1. Using the CSEL case that you have chosen as a guide, explore all of the possible group differences that may have an effect on your target student(s) or the class as a whole. Consider such group differences as cultural/ethnic differences, gender, SES differences, and "at risk" status.
Cherie is in desperate need of attention. She does not seem to care if she gets it in a negative way, as long as she is getting attention she seems satisfied. However, this is not conducive for any of the other students, and as she continues to misbehave, some of her peers are joining in on the action. While they are not behaving as disruptively as Cherie, they are egging her on so to speak with their laughter and smiles.
It could be that Cherie grew up in a household as an only child or that she was one child of many in her family and is trying to get attention because she does not get enough or she does not get the attention that she needs at home. Her roughness with some of the other students could indicate both of the above, that she does not know the proper way to be around others her own age, or that things are rough at home between siblings and no one stops it or is around to see it. Cherie's gender could also come into play if she thinks that others in her class are getting attention for certain behavior and decides to act like them. At this point Cherie is an "at risk" student if she cannot shape up and begin to learn instead of being the center of attention. Her grades will not be good if she misses class because of behavior or if she is not focused on the material at hand because she is too focused on everyone around her and how they are reacting to her actions.
During an observation this past semester, one of the teachers on the high school level said to his students, "Do you get up and walk around, or talk, or act up in church during a sermon?" At first I thought, here we go, he is gonna get in trouble for this one. However, after explaining the analogy further to his class, I realized that he was really saying. If you do not disrespect your church pastor, someone who is trying to teach you, and you do not respect your educators in the school, then who do you respect? Most of the students agreed that they would never act or behave in such manners during a sermon in church, and my teacher was trying to get across the message that the same should go for the classroom. Obviously this is just food for thought and bringing religion into the classroom should probably not happen, however, I also understood that this teacher was not bringing in any particular religion by any means. He was simply trying to relate his classroom and the respect he wishes to have form his students, and for other teacher, that they most likely give to those in their church. After this discussion, students began to understand and calmed down. Maybe this is not the best way to go about it, but it is definitely something to think about.
2. After reading this chapter, what are your thoughts about how to promote a positive learning environment in your classroom, realizing that your students may require your example in welcoming and appreciating diversity? Include at least three areas where you will facilitate honoring of students' differences.
Positivity comes from our own perceptions and ideas about life and our own being. I strongly believe that positivity can truly come if we are surrounded by an environment that is positive and by people who are positive. I plan to really instill this concept into my students thoughts because I have seen first hand how great an impact positivity can have on the outcome of a situation, or someones attitude and decisions that people choose to have or make. With all of that comes welcoming and appreciating diversity in any aspect of life. My students will learn and know that diversity is a celebrated thing, and that being diverse is the best gift of all.
One way in which I could do this is to take time in the beginning of the year to just get to know my students and to allow my students to get to know each other. I think it is so important for students to feel like they matter, to the teacher and to each other. Especially in art, students must feel comfortable to express themselves and to let loose and create works of art the only further elaborate on who they are as a person, as an artist. Once these relationships are established, students can then begin to understand the diversity of their classroom and appreciate it in their fellow peers.