
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Solution 113
Posted June 10, 2015 12:15 pm

Kaitlin Stringer
Kaitlin Stringer
Reps: 116
I really like the idea of using dialogue journals. By using these journals, the students have the opportunity to express their thoughts privately and without the judgement of others. It is very important that you continue to keep reading these journals for these specific reasons. I would suggest asking the counselor to talk to Gail about why she is having these thoughts. It might lead to a good discussion between Gail and her parents about multicultural differences. Since Warren is feeling embarrassed by the way you are teaching, maybe you need to reevaluate the way you teach the differences. Perhaps it is better to discuss similarities as well as differences. It might also be a good idea to discuss the positive impact each cultural has had on society today.
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Kalie Walker
Kalie Walker
Reps: 66
You had a similar solution to mine but I like how you mentioned discussing the positive impact each culture has/had on our society today. I think that's a great idea and can allow for multicultural students to see how far back their culture goes and how much it has grown. I think in doing so, they can become a little less embarrassed and possibly have a better understanding of it.
  Posted on: June 10, 2015 1:41 pm

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Solution 114
Posted June 10, 2015 1:38 pm

Kalie Walker
Kalie Walker
Reps: 66
First things first, a counselor needs to be contacted to help Gail and her issues she is having. With the journals, I feel as though they are a positive thing to have. Gail's problems may not have been discovered otherwise had you not had the students write in them and I hate that the principal feels you should take them away. When presenting multiculturalism to a class, there is sometimes a fine line. I think you should make sure you aren't singling anyone out such as if there is only one Hispanic in a class full of white kids, they may feel as Warren does, embarrassed.I think you should do as your principal mentioned and talk about similarities but then may engage your students of the culture you are presenting to give examples of differences they are aware of to enlighten your other students more on that culture. That way you are doing as your principal says while hopefully allowing your students to become a little less embarrassed as they are giving information themselves.
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Solution 115
Posted June 11, 2015 3:26 am

Tina Joiner
Tina Joiner
Reps: 63
First of all I would have to remind this teacher what Billings wrote in "Yes, but how do we do it" that "unfortunately, real life rarely matches that ideal, all children, live complex lives that challenge teachers' best intentions." While the teacher had best intentions of implementing a more multicultural educated classroom the dialogue journals of writing anything they want may need to just be changed to writing about a certain topic based upon an issue of study at the time. It could be in the form of a question, whether the student agrees or disagrees with a certain issue and reasons why. In regards to embarrassing a student, this is because the teacher needs to incorporate other cultural studies than just focusing on African American ones. Make sure you are creating lessons that study all different groups of people. I would also suggest a face to face parent conference with Gail Smith's parents in which the counselor and principal may be in attendance as well to discuss the suicide possibilities. First and foremost, a teacher must understand that they have to be cultural competent in order to truly make multicultural education work in the classroom. As Billings also wrote in "Yes, but how do we do it", she suggests "teachers who foster cultural competence understand that they must work back and forth between the lives of their students and the life of school."
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Solution 116
Posted June 11, 2015 4:17 pm

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
Reps: 70
This is certainly a tricky situation. First and foremost, I think that the dialogue journals should really stay. Because they are private and students seem to be opening up in them, they give the teacher a lot of valuable information, even if it is, sometimes, difficult to handle. For example, it's very important that teachers know if they have a student struggling, especially with something as serious as suicide, so that student can be given appropriate help. Also, Warren's comments about being embarrassed by the teacher's instruction is really valuable for self-reflection and instructional modifications. Obviously, we cannot embrace multicultural education without recognizing differences among groups of people; after all, our race often affects our life experiences and, as a result, our worldview. However, I also believe that the real asset of multicultural education is recognizing differences, while finding the powerful similarities that unite us as people. I believe that it needs to be a combination of the two. Finding the balance is tricky, but I do believe that it's possible. So, I suggest keeping the dialog journals, but being mindful to recognize both similarities and differences in people, while also expressing the presence of individuality. One important thing that should be included is the recognition of things beyond race that affects people's perceptions of the world, including things like socioeconomic status, age, sex/gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.
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zyzaSy
zyzaSy
Reps: 68
You address several points in your response that I think are excellent next steps for the teacher in this situation. One concern that does arise from your solution is that the continued use of the dialogue journals, even after the principal has said otherwise, may appear as direct insubordination. I do agree that the journals are extremely beneficial to the teacher and therefore the class as a whole, however I think that there needs to be a conversation with the principal about such. While we may not like how principals tell us to teach, they are still in a position of authority and as such must be respected.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 3:36 pm

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Solution 117
Posted June 11, 2015 5:28 pm

Nicole Turner
Nicole Turner
Reps: 70
I think that you are able to not do some things within the classroom and do them another way that is less controversial. The student that mentioned suicide needs to talk to someone about this, because that is something that needs to be dealt with immediately. I believe that you can still incorporate every students' differences without making it controversial. If someone wants to bring up their own culture than that is fine, but maybe you should not encourage it so much if the students are starting to feel uncomfortable about it.
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Solution 118
Posted June 12, 2015 12:29 am

aQanaD
aQanaD
Reps: 67
I absolutely disagree with the principal. We are doing our students an injustice if we only focus on how we are similar. I do agree that there may be a more balanced approach to not have any students feeling embarrassed about their culture. These dialogue journals are a great tool into the thoughts of the students. The teacher has clearly created a classroom where there is much trust, or the students wouldn't write about these feelings in the first place. while it is very unfortunate to discover Gail is so distraught, imagine if no one ever knew until it was too late? I would propose to the principal new ways to deliver a more balanced approach to culturally sensitive topics, but I would encourage the dialogue journals as there are many more pros than cons.
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Solution 119
Posted June 12, 2015 2:08 am

Katy Fitzgibbons
Katy Fitzgibbons
Reps: 71
Wow, this one is tough. I would alert the proper authorities such as the school counselor over remarks such as those made by Gail Smith. I do like the idea of dialogue journals though and feel that the teacher should keep on implementing them. I would alter my approach to integrating multicultural education in my lessons by asking the students their thoughts on a particular cultural issue, group, etc. The students could write these remarks in their journals and/or discuss it in small groups or whole group. I do think the principal does have a point in emphasizing similarities. From our Spring (2008) text, I noticed that some of the individuals seemed so geared on emphasizing a particular cultural group's differences, that it would do more harm than good. While we want our students to recognize and appreciate each other's differences, we also want them to feel a sense of unity.
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Solution 120
Posted June 12, 2015 2:08 am

vasere
vasere
Reps: 70
This is a very difficult situation. First, I think you should definitely speak to the counselor about Gail's discussions of suicide. I think her parents should also be notified, but I know that even that will need to be done carefully. As for Warren, I would ask him privately what is embarrassing to him. Perhaps there is a better way to teach his culture, and he could help you with that.
As for the principal, you are right, you must do what he asks. However, I think you could ask why he wants you to stop. This would also give you an opportunity to further explain your own reasoning. Perhaps you could explain your reasoning to the parents of your students, as well. This would allow them to support your teaching, even when the students are at home.
I hope you do not have to de-emphasize the multicultural aspects of your classroom. I think talking about differences and helping your students learn to appreciate them is good, especially considering the changes in the school district.
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Solution 121
Posted June 12, 2015 2:32 am

emuZuW
emuZuW
Reps: 69
First and foremost you need to be in touch with you school's counselor and or principle to tell them about Gail noting that she is thinking of suicide. Also, stay on this about this and make sure to follow up on this constantly. A life is at stake and this is the top priority.
Next, I think the journals are effective, they are obviously making students talk about things they might not have told otherwise. I wouldn't worry too much about the controversial content of what is being said in them because this is healthy for students of this age. This is a great opportunity for you as a teacher to be an advocate to these students. I would personally speak with Warren to see if there are particular methods or content that is being used that is embarrassing him and be sure he knows that we can have an honest conversation. I'd make sure he feels safe within our conversation and setting. Additionally, I'd be sure that I'm equally involved in a conversation with Gail--- independently later, and along with the conversations being had with her and the counselor/administration.
Lastly, I can't help but to think of the persona doll from Spring's text and the filmstrips from Igoa's text as other ways to incorporate multicultural activities in the classroom. I think these formats might appease your principle, provide more balance of positive and negative differences, and allow you to keep multicultural aspects in your lessons.
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Solution 122
Posted June 12, 2015 3:49 am

Brad McMahon
Brad McMahon
Reps: 71
I think you described what you have to do perfectly: you cannot go against your principal. I think what your principal said has some merit, though. Emphasizing similarities does not dodge the issue. Instead of defining cultures by how they are different, define them by how they are similar. Focus on how different cultures and races work together to overcome adversity and inequality. Instead of dialogue journals, perhaps you can add more structure to the writing. Still have students write their thoughts, but provide some prompts on which they can give their thoughts.

Gail Smith's mention of suicide is greatly disturbing. A counselor should be notified immediately, and I think her parents should be notified, unless you think she is in an unsafe or abusive situation with her parents. This makes the situation even more complicated, and I would seek guidance from the principal.
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Solution 123
Posted June 12, 2015 4:10 am

yBySuL
yBySuL
Reps: 70
First I would speak with Gail Smith about her writings and have the school counselor available. I agree with emphasizing similarities and not differences so much. I would address African American culture in a more positive aspect to show the accomplishments with dual support from other ethnic groups for Warren Jackson. This way he can relax because you are showing the join efforts of more than one ethnic group and he will not feel singled-out by the discussion. The multicultural aspects of the classes cannot be de-emphasized. I believe the journals are beneficial in allowing the students to express themselves freely without criticism. Then maybe the principal can see the benefits you are working toward for your students.
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Brad McMahon
Brad McMahon
Reps: 71
I agree with your two main points. I think for younger students it is important to emphasize the similarities before tackling the differences in race. This brings students together before the differences have a chance to pull them apart. I also agree that further precautions need to be taken with the student that mentioned suicide. Once that is brought to your attention, I think you have to share that information with the appropriate people.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 5:25 am

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Solution 124
Posted June 12, 2015 9:06 pm

Beth Jackson
Beth Jackson
Reps: 71
In my opinion, I do not believe the principal is in the right in this situation and I would encourage the teacher to have a productive and factual conversation with him. I do not believe the teacher should have to stop using dialogue journals. I believe these are proving to be a great strategy to open the students up and share their feelings with the teacher. This shows trust and helps build relationships. Also, I do not think the teacher should only focus on the similarities between different races and cultures. When the differences are ignored, the students will begin to feel like they are bad and a negative thing. They shouldnít be led to feel this way. Differences should be encouraged and embraced, but if you pretend that they arenít there they will be viewed as something negative. I believe the teacher should continue to embrace and discuss differences within the classroom.
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Misty Coleman
Misty Coleman
Reps: 73
I also do not feel that the teacher should stop using dialogue journals. If the students weren't allowed the freedom to write what they want, the teacher may have never known how his/her students felt. I just read another solution that suggested presenting research behind the use of journals to the principal. I think this is a great idea. The differences among cultures must be addressed and I think if this student is talked to individually he may feel more comfortable in the classroom. I also feel that the thoughts of suicide need to be addressed immediately.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 2:18 pm

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Solution 125
Posted June 14, 2015 5:01 am

ReMuXy
ReMuXy
Reps: 78
I would explain to your principal about the research behind using journals in the classroom. However, instead of letting the students write about anything they wanted I would give them a list of choices. I think the journals hold a value, however, if your principal continues to tell you to use a different method than I would.
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Misty Coleman
Misty Coleman
Reps: 73
That is a good idea to address the research behind the methods being used in the classroom. I like the idea of choices to write about, but I do think having time to write whatever they would like is a good thing. Some children need an outlet to express themselves. If they had not written this in their journals the teacher may have not known how they were feeling. I think the thoughts of suicide are something that needs to be addressed right away.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 2:13 pm

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Solution 126
Posted June 14, 2015 2:09 pm

Misty Coleman
Misty Coleman
Reps: 73
First of all, I think the thoughts of suicide need to be addressed by a counselor. That is not something to ever be taken lightly. I agree that you can't go against your principal, but maybe become a more culturally relevant teacher. Teach the curriculum you are supposed to be teaching, but supplement it with connections to studentsí cultures and things that they are going through. I would talk with the student about how he is feeling. I think it is important for you to continue the dialogue journals so that students have a place to express themselves. Otherwise, you may have never known your students were feeling this way.
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RuXuqe
RuXuqe
Reps: 67
I agree that the suicide issue needs to be addressed first and it might be a good idea to discuss with Warren his feelings. It would be good for the teacher to also evaluate what multi-cultural connections he is making. If he is only addressing those of the students in the class it might make some of them feel like they are being put on the spot.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 3:18 pm

Rebecca Ritch
Rebecca Ritch
Reps: 70
I agree, he shouldn't stop doing the dialogue journals, because after all students need to have that outlet to express their ideas, opinions, and feelings. However, he can't go against his principal. Plus, at the moment he has an even bigger problem. I agree with your solution, first and foremost he needs to have address the suicide issue. As a teacher we are all mandated reporters. If he doesn't address this issue first, he could have an even bigger problem on his hands.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 3:14 am

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Solution 127
Posted June 14, 2015 3:14 pm

RuXuqe
RuXuqe
Reps: 67
The first step is to report to the appropriate person that Gail is considering suicide. The next step is to evaluate how you are teaching multicultural education. Perhaps video taping yourself and watching it or asking for peer observations would be a good first step. I have heard teachers who think they are teaching multicultural education really sound demeaning or divisive when they do not mean to. However, this may not be the case. It might be that there are few minority students at the school and because of your multicultural education Warren is being asked questions by the other students or feels like all eyes are on him. You also might find that you are focusing on African Americans more than other groups. The use of dialog journals sounds like they are getting good results, however, perhaps your principal could be appeased if you made them more structured with writing prompts.
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Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
To be honest, I don't know how a writing prompt and journal would be different but maybe a change in names would ease the minds of some parents.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 12:32 am

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Solution 128
Posted June 14, 2015 6:13 pm

Farhat Ahmad
Farhat Ahmad
Reps: 68
First and foremost I would immediately follow your schools procedures as a mandatory reporter and pass off the girls threats of suicide to the appropriate parties. This is something that should never be taken lightly and honestly trumps the issue with multicultural education. Even if the threat isn't serious it has to be taken seriously.

Next, as far as the dialogue journals I would meet my principal halfway. Maybe I would give prompts every day and pass out guidelines or a grading rubric. They way you have it is to loose and invites these types of situations. If you want to get your students into multicultural education, steer them that way. You could ask them to write about their feelings or experiences with interracial dating from an outsiders perspective, and then ask them to provide specific evidence as to why they hold certain opinions. Then use these to prompt a class discussion.

Also, I don't think you should emphasize similarities or differences, you need to have students approach things more academically and analytically. You could even do journal prompts on perceived cultural and racial similarities or differences and have your students again provide evidence as to why they have a particular feeling one way or another, and forcing them to self analyze may open them up to seeing things a different way or seeing a new way they may find more appealing or relevant than the way they were seeing things.
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yzaSeR
yzaSeR
Reps: 68
I think reporting what Gail has written to the counselor is a very good idea. I think they would be better and knowing what to do in these types of situations. At least I know they would be better at it than I am. I think having rubrics may be a good idea as well. At least then you can show your principal that you are willing to change things in your class.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 9:26 pm

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Solution 129
Posted June 14, 2015 9:23 pm

yzaSeR
yzaSeR
Reps: 68
I would do a few things if this came up in my classroom. I would get Gail to discuss how she feels with one of the counselors in the school. They should be more qualified to talk to her about things than I am. I would also talk to Warren privately and ask him why he feels embarrassed about what I teach in class. His embarrassment may be something that I can easily avoid or it maybe something that needs to be addressed after a few meetings. I would also do some reflecting to figure out what I was teaching and If it was as effective as I thought it was. I can't always assume that everything I am teaching is the best way of doing things. The principal thinks I need to change, but do I? Is everything I am doing needed or is there some room for me to change?
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Alyssa Wright
Alyssa Wright
Reps: 69
I think following up with each of the students on a one-on-one basis is a great idea to have the students open up in a non-threatening environment. Often times when they are in a smaller setting they will tell you what their concerns are.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 1:04 am

Melissa Aspinwall
Melissa Aspinwall
Reps: 79
I agree with your points for both students involved. I also thought it might be a good idea to invite the principal in during dialogue journal time and have the students write a response for him/her about multicultural teaching going on in class and how they feel about it. This may give some positive to outweigh the negatives. Usually it is only the people who have something negative to say that speaks up and complains. This would a way to get other perspectives on the topic. Regardless, I do feel that it is something that needs to be discussed.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 2:11 am

Rebecca Ritch
Rebecca Ritch
Reps: 70
I like the idea of getting the principal more involved in the dialogue journals.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 3:31 am

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Solution 130
Posted June 15, 2015 1:01 am

Alyssa Wright
Alyssa Wright
Reps: 69
Multicultural education is important to teach. Maybe a more of a balance needs to be established as far as how much time is spent on the similarities and differences. Maybe also tying the similarities into history and how far the cultures how come with help students feel that although they have cultural differences they can make difference in the world.
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Solution 131
Posted June 15, 2015 1:52 am

Melissa Aspinwall
Melissa Aspinwall
Reps: 79
I do not think you need to go against your principal's decision. However, I would bring up the valuable information that you learn through the use of your dialogue journals. It might be a good idea to tell the students one day they will write a dialogue journal for the principal to read. He or she could learn valuable information that would help him or her make or change decisions. I would definitely keep the dialogue journals a part of your class. They have proven to be a good way to open the door of communication between student and teacher. I would check my lesson content to see why the African American feels embarrassed and conference with him about it. The student that wants to kill herself should immediately be taken to the school counselor along with her journal entry. We know of the negatives but I am sure if we knew the rest of the story, there would be more good out of this than bad.
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Solution 132
Posted June 15, 2015 3:09 am

Rebecca Ritch
Rebecca Ritch
Reps: 70
I think dialogue journals are a great tool to use in the classroom. With the journal entries that you are describing I would be concerned too. First of all I would talk to a counselor about how to address Gail Smith's concerns. I would have the counselor talk to Gail. As far as Warren Jackson's issue of concern, I would ask Warren to elaborate more on why he becomes easily embarrassed in class when you talk about African American culture. I may even ask Warren to do a lesson in class on African American culture, or ask his parents to see if they could come in and do a lesson. Maybe this will help Warren to stop feeling embarrassed and become proud of who he is and where he comes from. Like your principal stated I would emphasize on the similarities. However, knowing what sets us apart is also important. It is a tough call, however, I just think you have to set a balance. Incorporating literature on different cultures into your lesson, and maybe a prompt that your students could respond to about the literature might help with your situation.
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Solution 133
Posted June 15, 2015 3:29 am

yteduM
yteduM
Reps: 77
I think maybe for now you should put a hold on the journals and you could always bring them around later once things calmed down. However, If you didn't have the journals you would have never known that Gail was depressed and needs referring to a counselor. I would start by doing whole group activities and maybe play a game that was also educational about cultures. Then once the class became active on multicultural issues, I would split the class in groups of 2 and educate them on this issue and then slowly as our lesson grew larger I would put them in small groups and then eventually back to daily journals expressing themselves. I just think the class need more education about the topic but in a light approach. If the journals got to be too much again I would stop them.
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Solution 134
Posted June 15, 2015 3:30 pm

zyzaSy
zyzaSy
Reps: 68
Okay, the absolute first thing you need to do is notify the school counselor that Gail is considering suicide. Not only is this an ethical and legal responsibility, this is a human life we are talking about, private journal or no private journal. With the most pressing matter of suicide addressed, I would advise you listen to your principal as they are your boss. However, I really think you should make a case for the journals. Without them you wouldn't have known about Gail's suicidal thoughts or Warren's discomfort with the multicultural curriculum. Try to help your principal see the benefits of dialogue journals. Addressing your principal's other concerns; you can decrease the use of small groups without abandoning them altogether. Again, I would make a case for the use of small groups as they are one of the most successful ways to engage students.
One question I have is the manner in which you are incorporating multicultural education into your classroom. If you indeed are focusing on the differences between cultural groups, this may be the root of Warren's embarrassment, particularly if he is the only non-white student. I agree with your principal in that you should emphasize similarities and not differences. This to me doesn't mean that you cannot point out differences as they are of great value as well, but that the focus of any multicultural lesson or activity is for students to see the similarities amongst cultural groups. It is in this way that we as a society participate in today's multicultural world.
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Solution 135
Posted June 16, 2015 12:40 am

Meagan Cook
Meagan Cook
Reps: 53
I would continue the dialogue journals, but I would have an open conversation with the students about what the dialogue journals entail. I would address the issues with the students individually and be thankful that the journals allowed for my students to express their true feelings. I would report issues to the counselors immediately, but without the dialogue journal, my student may never have been able to express their feelings. If anything, multiculturalism should be pushed more to show the value of it to all the students. However, I would make sure to respect my principal and students and would change the approach if needed.
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Solution 136
Posted November 15, 2015 6:06 am

Jill Elton
Jill Elton
Reps: 108
First and foremost, I would get the counselor of your school to talk with Gail about her feelings. Next, I would continue to encourage your students to communicate their innermost feelings with someone they care about; either verbally or at least in writing. I would let them know that I was there for them if they ever wanted to talk. I would also tell them that we all have feelings that need to be shared. Middle school is a tough, socially. Students are trying to discover who they really are and where they fit in in the world. They need to know that we were not made to be alone in this world. We need one another to lean on. I believe this would create a win-win situation.
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Solution 137
Posted November 15, 2015 11:18 pm

Jasmine Bringuel
Jasmine Bringuel
Reps: 102
It can be hard not to go against what the principal suggests you to do in the classroom, but it is your classroom and your students. I believe your journals are a great way for students to express themselves and give you input on how they feel in the class and their lives. I would definitely take Gail to the counselor to talk about what she wrote and give her the support she needs. As for what Warren said, I would maybe tone down what you have been doing and bring in more cultures, even ones not represented in the classroom that way in is more diverse and not singling out certain groups in the classroom.
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Solution 138
Posted November 18, 2015 1:54 am

Edward Kim
Edward Kim
Reps: 106
You are right. You probably can not go against your principal. He can determine your evaluation scores, whether or not you get a contract next year, and in general he can make your year pretty crappy. Before you decide what to do you have to evaluate if this is something you are willing to lose your job over. If it is then you have to do what you think is best. You are a professional just like he is and no one can argue that what you are doing does not have merit in the classroom because it does and clearly your kids feel very comfortable in your class if they are willing to share as much as they are with you. Clearly you are doing something right. But if you need to guarantee a contract next year then you should take your principal's "suggestions" seriously. If I were you I would just do what was asked of me and then look for another job next year. It is sad that it comes to do that with education today but that is just the way it is. Oh, and I would contact a counselor immediately about Gail! That needs to happen before anything else does.
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Solution 139
Posted November 18, 2015 4:59 pm

Japuje
Japuje
Reps: 107
I would do what the principal says. Apparently the students don't see much value in the dialog journals and one student is considering suicide because of them. I would definitely report Gail's suicide comments to the counselor because as teachers we are not adequately trained or equipped to handle this type of situation. If your assignments are causing kids to contemplate suicide I'd say to stay away from that assignment. The safety of our students is much more important than any assignment we give in class.
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Laura Doolittle
Laura Doolittle
Reps: 109


I do not think that the dialog journals is causing the student to want to commit suicide but because of how her parents are feeling about her crush on Warren. I think the journal was her cry for help. I agree with you that most times it is best to follow what the principal says and just move forward.
  Posted on: November 18, 2015 11:12 pm

Kristen Bagwell
Kristen Bagwell
Reps: 107
I don't think it is the journals that are causing suicidal thoughts. Instead, I think it is the situation that the student is experiencing, and I think, by including activities in the classroom like you are, students are learning to deal with situations of inequality.
  Posted on: November 20, 2015 7:47 pm

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Solution 140
Posted November 18, 2015 11:05 pm

Laura Doolittle
Laura Doolittle
Reps: 109
I think the very first thing that needs to take place is reporting what Gail was written and let her parents be aware of the situations. I like the idea of the dialog journals. It gives student the freedom of expression and can let you know their thoughts and feelings in a private way. I would talk to Warren individually to determine where his feelings of embarrassment are stemming from. I not not agree with the choices of the principal, but what can you do? I would try sitting down again with the principal and explain the goals you want to see from a multicultural education. The worst thing that can be said is no.
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Solution 141
Posted November 19, 2015 11:46 pm

Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
In response to Gail, I would have the counselor and principal take a look at the journal response. It is our responsibility to keep the students safe and telling higher authorities will help. Also, I would have a personal conversation with Warren. There must be a deeper meaning on why he is embarrassed to talk about his culture. He may be out numbered in the classroom and too much attention on one race or culture can be hard on a teenager. I would reflect on the use of the journals and think if the use of them is helping or hurting the students. I would also think about how cultural differences can be talked about differently. I do think that embracing cultures is important, but it must be done in a caring, safe way. Feelings could get hurt, otherwise. Perhaps having a culture day would be great bonding for the students and each can bring in art, music or food that represents them. This would allow everyone to share something about them and learn from others.
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Qybuse
Qybuse
Reps: 118
Maybe talking about cultural differences in a larger group would be more effective. Sometimes a few people "lead" the conversation in a small group and others feel threatened and don't get the opportunity to share their ideas.
  Posted on: December 2, 2015 2:56 am

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Solution 142
Posted November 20, 2015 7:43 pm

Kristen Bagwell
Kristen Bagwell
Reps: 107
Wow. You've got a lot going on. To begin with, I disagree with your principal's suggestions. I don't think it would be a good idea to stop using dialogue journals, decrease small groups, and de-emphasize multicultural aspects of your classroom. I also think it would be naive to think that your students don't already see their differences, so I don't think you would accomplish anything by not acknowledging student differences. I think you should continue doing what you are doing. When you read information, just as suicide, you should contact your school counselor or follow any protocols that your school puts in place. Regardless, I think introducing students to the inequalities they may face in the real world, you are preparing them to handle situations properly.
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Solution 143
Posted November 20, 2015 9:55 pm

Hedynu
Hedynu
Reps: 112
It looks likes ďmight means rightĒ in this regard. You can not go against the principalís suggestion. You can, however, attempt to plead your case to your administration outlining the value in multi-cultural education. Talking points such as wanting to emphasize ďequalityĒ for all children and striving to remove ďbarriersĒ for students with different backgrounds by fostering a level of comfort and celebrating variety as the class learns are great ways to start. It is important that your Principal knows that individual culture influences the way we learn and think. So then to teach students effectively, we must keep cultural perspective in mind.
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Solution 144
Posted November 21, 2015 4:24 pm

ehyNyn
ehyNyn
Reps: 109
It seems to me that some professional learning is in order for your school. If I were you, I would try to have a conversation with your principal, again, and explain your reasonings for the activities and dialogue journals. Then, if your principal disagrees, you might want to develop a letter or outline to justify your use of a multicultural curriculum and go above the principal in order to show how important this stuff is. Education is the key to making our nation a better place and if the students have a cultural perspective of one group, hatred and racism is going to continue. These students need more than just one perspective.
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Solution 145
Posted November 25, 2015 10:14 pm

yWasyD
yWasyD
Reps: 107
I agree with the principal to an extent, talking about our similarities will reduce bias thinking from the children and they know they have to treat everybody the same in spite of our differences. I would rather teach cultural differences to the class as a whole rather than have small groups to avoid conflicts of interest that is most likely to happen in a small group.I would lose the journal but ask the student to write something that I would read in private. I can then decide what to share with the other students with the permission of the writer. If you think that there will be no conflict, try and find a way to persuade the principal to go along with your plan.
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Daisy Dumler
Daisy Dumler
Reps: 106
I also agree to an extent. We should also incorporate some similarities so biases aren't formed.
  Posted on: December 1, 2015 5:14 pm

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Solution 146
Posted December 1, 2015 5:13 pm

Daisy Dumler
Daisy Dumler
Reps: 106
I would continue with the dialogue journals because they are a great way for students to express themselves. I would immediately talk to the counselor about what Gail wrote and get in touch with her parents. I don't think Gail's thoughts stemmed from this exercise or lessons, that issue seems deeper. I would also incorporate some similarities in with the differences in my lessons.
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Solution 147
Posted December 1, 2015 6:42 pm

Amanda Whittaker
Amanda Whittaker
Reps: 114
I would find a way to modify the classroom so that you are following your principals rules, but also show that you have listened to what he said. Journal writing is great practice for our students and can also give them a place to write their feelings when they think no one else is listening or if they are too embarrassed to say it out loud. I would talk to the counselor about Gail because we are mandatory reporters and you wouldn't want anything to happen to her. As for Warren, I would talk to other teachers in your building and see what advice they have for you. Sometimes hearing it from someone else is be more helpful. You can ask Warren for his opinion, but be prepared to hear something that you might not like.
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Solution 148
Posted December 2, 2015 3:13 am

Qybuse
Qybuse
Reps: 118
I think your principal should appreciate the effort you are putting in to trying to get your students to respect and appreciate each other's cultures. This sounds like it is something that your students have not done in the past, so they seem to be somewhat resistant to your ideas. Although you have good intentions with these activities, your students might not know you and your systems well enough to appreciate your plans. Maybe taking a step back from these activities for the minute and simply working on establishing a classroom environment that focuses on mutual respect for all would be a good start. Then, once you feel like your classroom has formed a community, and you better understand your students (and they better understand you), then you can start discussing some of the deeper issues that your students are probably carrying inside them. I would think that slowing down and taking baby steps would be a way for you and your principal to compromise in this situation.
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Solution 149
Posted December 2, 2015 2:32 pm

ezajaV
ezajaV
Reps: 102
I think that dialogue journals are a great way for students to get their thoughts out and the teacher can see what the students are thinking. If I received the paper from Gail I would go straight to the counselor. I would let the counselor talk with Gail to find out what is going on and why she is thinking what she is thinking.
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Solution 150
Posted December 3, 2015 1:00 am

Amanda Robinson
Amanda Robinson
Reps: 98
This is a tough topic. While I want to continue discussing multiculturalism I also want to keep my students safe. While I think multiculturalism is about encouraging students to share the diversity, I also think it's about sharing the similarities. This would allow the different cultures to see that they are not so different after all. I would share my concerns with the classroom as well. Students need to know what the object of the journal is and how they can meet the expectation.
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Solution 151
Posted December 4, 2015 7:04 pm

Kateline Vaughn
Kateline Vaughn
Reps: 106
I think the journals are a good idea because they are personal, and students tend to write their "true feelings" in journals because they are not shared with their classmates. I would, however, be careful of the topics that are discussed in class and the journals. I would also ask the counselor to talk with Gail because that is something that is out of your control. As far as Warren, I would just try to talk to him and have a conversation about what multiculturalism is and how different ethnic groups are similar or different.
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Solution 152
Posted December 6, 2015 1:33 pm

Tetygy
Tetygy
Reps: 90
I think this is a touchy situation. You do want to point out similarities instead of all differences. It should be a good balance. I think with Gail you must go to a counselor and explain the concern. With Warren you need to sit down and talk to him. He clearly has something bothering him. Don't go against your principal just try a new route.
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Solution 153
Posted December 7, 2015 2:32 am

uPaSeW
uPaSeW
Reps: 209
I think that you should continue to use the dialogue journals and strategically name them something else. I would also get to the bottom of why the African American student is feeling embarrassed by your emphasis on African American culture. By figuring out the reasoning behind his embarrassment, you will be able to shift your teaching in a way that will be more beneficial to his understanding. Gail's case should be reported to a counselor immediately. This is a good case to use with your principal of why dialogue journals are so important. They allow students to express how they are feeling and when they may need help. Some students are not verbally able to ask for help, but can do so through writing or art.
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Solution 154
Posted December 7, 2015 2:34 am

uPaSeW
uPaSeW
Reps: 209
I think that you should continue to use the dialogue journals and strategically name them something else. I would also get to the bottom of why the African American student is feeling embarrassed by your emphasis on African American culture. By figuring out the reasoning behind his embarrassment, you will be able to shift your teaching in a way that will be more beneficial to his understanding. Gail's case should be reported to a counselor immediately. This is a good case to use with your principal of why dialogue journals are so important. They allow students to express how they are feeling and when they may need help. Some students are not verbally able to ask for help, but can do so through writing or art.
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Solution 155
Posted October 7, 2017 3:54 pm

napyze
napyze
Reps: 100
I think that the principles suggestions are not helpful. The dialogue journal is helpful. I think that a guidance counselor needs to be sought out for the child who expressed suicide. Also make sure bring many cultures into your teaching not just African American so the student doesn't feel embarrassed.
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Solution 156
Posted October 13, 2015 6:48 pm

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
You might want to tell other teachers or higher up
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nydyra
nydyra
Reps: 202
Getting more people involved can complicate and spread information the students may not want getting out. A counselor should be involved yes for protection, but it should be handled quietly and safely.
  Posted on: October 17, 2015 7:46 am

Edward Kim
Edward Kim
Reps: 106
I'm with Nydyra on this one. Really the only person that you need to involve is a counselor and maybe an administrator after that. There really is no need to get any other teachers involved. They cannot do anything about the situation except give you advice and their advice should be "go talk to a counselor immediately." From there you have done you duties under the law while keeping Gail's privacy. If you do not tell a counselor your principal's "suggestions" about your teaching will be the least of your worries.
  Posted on: November 18, 2015 2:18 am

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