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Case Study Interview

When thinking of two students that I could interview for this assignment, I thought it
would be a good idea to interview a girl and a boy. I also thought it would be a good idea to
interview a student that does well in school as well as a student that does really well in school. I
find it very interesting to see and learn about the different perspectives that girls and boys hold
about school. Also, I have observed that the girls in the classes that I sit in while at Boltz seem to
be more focused and prepared. As soon as the bell rings, they go into class with the necessary
materials, sit where they are supposed to and they are ready to go. They simply seem to have a
better and clearer understanding of what goes on in the classroom. The boys on the other hand,
constantly have to be called out for their behavior and are continuously interrupting the class.
They rarely come prepared to class; they forget their binder, pencil, pen, homework, and more.
This not only sets them back but it also sets the whole classroom back because the teacher often
has to stop the class in order to address the boys behavior. For the case-study interviews, I chose
to interview Ashley and Jordan. They are both sixth graders; Ashley is in my advisory class and
Jordan is in my Spanish class.
Ashley is a student that always stood out to me; she does well in school and is very
upbeat. Her personality motivated me to get to know her better and spend some time with her
during advisory. She has a lot of energy, gets along with everyone in the classroom, can focus
very easily, and is involved in a lot of extra curricular activities. These include: basquetball,
soccer, drama, choir, and art. A lot of the times, especially during advisory, I notice that students
have a hard time changing gears; going from one subject to another. Ashley however, seems
driven and motivated to work on a couple of things at a time. When advisory begins, Ashley is
ready to do whatever the teacher instructs. If she sees that the teacher is addressing behavior

issues or something else, Ashley knows what do. She sits patiently in her seat and organizes her
binder and planner. Once she is done with that, she immediately moves on to the next task. She
either reads or does math for the day. Ashley is also very willing to help her classmates out
whenever they are struggling with something. On Math days especially, when she sees that her
peers are struggling, Ashley helps them out as much as she can. Furthermore, Ashley is a girl that
has a very strong character and she is also a very determined and involved student. I believe that
these qualities are what caught my attention about Ashley and what made me want to get to
know her better. During advisory she often asks me questions about what college is like, how my
job as a Spanish tutor helps me grow personally and academically, how being at Boltz will help
me with my teaching career, and more. This has allowed me to develop a relationship with
Ashley and help her out when she needs it. Ashley is a student that possesses appropriate
behavior, is optimist, upbeat, and confident in her academic and extra curricular performances.
Throughout the interview process, Ashley taught me that living the present is an
extraordinary thing to do because doing so, allows you to move on to the next step very easily.
Chapter seven of Teach Like A Champion describes a variety of techniques that help build
character, trust, and culture within the classroom. Positive Framing is one of the techniques that
includes living in the present, this means to focus on what can be fixed now. Ashley is a student
that lives in the present and is constantly focusing on what she can fix in the moment. Having
this characteristic not only helps her grow as a student but it also helps the classroom climate and
culture as a whole. Another thing that I learned from Ashley is that she gets really nervous about
mathematics because she feels that it is a very stressful subject for her and her peers. Moreover,
she explained that whenever they have to do Math, her whole class gets stressed out and this gets
in her way of being able to solve the problems easily. Personally, I think that if their Math

teacher explained everything to them, Math would become less stressful and a bit easier for the
students. Chapter 7 in Teach Like a Champion also talks about the technique of explaining
everything. This technique helps students by making the reason behind expectations clearly
explained. It allows students to know why learning what they are learning matters, and how their
actions and/or behavior affect another. Ashley made me realize how important it is for teachers to
explain everything to students because by doing so, we can change their perception and how they
feel about the subject. As a result, we can positively impact their motivation to learn about the
subject and help them grow in that content area. Another thing that I learned from Ashley during
the interview is the importance of being part of a school that offers commitment to the academic,
physical, social and emotional growth of students. Ashley described how much she loves Boltz
because of this and because of the variety of classes and extra curricular activities that it offers. I
believe that this encourages her and her peers to be involved in school and it also encourages
them to make their best effort to reach their highest potential. In fact, Ashley mentioned that she
is planning on becoming the president of student council next year. She explained that she has a
lot of ideas that she can contribute to the student council and is very excited about it. I think that
being part of a school in which students are motivated and encouraged to be involved in,
positively impacts the climate and culture of the school. It helps strengthen and foster a feeling
of pride, hard work, perseverance and community. This, I believe, encourages teachers to
challenge their students; create lessons that motivate them and help them reach their highest
academic and personal potential. When I asked Ashley what advice she would give to a new
teacher, I learned that students do not like or appreciate having the same routine everyday.
Ashley explained that teachers cannot do the same thing every day because students then tune
out or lose interest in the subject. Ashley also mentioned that teachers should be chill and not

so serious. I definitely agree with Ashley and therefore, it is crucial that when I become a
teacher, I create lesson plans that are fun, interactive, and most importantly, motivational for
students. It is also very important that I emanate emotional consistency to my students; that I
control my emotions and that I leave them out of the picture. Teach Like A Champion explains
that students are learning about their own emotions and therefore, teachers cannot allow for their
emotions to get in the way of the climate and culture of the classroom. Lastly, Ashley taught me
that we, as teachers, cannot demand or expect so much from students if we do not set clear
expectations from the very beginning. This reminded me of the warm/strict tool that Lemov
mentions in chapter 7 of Teach Like A Champion. It is very important for teachers to keep in
mind the importance of being warm but also strict and that we understand that these two qualities
are not opposites. Teachers highly impact the way in which students learn and act. Being warm
and strict sends the message that having high expectations is part of what caring for and
respecting someone means.
The second interviewee I chose was Jacob. Jacob is a student that does really well in
school. From the very first time I got to introduce myself to Jacobs Spanish class, he
demonstrated a lot of respect and was different than the rest of the boys. He seemed very
centered, focused, prepared, determined and totally emanating the culture of Boltz. I have gotten
to work with Jacob in Spanish class and he is an amazing student. He is always ahead of the
game; completing the assigned work and doing even more than what is assigned sometimes.
Jacob is always smiling, living the present, focused, determined and respecting his peers,
teachers, and the school overall. Jacob often asks me questions about how to say things in
Spanish, what my schooling experience was like back in Mexico, what types of job opportunities

I can get with being bilingual, and more. Spanish is something that really interests Jacob. In fact,
he wants to become a carpenter or an architect so that he can use his Spanish speaking skills.
Throughout the interview process, Jacob taught me how important it is for students to be
in a classroom that emanates and requires hard work. He also made me realize how important it
is for parents and teachers to be involved in a students life. Jacob said that having both his
parents and teachers involved in his life teaches him to work hard and motivates him to
persevere. Another thing that I learned from Jacob throughout the interview was how important it
is for students to have a teacher that pushes them to do their best. Jacob explained that having
this makes a student excel. The student feels motivated and encouraged to become a better
person and a better student; one who succeeds and continues to grow academically, socially, and
emotionally. Moreover, Jacob explained that having these opportunities in his life boost his
confidence and that he wishes that all students had the same thing. Another thing that I learned
from Jacob is how much middle school students value teamwork. One of the questions I asked
Jacob during the interview was if he preferred to work independently versus in teams. Jacob said
that he preferred and valued working in teams more than working by himself. This is because he
thinks that he can grow and learn more about himself from teamwork than from working
independently. Jacobs answer made me realize the importance of planning lessons that allow for
students to work in teams as well as independently. I think that presenting opportunities for them
to work in teams truly prepares students for the future. It gives them the ability to cooperate and
communicate with others to reach common goals. I think that schools often emphasize individual
achievement over collaboration and group achievement. However, I strongly believe that
teaching students cooperative learning helps them develop the social and problem-solving skills
that are needed to work with others. These skills play a huge role in areas like communication,

leadership, and decision-making. Lastly, Jacob explained to me what an ideal teacher looks like
to him. He said that an ideal teacher is one who is more on the strict side but is also caring
especially to those students who just dont get it. When Jacob said this I asked him what he
meant by those students who just dont get it. He explained that teachers have to understand
that every student is different and that some get what they have to do very easily but that it takes
others longer. Sometimes, when students dont get it, I tend to think that they are not paying
attention or that they just dont want to do the work. However, Jacobs answer made me realize
how important it is for me to be patient with students. It also reminded me of the 10 Tips for
Successful Behavioral Expectations; specifically, of the Forget, Forgive, & Move On tip. This
tip asks teachers to reflect upon who owns the problem (student or teacher) and it reminds
teachers to give students opportunities. I should give students, whether they are good, bad,
studious or not studious students, the opportunity to start fresh everyday. Their past actions
should not affect my patience with them when teaching them.
Overall, I learned that individual interviews are very helpful in guiding instruction. The
fact that the interviews are individual, allows students to feel comfortable when talking to you,
and it also allows them to be more sincere in their responses. Individual interviews also allow
one to get to know the student better. This is beneficial to teachers especially because they get to
know how the student works better and they also learn what works better for the student.
From the individual interviews that I conducted, I learned a lot of things that students
consider important in their schooling experience. In fact, a lot of the things that my interviewees
talked about could be used to help guide instruction. Both students for example, described the
importance of having a teacher who is warm but caring as well. This can help guide instruction
because it allows teachers to know what their students expect from them and it also allows them

to know what they can expect from their students. Moreover, guiding instruction with warm and
strict characteristics is very important because it sets high expectations for students, it shows
them that you care and respect them, and it also helps establish a strong climate and culture in
the classroom. Another thing that my interviewees mentioned that could help guide instruction
was what they expect to see and have in a classroom. This is helpful in guiding instruction
because it allows the teacher to create a classroom with the characteristics that students consider
important to have in order to reach their highest potential. My interviewees for example, highly
value a classroom that is hardworking, focused, and respectful. Individual interviews also allow
students to open up about what they do not enjoy in a classroom. Ashley and Jacob talked a lot
about being in classrooms that are often boring and monotone. They explained that they would
be more motivated to work in those classrooms if the teachers provided activities that were more
interactive or that involved more teamwork. This can help guide instruction because it gives
teachers a better idea of what they can include in their lesson plans so that they can facilitate
learning and make it more enjoyable. Individual interviews also allow for teachers to get to know
what works better for their students and how their students work better. This can help guide
instruction because it gives the teacher a better idea of how he/she can try to meet the students
needs. I personally learned a lot from individual interviews and I think they are essential in
guiding instruction. This is because students are able to share their thoughts with you and be
honest about what they think. Individual interviews can help guide instruction in more than one
way and they can be key in strengthening the climate and culture of the classroom.