This weeks reading was a painfully long reading that took me forever to get through, but I did. After reading it, I couldn’t help but notice all the connections to Delpit and Rodriguez and even some connections to my service-learning placement. “Literacy With an Attitude” written by Patrick Finn was interesting for me to read. The very first Delpit moment I came across was on page 4 where he said, "But, in fact I was schooling these children, not to take charge of their lives, but to take orders" and "I had work assignments on the board when the students entered the classroom, and so there wasn't a moment when they didn't have anything to do. I didn't say to an errant student, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Stop that and get to work.’ No discussion. No openings for an argument" (Finn, p.4). We see Finn emphasizing what Delpit is trying to say in her piece – you need to say the words or it will not get done.
The connection I found to Rodriguez was when Finn said, “the working-class children were learning to follow directions and do mechanical, low-paying work, but at the same time they were learning to resist authority in ways sanctioned by their community. The middle-class children were learning to follow orders and do the mental work that keeps society producing and running smoothly. They were learning that if they cooperated they would have the rewards that well-paid, middle-class work makes possible outside the workplace” (Finn, p. 20). I found that this related with Rodriguez because in his piece, he talked about how he had to cooperate with the rules given to him in school in order to be a successful member of society. These students all have to change themselves in their classroom in order to be “successful” while their teachers really don’t believe in their success and aren’t giving them the appropriate tools to be successful.
That brings me to my next point, this piece greatly relates to my service learning placement. The negativity that surrounds the students in the various schools that Jean Anyon visits is definitely present at the school I visit. The comments Finn shared with us like, “ ‘Just do your best. If they learn to add and subtract, that's a bonus. If not, don't worry about it,’ A second grade teacher said the children were ‘getting dumber every year,’ Only twice did Anyon hear a teacher say ‘please’ to a student in an unsarcastic tone. She heard ‘Shut up’ frequently” (Finn, p.11). In my school, I can hear teachers using VERY sarcastic tones with their students. Its frustrating for me to hear and watch because I know what that is doing to the student. It is making them feel frustrated and ultimately, unengaged. These lower class students are the ones who need the right tools to succeed, and one of those tools is a teacher that is willing to help – not one that is doubting everything the child does or underestimates their abilities. Unfortunately, these types of students are among those who will struggle the most in the future. As seen from past readings, racially diverse people get judged for everything – even their name, as we all heard about from this article. So, they need educators who are excited and willing to teach them things they will need while believing and encouraging them along the way.