Week 11: EEO

March 30, 2014

What doe equal education look like? I think in a dream world that every parent would be equally dedicated to their children’s future and provide them with the necessary building blocks prior to entering schools. But, this does not happen!! So many of us have these interesting jobs of working in collaborative classrooms and trying to help students catch up with their peers.

 

Often students come to school ill prepared for what awaits them. If there were equality in education all students would come to school well supplied and well prepared. It breaks my heart that so many students come to school and do not even have basic skills, like writing their name, identifying their name, know their ABC’s or counting to twenty. Many school systems have put Response to Intervention (RTI) in place to help students in the classroom prior to being evaluated or having a child study done to identify student with a learning disability. RTI means “leaving a child in the regular school program while providing him or her with suitable intervention; only if that approach does not work is the child refereed for special education or disability services”  (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek, & Vocke, 2012, p. 393).

This tool helps students who may not be learning disabled, but have trouble picking up new information or need another method of instruction to help them learn or develop a skill.

I bring all of this information to light because special education frequently has skewed numbers of students where diversity is concerned. Often African American males are identified in larger numbers that other groups or cultures. Why is this? I’m not sure but I feel fairly confident saying that there are not as man African American males identified as gifted students. How do we change this numbers? What are we doing wrong and if we are doing something wrong how do we fix it? I think that RTI is a tool that helps bring the numbers down and helps to keep fewer students from being identified as learning disabled.

 

There are a ton of valid resources for differential instruction out there; you need to find what works better for your students and the classroom as a whole. By developing a solid foundation of differentiation for your students you help them develop and learn to have better skills and use resources at a higher level that they would have without differentiation and RTI.

 

Ornstein, A. C., Levine, D. U., Gutek, G. L., & Vocke, D. E. (2012).Foundations of education (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

 

Response to Intervention (RTI): The three tiers of RTI instruction. (2013, April 04). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2zySJwuizE

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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Week 10: Social Class, Race, and School Achievement

March 23, 2014

Unfortunately, we all are products of our environments. Many of us have seen students come to school that are unprepared for what lays ahead of them. Many students come from underprivileged families and from poor environments. And in recent years family incomes have been decreasing and bills and expenses have been increasing making it more difficult for parents to provide their children with the basics for school. If students don’t have the basic things they need for school, do we actually believe that these children are coming to school well fed with proper nourishment that has prepared them for their day ahead? I hope that all of us realize that these children are coming to school hungry and ill prepared for the information they will be receiving. According to our textbook, “children’s home environments cultivate three key sets of characteristics important to their school achievement” (Ornstein, Levine, Gutek, & Vocke, 2012, p. 345). These three elements according to Ornstein et. al. (2012) are:

  1. Knowledge and understanding – this would be exposure to cultural activities and enrichment from the parents of the world around the students
  2. Cognitive and verbal skills – This is the verbal development that has taken place in the family and would be different for lower class or economically repressed families.
  3. Values and attitude – reflects on how well the family has prepared the child for school, their attitude towards learning and how much value has been placed upon education.

 

As teachers we need to influence these students and show them that there is a better way of life, a chance for everyone to succeed in life, and that not everyone is going to college or needs to there are other opportunities for some students. We also need to let these students know that it is okay to come from a poor or under privileged household and that it is not the end of the world and they can succeed.  I know because I was the youngest of six children, our mother raised us on her own with little to no support from my father. I am the first person in my family to become a college graduate. All of us are successful and productive members of society. My point is if you set your mind on doing something you can be successful. I think we as teachers need to provide students with an encouraging and supportive environment for learning and help nurture them to become successful in the classroom.

 

 

 

 

Ornstein, A. C., Levine, D. U., Gutek, G. L., & Vocke, D. E. (2012).Foundations of education (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

 

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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Week 9: Blog Reflection: Cuture, Socialization, and Education

March 16, 2014

I have had the pleasure of teaching an ESL class since November, 2013 and I can say that I have been pleasantly surprised by my students and have enjoyed teaching this class. With that being said, I can also say that it has been an interesting excursion for me and I have encountered many elements along the way. Some good, some bad and some quite unexpected!

 

Culturally I think I have learned quite a bit from my students, I have students from eight different countries and they all have differences. I have some male students who find it difficult to take instruction from a female teacher. I have experienced them telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about because their male teachers didn’t tell them that (they later apologized and said they asked their teacher and I was right). I’m glad they were able to move past this incident and now we are able to discuss most topics without having problems of this nature.

I have students from gang-infested countries that find it difficult to be in school and are struggling with basic content. Several have had limited experience with school due to the violence of their countries and have a great deal of difficulty catching up and learning a new language and how to read.

 

I find it very unfortunate that several of these students do not socialize with other students in the school. I have found that ESL students who were in the US from an early age have socially made a better adjustment than students who have been here for only a few years. I also think that Asian students are able to adjust better than some Hispanic students (maybe because they have fewer people from their background to associate with). I think some of my students hide out and avoid socializing with other students, because they just don’t feel comfortable with them.

 

My students love technology, I a few students who don’t speak very good English that I allow to express themselves visually through apps on the iPad and they love and seem to excel. They are able to communicate visual and have started to communicate better verbally. I also use a lot of SmartBoard games, which they love. I like having the students work together to solve problems, not only are the communicating, they are collaborating and working through problems and barriers together.

I’m sure that other people have had varied experiences in their journey of teaching, but I must say that it has been an enjoyable experience and one that I hope to continue and build a better classroom off of.

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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