Love the mind map, Clara! Well done!
This mind map definitely suggests A LOT of thinking on your part. I just want you to know that your blogs have been extremely well-written, and it’s very apparent that you’re putting forth a serious amount of time and energy with your topic.
Specifically, I love the each of your main topics (Stories, Importance, Change, etc) has a number of different branches rather than just one or two. That is, when you branch off of Stories, you don’t just include educators but you are also apt in including student stories. The point I’m trying to make is that you’ve got several different angles in each of your topics, and this is the sign of a sophisticated thinker.
If you could make one change in the issue that your topic provokes, what would it be?
I’m sorry I’ve taken so long to reply, I really appreciate your commenting: you are always very detailed and provide more for me to think about, so thank you for starting these conversations. You mentioned my involvement of different groups, and I definitely see that as a huge part of this effort: Vermont is community based, and so too must be any change affecting it. I know we’ve talked about this more recently, but I think that one change I would really like to see (as vague as it may be) is students recognizing each others’ cultural worth, because it’s so incredibly important and I think it happens far less than it should.
I look forward to talking with you more!
This is a work of art! Your insightful thinking that I’ve enjoyed reading over the last few weeks has emerged into this beautiful creation. Your main points: Importance, Stories, Change—why is it important, what are the stories, and how can change come about? You’ve come full circle from the Simon Sinek video on “How great leaders inspire action.” The section I loved the most was when you wrote: Power in…sharing stories; Power… in appreciating individuals’ experiences. Your story has the power to make change and this project will continue to evolve and take shape as you move to the next phase. Great work.
Sorry I took so long to respond, I really appreciate the feedback. My thinking behind the “Power in…” section was that simply by asking people to share their stories we are legitimizing and validating their experiences, which is especially important for people who may not feel well-received in this non-diverse state, or even feel actively prejudiced against (which wouldn’t be surprising considering the rampant political demagoguery on a national level). As you mentioned, I tried to keep Simon Sinek’s model in mind; it’s one I’ve worked with in several different capacities and having seen its importance in action I appreciate it all the more. Thanks again!
This mind map is really good! I feel like it really shows your thoughts and what you know about your topic. I particularly liked that you included “add not replace”. I think this is an important concept that would help include these new American students into our communities and schools because I think it sends the message that the student isn’t just a person that is here to take on the role of someone else, but is their own individual and is someone other than that person. That they are another community member and should be welcomed. I think the colors and diagrams really made this mind map easy to read and something you want to look at. Keep up the good work!
My apologies for taking so long to reply, I really appreciate your comment! What you mentioned, the “add not replace” aspect, is also one my favorite parts of this issue, mostly because I think it’s an important lens through which to view it. In many ways, I think that some VT communities are struggling with new and diverse members because they’re looking at it form one direction, when really it’s an incredible opportunity to learn something new about someone’s way of life. This is especially an important emphasis when it comes to students, because I think it could be really affirming for young New Americans or ELL students to know that they, too, have something to teach their peers. Thanks again for commenting!
This mind map is very well designed and clearly shows your deep understanding of the issue at hand! I noticed that you mentioned, “benefit to community.” I’m curious as to what you mean when you say this, and how you are hoping the new American will do so. I can think of ways how they can benefit the community with a different background and diversity, but I’m curious what your ideas are.
Keep up the great work!
Thanks for commenting! Sorry I’ve taken so long to reply. I think your ideas about what I define as “benefit to community” are pretty similar to mine…I believe that in our rapidly globalizing society, understanding how to interact with people with different experiences is essential, but unfortunately many Vermont students (and even communities in general) have never had the chance to interact with people culturally unlike themselves on a meaningful level. There is a lot of tension around this issue currently, but I think the discussions that open in small communities when they are joined by new people are worthwhile, and it is important, especially for young people, to have the skills and mindset to interact with all people.
I look forward to talking more!
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What's the Story? The Vermont Young People Social Action Team is sponsored by Middlebury College, Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, and the Bread Loaf Teacher Network.