April 26th, 2007
Last night our student teachers (in the TeachChicago! Semester program) met with Greg Michie, a teacher and author. Michie wrote two books about his experiences teaching in urban schools, the acclaimed Holler If You Hear Me: The Education of a Teacher and His Students and, more recently, See You When We Get There: Teaching for Change in Urban Schools which profiles teachers of excellence.
April 3rd, 2007
Joe Taylor, Program Facilitator, describes attending the theater event “Flyin’ West” with a Learn Chicago! group from Southwestern College.
Last week, I had the chance to see Flyin’ West by Pearl Cleage with a LearnChicago! group from Southwestern College (Winfield, KS). The performance done at Court Theater in Hyde Park was a remarkable look at the strength of a community of African American women in Kansas. What I was really excited to see was a story about African American women by an African American woman that showed the courage of these travelers and their commitment to family. The show us was able to personally expose me to a part of history that was overlooked in my educational upbringing and I would guess happened for many people.
The show tackles many important topics such as abuse and self-hatred, but I never felt that it was trying to preach to me, rather trying to expose the intricacies of the topics. The performance on stage by the entire company moved me and my entire group; leaving many of us speechless us we left the theater that evening.
April 3rd, 2007
Suzanne Switzer, Program Facilitator, describes the experience below:
Mary Patillo is an acclaimed author, as well as a sociologist and professor at Northwestern University. It was such a pleasure to be able to meet with her and discuss her experience in her research, the motives that went along with that research and why/how “Black on the Block” came about.
It was so interesting to hear what she had to say about the neighborhoods in which she studied juxtaposed to Arvis’ South Side Tour or the book students commonly read, “Our America.” Ms. Patillo is very professional in her speaking and was willing to answer any question the students had. She was very open to the discussion and really focused on providing the students with insight they may not have had.
She really brought her book, “Black on the Block” to life and it helped for her to explain her viewpoints and opitions/thoughts regarding the changes taking place in certain neighborhoods of the southside of Chicago. It was a fantastic, one-of-a-kind experience that I was so grateful to be a part of.
April 3rd, 2007
Suzanne Switzer, Program Facilitator, describes this experience:
Alex Kotlowitz is a soft spoken man of many words. In the meeting with him, he was very engaging with the students. He was willing to answer anything about his personal life to his professional life and how he got to where he is now. He was open about expressing his reasons why he chose to write “Never a City So Real” and also answered questions regarding his motives in writing “There are No More Children Here.”
He took well to the students ambiguity to his choices of topic in those books and was respectful upon answering questions. He is a man of much experience but experience that may, to some, be controversial as valid in writing what he does. Mr. Kotlowitz, was however, very generous in his time and very approachable despite his successful stature. He writings bring forth good points to society’s table and it was great to have a discussion with him.