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Wyland Oyama

Ecological Student Study Portfolio


ESE 6345, Dr. Kennedy-Lewis

Part I: Home and Student Inquiry

Section 1:
Our student, upon first impression is quite shy and not very talkative. She is becoming a
self-sufficient woman and makes herself breakfast every day, along with the occasional dinner
and washing her own clothes. Once she is done with school, she upholds further responsibilities
by completing her schoolwork first. After that the world is fair game, literally. She spends a lot
of time with her siblings playing super smash brothers or going to the mall with friends. She
usually stays up late chatting with her friends on her phone. She also likes to go to the movies
and loves any movie that will scare the pants off her.
At school, she knows the teachers that will give her grief and tends to stay away from
them. Some of her favorite teachers are our observed teacher, her civics teacher and the P.E.
coach who is compassionate and always tells her to be herself. She usually has a riddle of the day
in her homeroom class. Though the school enforces a uniform policy, to our student, her middle
school already seems like the stereotypical high school full of cliques and exclusive groups. She
says that usually she is stationed in the middle of the group hang out spots and has her fingers in
everything. Though she is very shy, she says a lot of the students want to be friends with her. The
schoolwork is usually worksheets that she excels at, and she wishes the teachers would give the
students more homework. Her peers even ask her for answers sometimes.
She learns a lot from the world around her and makes observations in society to learn life
lessons. Along with her astute mind, her grandmother is very influential in keeping her on the
right path. Her influence and the influence of her church both teach our student how to be a

better person morally. Her church family is a crucial part of her moral compass, and she even
talked about some volunteer work through the church that she said changed her life for the better.
The caregiver of our student seemingly has a great relationship with her child and
provides a stable and constructive environment for her. She practices Yoga and meditation and
has influenced her children to take up some of those behaviors as well. Though we brought
cookies for the members of the household to enjoy, the caregiver was working to live a Vegan
lifestyle just to try it out for a year. Health and a unifying calm composure of body, mind and
spirit has seemed to rub off on our student as well, who is quite behaved and seemingly peaceful.
The importance of family also shows through their nightly gathering at mealtime with the
mother of the caregiver who lives down the street. She said that one of the responsibilities of the
girls is that they each have a night to cook, which provides them an opportunity to learn how
to take care of themselves and pick up a useful life skill in the process. Another responsibility
she puts on her children is that they have to wash their own clothes.
The caregiver stated that there arent any set rules outside of having to go to bed at a
reasonable hour. She said that she doesnt really have to get on the student too often, other
than taking her phone away when the student is playing on it late into the evening. She wants to
impart the children with a sense of time management, seeing that they are mostly self-sufficient
in their schoolwork. Regardless, the student must finish her responsibilities before playing video
games or playing with her friends. She provides input on the homework when necessary but is
sometimes unfamiliar with the context of the work

Our caregiver worries that the student may sometimes be easily distracted, but says that
each year she seems more concentrated on her schoolwork. She sees her child as even kilt and
good at most school subjects. Though her daughter doesnt talk much about her teachers, she has
heard of the P.E. teacher who has a reputation for being a fun guy. Apparently, he has been
around a while. She says that there was much more communication in elementary school, and
now that the student is in middle school, she wants things like parent teacher conferences to be
better announced. She worries that the teachers may be teaching more for the tests than for
comprehension of the subject matter. Either way, she tries to keep her childrens education alive
by talking about current social issues in an effort to make her kids worldlier.
The neighborhood as a whole was in a lower economic area. There were many adults
outside watching our cars as we pulled up to the apartment we were entering to conduct our
interview. The letters on most of the apartment buildings were either falling off or not present at
all. A few younger children were playing outside, but the majority of them were adults sitting
outside their doors or teenagers walking around.
The apartment belonging to our home inquiry family was in the middle of a building,
with two other apartments on either side. The window at the front of the apartment had ripped
screens and blinds. Upon entering, there was the mother who was the primary care giver as well
as two teenage boys, a middle school girl, and an infant. One of the boys passed through taking
care of a dog throughout our meeting as well. There were no lights on throughout the entire
apartment and there was no technology such as a TV in the living room.

The living room had minimal furniture most of which was ripped and none of it matched.
There were not any pictures on the walls or many decorations. There was also a noticeable lack
of toys around the apartment for the age of the children. By the kitchen, there was a large pile of
dirt that was swept to the side along with a large trash bag. The only table had a clutter of
magazines and books on it, so it was most likely not used for eating but rather for storage of
random items. The family typically eats at the grandmothers apartment down the street, so this
apartment did not have a designated dining area. The kitchen, however, appeared rather clutter
free and accessible. The back of the apartment contained different bedrooms, where some of the
family members disappeared throughout the duration of the home inquiry.
Section 2:
Overall, this experience was in some ways better and in some ways worse than what I
had expected. I was initially worried that I would come into a scenario where I would see the
mother severely punish her children physically, or perhaps I would say something to ruin my
welcome with the family. Without even knowing the actual scenario, I was expecting the worst
possible outcome so that this ecological student survey would shed the most light on a culture
and home life most drastically opposite from my own.
I was very surprised to meet the mother and our student. Both were incredibly mild
mannered. The mother practiced yoga and meditation. The student was quiet and well behaved.
She even played Super Smash Brothers just like I did. As far as the demeanor of the family, I
was pleasantly surprised.
On the other hand, I noted that this family truly is living in poverty. Their house was
scarce, and I was actually more surprised by the video games, thinking, Of all the things this

place needs, you chose a video game system? It brought to light a key aspect that I hadnt
considered. There is still a strong sense of normalcy, even in a family that is struggling
financially. This may be compared to my own view of normalcy, but it seemed like this was
important to the family as well, providing a getaway from the potential realities of their life.
Another thing I noticed was that there was no father figure in the family. Though this is
stereotypical in movies and the media, seeing it in reality was sad for me. They made no mention
of the father, and I didnt feel comfortable enough to probe with any questions. Clearly they are
providing well enough, but I do wonder what their life would be like if he was involved in their
Section 3:
The information provided from the home visit would definitely promote a change of
scenery for the student in terms of classroom environment. I would make a conscious effort to
have an organized classroom so that the clutter isnt something that our student contends with in
both aspects of her life. I would also ensure that it is also clean and well kempt, because I believe
I have more focus when everything around me is tidy. Though these are some basic ideas in
terms of classroom setup, the influence of her life in the classroom would be better suited to the
student if she is given a definitive change of scenery.
My management strategies involving group work would be put in place to give our
student experience with both leading and following. She is asked to do some management in the
home space, which seems to be important to her mother. Id like to see how she handles herself
when given the responsibility of leading other students. Also, she needs to work in a more social
context. She claims to be somewhat popular, but she is also very soft spoken. I think some of

these natural inclinations can help her push past her introverted nature and make her truly a part
of a group.
Lastly, she is a soft spoken individual, but I know how easy it is for teachers to skip past
students when they are too shy to answer a question. Knowing how well she opened up with a
little probing in talking about what she liked, I would make sure to do similar probing when
applying it to class questions. She would be a student I would make a conscious effort to call on
to give her opinion on a topic. The more she feels comfortable in opening up, I believe the more
it will affect her everyday life.

Part II: Community Inquiry

Section 1:
The community event that was most impactful on our students life was the church that
she attended along with her grandmother and other members of her family. The Grandmother
was a very influential part of our students life, though regretfully she was not able to attend. Our
student mentioned on a number of occasions that her spiritual life had a great impression on the
way she viewed the world, so we saw it fitting to choose this event. We were able to sit with our
student, her mother, and her cousin as a way of documenting their reactions during the service as
well as their interactions with the congregation.
The Alive church is located north of Gainesville on 37th street and was originally a
Muslim church before Alive took up the lease. Apparently, through interactions with the
congregation, we discovered that the previous temple was pushed out due to the repercussions
from race relations after 9/11. The church remembers this incident with a heavy heart but uses
that information as motivation to put more good into the community. We attended the 10 oclock
service for the entire 1 hour service to study the full experience.
As soon as we parked in a massive lot which was at least halfway full of cars, members
of the church were greeting us with smiles and hellos. We ran into a student that remembered
us from our class visit who was excited to see us taking a part in his life experiences as well. A
few members brought us on a tour of the new Alive Youth Center, which was lucky for us seeing
that it was the grand opening that day. The renovations included separate rooms for 2-4 year
olds, 6-7 year olds, and youth as well as a separate room for feeding mothers. I was astonished to
see TVs and a new Xbox and PlayStation in the youth room, something my childhood church

never had. The children rambunctiously played here until the sermon started, where they were
supposedly ushered in (though I am not sure if this actually happened).
The majority of the racial diversity were African Americans, but race was not an issue in
any of our interactions considering the overwhelming, whole-hearted welcome from each
member we received. As we entered the church with our family, there was a live band playing
Christian music much like a concert. The stage was quite large with a massive screen on the back
wall projecting the words of the songs being played. The feeling of the church was very
energetic at this moment, and in front of the stage members of the congregation were being
blessed by the pastor and his wife.
When the sermon began, the entire church attentively listened. The pastor was an
incredibly talented motivational speaker that broke down verses of the bible into laymens terms,
creating a connection between the word with his audiences social life. Sometimes the pastor
cued for applauses and amen responses, while at other times the crowd responded as if they
were implied. The church was surprisingly organized. Inside each program was a spiritual
growth assessment, put in place by the pastor to hold the congregation responsible for their own
individual growth with god. They recited a mission statement which all members knew by heart
and worked to apply to their everyday lives. Also inside the program was a list of suggested
media for the members of the church to use in their relationship building with god (bibles, books
on tape, websites, etc.). Not only this, but we found out later that the sermon was being taped and
posted on a website so that those who couldnt attend the service had a means of receiving the
sermon at a later date.

During the pastors moving presentation, I made sure to keep an eye on our family to
note their interactions. Our students mother was very involved with what was happening
onstage. She lifted her arms in praise, said amen at the appropriate times, and nodded in
agreement when she supported the pastors speech. Our student was much more passive in her
interactions with what was going on. Sometimes, she seemed rather spaced out as if she wasnt
truly paying attention. At times I caught her playing on her phone or drawing in her program.
Most of her interaction was in the form of play with her cousin who also attended. I still believe
that this church is an incredibly impactful routine in her life, but it seemed like if she wasnt
directly engaged, she may not have been paying attention.
Section 3:
My parents raised me in the church as well, but this nondenominational, nontraditional
experience was very different from my upbringing. As a child, the Episcopal Church that we
went to had much more pomp and circumstance. There were readings from a golden bible, organ
music, and traditional sit now/stand now processions similar to the Catholic Church. It wasnt
until I moved to Florida and began attending a Lutheran church that I even realized that the
church could have a guitar in it. Going to the Alive church and hearing the band play as if it were
a rock concert was incredibly entertaining, which may have had more of an influence on me in
my youth when creating a connection to spirituality.
The sermon was a truly unique experience as well. Most of what I experienced growing
up was a very rigid, this is what we do, this is what we should be doing lecture on how to live
our lives. The Pastor at the Alive church made a point to connect the bible to certain funds of
knowledge and frames of reference that the entire congregation could connect to. He made a

reference about loving god in the way you are first infatuated by a girlfriend or boyfriend. He
then proceeded to incorporate his own experiences with his wife into the sermon, which is
something that my pastors of old never really did. This pastor also used a lot of comedy, which
brought him down to earth as a real human being rather than a man put on a pedestal by the arch
diesis or whoever appoints pastors in traditional churches.
One memorable aspect of my religious experience was my connection to the other kids in
my youth groups growing up. They were the real fun of church, and I built a genuine
camaraderie with them through outings, volunteer work, and bible camps. In our students
interview she mentioned doing some volunteer work with the church but in this experience we
didnt get the chance to see our student interact with anyone else her age excluding her cousin.
She is a relatively quiet person but says that she is popular in her own respect. In relation to the
routine we witnessed, Im not sure where any of these types of interactions come into play.
Perhaps with the new youth center there will be more opportunities for our student to grow in
spirituality with other kids her own age.
Section 4:
Our student seems to interact very similarly in church as she does in school. She is very
quiet though incredibly social when she is directly interacted with. She is seen as a genuinely
good person, which is why I believe her volunteer work through the church is so important to
her. While she seems to be more engaged in a school environment, I believe the root cause of
this has to do with the accountability standards set by her teachers in an educational

One of the techniques the pastor set in place about holding the congregation accountable
for their spiritual growth would be perfect for student growth. On the spiritual growth
assessment, there are five core values. Each of these values had a ranking of one to ten where the
individual can give themselves a rating as to how well they enact the value in their daily lives.
On the other side of the assessment is an in-depth explanation of each of the core values. The
aim of the game is not to be perfect right off the bat, but to steadily improve with consistent
application of the core values, filling the assessment out each week. Also, it serves as a personal
identifier of where the individual is at without any judgment, critique or testing. It is entirely
about the accountability of the individual, for the individual. This system would be interesting
for a student if some of the values were studying, retention, class participation etc. If students
were able to honestly assess their own behavior and make active choices for their educational
growth, it might inspire students to push themselves to further levels.
With another example from the church, I would take the mantra of the congregation and
apply it to a classroom setting. The entire church was unified and set on a task to put good into
the world through this mantra, which may have parallel effects in classroom building and
management of class engagement. I could see a benefit in peer interactions to hold students
accountable for their classmates work. Student 1 may be slacking in some aspect of the mantra,
and student 2 will have the ammunition to help keep student 1 on track through a trigger phrase
that the entire class has agreed upon. It would also create a safe learning environment to have the
entire class on the same page with the expectations of their learning.
Lastly, I saw the incredible benefit of having that live band amp up the congregation
allowing them to be inspired before the spiritual education, which was applied after. In science
classes, perhaps we could share recent discoveries or spike interest by showing clips from films

such as The Martian in order to inspire learning by comparing their classwork to amazing
work other people are doing. This unifying experience before actual education takes place was
an excellent strategy to engage people before starting on the work necessary for education and
retention to take place.

Part III: Classroom Observation and Teacher Inquiry

Section 1:
Teacher Interview/Classroom Observation:
When initially talking with our teacher, her intelligence and experience were clearly
displayed by her demeanor. She was a teacher in Maryland before coming down to Florida, and
her years of teaching seemed to temper her attitude towards her strategies of classroom
management as well as the curriculum. Though she was originally a science teacher, she had
been waiting for a social studies class to open up. Due to her resounding expertise as well as her
years of service, she was finally able to step into the teaching role she had been waiting for.
The teacher makes an effort to apply many of the classroom strategies that we are
currently discussing in the Proteach program. She strives to occupy every minute with active
learning, using warm-ups and a structured class routine in order to do so. Some of the routines
and systems she has in place include a ticket reward, where completed student work entitles them
to prizes at the end of the week. Also, a completed planner signed by parents is a daily
requirement which keeps the students organized and lets the parent know about specific
classroom activities. Cooperative learning was well utilized during the class, especially through
worksheet activities. She also discussed how Kagan helped provide her with some strategies to
help with classroom management.
She stressed time sensitive management along with this mentality, holding students
accountable for the work that needs to be done throughout the period. Part of this is achieved
through co-teaching, with a distinct separation of roles between instructors. The teacher we
observed was focused on class curriculum, while the other teacher (Ms. P) focused on behavioral
management as well as struggling students. The teacher would ask students to let her know when

they were done with the bell ringer so that she could immediately transition into the remaining
classwork. She also allowed the students some study time, informing the students of important
information that would be on the test. While students were studying, the teacher would use this
time to check student work and hand out tickets.
Her classroom behavioral management is based on a web program called classdojo. Here,
students are able to create an avatar where the teacher can directly give credit in the form of a
point system during class time. The students receive a printout that they have their parents sign
so that the families can be involved in their childs classroom participation. While she makes
active choices to apply this program, the disciplinary structure is a school wide tier system which
she follows. While she has a more active role in classroom management and behavioral
management in her other classes, this responsibility was primarily given to the co-teacher, Ms. P.
Still, she tries to slowly give more and more responsibility to the students.
The teacher was very constructive, using many its my job approaches when talking
with her kids. One specific example was with a student named Ashley. This student hadnt been
in class, so she didnt hold her responsible for taking the quiz that day, but still encouraged the
student to give it a try. She uses a lot of reminders in order to keep students on track and holds
them accountable for those dates. She used a lot of higher order thinking questions, asking
why more often than giving information to the students. Also, she allowed the kids to work in
study groups to give students a quick refresher on important information they will later be
assessed on. Students were given some extra credit for making flashcards, which were utilized to
help peers in their study groups as well.

I found that her impressions of our student were contradictory to the students
impressions on her success in the classroom. She started this section of the interview by saying
(student) can do better, and that the student cant see this path to work. She admits that the
student is very polite and well mannered, and uses the student as a teacher helper to get her
active and motivated, helping students who cant get out basic supplies. The teacher made the
inference that the student likes computers much more than she likes civics. She continues to
say that our student is in her own world, and needs to be more focused. She believes the student
is smart, but just needs to do the work.
Also, there was a discrepancy in contact between the parents and the school. The parent
wanted more communication, while the teacher says that it is hard to reach the family. This was
an interesting issue because one of the topics that she strives for is building a connection with the
parents, so that they can educate the student on both fronts. While the truth behind this issue is
not apparent, the teacher does mention the fact that there is not enough one-on-one time between
the teacher and the students. She finds that its important to admit shes wrong sometimes, and
portray herself as a human rather than a perfect power icon.
The teacher does have a lot of issues with both the textbook and curriculum guide
dictated by the CPALMS standards as well as the issues involved with the school board and
teacher expectations. It is difficult to say that her concerns with our student are valid because
halfway through the class Ms. P took the struggling students (including our student) with her.
Much of her opinion on our subject student resorted to a special program that would allow our
student to receive the extra help she needed. This may also potentially detrimental for our student
considering the fact that Ms. P is very new and may not have built a relationship with the

student. Since our student is quite and well mannered, it may be more of a challenge for the
teachers not to let her slip under the radar.
Section 2:
I see this teacher as a very talented and highly capable instructor. She has experience as
well as a particular passion of the subject matter. The fact that she is upset by some of the
curriculum guides as well as the text book leads me to believe that, given the opportunity, she
could find a more constructive way of educating her students. She works hard to keep the
students minds on employing several strategies like bell ringers to utilize her time efficiently. In
the way that she interacts with the students, you can see her compassion for them and her
consideration of their educational growth.
Having said that, I believe this teacher to be burning herself out. She does employ some
strategies involved with higher order questioning and group participation, but the active
accountability involved with uniting the whole class is not always practiced. Much of the higher
order questions were directed at single individuals rather than having the whole class take part.
The group activities were more used as work time dictated by the students. I didnt notice any
accountability for group participation, and the instructions for these activities did not promote
group discussion or collaborative thinking. This leads me to believe that the teacher is playing a
numbers game. As long as the majority of students are passing, her job is being done. This
promotes kids like our student to slip under the attention of either teacher.
I would say that some of this reaction is due to co-teaching. It divides the class into
students who are actively paying attention, and students who are misbehaving. Many times, Ms.

P was talking to students while our teacher was trying to engage the class. The separation of
attention is cognitively too much for the students in this class to handle. Furthermore, our student
was taken away mid class to work with Ms. P. this transition time is not an effective use of time,
and the students must then ramp their focus back on the subject after being segregated from the
rest of the class.
Our student wasnt even acknowledged during this period. I find it sad to talk to the
student, who believes she is doing well academically, and see that the teachers pay her little to no
attention. She doesnt even realize that she is struggling because she is seen as not a priority to
the educators. Truly effective teaching needs to target the struggling students while still engaging
the rest of the class.
Section 3:
I think that this observation truly provides more support to the methods promoted by
Kagan. The group work in this class easily slipped into discussion time or individual work which
doesnt engage kids like our student. In a large class like this, it is necessary to create
heterogeneous groups so that the struggling students have more social education, which will shift
the responsibility of the second teacher to an educator position rather than behavioral manager.
On the topic of the co-teacher, a unified front is necessary for all students to be engaged
in classwork. Having two teachers simultaneously talking splits the attention of the entire class.
If students can be engaged in more Kagan style group work, both teachers are then given the
opportunity to gauge student involvement and perform informal assessments each group at a
time. Furthermore, the division of students during the class only puts those struggling students at

a disadvantage, taking away potential class time to move them to a different location. If students
are expected to be separated, this action must be done at the beginning of class so that the
students can maintain the momentum of their cognitive retention.
Lastly, this classroom visit really keyed in to the mentality that teaching and classroom
management should be geared for the struggling students. I think it is heartbreaking that our
student truly believes that she is successful in school when she is not. A teacher must confront
this issue rather than let a well-mannered student slip by without recognition of the things they
need to be focused on. Saying things like she doesnt see the path to work should not be the
responsibility of the student. This should be the responsibility of the teacher to promote learning
in the student, giving her access to the help she needs when she is faced with her shortcomings.
All students can succeed, but not on their own. Thats why we have teachers in the first place.

Part IV: Student Profile and Reflection

Section 1:
Student Profile:
Our student is quite shy and seemingly disengaged from her surroundings, but contrary to
this initial observation she is very active in her personal and academic life. She spends her
evenings on the phone chatting with her friends, which sometimes presents a mild issue to her
mother who occasionally takes the phone away to keep a bed time for our student. This social
activity is also found when she goes to the movies or the mall with her friends. She even claims
that these peers sometimes bug her, hinting to the fact that she is somewhat popular and very
decisive on how she decides to spend her time. She also spends plenty of time with her family,
playing Super Smash Brothers with her brothers and cousins. Though she seems meek and quiet,
she opened herself up quite easily when we began to dig into her funds of knowledge. She is
more social than even her mother may realize.
She also finds a lot of success in her academics. She plays a lot of video games which has
put her on the track of a future video game designer. She is enamored by computers, and claims
that she would like more homework to challenge her. Normally she gets done with her
assignments within a few hours, and spends the rest of her time with her family. She sees herself
as a talented student, the teacher we interviewed seemed to think otherwise. Our teacher said that
the student can do better, and that she doesnt see the path to work. She appears to be in her
own world during class, though she is very helpful to the other students. When observing the
class, the student was not specifically engaged, leading me to believe that she is under the radar
of teacher attention, potentially due to her mild-mannered attitude. Clearly there is some
miscommunication between the student and the teacher, especially considering the mother

believes the student to be successful as well. This lack of connection is also apparent in the fact
that the mother wishes the school would make more of an effort to contact her, while the teacher
believes that the family is hard to get a hold of.
The student is unimpressed with her academic environment. She says that the school has
many cliques, but that she has her fingers in all of them. She says that the school mainly makes
her fill out worksheets, and its like a stereotypical movie of the high school setting (even though
she is in middle school). She knows what teachers will give her grief, and tends to avoid them at
school. The only true role model she has is one of the P.E. teachers who is very kind to her. He
even ran with her when she didnt want to, showing that he wouldnt ask anything of the students
that he wasnt willing to do himself. The mother validated his kind reputation, but the student
didnt note any other teacher that had a significant influence on her.
The student develops life lessons from her mother and grandmother, who require her to
cook the occasional meal and do her own laundry. She gets a lot of her moral compass from her
church, which we had the opportunity to visit. The church is very active in the community, and
our student discussed with us her joy in doing volunteer work. She tends to be passive in her
engagement, and during a church service we attended, you could find our student drawing and
playing on her phone rather than actively engaging.
The family is living in poverty, but the quality of family involvement in our students life
is very high. She learns responsibility from her grandmother and takes on some of the
responsibilities of the family herself. She doesnt give much reason for the mother to doll out
discipline because the student is very quiet and well behaved. The mother is involved with
educating her children on social issues and is working on giving them a sense of time

management. Though she is seemingly a smart girl, which is reiterated by her mother, the teacher
we interviewed seemed to think otherwise. Some of this may be attributed to cultural differences,
but I would say that lack of communication is the root of why our student is not achieving as
highly in her academics as she could be.
Section 2:
Recommendations for Educators:
Our student is not a problem student at all; far from it. I believe that our student is having
potential academic issues because there is a lack of engagement from the teacher. Being mild
mannered and relatively successful in comparison to the lower achieving students she is paired
with, I see our student as a lower priority to a teacher who needs to attend to those struggling
students or students with behavioral issues. The class must be better structured to improve her
class participation, access her funds of knowledge, and hold her accountable through active
supervision. Furthermore, an empathetic demeanor could take this shy girl into a proficient
extrovert in all academic subjects.
First, I would recommend positive social interactions in the form of heterogeneous
groups proposed by Kagan (Kagan & Kagan, 2009). This would pair her up with stronger
students and put her in the spotlight to give her impressions on the curriculum through social
classwork. Simple structures like inside-outside circle or mix-pair-share will force our student to
come out of her shell and interact with people, causing her to be more active in her education.
She stated that most of her work is done through worksheets, but if they are graded and returned,
there would be no question about her academic successes or shortcomings. She needs to be held

accountable for her work, and giving the students partners that they actively engage with wont
allow our student to slip under the radar unopposed.
This strategy can also open up the door to active supervision from the teacher (Haydon &
Kroger, 2015). Her teacher can circle around through the groups informally assessing their
contributions on class discussions and improve simultaneous interaction for the entire class. This
would also be a great time to include some positive comments that would encourage our student
to work harder. She made a connection with a P.E. coach because he showed empathy towards
her which inspired her to run more (Beaty-OFerrall, 2010). This same strategy can be applied to
the classroom environment as well.
It is important that the teacher builds this relationship with our student, because she
doesnt seem to have this type of bond with any other educator outside of the P.E. teacher. One
of the best possible things that can be done for our student is to welcome her input (Weinstein &
Novodvordky, 2011). Our student had plenty to say to us about her life, and the things she finds
important in it. It is crucial for the teacher to probe our student and really treasure her input as a
valid source of information, which will also push her to be more engaged in entire classroom
Also, in the same chapter of Weinsteins book, it discusses the importance to learn about
student lives. Not only is this important to take into account her familys financial situation, but
also to access her funds of knowledge to incorporate into lessons (Moll, Amanti, Neff, &
Gonzalez, 1992). Our student loves going to the mall; this could be put into a lesson about
commerce or the economy of the United States. She also likes horror movies; an article on
sciences methods uses films to point out things that can or cant happen in science. She loves

video games and wants to make them someday, so why not use this as a springboard into
computer tech and game creation. Using her own references, the curriculum can be set in place to
inspire our student to attack new information with a thirst to learn.
Our student is not properly challenged but with an its my job method of teaching, she
can reach an educational achievement that fits her existing belief of brilliance. The key is to
think of the individual, as well as the rest of the students in her class. Classroom structures can
help all of her peers, and a lecture wont target any of them. Having the students working
together on information that they care about for a teacher who cares about them is a positive way
of creating whole class involvement.
Section 3:
I learned a lot of useful and eye opening information from our experience with this
Ecological Student Survey. To start, initially I had no idea that our student was living in poverty.
The dwelling was scarce in terms of furniture and it was not located in a good neighborhood,
but the family operated as if nothing were a problem. The student cooked for her family on
certain nights of the week. She played one of my favorite video games, Super Smash Brothers.
She even went to church and had dinner at her grandmothers house a few doors down. The fact
that she could be dealing with something larger than what I saw from them really informed me as
to all a student could be going through without you ever realizing it. In the same breath, there is
still normalcy in those situations as well. They were a strong moral family and a tight knit unit
that didnt seem hindered by their shortcomings at all.

One of the most influential parts of this process was the apparent miscommunication
between the teacher, student, and family. The family appeared to be on the same page between
our student and her mother. All of us agreed she was shy, but morally strong. The student came
home and was very self-sufficient in her homework. But she and her mother saw the student as a
bright young lady. Then we interviewed the teacher and got an entirely different side of the story.
The teacher told us that the student was struggling and lacked work ethic. She said the student
appeared to be her in her own world in class and needed to be more attentive to her work.
Also, she said that our students family was difficult to contact, when the mother said that she
wished the school would contact her more. I have no idea how a student can believe that they are
doing well while the teacher believes the contrary. Grades are given to the students, so either
someone was not forthcoming, or the teacher had no real connection with the student at all.
I learned a lot about stereotypes in the process of studying our student. Sometimes, the
cultural differences seem to pull people apart, but in visiting our familys church, I felt entirely
the opposite. Everyone there was so friendly and inviting that I felt like the individual putting
distance between us. Their pastor was incredibly motivational and well accepted, and I took a lot
off strategies that he employed in providing students a map to bettering themselves in their
education. I think there are too many preconceived assumption I have about different cultures,
but they arent the case for every person or every student. I want to look harder at the kids I
teach, and try to find the bridge that brings us closer to the common goal of the students success
in the present and future.

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C. Moll, L., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching:
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high school case study on classroom behavior. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education
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Beaty-OFerrall, M. E., Green, A., & Hanna, F. (2010). Classroom management strategies for
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