What three issues raised the most thought for you personally? Explain. Describe how you perceive these issues will influence you as a teacher of diverse students. The three issues that raised the most thought for me are 1) the importance & complexity of student teacher relationships, 2) how teacher beliefs and expectations affect those relationships, and 3) the impact of culture on the education of a diverse population of urban students.
[A]n implicit social contract serves as the basis for maintaining order in schools. In exchange for an education, students are expected to obey the rules and norms that are operative within school and to comply with the authority of the adults in charge. (p. 343)
As a teacher, my beliefs and expectations set the tone for my classroom and for student achievement. Part of the awesome responsibility of teaching comes in having to be constantly evaluative of the implicit messages I am passing on to my students. My own ideas about gender, race, religion and class are shaped, at least in part, by my own culture. As is often the case with culture and cultural beliefs, I may not always be consciously aware of the way my beliefs manifest themselves in my interaction with my students. However, as Sternberg (2007) points out, “culture interacts with the nature of intelligence as well as with implicit theories of it.” (Sternberg, 2007, 151) My own culture and experiencesshape my beliefs and expectations of my students, their cultures and their intellectual and social capacities. My beliefs and expectations of my students directly impact how I speak to them, how well I get to know them and how well I am able to help them reach their maximum potential as students and as contributing members of society.
Paul Gorski (2008) framed the issue in his work on classism and deficit theory in our schools:
And then we must ask ourselves, Where, in reality, does the deficit lie? Does it lie in poor people, the most disenfranchised...