ED 100- Current Connection #1
February 17, 2022
The selected reading is called The New Teacher Book: Finding purpose, balance, and hope during your first years in the classroom pp. 26-49. There were multiple different stories within the assigned reading. The different stories were Uncovering the Lessons of Classroom Furniture by Tom McKenna, Getting your Classroom Together by Bob Peterson, 12 Suggestions for New Teachers by Larry Miller I Survived My First, and HoYear by Bill Bigelow. There were numerous themes presented throughout the text. One of the themes is the idea of how your classroom is arranged, does that affect the learning of students? A classroom setting could be set into rows and columns, a circle, or groups. This section of the reading said, “And like rearranging classroom furniture, maybe we can think about and change that system one chair at a time” (Uncovering the Lessons of Classroom Furniture, McKenna Tom). Many people have different views on what type of classroom arrangement is best or which one works best for them. However, some people argue that classroom arrangements that are in groups are better than the ones that are rows and columns because it involves more interaction within the classroom. The classroom arrangement that is just rows and columns can be boring and can make the students feel not interested in the topic. Therefore, this leads to some students following along with the teacher and the other students will slack off and will eventually fall behind. One can argue that the students who sit in the back of the classroom are the ones who mostly goof off and don’t pay attention in class. This is why classroom arrangement is very important within a classroom. Another theme of this assigned reading is the importance of social justice and equality within the classroom. In the reading Getting your Classroom Together it says, “Social justice beliefs influenced to teach outside the textbooks and find or create his own curriculum which led to keeping materials well organized” (Peterson Bob). When trying to stray away from textbooks, it can be difficult to find outside resources or materials to help guide the class. Also, trying to implement equality for all students can be something that can be difficult for first-year/ new teachers to implement within the classroom. According to 12 Suggestions for New Teachers, it says “When I work with new teachers, I give them the following suggestions: Make respect central to your classroom culture, base your curriculum on social justice, whenever possible, connect your classroom discussions and curriculum to students’ lives, communities, and cultures, learn from other teachers and staff, build students confidence in their intelligence and creativity and connect with students outside of the classroom, etc” (Miller Larry). It is crucial to try to strive for equality in your classroom through the material you present, the way you behave yourself around the students, and the way you allow others to treat each other. Why is it important? It is important because students will feel dignity, a feeling of belonging and it will create a future of society. All of these readings are developed by a sequential order of a new teacher in a classroom. The point of view of this reading is the point of view of an upcoming social justice teacher. My perspective of the topic and assessment of the reading is I think these readings are informational and useful for upcoming educators in this society. Especially, with the many issues that we all still face today, it is important to be aware of these issues and strive for change within the community one step at a time. The specific part in all of these readings that I decided to focus on is seeing the representation of students within the classroom to establish equity. The current article that I chose to focus on in relation to this is called For curriculum quality, cultural representation matters by Tanji Reed Marshall. This article discusses the importance of building a culture of equity for schools and every student being acknowledged and equal to everyone else in textbooks. According to For curriculum quality, cultural representation matters it says, “Students need opportunities to see themselves and others portrayed in texts in meaningful ways that challenge stereotypes and push them toward advanced levels of literacy (Marshall Tanji). In the reading Getting your Classroom Together Bob is working to demonstrate the representation of everyone in his classroom by putting actual pictures of each student and their work on his walls. Also, when certain months come where others normally celebrate a holiday, he is trying to show representation by being relevant to someone’s culture instead. For example, Bob said, “In February black history bulletin boards dominated my walls instead of Valentine’s displays, in March women’s history instead of St Patrick’s Day” (Getting your Classroom Together). Bob is also very conscious about what textbooks he chooses to use in his classroom to teach his students. Both authors are saying that the structure of the current curriculum doesn’t provide an accurate representation of society and it excludes historically oppressed people. Both authors also recognize the importance of representation in curriculum and how it should be displayed to the current and upcoming generations.
REED MARSHALL, T. (2021). For curriculum quality, cultural representation matters. Learning Professional, 42(6), 56–59.
REED MARSHALL, TANJI. “For Curriculum Quality, Cultural Representation Matters.” Learning Professional, vol. 42, no. 6, Dec. 2021, pp. 56–59. EBSCOhost, https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=154249222&site=ehost-live.