During the week I prepared to talk about gender, I thought about the teacher I had in the seventh grade and how hard it must have been for her to teach in a school that did not honor differences. I wondered how many kids would have felt safer if the teacher would have felt safe. How much difference that would have made in the life of her students? (She also happened to be one of the teachers that let me experiment with my writing and my school projects in Middle School. I did not find out about her until much later after I was out of high school and I thought about her throughout the chapters). The readings affirmed my belief that teachers just like students need a safe place for teaching and learning.

The article that stood out the most was the one titled Out Front: What schools can do to fight homophobia by Annie Johnston

“Set a clear anti-homophobic standard for what is acceptable language and behavior in your classrooms and your schools. Support gay teachers’ ability to be out role models for our youth”


Professional Responsibilities

Professional Responsibilities

During one of the weeks that laws, legal requirements and professional responsibilities were covered in class, I wondered about what it means to sooth tears and comfort a small child. At one place I volunteered, I would often see hugs and people comforting young children. I wondered about the different cultures and the way that they deal with emotions, and how laws are stricter in the United States than in other countries. I also felt my heart sink after reading the part of neglect and reporting, having gone through this myself. As a child in Mexico my father had never been in my life as a permanent figure, until we came to the United States. He was a man with many issues one that included being an alcoholic. One time I mentioned this to a teacher and I told her how scared I was when he was drunk, soon after she explained that what I had said had to be reported. I cried, hit and told the teacher I hated her because I trusted her. A social worker was sent to my house and things were OK, my father was not taken away. I think about all the reporting I will have to do if I have to report all this cases, I know that I am following rules but it breaks my heart to think about it.Ultimately, I understand why these rules are made and why we need to follow them, the safety of a child always comes first. This is one thing that I have not been able to shake off since our discussion.

Where I’m From

Where I’m From

I am from stuffed closets

from rocking chair and artwork.

I am from Ana Cultiva Manzanas/Apple Farmer Annie

teddy bears and dolls.

I am from spring bounce horse and cars.

I am from portraits and salsas,

from tazas and laundry.

I am from cd’s and vhs,

From guitars, pianos, saxophones.

I am from singers.

I am from borders

from overcrowded city y la Basilica

I am from every tree covered in moss,

from plum, and apple trees

that have served as play toys.

I am from rivers,

from endless corn fields and la casa azul.

from mountains,

coyotes and birds singing.

I am from mis abuelitos y el loco de tu Papa

from the co-op candles and lots of tea.

I am from sis, bebe, and la mina.

I am from if you can’t say something nice then don’t say it at all

from No hay mal que por bien no venga

and Viejos los cerros y reverdecen.

I am from diaries

from dinners, videos

and pictures that I refuse to stop taking.

I am from storytellers

that connects our story to the present.

-Oriss Acevedo

From Linda Chirstensen, 2001 “Where I’m From. Inviting Students’ Lives Into the Classroom.” Rethinking our Classrooms. Teaching for equality and Justice. Vol 2.

“Stay tuned in …

“Stay tuned in your beliefs, experiences, and feelings about people who live in poverty. Remember that if we judge, we cannot help. Believe and trust that people are making the best decisions possible based on their experiences, worldviews and perspectives” (Beegle p22).

Dr. Donna M. Beegle talks about understanding poverty.


A little about my education

A little about my education from our paper and a little encouraged from what I saw in A Year at Mission Hill and How do people learn?/ Faces of Learning.

My education has been sort of a roller coaster ride. I initially liked school when I came to the United States in the third grade. I thought it was nice that I was ahead of everyone in math (but soon fell behind again). I got to do art and to use computers for the first time; I learned how to pronounce English very well and got out of many classes. However as I got older school got harder and harder for me to deal with, I started to fall behind in everything and I began having a hard time with classmates. At some point between elementary and high school things really started to change. In high school I would just get a few nice comments and that was it, not much encouragement from home or school and teacher began to ignore me. I began to notice the difference in privileges when we were told to fill out FAFSA sign up for scholarships and to choose the colleges we wanted to go to. I had none of the requirement.

The pivotal point for me in school was a very scary and bold move I took in my sophomore year in high school. As a minority in a rural community if you do not advocate for yourself they will not do it for you. A counselor came to my English class and told us about our options our plans for the future. Scared I approach the counselor and told him that I wanted to go to college. After that everything changed for me. I felt I took control of my education. Initially before the counselor talked to me, I was placed in an English class that was made up of a couple of students (I was in the at risk category). I really hated the class I wondered about my dreams and aspirations of going to college and becoming a teacher. How would I get what I needed if I was at a completely different level than the kids I would eventually have to compete with in college? After the conversation with my adviser he changed things around and I transferred from that English class to a much harder class. I took the SAT’s and did AP Art and AP Spanish but still, I was not as smart as the rest of my classmates, my math and science were miles away from college level. Senior year, I managed to make the local news paper and to be recognized for my art work as well but why was I the only one? My parents did not have a good understanding of what school would mean for me but my educators did, so I resented that I was the only one that was Mexican to graduate in my class.