Hi, I'm Erin, and I teach English. This portfolio chronicles my educational accomplishments. You can e-mail me at ekkross@gmail.com.

Reflection and Professional Growth

All Over But the Shoutin' Presentation Reflection

I really enjoyed doing this presentation. The assignment presented an interesting challenge because we had to teach our peers, and, we therefore had to tailor our presentation to people more like us, who are more knowledgeable than middle schoolers as well as maintain their attention and keep them interested and involved. Overall, I definitely think our presentation went well. I came away from class that day feeling good about how we handled a sensitive and somewhat foreign topic like poverty. Our ability to keep the whole class involved made me really pleased and I felt like we accomplished the kind of discussion we set out to have with the class.

For me, I wish I hadn't appeared as shy and nervous as I think I did. I would have liked to speak with more confidence. Regardless of this shortcoming, I feel like I got my points across to the class and was able to help them understand what kind of life Rick Bragg lived. I was very happy with how the discussion about my topic went as well, though I would have preferred to have more people talk. As we continued to discuss the book and how we would handle poverty and social class issues in our classrooms, I noticed that most of the comments came from the same handful of students. Perhaps this is only because the subject did not appeal to some of the others. If this was the case, I would have liked to try and find ways to get the others more involved without having to call on people. I think my group made a wise decision in connecting the social issues to those that we will all encounter in our own classrooms. Because most of our peers come from similar social backgrounds, we had to find a way to effectively discuss a topic that many of us have never really had to deal with directly. Pat, Cathy, and I felt that drawing from our future classroom experiences was the best way to keep people interested in such a difficult, and sometimes unfamiliar subject.

This book made me realize that race, in several ways, is easier for students of education to discuss than social class. Additionally, because social class is so rarely discussed at all, it seems to be and issue that many new teachers would not be prepared for when they entered a classroom. But during our discussion I was very impressed with our classmates. There were so many great ideas brought up about how to handle issues of welfare, physical differences regarding economic status, and how to make school subjects seem important to students on a path to a job rather than more school. Going into the presentation, I was a little bit nervous because such a large part of our assignment depended on how much our classmates were going to talk. However, they went above and beyond what I was hoping.

After reading this book and discussing it with other future teachers, I feel like I have a new, and better understanding of the kind of education that students of poverty receive. I hope that this whole experience will help me communicate and understand any poorer students I may have in my career and that I will therefore be able to effectively help them on their path to becoming a quality citizens.

Reflection and Professional Growth Rationale