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Friday, June 27, 2014

Free Response Number Nine: Child Abuse

This past session had a very heavy topic, perhaps one we do not always want to discuss, but should be brought to light regardless of our comfort zones. The statistics were very informative and a bit shocking at times too. I knew that child abuse was rampant, but I guess seeing the numbers made the reality of it very concrete. I am glad that our class has an instructor who is familiar with the protocol. Otherwise, I am not sure if I would know what to do. It was a good thing to know that for interns you should not confide in your mentor teacher. It does make sense though, to preserve objectivity within the situation, but it upsets me a bit to know that I cannot even tell my closest superior. It makes me sad to know that this is the type of world we live in.

Growing up, I had a friend with whom I was very close. We were best friends in grade school for a few years. During the weekends, I would usually have sleepovers with my close group of friends. I remember during one particular sleepover an unusual occurrence took place. Years later, I suspected that she may have been abused because she ended up acting out on me that night. We were both very young, and I did not know how to react to the situation, so I just tried to forget about it. My friend ended up moving out of state a year or two later and I did not see her again until college. The funny thing is that when I saw her years later that encounter was the first thing that came to my mind. Since then, I have allowed myself to let go of the past and do not beat myself up about it. I should have told my mom, but when you are seven years old those things are not the thoughts going through your head. I know now that I must report these things. I mean, I have a legal obligation to do so, but if I can help a child who is hurting get out of a bad situation then I will try my best to do that.

Transitioning to lighter matters, I thought all the groups did well with their presentations. The LGBT discussion was moving, and it really made me reflect on my own beliefs and treatment towards unique groups and individuals. As educators, we preach fairness and equality, but it really can be hard to be completely objective. At the end of the day, we will still have our own biases, but I think if we look at each student as a person rather than focusing on their label or other identifying factor then that can help us a lot.

I understood JD's feelings towards feeling out of element with his presentation. I am not really one for lots of structure, so I think I would struggle with abiding by pure expository style. The one thing that stuck with me the most from Andy and JD's presentation was, of course, the video. I was extremely disappointed to hear that Genie's special ed teacher ended up using her for fame and glory. This is the worst example of what a teacher should be. Hopefully before then, you can sit back and self-evaluate your practices and motives. It was horrible to hear that she was placed in a state institute and remained silent. These stories just break my heart. This is not how children should be treated. The fact that children are the ones being mistreated and abused is the worst, because children have not developed a voice for themselves yet, so they need someone who can advocate for them.

I absolutely loved MaryEvelyn's presentation. I thought it was very interactive. The timeline was creative, and I wish I had thought of that. Although I believe in Erikson's theory for the most part, I do have to wonder about the discussion we had about being stuck in a crisis and that if you do not resolve it you remain stuck. That would mean that many people are then "stuck." It definitely gives me something to think about. 

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