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Community Observation

A suburban community roughly 40 minutes outside of Detroit, Utica, Michigan is a

continually growing city. The neighborhoods in the community vary from middle class, blue
collar workers, to wealthy, white collar folk. The population of the city is on a gradual incline
and with new construction appearing everywhere, it is safe to conclude that the community of
Utica is steadily transforming from a semi-rural community to a suburban setting.
While driving through Utica, it is nearly impossible not to pass a subdivision. With the
population continuing to increase, more and more housing developments are being constructed.
In some areas, the houses are small and very old, but in others, the houses are much larger and
newer. There are few apartment complexes and condominium centers, but they do exist
throughout the area. There are also countless stores, restaurants, and gas stations; some are large
chains, but most are small, privately owned businesses. There are also many schools scattered
throughout the community. The Utica Community School District is composed of four high
schools, seven middle schools, and 25 elementary schools, so while driving around, youre
bound to pass at least one school. There are many churches throughout the city as well. Most
people drive their own cars to get around town; that is the main form of transportation. Some
people take the public busses, and very few use walking as a means of transport. The population
of Utica is mostly composed of Caucasians; however, there seems to be a growing number of
African American and Middle Eastern people moving to the area. There are many things to do
for fun around Utica. The city has numerous bowling alleys, movie theatres, parks, playgrounds,
and one beach. It doesnt seem easy to run out of things to do here. The only main
environmental factor that could cause a problem is the amount of snow that the city gets in the

winter. The city does a good job plowing and salting the roads, but with automobiles being the
main form of transportation, problems can still occur.
One major asset that I have found within the community is its education system. So far, I
have noticed not only an abundance of excellent schools scattered throughout the city, but I have
also noticed that the quality of the education is held to a very high standard. The many teachers
that I have met so far have repeatedly expressed the value they put on giving a high quality
education to all of their students. With that being said, one of the main issues that I believe the
schools must address is the abundance of English language learning (ELL) students that are
coming to the schools. I think Utica High School in specific does a good job in accommodating
the instruction and grading process for these students; however, it seems as though the number of
ELL students is increasing, so I predict that more will need to be done in the future for this
growing population of students.
By learning about the community of Utica in general, I feel as though I have a very good
understanding of how to effectively teach in this district. By assessing the socioeconomic status
of my students, I can adjust my instruction to better relate to them, therefore effectively teach
them. Also, in learning about the abundance of ELL students in the school, I feel better prepared
to differentiate my instruction to ensure that all of my students gain a solid comprehension of the
concepts we will be covering. Because the education system in Utica is such a valuable asset to
the community, I plan to speak with as many different teachers as possible for tips and advice on
how to improve my teaching. With a copious amount of excellent and effective teachers, I am
sure that by gaining their advice, I will become a better teacher. As a teacher in this community,
I believe my role would not only be to effectively teach my students about my content area, but

to also to be a positive role model to them who exemplifies how to be a contributing member of
society and an all-around good person.
I believe that it is vital to make and maintain a good relationship with your students and
their families. I plan to do this by talking with and getting to know my students throughout the
day, and also by communicating with students parents on a regular basis. I believe that
communication, in all aspects, is vital to having a good relationship with someone. I also believe
that it is important to be a contributing member of the community. By participating in schoolrelated events, I can learn more about the community and thus improve my teaching skills even
more because I will be able to relate with my students on more of a personal level.
Overall, observing and learning about the community of Utica has certainly helped me
analyze what I need to do as an educator in order to effectively teach my students. In learning
the assets and weaknesses of the community, I have been able to identify the best ways to reach
my students. By knowing about the community, I can relate to my students on a personal level,
which proves to be extremely effective when it comes to teaching.