Monday, September 14, 2015

Sit and Learn....Who does that?

This was one of my favorite frames that I read.  I have always loved traveling, seeing new places.  I love voyages, and with my past in yachting I could help pull this frame.

Thought 1: I absolutely loved reading this first ½ of this book.  I loved reading the text, reading the pictures and reading between the text and pictures.  As I read, I thought about my learning survey, and how so much of my learning comes through visual representations.  With the written text and the adjoining comic illustrations I feel like I can get so much more out of the message.  I love the graphic novel format and can’t wait to read more.

Thought 2: When reading about Quinn, I thought of a student in my class.  G, he has only been at Cluny for a few years but he already has a reputation.  He has been labeled energetic, unfocused and distracting.  I thought about how these labels are limiting (pg 18) and they “lower(s) our sights, misdirect(s) our vision, suppress(es) possibilities(y).” (pg 18).   Ayers’s specialist says “I’m concerned about his ability to sit and learn” in reference to Quinn (pg 17).  I am concerned about G’s ability to complete tasks, but I am not concerned about his ability to learn because I have seen him have great insight into what we are reading, he loves participating, is kind to his classmates and he loves sharing.  He may not be able to “sit and learn” but maybe he can stand and learn, talk and learn, share and learn.  

Thought 3: Who is Bill Ayers… I don’t often remember author’s names but Bill Ayers sounded so familiar I had to look into it (it came from the 2008 presidential election time period).  When I started to google his name a lot of interesting information came up.  I think it is important to know about the authors who are writing the texts that we read.  Bill Ayers Bio


  1. Jenny, one of the main concerns I had after reading Ayers this week was, like you, about those students that carry a "reputation" with them...while I think some of this information might be important, I wonder how that information impacts what we think of these students before they even walk through our classroom door on day one.

  2. Jenny, I agree completely with you and Ayers that labels are limiting. And when I think of labels, I'm thinking about all types of labels--ADD/ADHD/Hyper/Brilliant/Jock/Shy/Nerd/, etc., etc. Why do we feel the need to put people in boxes?? I'm thinking about myself and the fact that I was labeled "smart" very early in my school career. Why was I labeled smart? Was it because I was good at taking standardized tests? Maybe...and this label stayed with me throughout school. What I'm starting to think about now is Was I labeled "smart" because I actually was? Or did I become "smart" because someone labeled me as such and I fulfilled that expectation. Labels are wrong on so many levels and yet I still find myself using them...How can we get ourselves out of this habit??

  3. Jenny, thanks for sharing the interview. At one point Ayers something about wrestling to keep words in and that he needed Alexander-Tanner to show him how the images could enhance the meaning. Like Ayers, I could have just read this all in text form and enjoyed it/learned something, but the images make the text irresistible. As we mentioned, with our variety of learning styles, it's important to include a variety of ways to grasp and transform...and this text shows the power of it.

  4. Jenny,
    Thanks for the Bio, I had not looked into Bill Ayers before, and I would not have connected him with weather or the Vietnam war. It is difficult to read any of our materials and not draw connections to our students, I find myself doing that all the time, and going back to students I have had in the past and 2nd guessing some of the decisions I have made even years ago. One thing I have learned over time, is to stay out of the teacher's room, and not seek an opinion on a student unless I am really stuck on something, or it comes from someone I have gotten valuable info from before. I do try to have collegial relationships with the people I work with, and love to share stories, but I make every effort to figure out a student by what happens between us, that I can evaluate and learn from, and I find it leads to positive relationships for the most part.

  5. Jenny, I think that any label is not a positive thing. I like what Melissa said when she was labeled "smart." Even the most positive words could be limiting, possible stereotypes could emerge. If Melissa was labeled smart, does that mean she is not athletic, or a person not willing to help others in need? I like the way the book clearly illustrates this issue.