In this Blog I would be reflecting on the essay Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome by Christopher Kliewer. I found this essay to be very interesting. Reading this essay reminded me of my high school. I attended a high school that had a birch vocational. The ground floor on one sided was known as the birch side. Compare to that section it was basically empty than all the other sections in school. To me the students seem isolated from everybody else then I started to realize the students who were in birch did had the opportunity to be in the so called regular classes. Usually when the birch students are in a regular class they have an assistant with them. I am glad my high school gave the birch students the opportunity to be involved with the whole school community, like Kliewer stresses the importance of citizenship. When I read this,
“Many of the projects that emerged from the stories, however, involved fine motor abilities that proved frustrating for Isaac. For instance, the children had made panoramas of the Night’s Kitchen using recycled garbage or had constructed bulletin boards depicting personal interpretations of Max’s dream through drawings, paintings, and cutting and pasting.” (Pg 76)
I automatically thought about one of the class day when Prof. Bogad talk about how it would be nice to see something or have something that represented who or what you are. For example, when students are reading a book it is the norm to see a family with a mom, dad, brother, and sister. It would be nice for the child who has two moms or two fathers to be represented in the book. For this quote I just automatically thought if they found a different way to do something for a book he loves so much that can work. It is representing him and understands his abilities. I connected with another quote,
“Shayne also focused attention on one of her classroom associates, Anne, who, as described in Chapter 3, had been left out of her high school transition planning conference. In this meeting, her committee had decided that Anne, who has Down syndrome, would become a preschool aide. Anne did not particularly care for young children and was unhappy with the prospect of spending her life working with them. As Shayne explained, "Anne wants to be a Hollywood director. Period." Shayne realized this desire grew out of Anne's love of movies and so took it upon herself to find a video rental store that would hire Anne. Shayne noted, "At least it's a move in the right direction. I mean, it's not Hollywood, but it's movie-related. That's what she loves, and she knows every movie that's ever been made." (Pg 78)
I personally related to this because I when I was in high school I was on the student government committee. My advisor for student government was the autistic teacher. This gave me the opportunity to work with autistic students. One of the things they do is operate a school store in the morning. This gave the students the opportunity to apply life and working skills and they enjoy it. I am glad Anne had a teacher like Shayne to help her find that opportunity. That teacher never gave up and pushes forward for her.
While reading the story I kept thinking that birch, disable, or students with Down syndrome should be incorporated into regular classes. Reading these stories and from experience incorporating and making everybody a part of each other community makes each other grow. Everybody can learn from each other. I think everybody should know and realize by now that everybody is different in their own way. People would like to argue and say teachers should see every child as the same and teach them without any judgment and the same. I say no a teacher should see every child different and in a unique way. Everybody is different and they learn differently, so teachers should be able to see their students like that but do not make bad judgments about it.