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Professional Teaching Standard 3

Professional Teaching Standard 3

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Published by lcurtin22744

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Published by: lcurtin22744 on Jan 06, 2011
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Lindsay CurtinCI 40611/4/10Cultural and Linguistic AutobiographyBeing a part of the macro-culture, I never have really thought much about how my beliefs,values, and expectations have shaped how I think and act. After taking CI 415 as well as researching myfamilys culture, I have become aware of how my culture affects my everyday thoughts despite ithappening unconsciously. This paper explains the extent to which my culture has shaped my beliefsabout performance and success in school, the surprises I uncovered about my own cultural background,and the challenges I will face with regards to students whose cultural backgrounds are different frommy own.Growing up in America has definitely influenced the way I look at student performance andachievement in school. The backbone of American culture is the idea of individuality or the Americandream. Each and every person is expected to prosper if they want to be successful in the future.Without hard work and a high level of education it is extremely rare for a person to live comfortably.This ideal has motivated me to be successful so that I will not have to worry everyday about finances.Having this mentality instilled in me from birth has definitely influenced me to always value learningbecause that is the only sure way to secure a stable future.My community has been very influential in shaping my views as well. I grew up in the suburbswhere the expectation is that everyone goes to college and often times beyond college to graduateschool. Since this idea is so normal for most everyone in my community, success in ones education isexpected. Competition also factors into my motivation. Every student has the same intentions for thefuture, so performance is essential to success. Time and effort must be put into ones school work if they want to perform well in their schooling. To ensure getting into college, I have always had to devote
an ample amount of time to my school work because I needed to keep up with the performance of mypeers.Success and achievement in school has never been in question and I believe this is mainly due tomy family being composed primarily of teachers. Both of my parents are teachers so valuing educationhas been engrained into my mind from birth. Learning was not limited to the school hours, but insteadwas incorporated at every moment of every day. I was expected to read every night and the toys Iplayed with were meant to be educational. For example, puzzles and games that incorporated mathwere my primary toys when I was little. Education has and always will be the primary focus in myfamily; therefore, I have always strived to succeed in every subject. If I was struggling with a subjectarea, it was expected that I would get help to clarify the confusion. Failure simply was not an option, soit never crossed my mind to give up when I was struggling. My family not only expected me to succeedand get by, but I was expected to go above and beyond. Not only was I expected to be in advancedclasses, but I was still expected to get As.As much as education is about success and performance, my family has taught me that it is alsoso much more than that. Education is about the desire to learn because a subject area is intriguing. It isnot all about learning simply so that a person is successful on assessments. Learning should beintrinsically motivating because the person wants to know more about a subject. Growing up, I havealways known the importance of passing my assessments, but that was not the primary focus of education.When thinking about the language portion of the research, it surprised me how much I tookEnglish as my first language for granted. I have never had to guess what a teacher is saying or haddifficulty reading or writing since I speak Standard English at home. When I decided to choose teachingas my profession, it never once crossed my mind that some of my students will appear to be proficient
in English, but may still be struggling immensely with the language. I have never had to struggle even inSpanish classes because whenever I was confused my teachers would either code-switch to English orsimplify her language to become more understandable. Also, my peers were at the same level as me soeven if I was confused I never felt alone.After researching I realized how much of my ancestors cultures have been lost over the years.My family hardly practices Irish and German customs and I would not know the first thing about culturalbeliefs in either of these groups. It is really sad that all of the cultures of my ancestors have beeneliminated for American culture. I highly value being both Irish and German, but I learned throughoutthis research how little I really know about either groups culture.Growing up as a white, middle class, American has definitely caused me to overlook my culture amajority of the time. My beliefs and values are almost identical to those in American society. Since Ihave always lived in the Midwest and in the United States, I have never been immersed into a culturethat was unfamiliar for extended periods of time. I find this to be a challenge as a future teacher. I,myself, have not had to deal with culture shock so I believe it will be difficult at times to relate to mystudents who are in a culture that is not the norm for them. Also, since my views tend to be alignedwith those of the macro-culture, I never really have think about why I do the things I do. For example inAmerican culture, people like to have their personal space, but this may not be so in other cultures. AsDykman so similarly explains, Until the age of five I took it for granted that language comes with being.I assumed that everyone was just like me, speaking the same language and doing the same things, (30).Since I have never lived in a culture where the majoritys views were far different than my own, I justassumed everyone believed and behaved in the same way as I did. I knew people spoke differentlanguages, but it never occurred to me that they didnt value the same ideals or norms as I did. Throughexperiences with people who are different from me, I have learned to not assume anything and to not

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