analytic essay UE-1

analytic essay UE-1 - 1 Urban Education Analytic Essay The...

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1 Urban Education Analytic Essay The social structure and context of a classroom can either aid or hinder learning. The combination of teacher support and discipline of students creates a complex social classroom community with many different kinds of teacher-student relationships. “The nature of relationships between students and teachers has much to do with the nature of the learning that occurs between them” (Fecho, B., 2004). In addition, these relationships also greatly affect discipline outcomes and can prevent or provoke escalations in student- teacher conflict. There seem to be many complex factors that affect teacher-student relationships and discipline within the classroom, such as familiarity, teacher personality, teacher cultural identity, and teacher collaboration. In combination, these factors can be utilized to create safe and respectful classroom communities that help students in their daily learning. In my observations at an urban public school with a high concentration of African American children in West Philadelphia, I focused on the teacher-student interactions I saw involving Teacher Sarah and Teacher Thomas*. Teacher Sarah has taught fourth grade for over ten years and now is in her first year team-teaching third graders; she is a white middle-class woman. Teacher Thomas teaches the students music 2-3 times per week for about an hour; he is an African American middle-class man. I cannot assume that the differences I observed in their teaching and disciplining methods are necessarily related to teacher cultural/racial identity, but it is possible that there is a relationship
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between the two. It is also possible that these differences are due more to teacher-student relationships regardless of race than to teacher racial identity. In the first fifteen minutes of school one Friday morning, the kids were on the “map” rug while Teacher Joe went over the date and weather. One girl, Maurica* sat leaning against the heater (something that all the children are told not to do) and started talking to the children around her. Teacher Joe calmly said, “Maurica, you can spend morning recess in here with me.” Maurica looked affronted and then banged her back into the heater a few times to demonstrate that she did not intend to comply. “Would you like to spend lunch recess in here too?” Maurica made some angry grunts and hit the floor hard with her right palm. She looked ready to argue but before she had a chance, Teacher Sarah offered an alternative solution. “Would you like to take a break and walk with me or pull it together and stay here?” 1 Maurica stood up and calmly walked to Teacher Sarah, and the two of them left the room to run some errands around the school for about ten minutes. This opportunity to take a break greatly improved Maurica’s mood and she was much happier and self-composed for the rest of the morning. Reconciliation of a difficult situation was achieved; Teacher Sarah replaced what could have been a destructive teacher-student argument with a 1 Fieldnotes from 10.26.07
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analytic essay UE-1 - 1 Urban Education Analytic Essay The...

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