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Laila Ali

Professor Williams
TED 5780
30 January 2015
Journal 1: Community Observation
Description of the Community
I am student teaching at Washington Elementary School in Wyandotte, MI.
The community is predominately white. Many of the parents are younger and the
members of the community know each other well. Many people live in brick
homes (single residence). I did not see many apartment buildings. I saw many
doctors offices and signs that proclaimed the city the home of hockey
champions. The doctors offices varied from family practices to specialized
doctors (i.e. geriatric and orthopedic). These offices are conveniently close and
are located in small buildings. There is a hospital that is a part of the Henry Ford
Health system.
I did not see any support for specific diverse populations. I did see many
restaurants that sold polish food. I saw many schools and churches. The schools
were smaller than ones I have seen and the buildings were older. The churches
were named after Saints. I didnt see a library near the school where I am student
teaching. I saw many restaurants (polish delis and pizzerias) and gas stations.
The grocery stores were small, family owned and located near the schools. I
have seen busses but no taxis. There are many parks and playgrounds near the
school and in the community. Many of the students at the school participate in

sports after school. The community also has a golf course and a community
garden. They have a police department and a fire station. Police cars are seen
throughout the community. The billboards I have seen have been in regards to
sports. I have seen billboards proclaiming the city home of the hockey champions
and supporters of the Red Wings. I have also seen signs for worker unions and
family stores. The community seems very close knit and proud of its sports
teams. I did not see any environmental factors that affect learning at my school.
The traffic flow at the beginning and end of school can get hectic but once school
starts, it does not affect learning. There are many museums on Biddle Ave
(Wyandotte) that are historical homes. Students can visit these homes to see
many of the architecture that was created decades ago.
Analysis and Implications
The community is very close knit. They have many resources, such as
libraries and museums that are near their schools. They have a great sports
program and they are proud of it. The clinics and hospitals in this community are
abundant and close to their clientele. The restaurants show the culture of the
community and many are family owned. These are all assets in this community.
Some issues that I think the school should address deal with support for
diverse populations and the traffic flows near the schools. I didnt really see any
diversity in the community or diverse groups represented in the businesses. I
think it would be nice to introduce diversity lessons to students at school and
teach students about diverse cultures. Another issue is the traffic flow near the
school (before and after school). There is a driveway in front of the school and it

could get a little dangerous when parents pick up students. Also, the speed limit
isnt always enforced near the school so it would be great to have cops patrol
near the school at arrival and dismissal.
Reflection Narrative
I have learned many things about the community that will impact my
teaching. I learned that the community is very welcoming and many people know
each other. Many of these families care about their childs education and are
active in their childs learning. I can use what I know about the area to plan
educational field trips for students to the various museums and libraries. I will
also be active in helping create a safe environment during arrival and dismissal,
now that I know how heavy the traffic is around the school. I will also incorporate
diversity lessons to teach students about diverse populations and cultures.
I can use the assets of the community in various ways to support teaching.
I could teach students about the history of the city and the native tribes the city
was named after. I could take students to the museums located in the area and
discuss historical aspects. I could also introduce students to the library system
and show them the resources available at the library (books, and computers). I
could ask various businesses to contribute to my classroom through fundraisers
or free resources that can be used in the classroom. My role as a teacher could
be to connect students with the resources available to them. I could teach
students about diversity (since I wear a scarf and look different than many of the
people who live in the community).

I will aim to get to know my students families. I will ask students to share
information about themselves and bring in pictures of their families. I will also
have a show and tell where students can bring in their favorite things and talk
about them to their classmates. I will always ask them to write about their
hobbies, weekend plans, and things they like, in order to get to know them better.
I will send newsletters to family members every week and tell parents that I have
an open door policy. I will invite parents to come in at the beginning of the school
year (on a specific day), so that I could meet them and introduce myself in
person. I will make sure parents have my contact information so that they can get
a hold of me with questions, comments, or concerns. I will use what I have
observed to create a positive relationship with my students and their families. I
will keep in mind that many families in this community care about their childs
education and I will keep communication open with parents so that they know
what their child is doing in the classroom (through progress reports and behavior
cards).
I could go to the citys website to learn more about this community. I could
join various committees and be active in the schools events in order to get to
know parents and establish a positive relationship. I could also tour the
community and go to various libraries and museums to see what they offer. I
could also ask community members about the citys history, culture, and
recreational programs. From what I have seen of this community so far, I am
excited to student teach here and look forward to learning more about the
community as the year progresses.