The Man in the Mirror

The Man in the Mirror

“I remember the first time I saw Javier. He had eyes that pierced right through you. Angry eyes, but sad, plaintive eyes too, eyes that asked you for something. He had been thrown out of class for using profanity.” Donn K. Harris

In our discussion about inclusion, one very interesting idea was brought up. It was suggested that if we had a mirror in our class, every time we had a student with an angry outburst, we could send them to the mirror to reflect. This idea took made me remember a class I took, where one of the songs we read and rehearsed many times was The Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson. In this class we discussed art in prisons I left that class with a bitter sweet feeling, and lots of questions. I often thought of where we send people that are classified as trouble and a hazard to society. The image that people acquire of “I am a bad person” can be reinforced in school and follows them into their adult life. As teachers we have the power to guide students towards a self image that they are proud of. We can either show them the great things they can be or the terrible person that they see.


Diane Ravitch and Disciplines

Diane Ravitch and Disciplines

In one of my journals I made reference to the idea that we often study subjects separate from each other. My experience as an undergrad showed me that we do learn about the world making reference to different disciplines. I thought of Immanuel Wallerstein author of World-Systems Analysis. He starts out his book by talking about the different disciplines and how this divide does not allow us to make sense of politics. “Part of the problem is that we have studied these phenomena in separate boxes to which we have given special names- politics, economics, the social structure, culture –without seeing that these boxes are constructs more of our imagination than reality”(Wallerstein pg. x). Diane Ravitch showed us what it was like to deal with politics and education, but how often do elementary teachers think about this as they go on planning an engaging day for their students. Like in any other profession I think about the fact that we are still restricted to all the rules and policies that we need to follow, and we rarely think of why.



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.