There were some issues that the class was spread out over the spectrum but there was one or two where it seemed to be half on one side and half on the other. One of these examples was if you were an art teacher would you have an art activity at Thanksgiving where students made pilgrim outfits from paper bags and headpieces with feathers for Native Americans. I was on the Yes side because I said that I believed that it was like a history craft, at the time of the first Thanksgiving the first Americans did dress like pilgrims and the Native Americans in the area at the time did wear headpieces with feathers in them. I also said that I would not allow students to go around making the stereotypical "Indian Call" or to go around saying "How". Also to explain to students that this is not how Native Americans now dress, just like it is no longer how Americans dress. Hearing the opposite side's opinions I found that we were all basically saying the same thing but that they had just interpreted the example differently. It was interesting to hear classmates opinion's on this subject and to see different points of view that I might not have come up with myself.
The second hotly debated example was if you as a teacher had planned a class trip to build homes for Habitat for Humanity and one of the parent's of a student said they would not allow their child to go on the trip because they were Jewish and Habitat for Humanity only gives houses to self-declared Christians - would you cancel the trip for all students? In this case I was in the middle but more towards the Yes side. Most of the the class was on the No side because they felt that the students would still be helping people by building houses for everyone. Nicole, another student in class, and myself both said that they really would not be building houses for everyone because people of the Jewish religion would not be allowed housing. I also did not think it was right that in this aspect it would be pushing the church and school together, something that is not allowed. I do not see how a school trip could involve something so blatantly endorsed by a religion. I still can't decided what I would really do in this situation, its difficult to say that you will not participate building houses for anyone but it's also not fair to not allow someone housing because of their religion.
(Since this topic was brought up a few years ago in Dr. class Habitat for Humanity's rules have been changed to benefit people of any or no religion.)
This activity just made me think about all of the outside aspects to teaching that I will constantly have to be aware of as a teacher. It is not just a career where you teach students the main education subjects. You have to teach students the rules and codes of society, teach them political correctness, and to be fair and aware to all the differences that make up your body of students. At times it seems very daunting, that one little mistake could affect so much in a student's life. It just proves how aware we need to be as teachers of everything we do and really think out lessons and activities before we do them.