Reflective Essay On Practicum

1300 Words 6 Pages
John C. Maxwell, an American author and leadership expert, once said, “Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” During my experience in the diversity practicum, I was lucky enough to be in a classroom where students knew how much the adults around them cared and therefore were vulnerable enough to dive into unfamiliar territory and try new things without fear.
My practicum experience was unlike a traditional observation experience. I had the opportunity to attend a week-long Project Based Learning (PBL) mini-camp with seven high school freshmen and their teachers. This mini-camp was set up for the school to introduce PBL to their teachers and students. PBL will be a class offered to freshman in the fall semester
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Not only did I go from co-teaching a class of 50 fourth graders to 7 high schoolers, but I went from teaching in a school that was 6% economically disadvantaged to one that is 76% (See Table 1). From my studies of Ruby Payne, Ph.D. and her insights in the book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, I was prepared to interact with students who come from the lower income class. Before this class, my understanding of poverty was that one was in poverty because of financial deficits but I now understand that poverty is due more in part to a deficit of resources. In her book, Payne (2013) writes that resources such as emotional, physical, role models, hidden rules, or language “plays a vital role in the success of an individual” (p. 5). Knowing of these resources and what the underlying problem for the students may be helped me to better understand the students which led to a better work relationship with them. This doesn’t mean there were not barriers that I had to overcome in my short time of my practicum, my understanding of the effect of resources in the role of one’s life helped me to better align the project to the student’s …show more content…
This can be one of the hardest parts for students in a PBL because a lot of time, students are not prepared to hear that their project is good but could be better. To my delight, this was one of the best parts of the week. It was a wonderful day full of critique and reflection on the students’ small episode creations. I can only contribute this to the fact that the teacher, Sheree Poskey and the others in the room have built relationships with these students. Payne writes that “the key to achievement for students from poverty is in creating relationships with them” (p. 101). It was apparent in that small room at Chase High School. These seven high school freshman exceeded my expectations for what they would produce for the first PBL that they would participate in and in such a short time period. There is no doubt in my mind that the success was due to the fact that those seven kids have some of the most caring and authentic people in their lives that truly care for them and want them to succeed. It was another great reminder that relationships make all of the difference in the classroom and gave me new energy to go back into my classroom.
Overall, I loved my experience for my diversity practicum. It was a great week of learning and teaching. I took away great points from some amazing high school teachers on how to relate to unreasonable teenagers early in the morning, wonderful

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