Week Nine: Teaching Identity

A teachers identity is one of the most important aspects of the first portion of any teaching career.  But whilst trying to find their specific identity, also trying to retain the identity that they have been acquiring throughout their life.  But with that in mind, how can we ensure that as teachers we allow the correct amount of ourselves into our teaching profession?

Reading the article written by Kristen Yerkes Exploring Teacher Identity: A Yearlong Recount of Growing from Student to Teacher it really speaks to what I am anticipating my internship experiences will turn out to be.  But one of the big things she spoke about was the struggle of going from the role of student to the new role of teacher.  I have a feeling that most Education students have this worry.  We go from many years sitting in classrooms being a student to becoming a teacher just briefly after.  The transition in mindset is one that is hard to conceptualize.  But what Yerkes speaks about is how having the feeling of being a student and continuously learning is a great skill to have, and being a teacher and distributing knowledge is another great thing to be able to do, but the main focus is on how to bring the two parts of your identity into one to create your teacher identity.

Yerkes spoke about how identity “is always changing depending on the environment they are in” (Yerkes 9) and that is very relevant to any person in any type of situation.  Depending on where I am, and especially who is around me is a deciding factor on how I will act in the given situation.  As an example, I act a certain way when I am hanging out with my friends, but I wouldn’t act the exact same way as if I was with my parents/family.  Even though I am being myself in both situations, my identity alters with each type of environment.

Keeping a main focus on how we both carry ourselves and how we identify ourselves at teachers is very important but it will change depending on many deciding factors and events throughout our careers.


Week Eight: Many Faces of Leadership, Chapter Six

As it states in the article that it is the equal responsibility of both the new teacher and the veteran teacher to “exercise greater responsibility and assume more significant challenges”  (Danielson).  This I have seen in both aspects.  What I have found in the schools that I attended, the more veteran teachers may take a higher responsibility in the most general sense, but the newly licensed teachers tend to be the ones that want to take on as much as they can hold onto.   I have seen this in the regard of transforming the schools (or maybe just their classrooms) to accommodate different stereotypes within a school, focusing on social justice issues in the classroom, or organizing functions for causes that they truly believe in.  This willingness to be involved is mostly seen in the new teachers.  I would guess that it would be from the curriculum that is taught in their University classes.  I would wonder why this wanting to produce change is only seen in the newer teachers rather than in the more veteran teacher?  At least from my experience.

It states in the article that “Teachers’ tenure in schools is longer than that of administrators” (Danielson) even though the role of the administrator is of more value and poses more of a challenge.  I understand why this would be, as the administration of any facility is held to a higher standard.  But because of this, I don’t understand how this fact is still a real protocol.

Teachers play a large role in three areas of education.  This would be within the department, within the school, and beyond the school.  The first two could easily be guessed, but the third one could be more difficult to imagine.  Teachers contribute beyond their own schools to form committees, curriculum teams, to perform on standards boards, and much more to continually keep schools improving.

This would seem very relevant as teachers see how the curriculums and systems run first hand and would be able to properly and effectively make changes to allow for success.


Week Five: Chapter 6

A culture can be described and created by many things, as well as a group – of any kind – can make a culture

Within this chapter, they consider social class, ethnicity, and gender as separates even though they all correlate together to make a unique youth, although each have special meaning and a place in understanding who someone is and how that affects their lives, but without one of the other, we cannot fully understand the dimensions of a person’s life.  So instead of analyzing by separates, you could connect how each affects the other and how they all would change a youths perspectives and ways of being.  How would that differ from the separate research?

As new groups form, their cultures for around them and become a new way of knowing within that group, this is heavily seen in middle to high school settings, each group of students understand how they act within that group and it forms into their social culture, even during my own high school experience, we had a way that we would act and think about things while with our group according to the culture that we had formed.

I have seen many schools trying to incorporate multicultural education within their classrooms, because of their high multiculturalism, by allowing the learning of other cultures integrated within their regularly scheduled subjects, but as of this moments I haven’t seen any classrooms try to dig deeper within their multiculturalism to show differences and similarities, rather than just introducing them.


Week Three: Chapter 11, pg 420 – 424

Beyond behaviorism to humans as self-directed agents who make choices and reach goals

Social cognitive theory– interactions among many of the behavioral, personal, and cultural factors involved in learning and motivation

Albert Bandura is a theorist that speaks about learnings and how children will observe and model others who were reinforced or punished for their particular behaviors.

Observational learning is the type of learning where children can understand how to perform a task/behavior, and understand what context it must be used in.  There are 4 elements in observational learning.  First, you have attended.  This involves the student paying attention to the task and the situation. Then retention.  To model a behavior you must remember what it was and how it was used.  Next is production.  This involves practice, feedback, and coaching as to perfect the behavior.  And finally Motivation and reinforcement.  A student may not perform the behavior until they are motivated to.  With the anticipation of reinforcement, they are more motivated to pay attention, learn and perform the behavior.

Teachers are heavily involved with observational learning.  As with the learning itself comes with elements to succeed in proper modeling.

During my time in a grade 3 classroom, this motivational learning was used to promote proper working habits like getting work done early and quiet readings.  This would then encourage students to obtain these habits.

The observational learning is heavily seen in a daycare setting.  The children at the daycare that I volunteer at, show this while having their daily allocated video game time.  During this time, it is obvious that the child isn’t doing well at the particular game, but when they have a chance to sit back and watch some of the other children play, they pick up on different techniques.  Then they become a better player as the day goes on just by practice and watching some of the more experienced children play the game.  After a while of this type of gameplay, you can see that they have mastered the game that they were playing.

Even now, you can see adults following this type of learning in the workplace.  Seeing how their superiors react to the different actions of co-workers allow others to learn from whether they are praised or punished for their actions.  So why wouldn’t we add an entire life-span to this learning theory?


Week Two: Chapter 3

In this chapter, it speaks to the development of adolescents, be that physical, mental, and social.

Within the first portion of the chapter it speaks to the early development of a child and how developing at different times can effect the person in the long term.  However, I didn’t know that females that mature earlier than most tend to gain emotional difficulties in their lives such as anxiety, depression, and emotional difficulties, that can lead to lower school achievement, drug use,alcohol abuse, suicide, unplanned pregnancy, etc.

I didn’t realize that there was a certain time in a child life where they learn about intention and unintentional actions within their own lives and in others, I believed that this was achieved with time and experience with other children.

A small fact that really caught my eye was that around 80% – 90% of students in their time in university or college will cheat.  This fact threw me, because in current classrooms there are great actions taken to overcome cheating, but it would all comeback to the particular student and how they view themselves, and cheating


Once again I connected this reading to my psychology 30 class, where we spoke heavily about development and the importance of play within that development.

Then I find that the parenting styles are very important and can show a lot about a child’s home life, and how they act in social settings.  While working with kids, these parenting styles (Authoritative, Authoritarian, Permissive, Neglecting) can be noticed after spending time with a child and then seeing how the child acts with their parents, can show how different children can grow and learn based off what their home life is, and their parents actually parent.


A big question that I had was, while reading the section on Erickson’s Stages of Individual Development, what would happen to a child, or even an adult if the stages were to fail in their lives?  How would this effect them in the future?


Week One: Pg 22-62, 215-217, and Paul Thomas’ Article

In this section, it focuses on the cognitive development, both the phycological aspects as well as the biological aspects and how they interact with each other and are affected by the environment.

What I didn’t know was that the cultural background of a child and their brain development can change the way that they can process information like language differently than another child with a different cultural background.  The example they used in the text showed that a Chinese speaking child could process Arabic words and calculations differently than an English speaking student, because of their prior learning.

While reading the Paul Thomas article, I began to notice that I myself looked at ‘grit’ (hard work, and having a passion towards a long-term goal) was the way to persevere and succeed that goal, but as I found out while reading the article it’s more than just the work that impacts a persons ability to achieve their goal.

What I found interesting was how even with students from the same environment, they can develop at different paces, where one student can be more maturely developed in their physical stature, another can only develop psychologically instead of physically.  This would be because of the biology instead of the environment that they grew up in.

From the beginning when it begins speaking about the theories that some of the developmental theorists have, it brings me back to my phycology 30 class that I took in high school where it touched on certain people such as Piaget and his theory as well as Freud and his theory.  As well as how children grow up, and what are the deciding factors on how they end up as adults based on their development.

While reading the Paul Thomas article, I could see in what he was saying, because in my life I have seen people succeed and fail, and normally it would depend on the work set forwards, but from the statement often used “it’s who you know” the people that are of higher class with the higher class as acquaintances they become more successful while not trying as hard as the other person that is of lower class.

I wonder how this sense of questioning towards the different sides of developing theories will age.  Even within this semester, the way that people think about the differences between nature vs. nurture, continuity vs discontinuity, or assimilation vs. accommodation, just to name a few.