Archives for the month of: April, 2015

http://temitayo.blogspot.com/2015/04/whats-wrong-with-school-sytem-by-brenda.html blog from The Joys of Motherhood

As a retired New York City educator, every once in a while someone will ask me what is my perception of the failings of the New York City school system. Well,I believe it’s a number of things.

First of all, when people ask what’s wrong with the school system,they often are really asking why are the inner-city kids not progressing as they should and displaying such hostile behavior.Why are these students so out of touch with education, they wonder.But what they really mean is, what’s wrong with the African-American, African Caribbean and Latino students who comprise the majority of the inner-city schools.

Having been an African-American student myself and then becoming a teacher, I say let’s look at the history that is so very much a part of us and how that history reflects what it means for black and brown people today transitioning from being considered subhuman to enslavement, to Jim crow/segregation,lynchings and poverty.Let’s look at the subliminal messages that black and brown students receive and that are translated into “you”are not good enough through the media. And what about the scantily taught and often down right omission of black,latino and Caribbean history and literature.

Let’s look at the recent and continuous rash of black and brown people,especially,males who are being incarcerated,killed and brutalized by the judicial system under the guise of fear and protection.

Although I do not believe in allowing  students to succumb to their disadvantages and disappointments even under such objectionable circumstances,I do understand that these are some of the reasons that we bare witness to a failing school system.

Failing schools are simply a symptom of some of the failures in our society.
And until we honestly and collectively work to annihilate them ,we will always be scratching our heads and asking the same questions.

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I have a moment to share about anger, bullying and power… of a 4. 5 year old. I’ve known this family for 3 months. I began working with them because their 4 year old son was having high emotions and anger during the school day, he was hitting other children, and his teachers were upset, had no answers, and cared a tremendous amount about this young boy I’ll call Jack* which is not his real name.

His awesome Mom shared this story of his playground time.  At age 5 something happens, children begin teasing more, comparing themselves, and being “mean” to each other in a very personal way. Bullying also happens. This is a huge subject, I have a lot to say on this matter, but this blog is super focused on this young boys experience. And now for the story…..

Mom, younger sister and Jack are enjoying a day in the park, they are at a new playground, everyone is excited. During activity, a young girl began calling the young boy all different kinds of “baby,” she may have been several months older, not more. She began relentlessly teasing him. He went and told his Mom, she brainstormed with him to ignore her, keep on playing, walk away and some other ideas, he tried all of them, he came back and tried to keep playing. What Mom witnessed next is amazing for this child, but also as an inspiration for all human beings.

She came back to tease him, he said nothing, but let his anger come up and looked at her in a powerful and angry way.
You know what happened? GUESS!!!

She ran away crying. He had used no words, said nothing. He let his anger come up and didn’t get physical, or even any closer to her. He stood his ground and became his powerful self.  AMAZING!!!!

Why am I so inspired by this? This young man and his family have been working on acceptance of ALL feelings, there is not one feeling that is “good” or “bad” they are all healthy. Hitting is not ok when angry, but being angry is ok. Throwing a glass cup is not ok when frustrated, but frustration is ok.

This young man now has an experience of how powerful his anger is. No one got hurt, no one got disciplined, he just let this little girl know, he wants her to stop and he is not messing around. This experience lives in his body forever, and this little girl knows to not mess with him ever  (at least this is what I believe.)

I have met, witnessed and experienced myself, resisting certain feelings.  Feeling our feelings is a BIG mission, there is a ton of research on why people don’t feel certain feelings. Have you ever heard yourself saying anything similar to these phrases?

  • Stop crying
  • Use your words
  • Don’t be angry, just share
  • Why aren’t you happy?
  • Don’t get frustrated, just use your words

Words dissipate feelings. Words create comfort, some situations are beyond words. Words make the feelings go away.  When feelings get repressed, it affects the physiological body. What you resist persists. Nothing has to change, the challenge I offer:

Tune in and become aware of when a feeling is felt in your body. What is your next action? Do you shoo away the feeling, do you eat? Do you start to blame or talk about others? Do you get a headache? Start to track what happens when an “uncomfortable” feeling arises… You will be surprised.

Thank you from my heart for reading this, ALL of your comments and feedback are welcome here,

ShaneangryBboy

It’s a good question… Is it “good” to cry in front of your child?

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