Other Journal Responses

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The other journal I chose an article from was "The National High School Education Month". The articale was titled" "School Based Mentoring at a Glance", by Jacqueline Rhoden-Trader, Nov/Dec 1998, p. 39.

The article talks about the mentoring of students at school by faculty members, other adults, and local professionals or community members. Students need attention, and regardless of even the most ideal student - faculty ratios, we can't provide students with all of the attention they need. So many schools have developed a mentorship program, which is a one-to-one or group relationship over a prolonged period of time between a youth and a more experienced adult who provides consistent support, guidance, and friendship that enables the young person to gain skills and confidence that will help the young person reach his/her fullest potential.

School partnership mentoring programs vary greatly between schools, but the one thing a mentorship program always has in common is that they provide students with adult friends, role models and advocates who care about them and inspire them to achieve in school. These programs have been proven highly effective in improving school performance and raising self-esteem.

I am in total agreement about what a mentorship program means and does for an individual. I am constantly aware of the student/faculty ratio and the fact that our students need more. More attention, more guidance, more support and more caringness. The problem is, that without people stepping out, and being willing to go one-on-one and be a mentor to a student who needs one, (and we have a lot of students who need them) these kids are being left without the guidance and attention they need, and therefore are not achieving to the level they possibly could.

I think starting mentorship/partner programs throughout the schools and communities is a very wonderful and important thing to do and have.

-- Anonymous, December 09, 1998


The second journal I chose was from the magazine "Teaching Tolerance". The article was titled "Not For Sport" A Native American Activist calls for an end to "Indian" team mascots, by Barbara Munson. Nov. 15, Spring 1999. pg 40.

It was ironic that I received this magazine with this article in it right after Val had given her presentation, and had talked specifically about this issue. The article explained exactly why Native Americans are against the "Indian" team mascots/logos, and how they feel about this.

The facts that were stated about why Indian mascots and logos have been used were statements such as: "We have always been proud of our "Indians" and "We are honoring Indians; you should feel honored." The Native Americans responses were that the Native American Imagery typically reflects little pride in or knowledge of Native Cultures. Native people are also saying that they don't feel honored by this symbolism. They feel it is no less than a mockery of their culture.

These are just two of the examples, from the many, that were given in the article, that show how our society, through mascots and logos are portraying the American Indian today. Native Americans don't want the mascots and logos portraying their Indian people from the past. They are contemporary Cultural people and want to be seen and heard this way. It is their job to "pass on" and not "preserve" the continuance of their culture to their native people. It is not ours. They are hoping we honor their request for us to stop using the Indian Culture for Mascots and logos. They know we don't mean any harm by using them, but we will be causing harm to them if we continue to use them, and not hear thier voice.

I was totally unaware that American Indians were feeling this way about team mascots. It has also been made much clearer to me the reasons for their feelings. I'm beginning to understand the importance of their culture, and why they don't want their Indian image portrayed in the way certain mascots and logos portray them. I'm very thankful that we were educated by Val's presentation, and wish we could be further educated about the Indian Culture. Before this, I was totally unwaware that American Indians were trying to make this change.

-- Anonymous, February 09, 1999

Brenda, Good article on mentoring. I'm glad to see you are looking into the possibility of mentoring other students who need more specific help.

Let me post some questions in order to stir some further thinking on your part. How are students selected to be mentored, what criteria or need? How do other students feel if they have no mentor? I thought teachers were mentors to all their students, so if a teacher becomes a specific mentor to specific students, how does that effect (time and energy) the mentoring of all students? Would the Littleton situation have been different if these student killers were assigned teacher mentors, etc.? Should the mentoring program be geared toward alienated students,etc.? The Search Institute reports the need for children to feel connected to their school as one of the vital academic and social assets. Would mentoring be a bridge to certain students to achieve that end?

I hope your work and thinking would proceed to explore more areas of aid and comfort to students. Good work, Brenda.

-- Anonymous, June 16, 1999

Brenda, the article regarding mascots seemed important to you because it opened your eyes to other perspectives. Certainly, those of the dominent culure need to understand the power they have and how they use images, especially images that do not hold much or different meaning for those in the dominant culture. Mascot names are certainly an emphasis on finding deeper meanings behind images and words. Why do we have a need for mascots anyway? Where does that tradition come from? What is its original meaning and purpose, and has the dominant culture lost its respect for its meaning?

-- Anonymous, June 21, 1999

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