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Given families' and students' rights to confidentiality, what would you do in the following situations? (1) Teachers are discussing students and their families during lunch in the teacher's lounge. (2) you notice that the students' records in your school are kept in an unsupervised area?
Maintaining confidentiality is one of the most important jobs of all teachers. Guidelines for confidentiality to protect students and families rights are outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as well as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Salend, 2008, p. 178). In situation number one I would approach the other teachers and ask them if they are aware that they are violating the confidentiality of the students and families that they are discussing. Then I would explain to them that as teachers we are expected to keep information about the lives of our students and their families private and the only time that information about students and their families should be discussed is in a meeting that has been set up to plan something for that specific student and family. In situation number two I would speak privately with the principle of the school and voice my concerns with him about the privacy of students' records at the school. I would explain to him that I believed that the records should be kept in a location where they are supervised in order to protect the privacy of the students' information. If the records are kept in an unsupervised location then someone who should not have access to view the records may be able to.
Think about several persons you talk to regularly. How do their communication styles differ in terms of eye contact, wait time, word meanings, facial and physical gestures, voice quality, personal space, and physical contact? How do these differences affect you? How do you adjust your communication style to accommodate these differences? What are some other strategies you could use to promote effective communication?
According to the textbook, communication styles and patterns vary from culture to culture and things such as "eye contact, wait time, word meanings, facial and physical gestures, voice quality and tone, personal space, and physical contact have different meanings and purposes in various cultures" (Salend, 2008, p. 185). On a regular basis the people that I talk to include my coworkers, classmates, and professors. One of my coworkers is a very quiet person and it often frustrates me when I am trying to communicate with her. When she does talk to you she has a voice that is very quiet and difficult to hear and she makes very little eye contact with you and is usually looking towards the floor. In order to accommodate for the fact that she is very quiet and difficult to understand, when I am talking to her I try to make my conversations as brief as possible and when asking questions I try to ask them in ways that she can respond with brief answers. A few of my other coworkers on the other hand are very vocal, animated, and tend to invade personal space when talking. These characteristics are also sometimes difficult to deal with and may get annoying. When communicating with these individuals I tend to take the more passive role and let them do the talking and I will give responses when they present me with an opportunity to talk. One way that I think I could promote effective communication between myself and my quiet coworker is by writing a note when I have a question for her. By providing her with the opportunity to write her response rather than having to speak to me may be more comfortable for her.
How are persons with disabilities and those from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds pictured in books, television shows, movies, and cartoons? How do these portrayals affect you and your students' understanding and acceptance of individual differences? How can you help teach acceptance?
Although there are some books, television shows, movies and cartoons that portray individuals with disabilities as well as people from different cultures and linguistic backgrounds in positive ways the majority of these sources portray these individuals in negative, disrespectful, and degrading ways. Children are strongly influenced by what they see on TV and what they read in books. Therefore children who view these negative portrayals of individuals with disabilities and different cultural and linguistic backgrounds are very likely to view the negative portrayals as being true and create problems with their acceptance of these individuals. As teachers, creating a positive classroom that promotes acceptance of everyone is very important. The textbook explains that there is a variety of attitude change and information-sharing strategies that can help promote positive attitudes towards everyone in your classroom (Salend, 2008, p. 203). Some of the key factors in making these strategies successful include: viewing all persons as capable individuals with unique personalities, qualities, likes, dislikes, strengths, and challenges; promoting the view that similarities and differences are natural and positive and that we all benefit from diversity and appreciating individual differences; fostering sensitivity rather than sympathy; providing information, direct contact, and experiences that share important information about and counter stereotyped views of others perceived as different; and engaging in actions that support others (Salend, 2008, p. 203-204).
Think (and respond in writing) about how you would respond to the following situations: Students are telling anti-Semetic jokes; using terms such as Indian giver; mimicking a student's accent; denying their racial, ethnic, or religious identities; teasing a male student who liked to sew.
These are all situations that would be uncomfortable and difficult to deal with, however they are things that come up and something has to be done about them. In these situations I would have a classroom conversation with my students and ask their opinions on why they think that saying these things may be right or wrong. I would then present my opinions on these phrases or comments and explain to my students why these comments are unacceptable and should not be used. Some of the examples that the book provides for dealing with insensitive and intolerant behaviors and comments include establishing and communicating policies and rules against all acts of intolerance and exclusion, identifying acts of intolerance and why they are unacceptable, clarifying to students that these behaviors will not be tolerated, immediately responding to incidents of intolerance and providing direct consequences, following up on the incidents, and reporting the incidences to administrators and other professionals for support on addressing the issue (Salend, 2008, p.225-226).
What learning strategies do you use? Are they successful? How did you learn them? What other learning strategies might be helpful to you?
According to the textbook, learning strategies are "techniques that teach students how to learn, behave, and succeed in academic and social situations" (Salend, 2008, p. 244). One strategy that I use is when completing assignments, such as this one, I read through all of the questions on the assignment first, and then I go back to the first question and read it again before I begin answering it. By pre-reading the entire assignment first I get an idea of what I need to be thinking about and then I can focus on the specific details as I work on each individual question. When it comes to note taking, my strategy is to use bullet points and write down the important parts of what the teacher is saying rather than trying to quickly write every single word that they are saying. For me all of my strategies seem to work because I tend to do well on my schoolwork so something must be working right for me. One strategy that I found in the textbook that might help when writing papers is the POW + TREE strategy (Salend, 2008, p. 439). The elements involved in this strategy are P: pick my idea, O: organize my notes, W: write and say more, T: topic sentence and tell what you believe, R: reasons three or more for why you believe this, E: explain reasons, and E: ending (Salend, 2008, p. 439-440).