Monthly Archives: February 2013

Culturally Responsiveness

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  • The name of “your” family’s country of origin

South Korea

  • At least five ways in which you will prepare yourself to be culturally responsive towards this family

I will purchase some books on learning Korean and I will study and learn about the Korean family values, Korean educational values, and Korean celebrations and holidays. I will also study and understand the Concept of Kibun. Kibun is a word with no literal English translation; the closest terms are pride, face, mood, feelings, or state of mind. If you hurt someone’s kibun you hurt their pride, cause them to lose dignity, and lose face. Korean interpersonal relationships operate on the principle of harmony. It is important to maintain a peaceful, comfortable atmosphere at all times, even if it means telling a “white lie”. Kibun enters into every facet of Korean life. It is important to know how to judge the state of someone else’s kibun, how to avoid hurting it, and how to keep your own kibun at the same time.

  • A brief statement describing in what ways you hope that these preparations will benefit both you and the family?

I hope that in preparing myself with learning about their language, it will allow me to communicate with them if English is not easily understood by them. Also, in learning about the concept of Kibun and the Korean educational values, I will be able to understand behaviors that may occur with-in the classroom concerning this specific child. In understanding the Korean family culture, I will be able to address the family appropriately without offending anyone. The father is the head of the household and when having conferences where both parents are in attendance, I should speak directly to the father. Understanding their celebrations and holidays will allow me to be understanding and supportive of absences due to such celebrations as well as showing that I have respect for their culture. Showing that I have taken interest in understanding their culture will show the family that I have good intentions and am willing to be understanding and accepting of differences.

 

 

 

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I know that this is a very obvious incident related to bias, prejudice, or oppression but I would like to relate this to a book that I read to my students today, called “White Water” (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/listing/2685504557151?r=1&cm_mmca2=pla&cm_mmc=GooglePLA-_-Book-_-Q000000633-_-2685504557151). In this story a young boy is going into town with his Grandma. When the bus pulls up, they climb in and pay their fare, get out, walk to the back door, and climb in again. When they arrive in town, the boy heads to the water fountain for a drink but after a few sips, the warm, rusty water tastes bad. He wonders why the kid at the “Whites Only” fountain is still drinking and wonders if it is cold and clean water unlike his. He determined to find out what the “whites only” water tastes like. He does and realizes that it is the same water, coming from the same pipe. He decides that he will continue to questions the way things are.

This diminished equity for the little boy because in the beginning I’m sure he felt segregated from the little boy at the other water fountain but then at the end after he realized they were drinking the same water but they couldn’t share a fountain, I imagine that he questioned even more the reason for the segregation. I imagine he felt less important than the other little boy but didn’t have true understanding of it.

This brought up feelings of frustration and sadness for children who experienced this type of segregation. I cannot begin to understand the thought process behind the idea of segregation and prejudice. I also felt a sense of relief that this is not how the world is anymore and that my child will be raised like I was… to be tolerant, caring compassionate and to love all people. And he will be able to do so in a world where people are treated equally rather than in a world filled with so much hate.

Well, we all know how it turned out, as this story is obviously one from the past. But the “majority” or those that were the ones creating and backing the segregation are the ones who needed to change. They needed to take a stand for those who were being treated unfairly. Now we are all offered the same rights, privileges, and opportunities at equity.

Practicing Awareness of Microaggressions

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I am not sure if this example qualifies as a microaggression persay but I read an article this past week about “Things to never say to a working mom”. I have also read one about “Things never to say to a stay at home mom” and I have to say, as I was reading them I was thinking about this class and how these statements addressed in the articles were similar to the comments discussed in the media video we viewed for our discussion. The questions were not meant to be demeaning or offensive but were easily taken that way. They offended and made SAH moms and working moms feel inadequate.

It reminded me of the time someone told me that they would stop working and stay home once they had children because they “didn’t want someone else raising their child”. When they said it, it was not meant to be offensive but I took it that way. It made me feel as though this person thought I, and other working moms were selfish and that I was not taking responsibility for raising my child. I felt inadequate as a mother even though I knew I was doing what was best for my family and that I AM raising my child. I am the one who loves, cares for, feeds, bathes, teaches, disciplines, and raises my child but I am also lucky to have caregivers who are reflective of the way I am raising my child and are there to carry on what I do, when I can not be there. I felt the need to defend myself to her even though she was not directly telling me that I wasn’t raising my child.

Before the reviewing the media presentation this week and thinking about experiences of mine as well as friends, I did not realize how hurtful, seemingly innocent comments can be when they are connected to any type of discrimination, prejudice, or stereotype. It has opened my eyes and caused me to really stop and think before I speak.