Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Educational Journal - #4

What does it mean to have a community of learners?
Well from my perspective at the school I am in, Sophie B Wright’s community of learners is pretty interesting. Even though the school itself is mixed gender wise, not so much racially, the specific classroom periods are singled gendered. The top class, 7A and 8A, are mixed gender, but 7B and 8B on down to 7D and 8D all are single gendered. Also, the single gendered classrooms are students who have 504 Accommodations. These are students who have learning disabilities, not so much physical disabilities. Therefore, I am shaping my opinion on this question from my classroom experience. This community of learners is people who share the same intellect that we have tested for. When I look at these students, I see a community of learners who struggle together and succeed together. I also see these learners struggle individually and then succeed individually. I see these learners act a complete fool in the classroom sometimes, and then there are other days where they are just the sweetest children you could have ever met. This is a community that is inquisitive, but independent. They are personal, yet distant. They are aggressive, yet timid. I mean to define this community of learners in on specific or just in a few words, seems hard because of the relationship I have built with these children. I can say that all community of learners goes through the previous descriptions I have stated, and others don’t, however, I believe that a community of learners ultimately shares something that no other school or community has. They share a certain uniqueness within themselves that no other student has, yet they seem to, in some instances, look homogeneous. How is that possible? How can that be? See the thing with this community is that they are part of different communities. They don’t all live in the same area, they don’t all stay near each other. They live in different parts of New Orleans. There is the eastbank and the westbank. These are places with two separate cultures, yet a new community is built with these different cultures inside the school.

How has the teacher created this classroom environment?
I have an amazing teacher. Day-by-day I can see why I have her as a mentor. She has created a environment at this point in school that is trying to get to know the students. She is constantly moving them from group to group, to see which students will work together and which students will not work together. She is using different strategies when teaching lessons and trying to get her students to understand the importance of what she is getting across to them. Sometimes it is a little hard, but then again there are other times where she is struggling because of the middle school years in adolescence. However, she has used pictures and class visuals, as well as me. I have been called upon on the spur of the moment times where I have had to teach while she walks out or is at her desk. I have had to teach because I have asked to teach because we have seen the response from students when she teaches, which is still good, and when I teach, again, it’s still good responses.
How do you know when you have achieved this?
I don’t know when I have achieved this; I only know when this is going on. I don’t have a set limit that the students have to meet; I just know the small general area they have to work towards. I just hope that they know when they have achieved being a better community of learners. I think when they personally understand and know, then that has the biggest impact on any student regardless of my take on the process.

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