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TEACHERS.NET GAZETTE
SEPTEMBER 2000
Volume 1 Number 7

COVER STORY
Ride along with the Hole in the Wall Gang this month and discover the special camp founded by Paul Newman nestled away in the quiet hills of Connecticut.
COLUMNS
Effective Teaching by Harry Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
The Trouble With... by Alfie Kohn
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Schoolhouse Views by Beth Bruno
ARTICLES
To Refer or Not to Refer
Tell A Number Trick
BCL Classroom Environments
Links Worth The Click
Morning Meetings
FLingers Block Party
Bridging the Digital Divide
Science Teacher Initiative
Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth
Developing a Positive Home-School Relationship
Classroom Rules Can Be Sweet
Teaching the Visually Impaired
BJ Treks Outback
Teacher To Ski Antarctica
REGULAR FEATURES
New at Teachers.Net
Letters to the Editor
Poll: Favorite Quotes
Archives: Self Publishing
New in the Lesson Bank
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Humor from the Classroom
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
Live Events Calendar
Gazette Back Issues
Gazette Home Delivery:


About Beth Bruno...
Beth is a freelance writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience in mental health and education. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. in Psychology in 1966. She continued her education at Harvard University (Ed.M. in Educaton, 1967) and Yeshiva University (M.A. in Clinical Psychology, 1976). Beth has served as Chair of the Psychology Department for the Special Children's Center in Ithaca, New York, and has worked as Adjunct Instructor at Tompkins-Cortland Community College.

Beth Bruno has always been "fascinated by people--their motives, emotions, what makes them tick." Her ability to "read people and connect with them" is a true gift. As a school psychologist, her philosophy is not to solve problems for people, but rather "to help people discover their inner resources and create ways to help themselves." "Some people fear the unknown," she says. "I welcome it, because I can usually make the best of whatever happens." Beth encourages questions from young people, adults, educators and professionals. She will do her best to answer each question personally and in a timely manner. She can be reached via email at bethbruno@teachers.net.

Click here for more articles by Beth Bruno.

 


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Schoolhouse Views
by Beth Bruno

Equal Opportunity, Equal Access

Editorís note: Ms. Bruno is on Summer hiatus. The Gazette will be re-running selected columns from her past articles featured on Teachers.Net

 
With all due deference to Websterís, desegregation and integration are not the same. Laws can require black children and white children to enter the same schools (desegregation), but no law can unite them into one student body (integration). It takes a person like Ruby Bridges to do that.

I had the distinct honor to dine with Ruby and friends a few weeks ago. This well-spoken woman told us about a period of time in 1960 when federal marshals, by order of the U.S. Supreme Court, escorted her into an all white New Orleans elementary school.

She was six years old then and it was her first day in the first grade. She had no idea why crowds of people, pushing against rope barricades, spat epithets at her. To block out their curses, she did what her mother told her to do; she prayed for them. "Please, God, try to forgive those people. Because even if they say those bad things, they donít know what theyíre doing."

When she entered the building, she noticed her reflection in the highly polished floors of eerily silent hallways. Where were all the kids? The principal escorted her to a classroom where, amidst rows of empty desks, her new teacher welcomed her. For nearly a year, every other child enrolled in that school stayed home, while the teachers, also publicly harassed, and Ruby, attended school.

The marshals continued to protect her from gradually dwindling crowds. This quiet, poised child in pinafore and pigtails steadily learned to read and write. In so doing, she taught a whole community of grown-ups some equally important lessons. One by one, parents sent their children, black and white, back to school. And, as children usually do, they all got along just fine.

"My teacher became like a second mother to me," Ruby told us. Many years later the two women met again. In reliving those remarkable days, they vividly recalled the fear, tears and laughter they had shared. They can look back in triumph now, proud of their place in history.

Today Ruby travels the country to familiarize others with her story, also chronicled in a recently published childrenís book, The Story of Ruby Bridges, by Robert Coles, 1995.

Read Rubyís story to your children and grandchildren. Itís a lesson from history well worth repeating. Despite SUCCESSFUL school integration in some places, segregation and racial isolation still deny equal educational opportunities to many of our children. We owe them more. The Rubys among us will lead the way.

Note: We also owe our children greater equality of access to special education services.

LINKS:

Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education
http://hugse1.harvard.edu/~apsp_web/dism.html

Desegregation:
http://www.teachermag.org/context/topics/deseg.htm

School integration in the United States:
http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory

Racial Integration incentives: Shaker Heights, Ohio.
http://ksgwww.harvard.edu/~innovat/winners/riioh88.htm


Beth Bruno bbruno@snet.net
Welcome to Insights, the Luckiest Spot on the Internet

Click here for more Schoolhouse Views articles by Beth Bruno.

 
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