education matter

anonymous asked:

This is a rant(sorry), but I was talking to a girl from my classes and she asked me about being ace. I told her previously I was aro/ace(she asked if I was gay), but today she just kept going "omg that's so weird, how can you be like that", and asking me "how did you find out that you don't have a sexuality?" Idk, I know she's just uninformed, and I gave her the AVEN website, but her tone just got under my skin:/ I have a sexuality, I'm ace. Hopefully she'll come to understand, but still:/

1- do not apologize about ranting bc one of my favorite things to do is listen to people rant

2- you did good! definitely try to keep educating her, no matter how annoying she might get

4

A substitute teacher in California got banned for wearing a Black Lives Matter button

  • A 75-year-old substitute teacher at Clovis West High School in Fresno, California, was banned from working at the school last month after he wore a Black Lives Matter button to class.
  • On Nov. 8, the Clovis Unified School District told him he was no longer allowed to teach at Clovis West.
  • Roberts, who is white, had worked for the district 15 years. 
  • An incident report stated that students were offended by the pin, and that Roberts was not following the lesson plan. Read more

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Okay, guys. The vegan pet food post got something like 2.5k notes after the puppy bowl promoted a dog that was fed a homemade and seriously unbalanced vegan diet. I love it, good on y’all for spreading education. However, there was also a huge upswing in the notes of people calling vegans animal abusers for wanting to feed their pets a vegan diet. I cannot stress enough that you need to stop that. I literally just published an essay on how the overuse of the term abuse only pushes people away from being educated because it makes them react viscerally first and think later. So when you share a good, solid, educational link and follow it up with commentary condemning folk before they’ve even had a chance to read it and maybe learn things they were unaware of… you’re shooting yourself and your activism right in the foot. 

Most people who feed their pets vegan diets are not doing it because they want to make their animals die of malnutrition. They’re not doing it because they hate their pets or have no regard for their welfare. That is exactly the opposite of why they’re choosing that diet for their pet. The majority of vegans choose that lifestyle for ethical or environmental reasons: to them, it is a moral choice. We all project our morality onto the animals we care for to some degree - it’s why it is so distressing to learn your dog is aggressive or reactive or anything society codifies as “bad.” We are good people, and we love our pets, so how can they be bad if we are able to love them? Everyone does this to some degree, and often folk for whom vegan ideals are strongly moral ones feel like it’s important that the actions of the animals they love also line up with what they view as being good. In the case of vegan pet food, they’re just simply mistaken about the true effects of such a diet and not animal abusers.

The fastest way to alienate someone who thinks they are doing something good is to accuse them of being bad. Their actions align with their moral compass, so obviously they can’t be doing something immoral, so you are automatically wrong and your ability to influence their actions is immediately destroyed. When people are genuinely ignorant of the effects of their actions, kind words and genuinely well-intentioned education go so much farther than abuse allegations. That is the case here, so please stop accusing folk of abuse. They love their pets as much as you do and are often horrified to learn what they’ve been accidentally perpetuating. It’s not easy to learn you’ve done something hurtful to loved ones, so be kind and support them - you’ll help a lot more animals that way.

(In a beautiful example of demonstrative irony, this post is an example of me trying to educate you on why you are doing a well-intentioned thing that is bad and that you need to stop. But in approaching it, I’m not condemning you for doing something you thought would help - I’m (attempting) to communicate that I understand your intentions but that you’re missing some information that undermines your success at your goal, and then trying to provide you some more information to help you achieve it. If I just said “jeez guys, calling vegans animal abusers is a massive fuck-up” you’d be pretty disinclined to listen to what I had to say…)

Recognizing uniqueness is not a substitute for thinking about disability

Teachers who are really good at teaching typically developing kids sometimes have trouble understanding the significance of disability. I’ve heard a lot of things like “all kids are unique” and “I always individualize my approach for every kid” and “I don’t see the need to label any kids as disabled, it’s just a matter of finding what works for them”.

This sounds positive, but it can be a disaster for kids with disabilities.

We talk a lot about uniqueness, but a lot of effective teaching depends on understanding ways in which kids are similar to each other. Developmentally appropriate practice means understanding how kids the same age are similar to each other — then being flexible in ways that recognize kids’ unique humanity. We develop a sense of what the range of difference is for kids of a particular age.

Kids with disabilities are more different than that, and we need to take those differences seriously. Disability matters, and practices based on typical developmental milestones don’t account for it.

For instance:

Developmental milestones tell us:

  • Two year olds don’t have the motor skills to support handwriting.
  • Early education helps two year olds develop the motor skills that will eventually support handwriting.
  • Ten year olds do have the motor skills to support handwriting.
  • If they’ve had appropriate education, ten year olds should be able to write.

Developmental milestones don’t tell us:

  • How to teach ten year olds who don’t have the fine motor skills to support handwriting.
  • What early literacy and pre-writing instruction looks like for young children who are unlikely to develop the motor skills needed to support handwriting

It’s also important to understand the difference between unusual and unique. Disability means having unusual differences. But not every difference is unique. Some differences are shared by other people with disabilities. Those shared differences are important.

We need to understand the disability-related similarities. Part of that is having the right words to describe them. Calling disabilities by their right names isn’t about labeling, it’s about breaking isolation and making important things speakable.

For instance:

Braille:

  • Braille exists because blind people need it to exist
  • The differences between sighted people and blind people are a reason that braille needs to exist.
  • (And a reason that Braille is better than raised print).
  • The similarities between many blind people are a reason that braille *can* exist as a standard way of accessing literacy. 
  • If each blind person was completely unique, there would be no way to create a reading and writing system that would work for large numbers of blind people.

Some other examples:

  • Wheelchairs.
  • Ramps.
  • Large print.
  • Cars with hand controls and/or wheelchair lifts.
  • Text-to-speech communication devices.
  • VoiceOver and other screen reading software.
  • Signed languages.
  • Medications that manage symptoms.
  • Supportive seating.
  • The ADA, Section 504, IDEA and other disability rights laws.

People with disabilities are unique, and not interchangeable with each other. Similarly, kids the same age are unique, and not interchangeable with each other. Both the similarities and differences are important.

Tl;dr Sometimes progressive educators are uncomfortable with the concept of disability, and want to instead just see every kid’s uniqueness. That doesn’t work, because disability means having unusual differences — and because the differences aren’t unique; they’re shared with many other disabled people. Recognizing uniqueness isn’t enough — we also need to understand and accommodate disability.

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Ma'am, you say you don’t have what it takes to do battle with these people. You do. You were drilled for years in the finer points of our Constitution. You know it better than me, better than all of us. You have the only education that matters. So what would you have me do? Summon them and give them a good dressing down like children. Why would they stand for that? Because they’re English, male and upper class. A good dressing down from Nanny is what they most want in life.

Scientia Potentia Est

Black on black crime has nothing to do with police brutality. Black on black crime doesn’t make the fact that racist cops are killing people of color for little to no reason any less horrible.

“Queen Sugar” just had one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard on Social Injustice

This needs to be heard by everyone. Reblog forever. This show deserves ALL THE EMMYS…

Melissa: Nova, our conversation today is going to focus on the idea of the journalists as activists. And looking at your body of work, of which I’m a big fan, you’ve covered everything from police corruption in low income communities to the problem of the American migrant workforce. When you think of your role as a journalist do you feel a sense of responsibility to take an advocacy position in your work?

Nova: I absolutely do. I worked hard to get to a place where I can choose the stories I want to cover, and it’s important for me to reflect humanity in my work, so there’s definitely an advocacy component in everything that I write. I think it’s critical that you use your platform, whatever that is…blogs, twitter, social media, whatever…to empower as well as educate.

Melissa: Let’s talk about a piece you wrote earlier this year on the “for-profit” prison complex and over-policing. I understand that you were able to help the young man featured in that story. His name is Too Sweet.

Nova: Yes, that’s correct. He’s been released on bail, but we still have a huge uphill battle to get his charges dropped. The Public Defender’s Office in Louisiana is woefully underfunded, yet they are sure happy to keep the bail money coming in. It could be years before Too Sweet gets a trial.

Melissa: But I just want to reiterate, his charges are quite serious. I mean “intent to distribute”, “assault on an officer”. Those are pretty serious charges.

Nova: Serious charges if they were true. Now, regardless, no minor should be held in an adult prison. They are not equipped to handle the emotional and psychological trauma of prison culture.

Melissa: That’s a good point. That’s a form of PTSD that we rarely talk about.

Nova: Yeah.

Melissa: Now, I know that you’re not publicly affiliated with the Black Lives Matter network or movement, but BLM has really changed the way that civil rights and social justice are articulated and the way they’re executed in this country. But now with one tweet you can move the needle. So as a journalist, give me your thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole.

Nova: The BLM energy was formally birthed in response to the 2012 acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer. And there have been chapters around the world that respond to incidents of anti-blackness and state sanctioned violence against black people. The movement is for people who are interested in the liberation of black lives.

Melissa: And yet, there’s serious criticism of BLM. What do you make of those critiques, especially of their relationship with Law Enforcement? 

Nova: The one criticism that frustrates me the most is this idea that there is a need for a leader, which is this coded language for meaning that there is no “straight male leader” at the helm. But truth is, civil rights work has been organized by communities of women, queer, and gender non-conforming people of color. Secondly, there’s this misconception that anything “pro-black” means “anti-white”. It doesn’t. Anybody who wants to fight for equity and justice should feel empowered to do so. I mean, reality is…law enforcement in this country is built on anti-black racism. As a community we need to interrogate our relationship with police. It’s critical for our survival. We deserve to be served and protected, and I want to work hand in hand with the brave men and women who agree with that on the force. Because they do exist. I know that for a fact.

-“I think it’s critical that you use your platform, whatever that is…blogs, twitter, social media, whatever…to empower as well as educate.”

Empower. Educate. Pass this along. Don’t let it die. The only way to fix what’s broken is to talk about it.

10

2,000 teachers in Seattle wear Black Lives Matter shirts

On Wednesday, 2,000 teachers in Seattle — alongside parents and students — wore Black Lives Matter shirts to protest against police brutality and promote racial equity. Teachers organizing the #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool event held discussions about institutional racism and black history and used the event to rally people together. Seattle School District’s official statement is even more heartening.

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