Jan 25 2011

Just the facts

I love this country. Though sometimes my anxiety about becoming a bilingual educator mixed with excessive studying for the CSET (one of 2 certification tests California needs me to pass to be a teacher) makes me shake my head in shame,  Let me recap:

I started this list innocously, but now have to ask: what’s the matter with Arizona? This is obviously not to the exclusion of problems in other states, but honestly, Arizona, what’s your problem? Why did lawmakers in Arizona try to resist celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Day until recently? Why does Arizona detest brown people so much? Most people recieving direct transers and social services in Arizona are non-brown (read: white) so why all the haters? Most of the employed folksinArizona are non-brown. Brown folks make the economy grow. I mean I know this discussion  has been had and will be had for (please don’t say) time eternal. Arizona’s gross human rights violations are a direct attack on my future students, and I’m not having it.

I’ve already had a dream in which I went all Mama Bear on a kid mocking my students speaking both English and Spanish. I’m already in Mama Bear mode – because I know not everyone thinks Arizona’s decisions are as abhorrent as I do. I have no illusions of making the world love and appreciate my students as much as I  already do – BUT I want to be clear about the direction of my focus (which is two fold). I plan to love my students, to support them as they grow, to listen to them and help them facilitate their own empowerment processes.  I plan to support them as the develop critical insight into things like the wackness of Arizona, I plan to show them that’s it’s okay to name problems and address them AND I plan  to show them that my classroom will be a loving and affirming place because I will fight tooth and nail for them.

Si se puede Arizona and all the other haters. Let’s do this.

3 Responses

  1. elsa

    I’m totally with you there. I live in (ritzy and pretentious) Northern OC, and the attitudes people here have towards “brown people” are downright frightening.

  2. Kaitlyn

    I totally agree! Si se puede Arizona is right!
    I was just accepted to the 2011 corps in January as well (Congrats!) and placed in Phoenix. I’m teaching elementary and have studied spanish as well (unfortunately TFA Phoenix doesn’t have bilingual placements…that was my first choice). But, while I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of this movement, and to get my feet wet with TFA this summer, I’m so scared about being involved in education in Arizona after all the same things you’re talking about here… I’ve already accepted my position, but I’m scared that I’ll be fighting an uphill battle…
    Good Luck to you! :)

    • adrilicious

      Kaitlyn – glad we’re on the same page. Props to you for the courage it takes to go to Arizona. I’m glad you’ll be there fighting the good fight :). Your students will be lucky to have you I’m sure and will still, even if on the sly, be thankful for your bilingualism!

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