It is rather difficult to find suitably diverse books to include in a classroom collection. Many common children’s books are written from a western, Anglo-American point of view. How do we include more diversity into the classroom with this limited variety of resources? How do we encourage more multicultural stories for the future? Like we have talked about in class, providing opportunities for all children to express themselves, tell stories, and facilitate their talents will have a large impact on them as adults in the workforce. When they feel represented in the classroom literature, it shows them that all perspectives are important. Children who are encouraged to read and write freely may feel compelled to write their own books featuring their unique cultural experiences.
As a future teacher, I want to understand the cognitive, physical, and social toll certain practices have on our students. Homework is a central part of school, at least that’s what we have been led to believe, but young children may suffer unjustifiably in the name of academic success. Particularly during the elementary school years, the young bodies and minds of children under the age of about 10 are not yet equipped developmentally for the sometimes daunting demands of homework. This is the age group I hope to teach someday. Homework has many effects, specifically because it is developmentally inappropriate, it wastes valuable time that could be used for other cognitive and social development, and it produces an educational gap.
From 1845 to 1852, Ireland experienced one of its most devastating famines. Called the “Great Hunger,” it’s estimated to have killed one million Irish and forced a further two million to emigrate. But the effects have impacted more than the generations who survived. Through epigenetics, it has subsequently impacted the lives and heath of nearly every generation that came afterwards. Epigenetics is the study of the process by which genetic information is translated into the substance and behavior of an organism. Our genes, and the epigenetics that “sit” on them, determine our health, longevity, and dispositions. Not only can these be influenced by biology, but our own actions and experiences as well. Thus, our ancestors’ life experiences have influenced their own epigenetics, which in turn influence our parents’ and finally our own. When examining the Irish Potato Famine, the individual can be understood as the actual individual person experiencing the famine. The group thus becomes the population of Ireland during this time.
How do you lampoon an election that already routinely veers into absurd territory? That’s a challenge that Trevor Noah, the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, faces nightly, as he discusses an election cycle of scandals, leaks, bigotry, and fear-mongering—a cycle where even the most unprecedented happenings have become mundane. A South African television and radio host and comedian, Noah has been the host of The Daily Show since 2015. Being the child of a Xhosa mother and Swiss-German father, his childhood in Johannesburg under apartheid’s Immorality Act had a large impact on his life and future in comedy. This is explained in his autobiographical comedy book Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, which become a #1 New York Times Bestseller and named one of the best books of the year after being published in 2016. Noah's mixed-race ancestry, his experiences growing up in Soweto, and his observations about race and ethnicity are leading themes in his comedy. His typical humor genres include political/news satire, deadpan, and black, insult, and observational comedy. This he carried over to The Daily Show after the retirement of his predecessor and one of his comedic influences Jon Stewart, integrating political and ethnic humor.
So you've just had a baby. You're overjoyed, overtired, and overwhelmed. What exactly do you need? Are you prepared? There is so much information out there to go through, much like this very list, all claiming you need this and that for your baby to thrive. But if there was one thing I want to explain is this... you DO NOT need half of what others have claimed. A few well-made, multi-use products will help you care for and love your baby throughout those emotional first weeks and more. Some of these products I have used with my own family and work as an early childhood and elementary educator, and some of them I have heard about. All of them you should try for yourself and make an individual decision that best fits with your own lifestyle and child.