Speaker: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.
Melissa Baumunk: Good morning, everyone. You've had a chance to meet Cindy, I'm Melissa. I will just be here monitoring the chat for you. So again, as Cindy's discussing today just feel free to put any questions or comments in the chat. And I will bring those up as we go through OK Cindy off to you.
Cynthia Clark: OK, thank you Melissa. And again I want to say thank you to Melissa for joining me today she's one of our tech experts at an Adult School and she was kind enough to help me to do the chat. And if you have questions and engaging in discussions and things of that sort those are find and actually probably welcome.
Just want to start, like I said, my name is Cindy Clark my background in ESL I'm not really sure sometimes how things go about and you get different life experiences a little bit of background, I grew up in North East Thailand for about four years as a teenager, during the Vietnam War. And Thailand was a support one of allies, SEATO, SEATO agreement had Thailand housing, air bases, and army bases to the Vietnam War and culture, and people and language. And who knows all the different things that your experiences in life might be causing you to head in a certain direction.
Later on of course I grew up in love Wednesday here in Southern California and in the Bassett area, and after coming back from Thailand, I was in Rowland Heights since 1971. And went to Cal Poly Pomona in Pomona, of course, and took a black literature course in black literature, 1979. And at that time, I really was trying to focus on, again, the culture things were always very, very interesting to me. And I believe, I'm trying to remember, in black literature in 1979, Cal Poly Pomona, I think I was only one of two white women in the classroom. And, of course, my instructor, my professor, she had marched with Dr. King in the 60s.
And so that was really a fantastic experience to share with her a little bit. Later on, of course, finish Cal Poly Pomona and worked. And in 1994, I went back overseas for four years to South Korea and taught English for four years in South Korea. Again, another cultural experience, again, ending up teaching ESL when I came back to Roland Heights. So that's just a little bit about me. And I'm not sure, Melissa, is there several people in the chat room, a few people, how many people are coming in? I can't tell.
Melissa Baumunk: We've got a few participants, so you're probably good to start. I just wanted to let the participants know, I did put Cindy's PowerPoint in the chat, so you're able to access that and have that available to you as well. Cindy, you've got about 10 or 15 participants in here.
Cynthia Clark: OK, great, great. Thank you. OK.
Melissa Baumunk: You're welcome.
Cynthia Clark: The one thing I really did want to know from the participants, as you looked at the titles of your symposium offerings and your choices, I did want to know a little bit from the participants what kinds of things were you expecting to hear today when you saw the title. What kinds of things were you hoping to grasp, or to learn, or to hear about? Is there anyone that can share with me when they saw the title what they were hoping for or expecting, just to kind of give me some ideas. Anyone that would be willing to share a little?
Speaker 3: I'll share. Sorry, I'm trying to have it so the light isn't behind me to bad.
Cynthia Clark: Oh no, don't be sorry. I'm your newbie and don't worry, you don't have to be sorry. Don't worry you're fine. OK.
Speaker 3: Yeah, I was hoping, I feel like this is a year in which adult Ed is doing a better job at looking at equity issues and it's been a year in which they couldn't be ignored as easily as they normally are. And so I was hoping to hear from other adult Ed folks how they had approached things this year. I think this year made it hard to ignore. Most of the time I feel like it does get ignored, unfortunately.
Cynthia Clark: OK. OK. OK, great. And who am I speaking with?
Speaker 3: My name is Cynthia Eagleton. I teach at--
Cynthia Clark: Oh, Another Cynthia. OK.
Speaker 3: Cynthia.
Cynthia Clark: Thank you. Oh wow. And you teach at where?
Speaker 3: San Mateo Adult School. It's in the Bay Area, It's South of San Diego.
Cynthia Clark: OK. Excellent. Thank you, Cynthia. Thank you so much. All right. Yeah, you know what Cynthia, I think this journey that I'm taking you on this morning, my own journey too, I think has something to do with the times that we are in right now. In fact, I don't think, I know it does have something to do with what's been happening since, what would we say, late 2019. So thank you. Thank you very much. OK. Anyone else?
Melissa Baumunk: Possibly Frances. Frances, did you want to make a comment as well?
Speaker 4: Sure. I just want to say that I teach ESL also. I teach a lot of immigrants. And when we, certainly, the things that happened this year, but we get sometimes put in a position of students asking us to explain the situation in the United States as far as caste or race relations go. And so we do our best to answer things honestly, but it's good to see how other teachers have handled it and what materials they've used.
Cynthia Clark: Oh my gosh, thank you. Wow, you guys are fantastic. Thank you. I love hearing what you're thinking about. So race relations, caste, and you also, Francis, are thinking pretty recently there's a lot of things that have come up.
Speaker 4: Yes.
Cynthia Clark: Thank you. Anyone else feel some things that they were hoping for, or expecting, or looking at?
Speaker 5: Cindy, I'll just say at OTAN-- well, first of all, I was interested in your session only because it seems to be the only one that is taking on this topic directly, via the title, of course. But at OTAN over the last year, with our focus on technology training for adult educators across the state, I think that really-- and Cynthia kind of talked about this too-- where I think we've always known that there's been inequity, in terms of technology access, and internet access, and who has devices, and who doesn't have devices, and things like that.
And so with our specific focus on technology, this year has made it abundantly clear that there's a great deal of inequity across the state, and across the country, and across the world, in terms of who has access to devices and connectivity and who doesn't. Right, who's in a situation of bounty and who's in a situation of scarcity. And I think adult Ed--
It's really coming up on a year, right, and so in the beginning, I think of the year, there was a lot of scrambling in adult education just to remain connected with folks. Right. And so I think as you all have found out, as the months went on, was that once things kind of "settled down" that there were still a lot of difficulties in connecting with our students. And I think a lot of those difficulties really were technology difficulties and, again, because who has access and who doesn't have access.
And so adult Ed has-- and I guess education really, in particular, has tried to really address this issue, but it has become abundantly clear over the year, right, this whole access issue, so.
Cynthia Clark: Thank you, Anthony, thank you so much. Wow. So I think just in the last, Frances, and Cynthia, and Anthony, just even sharing how we feel and how this last year has impacted our teaching, our students of course, the technology, just everything. And you look at OTAN, you look at the acronym Outreach, which is like Ah, it is Outreach. We are reaching out. And Zoom, and all of these things, thank God we have them.
I don't know exactly where we would be in this pandemic, since like I said late 2019, and of course 2020, and 2021, here we are in March. And so I do feel, wow, and I think just sharing where we're coming from, and how we feel, and bouncing some of these ideas off of each other, and some of the feelings that maybe we're not sharing with other people sometimes, or what would you say, anxieties and just a lot of things that we wish we could do a little bit better.
And I think that's kind of where I'm coming from. And of course, the acronym Technical Assistance, and then networking. Networking, wow. So I'm reaching out. My students are reaching out. We're connecting. We are using a technical platform and we need assistance and I'm supposed to be that assistant. I'm supposed to be that and I need help too. So I'm flexing my technology muscle.
I just turned 65 a few days ago and yeah, I can do my job, and I can do Zoom. I'm not doing probably all the bells and whistles, but I'm learning, and I'm learning with my students, and we are assisting one another. And I just thought, wow, how lucky we are to have OTAN. Just the acronym alone makes you feel like, OK, all right, I've got a place to go. And it's just really, really great.
And of course, Zoom, wow, fantastic. I don't know where I would be emotionally, socially, mentally, educationally, culturally. I don't know where I would be if I didn't have my students with me every day on Zoom Monday through Friday. Anyone else? Maybe just one more. Do we have time? What do you think, Melissa, do we have time, maybe, for just one more person to share and where they're at? How are we doing?
Melissa Baumunk: I think we're OK. I think we can move on to your handbook here and your syllabus.
Cynthia Clark: OK, great. OK. All right. As I said, reaching out to my students, the journey probably started, of course 2020. We're on a journey here. I'm taking you on my journey. And 2020 was very daunting, and very daunting to me and to my students, and learning the platform of Zoom, learning how to learn on Zoom.
And like you said, a lot of emergency type ways of going about things. And classes for immigrants, wow, and coming into technology. I always had this feeling that I need to do more. I need to my technology muscle, obviously. I need to get stronger. And I need to assist my students better. And I always wanted to integrate, not just even with the pandemic and Zoom, but I always wanted to be more integrated in my syllabus.
And I tried to assist my students as best I could. I did write up an emergency syllabus a year ago in 2020. And now, I guess, with this new semester and the beginning of 2021, again, I'm like I can do better than this, my syllabus needs to be better. And I want to have something that is integrated with the things that my students need. And, of course, first of all would be how to get into Zoom, and as Anthony was saying, how to access and get into the technology and join the class.
And I can do that or I should be able to at least try to do that better. So what I did, I found-- does anybody know EDX, E-D-X or MOOC? Does anybody know EDX? No? OK. These are courses, EDX, these are courses that Harvard, Berkeley, MIT, they put these courses online, most of them are free, and they're trying to be very up-to-date. And so what I did was I saw that they had a course called How to Learn Online.
And I thought, hmm, OK, I need that. And so I thought, that's what I think I could use. Now, of course, it's trying to help people who are learning online, these are ESL students, but still I want to be from the student's vantage point. I want to know what they need to know and what kinds of things I can help them with. And at the same time, it's going to help me too.
And so I went ahead-- it's only like a two week course, but it's called How to Learn Online. And what happened with that, as I know that we put it in the resources for the syllabus for that class, and we also put in some of the ideas from that class. And wow, it's only a two week class. It's free and I thought this is going to really help me too. And so a lot of the things in the course description--
Melissa Baumunk: Cindy?
Cynthia Clark: Yes?
Melissa Baumunk: Really quick, I just wanted to let the participants know, if you wanted to follow along with Cindy, I did put a link for the EDX in the chat, so you're welcome to open that and look at it.
Cynthia Clark: Yeah, I thought they did a nice job with the course syllabus for EDX. And I thought they did a really nice job in giving us some handouts for some of the key information. Now, I teach ESL and, of course, it's all in English and I'm going to have to do baby steps with my students. But still some of the things I have been using them. I finished the course a few weeks back. And they identify self care techniques for people who are working in remote learning and what better things to do than self care during a pandemic.
And they also have how to set up your space at home. How to set up your space at home to be a learning environment and I thought, wow, that is so great. And it ties in with my textbook because my textbook, we're using step forward number two, and the first chapter is learning to learn. And we're learning how to learn. And of course, our textbook is pre-pandemic and pre-Zoom.
So it's great to talk about the things that we would readily understand like, OK, this is learning to learn, let's make some goals, let's fill up our tool box, let's learn how to learn. Oh, oh, wait a minute, we got to learn how to do technology also. And I noticed that my students, as they entered the classroom in 2020, and we were doing a lot of things that students didn't know how to go about, so I thought what about integrating my syllabus to indicate some of these best practices.
And so what I started to do was with my syllabus for my students, I put together a kind of-- and we discussed it in the classroom to some of the things like troubleshooting, and how to go about things with troubleshooting, and how about when you sign in and sign out, and you're getting an echo, and all these things that have to do with-- yes, yes, thank you. I'm looking at the chat about the Coursera. Thank you. And so in the EDX class, they talk about all these things that you can do with EDX Learning to Learn, you set up your learning area, self care, just a whole lot of things that I needed for myself, and I also needed it from my students.
And I have to be honest with you I am very, very humble about the response of my students on Zoom. As hard as it is, as hard as it is in English as a second language, and trying to learn the platform of Zoom and technology, anything and everything that I have asked of my students they have pretty much tried to do, they have come through. And there's something about the environment of Zoom and the pandemic, and this is just my feeling, that students are even more invested in their English class than ever before. And it is very humbling, it's very humbling.
And so, of course, some of my students are better at technology than me. And when I do a breakout room, or when I do a share, or just any things that we're having trouble with troubleshooting, of course, I welcome my students to help me. And so in the self care, they also indicate things about healthy routines, self care and-- when I told my students, I said, well, what do you think about this textbook Learning to LEARN chapter one? And I said, what do you think about Learning to Learn on Zoom, do we need help with that? And they're like Oh, yeah, we do. We really do.
And so just, again, I'm going to have to take baby steps because it's all in English, EDX is all in English. But it talks about your routine, and it talks about taking breaks, and it talks about asking for help, and then again, the mindfulness, the affirmation, staying positive, trying to just be in a healthy space in learning. And again, you feel very, very humbled that these people who come from other countries and don't have the English skills, but they're willing, they're willing to take the journey with you. They are willing to go with you and the trust, the trust that they give us.
And then I also notice, and again, I think it's the sign of the times that we are living in, some of these things with troubleshooting and self care, oh, and then of course, 21st century learning skills. Oh my gosh, communication and collaboration. Oh my goodness. Just a whole lot of things out there. So yes, the pandemic is horrible. It's terrible and yes, the platform of Zoom has been daunting, but oh my gosh, the students are more than willing to join up on the journey and they're so trusting. And it is very humbling.
And so I have to really have a lot of-- what would you call that-- responsibility in how I approach some of these things. And so I veered off talking about Zoom, and Skype, and call tips, and all these things, you know don't eat during the meeting. And of course terms to know when I made my syllabus, terms to know on Zoom. We went over that and having it in m and talking about it, and they have the syllabus at home. Just a lot of things that we can go over, don't get up and feed your dog, don't be multitasking, just a lot of things that we needed to go over.
And in the syllabus, and it's an ongoing syllabus, it's never really going to be completely finished-- and so we I'm working on that. I'm integrating my teachers workbook, and my own handbook, and I've made a student's ESL syllabus, and I'm including decorum on Zoom, etiquette on Zoom, terms to know, best practices for remote learning. And like I said, the handouts that Melissa has made available to you, there's just a lot of good stuff in there. It's only a two week course. It was free. And I thought what the heck, I got to learn this stuff and I got to learn to teach it as well.
Melissa Baumunk: So Cindy, you make a good point, there are so many resources out there and available for online learning that, now all of a sudden we need. And we've had some of our participants in here sharing resources as well. So I thank you for sharing because that is one thing I think that Cynthia hit the nail on the head is, it can truly be overwhelming. And if it's overwhelming for us as teachers, it's definitely overwhelming for our students, just so much out there.
So the key point I know Cynthia is trying to make here is we have to get our students just acquainted with whatever it is we are doing with technology, getting acquainted with Zoom and how we are using it as a teacher in the classroom, getting students really familiar and fluent in that, so that we then can dive deep into some of these other topics that are so pressing and important right now in our current times, some of these deep racially motivated topics that our students are facing directly. So Cynthia thank you so much for sharing your journey through this web of resources that is available out there.
Cynthia Clark: Oh, thank you so much.
Melissa Baumunk: I encourage participants continue to share in the chat, I'm looking and just keep adding in there as think of them.
Cynthia Clark: Oh, thank you, Melissa. Thank you so much. No, it really honestly, I really hope that-- and please stop me. Thank you, please stop me and engage on what you are going through as well and your journey. Everyone has a journey. Our students are on a journey and it's very, very scary sometimes. One of my students a few weeks back, and of course, we know the cultural ways of when you first immigrate to the United States and you might rent a room.
And she rented a room in a home with her husband and her son. And they're just wonderful, great people. And in the same home, there's another four or five bedrooms with four or five other families in the same home. And she kept COVID-19 out of her one room that they were renting, she kept it out for a year.
And last month, the whole house of five, six bedrooms, all five, six families got COVID. And she still came into Zoom and shared her journey with COVID, her son, her husband, and the rest of the house. And wow, to be humbled over and over again about what our students also, are going through. So yeah, please engage, please speak up and let me know what you're going through. And hopefully, it'll help us to know that, hey, I'm not the only one who's out there with students trying to center people, trying to center myself, and trying to cope, and encourage them, and help them through the journeys. How horrible to immigrate to the United States.
Melissa Baumunk: Yeah. So Cindy, we have a comment here in the chat, which I really like. It says, I think showing support for Tech Aspects lays ground for showing support and discussions on race with our students, which is often challenging for everyone. And I know that's one of the things about your title that drew our participants into your session. We're asking students to take risks in talking about this, and talking about race and race relations. It can feel like a landmine, so what is OK to say and not to say, et cetera.
Cynthia Clark: OK, Great.
Melissa Baumunk: Yeah. There you go.
Cynthia Clark: No, no, thank you. OK, so you're doing all these things, you're integrating your syllabus, you're integrating your handbook, you're out there and you're doing all these things to help the students with the technology. And I veered off of technology, sometime in January. Well actually, not some time, it was a very special time, it was during the inauguration. And again, the students are very intense on Zoom. They're very much a part of what's going on in the country.
They are quarantined in other people's homes, renting bedrooms, they really want to know what is up with the United States right now. They really need that direction. And wow. So we go through this, I don't know what you would call it, I guess they're calling it an insurrection in the beginning of January and that was really scary. And then lo and behold, here comes Martin Luther King Day and the inauguration. And I've taught many inaugurations over the years, but this time my students were very, very into wanting to go through the inauguration with me.
And I noticed in the classroom, in the building, yes, we always did inauguration. We always tried to teach what it was all about, the traditions, and the culture, and all of those things. But this time it was like, can we watch the inauguration? Can we learn a little bit about the inauguration? Can we watch it tomorrow? Can we watch it tomorrow? Oh my gosh, of course we can. And the interest, again, I think it's the signs of the times, they want to know what direction we're going in, and they wanted to understand the traditions, and they wanted to understand the culture.
And so when we went the L-civics website on the computer, we went through some of the oaths of office and we did a few things. And students got up early that morning and they watched all of the preparation for the inauguration. And I thought, Oh wow, I have a lot of people here who are very into this. And I don't know, maybe I wasn't as keyed in as I thought I should be after hearing their enthusiasm and interest. And so we went through Mr. President Joe Biden's speech. The student's took notes. I didn't even have to ask them to take notes, they were already doing it.
And so after that I thought, hmm, OK, I've got a really high energy of people who are interested in the United States direction and I need to get into this even deeper too. So I looked at the speech and I was very taken aback by some of the things that I saw. I guess I wasn't really ready for it.
In the inauguration speech, there was just a lot of things that Mr. Biden said that I kind of went like wow, wow. And there was a line at the beginning where he said something like, the dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. And I thought, wow, I know what that is. That's coming from Langston Hughes, that's the poem A Dream Deferred. And I went back to Langston Hughes and I thought, wow, I was kind of surprised that Mr. Biden had put that in his speech. The president said, the dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.
And like I said, immediately I went to Langston Hughes A Dream Deferred. And this is a great poem to help start the discussion of race if you want to use black literature. Langston Hughes says, what happens to a dream deferred, does it dry up like a raisin in the sun, or fester like a sore and then run. Does it stink like rotten meat, or crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet. Maybe it just sags like a heavy load or does it just explode.
And I thought, wow, OK, I've been into this technology. I've been into trying to coach myself and coach them and I'm like, hmm, OK there's some other things here that are going on. And again 2020, we had some great tragedies with our, how can I say George Floyd in the end of May. Again, that was a really hard time to take our students through. And so I'm like, wow, OK, Joe Biden, our new president is opening up the door here and he's bringing race into the inauguration speech. And I was like, Oh, OK, this is good. I like it. This is fine.
And then he went on and he talked about the Emancipation Proclamation and talked about Abraham Lincoln in the inauguration speech. And Lincoln said, if there's anything that I'm going to be remembered for as a president it's going to be the Emancipation Proclamation and my soul is in it. And Mr. Biden said, he reiterated that and he said, my soul is in this job that I'm taking. My soul is in it. And I think he really reiterated it another time.
And I was like, OK. And actually, that came up on the L-civics website for Black History in February and the Emancipation Proclamation, and so we talked about that. We talked about some of the language, my soul is in it. And talked about the inauguration speech a little bit, and the Emancipation Proclamation, and some of those things. Mr. Biden also said, let's don't let those 500,000 people die in our country in vain. Let's put our soul in it. Now, there was a tie-in with AmeriCorps and the inauguration festivities.
And the tie-in was with the Martin Luther King federal holiday and it had to do with civic responsibility, and it had to do with service to the country. And I thought, OK, I need to look into that. I want to look at this AmeriCorps. I want to look at Dr. King again. We just finished with Black History. We haven't finished, I'm sorry, we hadn't actually gotten into Black History yet, but I thought, well it's coming.
And so Dr. King said-- we're talking about making America great again, and Dr. King said, greatness is the new definition of service, the civic responsibility of service to your country. And Dr. King had a his own definition of service, and I looked at that with AmeriCorps, and I looked at some of the other organizations NAACP, and the Southern Christian Conference Leadership. And I even looked at Black Lives Matter and I thought, what kind of things can I get into that would help me to help my students, because again, they want to understand all of this.
And Dr. King said if you want to be important wonderful. If you want to be recognized wonderful. And if you want to be great wonderful, but recognize he who is great among you shall be your servant. And that's the new definition of greatness. And I thought, wow, OK, everybody is talking about making our country great and our students want us to be great, they absolutely want the United States to be great. I cannot tell you in the last year on Zoom, how many students have told me, I love this country. I love this country, but I don't understand some of these things that are going on in a while.
And I thought, wow, they made themselves very open, very vulnerable, and very deep to me in a lot of different directions. And they really do want our country to be great. And so Dr. King says, it means that everyone can be great because everyone can serve. And you don't have to be a college graduate to be great. And you don't have to know about Plato, or Aristotle, or Einstein to be great.
And so I did join a couple of agencies to help myself to understand what is going on. I did. I joined a couple of agencies that I looked up and thought, wow. And that's when I started getting into some of these civic skills related to the cultural awareness. And some of the things that has a responsibility to our students to teach them, some of the things that have to do with cultural awareness, and cultural humility.
And I looked up some of these new terms because I didn't know exactly what was cultural humility. I knew what cultural awareness was. But I guess in 1998, there was a couple of doctors that came up with some other terms that could help us with working with our people, working with our students, and of course, doctors working with their patients. And one of them was what they call cultural humility and cultural competency.
And I thought, I need to look this up. I need to know what it means. And so we did start talking about that in class on the journey. And again, baby steps, it's ESL. Our school-wide learning outcomes for WASK always included cultural awareness, but I hadn't heard about cultural humility and cultural forgiveness and things like that. In fact, one of my students actually came up with cultural forgiveness indicating that instead of shaming people for not knowing your culture to forgive people and to help people learn the culture. And one of my students said, that's one that we need is cultural forgiveness.
Melissa Baumunk: So Cindy, I'm looking here at the chat and we have a really great comment here from Cynthia Eagleton. I don't want to put you on the spot, Cynthia, but if you don't mind sharing a little more if you're willing about Septima Clark.
Speaker 3: Well I'm not an expert. Sorry.
Melissa Baumunk: Yeah, not at all. We're just sharing resources, basically, here. So if you use that, and maybe what you found valuable. Again, I'm not trying to put you on the spot, but that was a new resource that is not familiar to me.
Speaker 3: Yeah, I don't know how I learned about her except I'm one of those people that likes to look at Wikipedia. Anyway, she was from the Sea Islands off of North Carolina and she was a teacher. Her activism started when she realized that the white teachers were paid more than the Black teachers. She fought that and began to develop her activism skills. Then, later on she was fired because she wouldn't give up being a member of the NAACP.
So she went to work at the Highlander Center, which I encourage all of you to learn about also in Tennessee and worked with a white man named Miles Hampton. And she started citizenship schools across the South because a lot of the Black male leaders at the time didn't put together how people-- it's one thing to talk about voter registration and all, but you had to pass a literacy test before the 1960 voting--
Cynthia Clark: Right, right, right.
Speaker 3: So she started the citizenship schools across the South. And then later, she also fought and won and was able to get back her pension. I feel like it's an amazing hidden story of the Civil rights movement, a black woman, labor history, she's all of these things and we don't know about her. I'm just like, wow, she should be taught in credential programs.
Cynthia Clark: Wow. Wow. See that's it, we are just loaded with all kinds of heroes out there. There's all kinds of great people out there who are doing great work. And when we bring them in to Zoom and talk about some of these things with our students, I think it does help does. It does help them to know there are people who are about the business of making the country better, and they are about the business of service, and as you said activism.
And I believe my students are like, they know the media, and they know what they've seen on TV, but they don't know some of these great, great, great stories. Now, they know of Dr. King. Of course they know Dr. King, everybody knows I Have A Dream. They don't know Emmett Till. They don't know Mamie Till. They don't Jim Crow. They don't know a lot of things and exactly what you're saying, there's a lot of great people out there. And if our students--
Yeah, they're hungry for that. Well, I feel like they are. And I'm really so humbled by, exactly what I said before, we've got to take baby steps. We've got to help them, they're ESL. It's not like they can understand it all at one time, but there's a lot of resources out there. I also included Elizabeth Claire's ESL activities and holidays. She does a great job with Black History, she shows Jim Crow. She talks about walking the line. She talks about some of these things, lynching.
And she also has a great-- Elizabeth Claire's book does a great job, especially with the lower levels, and especially with academic vocabulary. And again, you can get into cultural humility. You can get into cultural forgiveness. You can get into compassion and empathy one day at a time, one class at a time. And I notice that when I teach these words to my students, they start to use them. And students are happy to have to be free to share some of their own ideas on these things.
We don't have to be just the giver of knowledge. They are coming from Syria, Jordan, Myanmar, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, South Korea, they're coming from everywhere and they have things to share to. And they have things to help us along the way. One of my students says-- they surprise you sometimes, but once you start using some of these concepts and vocabulary, they want to be a part of that. They want to contribute to the United States. They want to contribute to their class. They want to learn and they want the stories. Yeah, they want them.
Sometimes they tell me, Cindy, my level's beginning high, yes, but my brain isn't beginning high and I have my own thoughts about freedom. And I have my own experiences about freedom and things of that sort. And they want to be a part of that. They want to contribute to their new country. They really, really do. And like I said, I've had several students in 2020 that were not shy to say, I love this country, I really love this country.
And again, oh my God, you just feel like you're so humbled. These people have gone through some really tough times and being quarantined and some have just arrived in late 2019. Oh my gosh, you know. Yeah, like I said, one of my students she says, well, where does mercy fit in all of this? And I said, oh my gosh, where does mercy fit, where does forgiveness fit, where does empathy, compassion. And again cultural humility is an ongoing lifelong learning, idea of respect and saying, I don't know.
And so doctors in the medical field and in social work, in treating their patients, making diagnosis that wrong sometimes, or not really understanding where the patient or the client was coming from and not having the humility to say, you know, I really don't know. Yes, I'm the doctor, I'm supposed to be God and you're the patient, but in cultural humility it doesn't really work that way. The power relationship is supposed to be something that doctors, teachers, social workers that all of us reflect on and say, wait a minute, I'm a learner too.
I'm a student too, I don't have all the answers, and I am learning, and you are helping me, and you the student you are contributing to the class and you are contributing to this country. And cultural humility is just such a great concept to get out there, right, wrong, good, bad I don't know, but we're talking about it, that's the key. We're talking about cultural humility, cultural forgiveness, cultural competencies. And if you can look at it and realize, we don't have to be perfect. We don't have to know everything. Students can contribute to that conversation. They are adults. They've had horrible things go on in their lives and in their experiences in their own country.
Melissa Baumunk: Cindy, I want to add to that.
Cynthia Clark: Sure.
Melissa Baumunk: First of all, kudos to you and Cynthia, one of our participants, thank you for everything you have added. And just everyone else even in this session because one thing I've noticed as an adult teacher, depending on where students have come from they don't have these freedoms. They don't have the freedom to express any type of their own personal voice to others.
So the first time I had a realization about that in my classroom, we were just talking about the Student Advisory Council within our school, and you have to choose a representative to go represent your class within the school. And they brought up a concern and I said that's a perfect topic to bring up with the Student Advisor Council. And just the look of fear, no, no, no. They don't even want to address topics because they're not comfortable with it, depending where they come from, they're not even allowed to have any kind of voice.
So I think this work here, this topic is so important to even empower our students, I guess. Us as teachers, that's the big key word here, empowering our students to even express their voice and feel safe in doing that. Because yes, we live in the United States, we have a lot of freedoms, but with those freedoms come these challenges and differing viewpoints and opinions. And it's our freedom to have all of these different opinions. So, yeah, just kudos to all of the teachers out there in this session just doing this difficult work.
Cynthia Clark: And you know, thank you, Melissa. God bless you. Thank you for jumping in. Yeah, definitely. And these are, of course, these are social issues, and there's literature, and there's English, and there's all these things, but these are also workforce skills. These are also going into being a worker, an employee in companies, and collaboration, and 21st century skills working with people from different countries and knowing OK, I have a story.
And I know other people have a story because I heard about that in my English class. I heard about cultural awareness. And I heard some things about this thing called mercy, and compassion, and cultural forgiveness. And I have to give that to my student, she came up with cultural forgiveness. I just thought that was so great. And so when they go into the workforce, when Melissa and I go into the workforce, we all work with people from different backgrounds, and different cultures, and things that they have a different perspective on.
But at least we do have some vocabulary that we can at least have a platform to start some thinking, reflection, possibly even some discussion, and oh wow, problem solving, wow, collaboration. Oh my goodness, it's just amazing what kinds of things open up when you give our students some of this vocabulary. Again, it's baby steps, they're ESL. It's not fair to throw a lot of English in their face, which I know we do. I have before to.
When you're getting ready for testing, or you're getting ready for CASAS testing. And oh, there's so much vocabulary, academically. Some of these things, they really do open up our students to really thinking about their own story, and then also maybe having some skills, relationship skills changing the way that they think about other cultures, other folks.
And when they have neighbors, and when they have classmates from other countries, and when they talk about some of these concepts, they start to realize there are people who are willing to talk about these things and I don't have to keep secrets, and I can share a little bit about myself. And you know, there's just a lot of things out there. And so as I was doing my research, I came across a Racist Anonymous meeting.
If I talk a little bit about a 12-step program, anybody know 12-step programs, or Alcoholics Anonymous, or Shoppers Anonymous, or anything like that? Does that sound like something that you have heard of or at least have some concept of 12-step programs. I actually did go to Zoom, a Racist Anonymous program. And I have told my students about this just to reiterate some of the social skills that can happen between people, and forums, and platforms for people to get together. Anyone on 12-step programs, is that a topic that people are familiar with or should I explain it a little bit more? Anything in the chat?
Melissa Baumunk: I mean I've heard of 12-step programs. I didn't know there were so many variations of them. Yeah, we're getting some responses that we're familiar with what a 12-step program is. Yes.
Cynthia Clark: OK. OK. I didn't want to start talking and people are like, what is she talking about. Anyway. Yeah, so I'm trying to get myself into some things so that I can share better in the classroom. And so I have shared a little bit about my experience at Racist Anonymous. And there's a pastor up in the Bay Area and at his church he was trying to have these race relation meetings in his church with his people.
And he said, he was trying to do these things, and have these meetings, and people would talk about race and race relations, and how can we work together better. And he said, every time I would have these meetings, he goes, I'd have the white people going home feeling guilty, or the Black families would go home feeling angry. He goes I just couldn't seem to find the right way to go about this, but he says and finally I happened upon the 12-step step programs. And I thought, what the heck, I'm going to take the 12-step program and I'm going to realign it with some of these things related to racism.
And I thought, wow I got to take a look at this, so I joined his meeting one night. And a lot of research says when you start these programs or you start these conversations, a really good opening question is asking people to think about your first insight into race, your first insight into, oh there was race in the world, probably a childhood thing, something that you remember. And he said that was--
I've seen that in the research, that teachers that want to start having these discussions that's one of the good questions to start with is like, when did you know that there was race situations out there? Or when did you recognize race or knew that there was such a thing? And so the pastor, oh my gosh, he was so funny. And I hope I can just share this just briefly. But he we all had to share that night, we had to share our first identification that there was race in our society and in our world and what happened.
And so he was talking about going to church. He was just a little boy, maybe I don't know, eight, nine years old or something and that he's in the back seat of the car and they're going to church. And he says-- I'm sorry, I can't remember what state he was born in. But anyway. And so, of course, his family, his parents they belong to a black church, and there was a student had returned to the community, and have returned to the church.
And this is the pastor that's heading up to the 12-step program for Racist Anonymous and he's saying, a student have returned from college and he was in the congregation, and he had brought to church his new wife. He had been to school and I don't know if it was an Easter break, spring break or whatever, but he brought in his wife to visit his home church and she was white. And he said, oh, everybody in the church gathered around them, and congratulated them, and wow, you went away to college, and you came home with a wife.
And oh my God she's so beautiful, and congratulations. And everybody was just really happy. And he was just a little guy, the pastor at that time maybe eight, nine years old and he just thought that was wonderful. And then, of course, the church service ended, they all got in the cars to go home. And when he got in the car with his family, with his mom and dad and maybe a couple of siblings, the whole conversation was revolving around this.
And he said, I didn't really understand what they were talking about because in church it was just all this wonderful congratulations and it was just very, very nice. But in the car, his mother made a remark something like, you better not ever bring a pink toe home to our family. And he was just a young kid, and he's like what's a pink toe. And he said that was his first idea that, oh, in the church it was a very happy occasion and congratulating, and his new bride.
But uh-oh, in his family, his mother made the statement in the car like, well, you better not ever bring home a pink toe to the family. And they were all laughing. And he was just sitting there as a little boy, and he's like, what does that mean? And so he shared that with us and the rest of the members of the Racist Anonymous group that night we all shared. And that's a really great way to start some of these discussions, what is your first experience with having some insight into, oh, we have race in the world, and we have different cultures, and what does that mean for us.
And as a little boy he, of course, he's not going to ask exactly what happened or what does it mean. And then as a pastor now, as a pastor now sharing it, everybody was going like, oh my God, that is so funny. And oh my goodness. And so everybody shared their first race type encounter in their life. Anyway so really, really great story to kind of-- a little bit of nervousness at the 12-step program, a little nervousness to go to something like a Racist Anonymous group.
But at the same time when the leader and the pastor is sharing his own family and his own encounter with race the first time and everybody's like, that's exactly what happens. In church we show one face and then with our family sometimes there's other ways that we are taught about race. and so my students talk about that. They talk about sometimes when-- I remember one of my students, she was Buddhist.
And she said to me, she said that story-- and different stories that people told me-- she said her daughter had gone to school here, elementary school, and because she was Buddhist, and she was raising her daughter Buddhist, that some of the friends at school had said that their parents said that, I can't go play with you at your house because you guys are Buddhist. And I said, wow. I said, see. I said religion, race, just all kinds of different things that our students are going through.
And now that I had told a little story, she's like, oh my God, Cindy, that's exactly the same story that my daughter told, but in this case, it was because I was Buddhist's and raising her Buddhist and some of the friends at school, again seven, eight years old, nine years old, I can't come to your house and play. My parents said they don't want to go into a house that practices Buddhism.
So anyway, the journey of working with these terms, it just gives us a platform to work from and it gives us vocabulary to work from. And especially when we self-divulge some of our things that we've been through, our students can get an example of some things that maybe they might share, maybe not the first day, maybe not the second day. But they'll start to get more trust, and more understanding, and start using some of the words, and understanding the words, and hoping to connect with each other better, and feeling some empathy and compassion.
Especially when you're teaching things like Jim Crow, or you're teaching things like Emmett Till, or Mamie Till. And so the humility, the empathy, the compassion, asking students to talk about things that are related to culture and what is the process of some of these things. And then I think every level, every level could have something. And maybe the beginning level you could have cultural awareness.
In the more higher levels you could start to talk about empathy, and compassion, and humility, and admitting that we don't know everything, and that teachers don't know everything, and having these discussions, and reflections, and sharing some of the things that happen in real life, and how we got into this perspective, or how we got into this belief system, and the differences of all the our experiences, and sharing these things.
And the idea that this is lifelong learning and that also goes into one of our expected school outcomes, lifelong learning. We're not the expert on culture. We're not the expert on race. We're not the expert on gender. We're not the expert on nationalities. And we don't have to act like we are. We don't have to be always in that power position that we know everything because maybe we don't. Well, actually, not maybe, we actually we don't know everything.
Yeah, and reflecting on my own culture, learning my own culture, and learning my own ideas about things, and where did I get my perspective, my own mind set, my own thinking about my thinking. A lot of self reflection. And students do go home and self reflect. And they do get off of Zoom and reflect about some of these ideas, and the power balances or imbalances I should say. Anyway, I know Melissa you said we're getting down to time about some things.
And I'm kind of working right now, I saw on POV, they have some wonderful lessons about social and cultural diplomacy, and intercultural exchanges, some wonderful lesson plans. There was one called the Angry Bird where a Korean man had retired from his opera life and had moved into a slum community in India.
And even though he had retired from his own opera life, he thought in this slum community in India that he could teach music and have the kids join a choir. And the parents in the community were like, wait a minute, our kids have work to do, and they have school work to do, and we have work to do. And we don't have time for this choir music stuff. And so he called that the slum mind. And he had to like, himself, he didn't really have cultural humility.
So he would label things like I said, this is the parents and the children and he's wanting to do his job, or do his thing that he wants to do without having cultural humility about what the parents and the children are up against in this community. And that was a POV on channel 28 what they call a point-of-view film and they did a really great lesson plan on that. So that's another one--
Melissa Baumunk: I just want to add, I've been sharing resources from Cindy. There's one just called Links and this POV she's mentioning is on that one called Links. So there's just several on that one document that you can look up later.
Cynthia Clark: And yeah, just a lot of things if you just Google search cultural humility, or lessons, or lesson plans, or just even cultural humility, cultural forgiveness, competencies. There's a lot of people doing a lot of good work on providing some-- I mean there's not a lot of things out there. There's not just tons and tons of cultural humility things, but there's enough to get started. And just the words alone as a platform for our students to be able to think about, oh, people talk about these things. They talk about cultural humility. They talk about being competent.
They talk about being aware. Oh, OK this is language too and. It's in the academic setting and it is, like I said before, these are topics that yes, they are social studies and yes, they are literature. But they're also, like I said before, workforce skills, collaboration, what have, you 21st century skills, getting into the workplace, working with people, understanding our neighbors, understanding our communities, working in our communities better.
And like I said with Mr. Kim, it is a study of a year of him working with his own lack of cultural humility, calling the parents have slow mind. And eventually he does realize that he has to change his mindset. And so another thing that I've been working on, and I've done this for 20 years now. And I don't know if anybody knows the actor Sidney Poitier, received the first Academy Award. Sidney Poitier received the first Academy Award for a black actor in the Lilies of the Field movie.
And I have used that in the classroom. Sidney Poitier does a great job. Sidney Poitier felt that movies was a good way to help people, not students. I'm sorry, I'm thinking as a teacher. But Sydney Poitier felt that movies, and a good movie, and a decent movie could help our citizens, our country to work on things related to healing certain racism and things of that sort.
And if you look at Lilies of the Field, and I've taught it in class before, and for 19-- what is it 1962, wow, what a great film. It comes from I believe it's William Barrett, the book Lilies of the Field. You have the German nuns coming in after the war, after World War II and they are Catholic. And you have Sidney Poitier who is Baptist and he comes in as a handyman.
And then there's the Hispanic community that comes into the movie as well as the white businessmen. And oh my gosh, there's just so much diversity in that movie. And it's really a great movie for cultural humility. And so what I've been doing is reworking my lesson plan. I watch the movie, I take conversations out of it, I take vocabulary out of it. We talk about themes. We talk about the people. And so you've just got every kind of diversity in there. You've got the German nationality. You've got the black, the white, the Hispanic, you've got the religious aspect.
Sidney Poitier says, I don't think God sent me here to-- I'm a Baptist-- to build a church for Catholics. And it's just such a great movie. And even within the movie there's some ESL lessons that go on with the German sisters and nuns within the movie, 1962.
Melissa Baumunk: So Cindy, not to cut you off, we're getting close on time. You wanted me to remind you, because you said you had a closing activity I believe. And then I know Anthony has to say a few words as well.
Cynthia Clark: Oh sure. So yeah. Thank you. Thank you very much. Yeah, so ending here. I just want to end with, a few weeks back when we started the semester, our students were asked to write letters to Governor Newsom and to some of the legislatures about funding for adult Ed. And I wanted to end with one of my student letters because this is a culmination of a student. And I just want to read his letter to the governor about adult Ed.
And he says, Dear Governor Newsom, I'm writing this letter to the state government to make more consideration about the importance of the contribution of adult schools to my community. Please do not cut our budgets and sincerely thank you for your support. The reasons are as follows. My wife and I have been at Rowland Adult and Community Education, ESL class, training our English and writing has improved a lot.
I believe that the classmates have immigrated here also have made significant progress. Thanks to race and ESL, and even though a pandemic, we are still learning English through Zoom class every day, slowly but surely. And there's even more important for us to mention to you, that in our community, we can help the vulnerable groups and serve the friends who have just immigrated here into the community.
We can do caring volunteer services in our community churches and community centers for the elderly. In the supermarket, we can help new immigrants translate the things that they need in the market. We can participate in activities organized by the community and we can understand the news reports from the community and the government. We can communicate with our children, and their teachers, and the learning that's going on in Zoom and the home.
In the adult school we can even be the teacher's assistant to help new students learn better. We are very appreciative of Rowland Adult and Community Education and their encouragement and support. But there's still a lot of students out there with different needs. They want to become citizens. They want to find a better job. They want to be better educated in the United States. They want to become American citizens and not depend on others. There's just too many things to state. We all love this country very much and we hope we can be part of our community.
And I sincerely suggest that the state government understands the urgent need for us immigrants to learn the importance to appreciate and respect the US culture, to be more aware, to be problem solvers. Please do not reduce the budgets for adult schools. And thank you for supporting people like us. Thank you. And then she-- and I just wanted to end with that because, wow, I'm so humbled. I've never written a letter like that to a governor. I've never been that vulnerable and that open. We love this country. And so I just wanted to end with that. Thank you for joining us today. And please have a great, great blessed weekend. Thank you.
Speaker 5: Cindy, oh my gosh, thank you so much. It's interesting, for a technology conference this is a session that was a bit out of the ordinary, but I think, really the connections with what you've been doing in the classroom and the virtual situation we have found ourselves in this last year, those connections really came through. And so I for one really appreciate your session today and I really appreciate also the sharing that went on in our virtual community here with the resources that you've been working on and some of the other educators in the room have been working on as well.
Cynthia Clark: Thank you.
Speaker 5: Yeah, like I say, a bit out of the ordinary, but entirely appropriate for the time. So thank you so much for your presentation.
Cynthia Clark: Thank you, Anthony.
Speaker 5: So before we leave, in the chat I am going to post-- I just posted-- the link to the evaluation for this session. So please take a few minutes to complete that evaluation. We will share the feedback with Cindy and Melissa and we're also going to take a look at the feedback as well over at OTAN. While we still have a few minutes, so if anybody has a question or a comment, or anything please feel free to come off the mic if you want to share or put that a chat for Cindy. But I'll just leave it open here for a few seconds if anybody would like to share.
Cynthia Clark: Yeah, please. I'm open. I really want to hear what people are doing. Yeah, thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Melissa. Thank you for all your--
Melissa Baumunk: No, thank you. This is definitely a powerful topic for anyone in adult education. If nobody else has anything to share I have a video to share is that OK?
Cynthia Clark: Oh yeah.
Melissa Baumunk: OK, because along the same lines-- my students are lower level than Cindy, so they don't have quite the same language as Cindy's students, but we made a video to Governor Newsom as well.
Cynthia Clark: OK, great. Great.
Melissa Baumunk: I wanted to share that. It's along the same lines, like I said, of Cindy's student letter. Let's see. Let me bring that. Yeah, again, their language isn't quite as sophisticated, but still their message is just as important.
- Dear Governor Newsom, my name is Kyounghee Kim.
- Hi, my name is Ruiyang Xiao.
- My name is Li Mei May Shen.
- My name is Sandy Wong.
- My name is Lilly Chen.
- My name Me Ja Kang.
- My name is Xiu Lan Liu.
- My name is Dinghua Zheng.
- My name is Minna.
- My name is Xiao Li Hao.
- I am a student at Rowland Adult and Community Education, I live in Rowland Heights, California.
- I'm from Beijing over China.
- I'm from Shenzhen, China.
- I'm from Hebei, China.
- I am from Chongqing, China.
- I am from Jiangsu, China.
- I am from Hong Kong.
- I'm from Hong Kong.
- I am from Seoul, Korea. I am from Seoul, Korea. I am a mother of two grown children. They live in Korea. I worked part-time at a Korean restaurant in City of Diamond Bar, but lost my job because of COVID-19.
- I'm a parent. I have one son and two daughters. I work part-time sometimes, and take care of my children at home.
- I'm a parent of one children who is currently receiving University education. I work part-time at the cafe in Azusa. But I temporarily lost my job.
- I am a grandparent of seven grandchildren. I study English as a second language at the Rowland Adult and Community Education.
- My school teaches me to speak English and learn about US History and the Government. In the future, I want to be a US citizen like my husband and his family.
- In the future, I want to work with full-time, COVID makes it difficult to work right now. My adult school helps me learn English so I am prepared for when I can return to work.
- Thank you for your support of adult education and my school.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
Melissa Baumunk: I love her little, thank you.
Cynthia Clark: I love all of them. Thank you, Melissa. Thank you.
Melissa Baumunk: No, thank you for bringing this topic to the table. And just, again, it just comes down to empowering our students, that's what we're here to do. So.
Speaker 5: Yeah.
Cynthia Clark: Anyone else in the chat? Anything ending remarks from anyone?
Melissa Baumunk: No, I don't see anything.
Cynthia Clark: OK. That was so sweet, I just thought maybe somebody might have been tearing up.
Melissa Baumunk: That's what I was doing during your letter because yeah, just what our students come up with and say. Yes.
Cynthia Clark: It's so humbling. It is. It's so humbling. They really love this country. They want us to be great, they really do. They want to look up to us. They really do.