Saturday, February 22, 2014

Safe Spaces Quotes

I found this week’s reading to be very thought provoking. I realized there was a balance between how much I would agree with one statement but then challenge the following statement. For this post I’ve decided to explain some quotes or phrases that stuck out to me. It was very difficult for me to narrow it down to three quotes because I found about ten that I could have rambled on about, but the following three are important nonetheless.  

Quote 1 : “LGBT students need advocacy and protection, not neutrality.” (pg. 84)
        When I first read this, I stopped to think about how I felt. The very first thing that popped into my head was the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” slogan. I’m not sure why I thought of this, and to be quite honest I’m not sure how to connect the two as of yet, but hopefully we can discuss this further in class. Anyway, at first I felt like the word “protection” implied that being a part of the LGBT community was dangerous and that if anyone were to know this about you, that you needed to be afraid of their retaliation. I also thought that without neutrality, the “issue” of LGBT communities would be shoved down everyone’s throat, almost exploiting I continued to read the chapter, however, I realized that advocacy and understanding are necessary for people who suffer this bias, in order to hinder the negative responses they too often receive.

Quote 2 : “They simply follow the paths of least resistance. They put one foot in front of the other…without critically examining the journey.” (pg. 84)
        This quote is referring to how teachers deal with situations regarding LGBT youth. It is sad to see that teachers try to take the easy way out when faced with such a controversial issue, but it is also somewhat understandable; sort of a fight or flight response. Teachers need to consider not only how a student will react to the happenings within the classroom, but also what happens when they leave. Parents and other administration keep a close eye on teachers, so they are forced to tread carefully when reacting to a situation, be it positive or negative. When it comes to the LGBT community, many teachers, unfortunately, do not have all of the necessary tools to properly handle unsavory incidents, so they just throw their hands up. Later on in the reading we come across of examples of how teachers dealt with these situations differently. I appreciated how we could see the difference between a positive “solution”, i.e. asking a child if they knew what “gay” really meant and if it fit appropriately (and academically, for that matter) into the conversation, as well as a plan that was faced with opposition, like the boy being sent to the principal for telling a classmate that he had two moms. It is apparent that there are effective ways to have “teachable moments” with controversial topics, but the struggle is figuring out when those moments occur and seizing them before it’s too late.  

Quote 3 : “Even teachers who describe themselves as social justice advocates fail to challenge homophobic or transphobic language and images in many early childhood settings.” (pg. 86)
        Again, I had mixed feelings after reading this statement. My initial reaction was that children in early childhood settings were too young to really grasp the concept of LGBT students and that they would not be able to understand the teacher, should they attempt to breech the topic. As I continued to read, however, I realized that an early introduction to any topic is never really a bad thing, as long as the topic is appropriate and relevant, of course- you wouldn’t try to teach a kindergartener your stance on gun control laws necessarily. The topic of LGBT youth is relevant though, as it is infiltrating classrooms, books, television shows, and public spaces around the world.

Our job as teachers is to devise a plan in which a student of any age can understand and appreciate – whether they personally agree or not – the hardships endured by the youth (and adults for that matter) who live a different lifestyle from their own.

“Like paths of resistance, the roads to safe spaces are made by walking. What will be your next step?” (pg. 99)


  1. I couldn't agree more with all your comments on each quote. I also had mixed feelings about early childhood grasping the concept of LGBT but like you said, after reading on, the early introduction doesn't hurt as long as the topic is relevant. Awesome post using the quotes!

  2. Hey! I really liked your post! I liked all the quotes that you picked. I feel that they each represent an important point made in the article. Additionally, I had mixed feelings about early childhood students getting to know about LGBT topics as well , but as I read more I feel that it would be fine as long as it goes and makes sense with what is going on. I just really liked your post!

  3. Hey Sarah! I really liked the way you set up this post. I also really liked how you put yourself and your thoughts into everything. You didn't just explain what the quote meant in relation to the text, you explained what it meant to you. And that's really important! I agree that as teachers, we need to be ready and comfortable with anything that comes our way, and we should be welcoming towards everyone; and this post really extenuates that idea! great job!

  4. hi Sarah! great job on your blog this week, you chose really good quotes and they were well described. I also had mixed feeling about LGBT topics being discussed early on, but after reading the article I am definitely ok with it!

  5. Hi Sarah! I loved hearing your thoughts on those quotes. This reading was very interesting. It made me think a lot about bullying and the whole LGBT. When I read quote one, I thought the same thing! Why do lesbians and gays need protection? Why can't they be treated like everyone else! I can't wait for this discussion in class to hear everyones thoughts!

  6. I really appreciate how you made your ambivalence visible here -- talking through and around and beyond issues is the best way to figure out how you thin ad feel about them. Good work!