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Competency 12: Multicultural/Diversity Issues Related Tasks: 12.

1 Analyze and compare one or more schools serving diverse students. Create a partnership with that particular school to address concerns and issues within the school. Narrative Description of Task: Create a partnership with Bridge Academy, interview several employees and discuss the issues and concerns within the school. Simultaneously, expose Northridge Academy students to different Arabic Backgrounds, including Bangladesh, Arabian, and Chaldean. The idea is to bring two different schools with predominantly different cultures together, to engage written and oral communication and to build knowledge about each others background. Utilizing Skype, and written letters, students will communicate and establish friendship. Teachers will monitor dialogue by screening students letters. Smart Goal: By April 2014, I will visit and conduct an interview with an administrator at Bridge Academy in Detroit, Michigan. I will analyze problem issues within the schools culture and document strategies used to address these issues. Northridge students will establish a Pen Pal System with other diverse students from a different school. Specific: Interview a cooperating administrator from a diverse school and identify and address culture issues within that schools culture and compare it to Northridge Academys culture. Build a partnership with the participating school. Measurable: By April 2014, compare two different diverse schools and build a partnership with the participating school. (Bridge Academy) Attainable: Identify similarities and differences within two different schools. Relevant: Regardless of the background of the stake holders, all schools may have similar problems and issues regarding school cultures. It is important to identify and compare strategies used to solve these problems Timely: By April 2014, I will compare issues and cultures of two schools. Simultaneously, I will establish a partnership and create a Pen Pal System.
Description and Purpose Diversity is an important concept that is embedded in every component of education. In this competency, I wanted to compare similar schools that share similar surrounding communities. However, the ethnic backgrounds in both student bodies are total opposites. Northridge Academy-Flint, MI and Bridge Academy-Hamtramck, MI are both urban area schools, surrounded by low socioeconomic communities. Bearing in mind, 97% of Northridge students are African-American decent and at Bridge Academy the majority shares Bangladesh, Chaldean, and Yemen, with only four students having African-American decent. Unlike Northridge Academy, Bridge Academy has a multi-cultural population that shares one commonality, Religious affiliation Muslim.

Problems Religion plays an important role within Bridge Academys school culture. In the Muslim community, men are seen as the main disciplinarian. Therefore, women teachers have difficulty disciplining the boys in the student body. When dealing with problem behaviors, respected men in the building either take on the problems or sit-in while women are performing behavioral interventions. With this being said, students go above and beyond to please male staff members by showing respect with behavior and academic performance. In comparison, Northridge Academy disciplinarians consist of both men and women. Opposite of religion, Northridge Academy stakeholders primarily develop respect through building relationships. Equivalent to Bridge Academy, teachers must set high expectations, build a rapport with students, and possess classroom management. In addition to behavior problems, some Bridge Academy students are displaying subtractive schooling. While having difficulty learning English, students are refraining from using their native language. Students are having trouble meeting their benchmark on standardized test, while simultaneously, mislaying native language, cultures, and practices. The idea of subtractive schooling can lead to literacy issues in English and students native tongue in the future. Northridge Academy students are English speaking, but display difficulties in vocabulary on standardized test due to vernacular. While teaching vocabulary content, we teach across the curriculum and need to be diligent in correcting our students language as much as possible. Pen Pal The idea of becoming a diverse school is highly important and aligns with our School Improvement Plan. Northridge and Bridge Academy are similar schools with different ethnic backgrounds. Being located in urban areas, interaction between similar groups of people is close to none. We decided to start a Pen Pal system to bring awareness of different to the classrooms of both schools. My fourth grade Homeroom has partnered up with a fifth grade classroom as an experiment. Both groups seem to be excited and eager to open up communication with one another. Reflection In reflection, I took a personal day to tour this other school. The experience was great! Hamtramcks surroundings were similar those in Flint, but at the same time, vastly different. While navigating through the community, I observed Middle Eastern and Polish cultures and practices that are obsolete in the Flint area. Shockingly, an area that was known to be 90% Polish in the 70s, is now considered 10% Polish and 90% Middle Eastern today. During my visit, I conducted a brief interview with the Assistant Principal Stan Wheeler. He answered my questions regarding school culture and he elaborated on his expectations of me. I had to be briefed on how to meet and greet the male and female staff, as well as, students. We discussed the vision and mission statement, and other artifacts that connected to the overall functioning of the school. After a

detailed tour, we took a drive to see the surrounding community and visited other nearby elementary and high schools to gain perspective. In conclusion, educators and students need to spread their wings and be open to diversity. This experience opened us up to different cultures in settings that are similar to our working environment.