E7: Looking to the Future
November 3, 2014
In chapter 1, “Cross-cultural confusion in Teacher Assessment” I found four important facts that stood out to me. The first fact is that one of the most difficult tasks that people face is trying to communicate with different individual differences and trying to make sure what we say is interpreted the way we intend it to be. The second fact is that teachers use communication to increase their students and students’ parents’ diversity. The third fact is that research suggests that children of color value the social aspects of an environment to a greater extent that do “mainstream” children. The fourth fact is that other cultural groups consider expressions of genuine emotion and personal presence to be at the core of the teaching role.
In chapter 2, “The Politics of Teaching Literate Discourse” I found three important facts that stood out to me. The first fact is that teachers must acknowledge and validate students’ home language without using it to limit students’ potential. The second fact is that teachers need to be aware that discourses at home affect the student’s learning at school. The student may appear that they are unable to learn but it may just be that they are choosing not to learn. The third fact is that “When teachers are committed to teaching all students, and when they understand that through their teaching change can occur, then the chance for transformation is great. (Delpit, 2006)
In chapter 3, “Education in a multicultural Society: Our Future’s Greatest Challenge” I found four important facts that stood out to me. The first fact is that children cannot be placed into a mold of how they are supposed to act. The second fact is that teachers should not be afraid to use styles of instruction and/or discipline that are different from the community norms. The third fact is that the academic needs for Asian-American students are overlooked due to the stereotype that Asian-American children are “perfect” students. The fourth fact is that “when instruction allows no opportunity for children to use their minds to create and interpret texts, then children will only focus on low-level thinking.” (Delpit, 2006)
In chapter 4, “Reflections on Other People’s Children” I found important facts that stood out to me. The first fact is that Other People’s Children is capable of altering students’ perceptions and their idea of themselves as teachers. The second fact is that student teacher and teacher of color in the same classes see truths in the book that white students deny. For me personally being a white student teacher, it opened my eyes tremendously to the differences between teachers and students of color. There was also much knowledge that I have learned through my years in school but so much was brought right up front and made me realize that some things that are happening should not be. After reading, I will focus on making sure these will not be happening in my own classroom.
In chapter 5, “Teaching the Hard of Head” I found one important fact that stood out to me. This fact is that students need to learn how to think self-reflexively. I as a student, was only asked to self-reflexive starting my freshman year of college. I personally feel that this was too late. I felt as if I was unsure of what they expected from me. I always wanted to give my professors the correct answer rather than really digging deep and seeing how and why I had done something. I completely agree that students should be expected to be self-reflexive at a much earlier age. While completing my student teacher, I did see that the teachers have the students reflect on his or her own work. I think this is a great tool in order for students to understand what is expected from them and to feel comfortable doing so.
In chapter 6, “Other People’s Children: The Lasting Impact” the author spoke about how this book has affected their teaching practice and their ways of being in the school community. I feel that I my teaching practices and approaches changed drastically over the last few years while being in school and preforming clinical hours and student teaching. While completing clinical hours and student teaching, you may receive personal stories from your fellow cooperating teachers or colleagues. The text has provided even more insight to students and teachers’ perception of so many ideas in the school system. I will take these ideas and make sure that I remember them while working with students and fellow colleagues.
The following are two articles that I found while researching that relate to the prior topics: Increasing teacher diversity: Growing Your Own through Partnerships and Designing Online Learning Opportunities for Students with Disabilities. “The student population in public schools is becoming increasingly diverse is not all that surprising. Studies indicate that in less than three decades, a majority of children will likely belong to race-ethnic minorities. Conversely, teacher candidates are not keeping pace with the diversity ratio of students in the PK-12 public school classrooms. The diversity gap between teachers and the students they teach is only widening.” (Schmitz, Nourse, & Ross, (2012).) I also see this diversity gap while in school. I have seen a greater diversity jump while completing my clinical hours and student teaching. This has significantly increased since I have attended middle school. “Like any classroom instructional material, content provides a foundation for how instruction may be defined for the student, as well as how the instruction may engage the student in learning. Some content, however, may be completely inaccessible for a student. That is, the content may require sensory or even cognitive processing that is beyond the student’s abilities. Our purpose then is to assist teachers in determining accessible and appropriate blended and fully online content and the learning management system in which the content is embedded, in reference to struggling learners and students with disabilities.” (Smith, & Basham(2014).) This is a new way to integrate all students in the classroom. As teachers it is our responsibility to provide the best education possible for all of our students. I believe that this will help achieve our goal as teachers.
Before attending Eastern’s education program, I was raised in a small town and attended a catholic school up until 8th grade. I always had female white teachers and there was little diversity in the classrooms. After this I went to a public high school which was a very huge culture shock to myself. I was thrown into many different cultures and diversities in my school that I was not aware of. From this point on I feel that I still am learning about different cultures every day. After reading the sections in the book and the articles, it has come to my attention that I still need to keep my eyes open for ways to improve inviting diversity into my life. I believe that my clinical hours and student teaching helped me tremendously in achieving a huge chunk so far. But as it is said, a teacher’s work is never done. I plan to learn and embrace all diversity thrown my way and invite my future students to do the same.
Delpit, L. (2006). Other People’s Children. New York: The New Press.
Schmitz, S. A., Nourse, S. W., & Ross, M. E. (2012). INCREASING TEACHER DIVERSITY: GROWING YOUR OWN THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS. Education, 133(1), 181-187.
Smith, S. J., & Basham, J. D. (2014). Designing Online Learning Opportunities for Students with Disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(5), 127-137. doi:10.1177/0040059914530102