The author, Richard Rodriguez argues, “that while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by becoming assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality”
What I believe Rodriguez is arguing here is that in order to fit into society, you must change yourself to fit the perfect mold that society has set. The biggest characteristic of this mold is to be english speaking. For Rodriguez and his family, that ultimately meant losing their native language. Their household became so strict with only speaking English in the house, that living their became almost uncomfortable for the family. I found it extremely unfortunate that this once close-knit family became so distant because they felt pressured by the culture of power. This shows just how present the culture of power is, even in the classroom. I believe Rodriguez's excerpt is the perfect example of when Lisa Delpit says "teachers are in an ideal position to play this role, to attempt to get all of the issues on the table in order to initiate true dialogue" (Delpit, p.47). The nuns in Rodriguez's piece had the power to change the way his household operates and turned out to produce a negative result. I believe teachers can use opportunities like this and produce great results. As a teacher, I would have used this as a chance to teach the students about the Spanish culture. In almost every single classroom in the United States, children learn about the history of America, and not much about any other culture, which is a huge reason why there is still a culture of power. I would have absolutely used that as a chance to introduce the “melting-pot” that America has become. Rather than trying to whitewash the more diverse and culturally different students in the classroom, I would want to make them feel comfortable all while improving skills that will be beneficial for them in society in the future.
Questions/Comments/Points To Share
What are some other ways teachers could positively incorporate non english speaking students in the classroom?