Saturday, April 29, 2006

Monday...What will I do? What will you do?

About two weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me about my plans for Monday, May 1st. Will I go to work? Will I keep Sabina out of school? I hadn't even thought about participating in the boycott by not going to work until she asked me.

Since then, I have been torn about what to do. I support the boycotters 100%. I would love to participate in an event but in order to go to a really good one, I would probably have to travel to San Francisco, Sacramento or Fresno, since it is kind of dull here in my part of the Central Valley.

While I support the boycott, I also support my student's need for an education. All but one of my students are either immigrants themselves or children of immigrants. The majority of the kids in my class come from very modest, humble and hard working families. Their parents value their education tremendously and have done an excellent job of instilling this value in their children.

My guess is that IF I have any students absent on Monday, it will be the students from the few families that don't place a high value on education. (To be honest, the one non immigrant child will probably be absent too because he is absent at least one day a week just because he has better things to do than to come to school!) On top of that, we have two weeks left until our state testing. We need every day that we can get together to prep for the test. I just don't feel like I will be doing my students justice by not showing up to work and giving them the education that most of them really seem to want and desire. I guess you could say that I feel like I will be doing my part in participating in the boycott by coming to work and educating these immigrant children, mi gente, on that day.

The next question then is will I discuss the boycott that day with the students? I am a little torn on this subject too. Part of me thinks that I need to keep my personal politics out of the classroom. My students think that everything I say is what is right. While I kind of like that, I want to make sure that I don't abuse that power I have over them. It is important that I help them to be independent critical thinkers. The subject will probably come up though and we will discuss it in our circle/calendar time. If it doesn't though, I might even bring it up myself. We do discuss current events during our circle time so it isn't like it is something out of the ordinary.

Will I keep Sabina out of school? No. I would if I would be out of school or if there was some educational learning opportunity regarding the boycott that day for her to attend. Since there is not, I will leave her in school. Will I discuss it with her - absolutely. We have already started that topic today.

So, here is my question to all of you:

What will you be doing on Monday???


jennifer said...

i just answered this on xolo's blog, but i figured i'd answer here, too! :)

i'm holding class on monday. it's the last week of the semester, and my students will be giving presentations. though i canceled class on april 10th, this time around we don't have any more time to make up for a lost class day.

we've alked a lot about the immigration issue throughout the course of the semester, and i'm pretty sure that some of my students will go to the protest at the capitol later in the afternoon.

i plan to participate in the economic boycott... not sure what else yet.

GuusjeM said...

I'm going to work too. Like you I work in a school where 80% of the kids are immigrants or children of immigrants. Our state tests are over, school ends in 20 days and they are wild and wooly. Leaving them with a sub would not be a kind thing to them or the sub.

cindylu said...

I've decided that if I go to work, it will be earlier in the day with enough time for me to still make the marches in Downtown LA. It's not an easy decision to make as some would expect.

Anonymous said...

My district sent an email to all employees saying that we would be absent without leave (losing pay) if we didn't go to work. They sent home a notice to parents that was not too offensive, but in English only! I had mixed feelings until I read Mark Cooper's column in the Times. I generally value his opinion. He said that he supports the cause completely, and that previous demonstrations have been very positive and created support in even unlikely places. He thinks that the Monday boycott would be received negatively (even though the intent is positive), so he thinks it's counterproductive. While I support those who participate, I have to agree with Cooper. --Margie