Multi-Genre - Running Head: A Change for the Better A...

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Running Head: A Change for the Better 1 A Change for the Better Jennifer Possanza Grand Valley State University
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Running Head: A Change for the Better 2 A Change for the Better Journal: October 18 th 3:48pm My students have put me into a predicament. It’s my eighth year of teaching, and with a little over a month into the school year I have noticed a change in the environment of my 3 rd grade classroom. The school itself is diverse. Although the majority of the children are Caucasian with no disabilities, there is a great amount of diversity within my classroom. About a third of my class is African American along five who are Hispanic. And I am not just talking about race. You see, I am certified in Special Education and general education. In my class, there are two children with special needs: Megan, who has Down syndrome and Parker, who has mild autism. What frustrates me though are the social groups that have been already formed in the class. There is little to no interaction between the different races and not to mention that no one interacts with Megan and Parker unless they are assigned to. How do my students perceive friendship? I know from past experiences that examples can really prove a point, and writing is an important aspect in my classroom. I need to come up with something, fast. Advice from a Colleague I felt that I needed advice from a mentor, a colleague. When I first started teaching in this school, I had no idea what to expect. Courtney Mullins, has been this mentor to me. I remember her saying to me, with a small amount of sarcasm, my first year of teaching, “Jennifer Robbins, you are good at this. That is the reason why you took the job in the first place. Use your confidence”. I knew that I had to utilize this characteristic, but wanted to get some advice from her once again. “Use your confidence” she says to me again. “Go with your gut, Jen”, Courtney said with a smile on her face. When was I going to have this confidence? With a look of uncertainty on my face, Courtney asked, “What is one thing that you have learned over the years? What is the most effective way to make a point through teaching?” I thought way back to masters program and
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Running Head: A Change for the Better 3 even my undergrad program. I knew that giving examples through teaching to create a point is an effective way for students to learn. But, how was I going to do that? “Literature”, I thought. There were so many books written that have an underlying message to childhood friendships. I just needed a way to figure out how I was going to do this. “Teaching through literature” I said to Courtney. She smile and said, “I told you that you would figure it out”. Classroom:
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2011 for the course ENG 302 taught by Professor Masko during the Fall '10 term at Grand Valley State University.

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Multi-Genre - Running Head: A Change for the Better A...

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