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Andrea Hardy
Dr. Harris
EDUC 215-02
October 23, 2013
School and Diversity Profile
My poster on Waterman Elementary School in Harrisonburg, Virginia includes many
different diversity aspects, including race, gender, language, disabilities and economic
disadvantages. Finding information was incredibly easy, as I just used the Virginia Department of
Education website, and the United States Census website. The two websites were very
informative about statistics of groups, which I did not think would be a very easy task to gather. I
noticed that most of the statistics about Waterman were inflated from those of the entire city,
such as the amount of poverty, the number of Hispanics, and the people that do not speak English
proficiently. There are more females than males, about two and a half people per household, and
only thirty seven percent of residents own their home.
I enjoyed looking up this information, as it told me a great deal about the place that I am
living, and the school at which I am doing my field experience. It has also given me a chance to
see a school that has much more diversity than other school districts. I was surprised about how
many students and families were below the poverty line. I knew that parts of Harrisonburg were
not well-off, but I did not think that poverty was that prominent in the community - about every
third person in the population. It is also interesting to know that Harrisonburg City is a refugee
resettlement community, which accounts for most of the different ethnicities and languages
spoken. In Hanover County where I grew up, there was not as much obvious diversity in the
school system. It has been very helpful to see two completely separate school districts, and

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compare how they are similar and how they are different. This will help me in my future
classroom, as I will be prepared for much more than I would have without this field experience,
and the future ones that I will do throughout my time at Bridgewater.
In order to be a culturally responsive teacher, I must not be color blind or class blind. I
need to remember that these students are not all equal, that some need much more help than
others at completing assignments and understanding concepts. By acknowledging this, I will
foster their academic achievement to where it should be, based on my high standards for every
student in the classroom. As one of the most important adults in my students lives at the time, I
must also be able and willing to celebrate the diversity that is apparent in every single person.
This will mean more work for me, but it will be worth it to the children, who need to have their
cultures represented to themselves and to others, which is a main component of being a culturally
responsive teacher, personal development. Learning about other peoples cultures will also help
get rid of negative attitudes, stereotypes and prejudices that students can previously have that
they learned from home or elsewhere.
This assignment has been very helpful and informative about the differences in schools
and communities. I learned that the world can be more diverse than I ever thought imaginable,
and that our textbook Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society might not be exaggerating
as much as I thought it was. The information that I have learned will help me to become the best
teacher I can be with respect to celebrating culture and individual differences, of which there will
be many within Harrisonburg City Public Schools, but also anywhere else that I am a teacher.
Word Count: 628

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Works Cited
Virginia Department of Education, (2012). Fall membership. Retrieved from website:
http://bi.vita.virginia.gov/doe_bi/rdPage.aspx?
rdReport=Main&subRptName=Fallmembership
U.S. Census Bureau, (2013). State and county quickfacts. Retrieved from website:
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51/5135624.html