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Running Head: STATEMENT OF INFORMED BELIEFS

Statement of Informed Beliefs


Sierra Knight
Mrs. Carol Billing
EDUC 204 Families, Community, Culture
Fall 2015

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Statement of Informed Beliefs


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Statement of Informed Beliefs
A well-known quote states teaching is the one profession that creates all other
professions-Unknown. Though misunderstood by many, the profession of a teacher is not
merely to educate. A teacher gains a responsibility of leadership, creativeness, patience, empathy,
and a hardy backbone to withstand thirty children on a daily basis. A teacher is also responsible
for setting the standard and desire for the rest of a childs educational career, which in turn
determines the profession they seek and the adults they become. It is scary to believe that the
future generations of the world can rest in my hands, but I am willing to put in the love to make a
difference in each students life.
All Students Can Learn
Stepping through the doorway to a room full of books and learning tools is a typical
every day motion for a child in America. Each child physically comes with some school supplies
in a backpack, but what they really carry is the baggage from their home life. Each childs
background has a major effect on their learning ability. The teachers chore is to find the unique
groove for every student to maximize learning.
Each child is affected by their own unique chronosystem, which encompasses everything
they have learned, and all their potential for learning. A students microsystem has a large effect
on their values and morals towards education. Socioeconomic status is also a large factor in
learning, with much research dedicated towards showing low-income children score lower on
testing than students from higher earning families. But, no matter what the background, each
child has a right and ability to learn past their thought potential.

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As a teacher, I will ensure all of my students will learn, despite difficult backgrounds. I
will accomplish this by assessing the students to find a baseline. From there, I will base my
teaching in strategies that the children learn best in. I may sort students by field-dependent and
field-independent table groups, maximizing strengths of social discussions and individual work
processes to maximize learning. I desire to use Howard Gardners approach to multiple
intelligences to understand what the best format is to present information for the class. If many
students are linguistic or bodily-kinesthetic learners, I may integrate more activities and little
songs to help instill information.
No amount of approaches teaching strategies will accomplish my goal, unless I am an
effective leader in the classroom. Lewin, Lippett, and Whites study of leadership styles in
1939 validates that leading a democratic classroom is proven to have the most cooperative and
productive students. Having a routine structure of activities, and well-led discussion of topics by
students will prevent much distraction, increasing time spent learning. Finally, keeping my
attitude enthusiastic about all learning, while providing much praise will keep student trust.
Because I am striving towards teaching an elementary grade, my goal is to have good teacherstudent relationships to prevent poor outcomes for the students later on in their school careers.
Teacher Expectations
Though the expectations of others should not define our potential, it is a crucial block in
the road to success. As developed adults, one may be able to ignore others standards and push
towards goals of their own. As children, this is not easily accomplished as role models are
shaping their development. A teachers expectations can either exponentially increase a students
academic achievement, or bring it to a slow, dreadful crawl.

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Students are placed in classes with teachers that subconsciously (or even consciously)
allow past records of academics and behaviors to affect their outlook. Without meaning to,
teachers can do small things that hamper a students academic self-esteem: giving shorter
response times, asking simple questions that dont give a chance for deep thought processes, or
criticizing every behavior. Teachers must make a conscious, deliberate decision to not let any
circumstance change their view of a student. It is very easy for teachers to call on the smart
students, or give them more challenging assignments, knowing they can push to accomplish it.
But, what about the other students, who dont look as smart? They could have the same growth
if they were given a similar push.
Knowing what fields to push a student in is the key to giving them the growth potential.
Roberta Berns (2013) writes that there are multiple studies that prove teacher expectations
majorly impact a students achievements. Berns shares a study by Madon, Juaaim & Eccles that
shows more than 1500 middle schoolers matched their math teachers predictions of growth by
the end of the year. Students with teachers who had higher expectations showed higher
performance than the students who were given low expectations (pg. 221). My duty is to create
the expectations for students to excel, not to belittle their whole self-concept from my lack of
faith.
Educational Goals
The key to academic growth are goals; how can you achieve success if you dont know
what you are trying to succeed in? Berns (2013) depicts Johnson and Johnsons encouragement
of three different types of goal structures; cooperative, competitive, and individualized (239).
Cooperative goals involve having students work together, which helps show that each person

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has value to contribute and that working together solves problems. An example of a competitive
goal would be a spelling bee; students competing to see who knows the most. This goal, used
effectively, shows students where their abilities fall with other students, and teach that winning
and losing is not the most important thing. Finally, individualized goals are completed by only
one student, teaching them self-reliance and boosting confidence in their own work.
Students Social Ecology Theory
A social ecology shapes a childs life from before they even enter the world. Biological,
environmental, economic, and cultural circumstances all affect a fetus, and continue doing so for
the rest of their lives. Finding a way to educate students through these circumstances is the way
to ensure a fully rounded education. Teaching a student about discerning media, handling social
relationships, and knowing the importance of community goes hand in hand with a scholarly
education. It is my job as a teacher to encompass every detail in life to provide the best outlook I
can for each of my students.
A child, born and raised into a family, has no control over what he/she will be exposed
to. Only the family has the control to socialize a child in the first few years, which makes the
family have the greatest impact on a students ability to learn. Factors of family structure,
transitions, economic status, authority styles, and culture all shape a student into a functioning
human. That range of severe to mild factors impacts brain development in all areas of learning.
Students from low socioeconomic status have a larger risk at being behind in school. Students
who have gone through parental divorces may act out and fall behind in social development. A
student of Asian descent may have parents placing great emphasis on school, thereby having

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high grades and study ethics, while a student of another culture may place emphasis differing
areas resulting in lower grades and a harder time learning in class.
Cultures across the globe have basic principles of ensuring physical health, developing
the ability to take care of ones self, and teaching values and morals. Different cultures express
the right and wrong actions in different ways, depending on if they are collectivistic or an
individualistic culture. Collectivistic cultures emphasize interdependent relationships and are
taught to learn from models, get along with others, and are taught that with age comes
knowledge. In individualistic cultures, children are raised to be independent, make their own
decisions, solve their own problems, and be responsible for their own future. Traits expressed in
both kinds of cultures have the ability to influence how a student refers to school and learning.
A community is the roots for a child, and the first exposure to the world they receive
outside of family. Physical factors play a huge role in a childs ability to learn, constantly
surrounded with pollutants that may cause sickness, noise, and population density. A
community with harsh economic factors (crime, drugs, etc.) lead for a greater risk of failure for
school children. Communities with zoos, museums, parks, and history provide a higher potential
for a students learning, as described in a study by Brenner and Von Moschzisker in
Philadelphia. Students of their study that learned outside and in their community had higher
college entrance rates than those that only studied in classrooms. Also, communities that provide
services and support provide their inhabitants with greater chances at success.
Cultural Diversity Instruction
The socialization of a child begins with his or her parents and family before birth. While
there are many factors that affect how a student shapes their opinion of the world, a huge factor

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is their ethnic background. Ethnicity is in a childs macrosystem and refers to how a person
identifies themselves with culture, religion, race, and national origin (Berns, 23). Ethnic
backgrounds can be diverse in teaching a child learning and communication styles, which are
then brought into a classroom, where there are opportunities for me as a teacher to either
celebrate the differences, or to slander them.
Supporting a childs ethnic background and culture is my number one goal, as I am
studying to teach ELL students. As a teacher, it will be my role to encourage diversity and
emphasize students values. Traditions and rituals are very important to cultures, and I plan to
encourage this by having a classroom attitude of pluralism. One way to encourage students
backgrounds is to have each child share about themselves with the class. Besides encouraging
self-esteem in differences, this will assist in teaching students about diverse cultures and
countries.
The biggest way to encourage acceptance of diversity will not be activities, however. It
will be through my own actions. My students will rely on a role model to learn how to react
towards varying ideas. My purpose will be to show respect and encourage every background, and
make it well-known to my students that I approve of cultural pluralism.
Though focus on culture pluralism may seem like the opposite of cultural assimilation,
they will be closely related and focused on in my classroom. My job as a teacher in Boise, Idaho
will be to help ethnically diverse students become accustomed to life in the United States. The
act of cultural assimilation for minority students is to start following actions of the majority
group. But, my goal is not to make them follow every custom of the European Americans, and
lose their heritage. My goal is to retain cultural pluralism as a key trait, praising all diversities.

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Meanwhile, I will be teaching and modeling the traits of our Idahoan culture for students to gain
in addition to their previous instilled traits.
From the minute I step into the classroom as a teacher, until the minute I leave the
parking lot, I have a responsibility I have been given; to ensure education for all students.
Accountability will drive my lessons and interactions with students, striving to push each to
their full potential. Being an effective leader is my role to lead a classroom towards success,
modeling appropriate reactions, cooperation skills, and collaboration with my students.
Curriculum for All Learners
As a teacher, I will keep my expectations high, and not let them be altered by student
characteristics of gender, culture, or socioeconomic status. If a method of teaching fails my
students, it is my responsibility to alter lessons for increased comprehension. One important
concept to remember is that humans have multiple intelligence capabilities. If direct logic is not
working for a student, I can change the main points into a song, or create a diagram/model, or
have them act out a concept. This is not easy, but requires much creativity! Using authentic
assessments will show me what my students are understanding out of my lessons, so I know
better how to prepare them for standardized testing.
When I see the understanding my students reflect back to me, I will know if I need to
revisit the topic, or can continue moving forward. If many of my students understand, with only
a few still confused, I will spend one-on-one time with them, or use peer-tutoring until they can
grasp the concept. Also, using lesson ideas across all subjects will help instill the matter into their
brains. An example is in teaching them literary devices in language, I can also ask them to point
out devices when reading history or science text.

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Other students may have disabilities that interfere with their comprehension and behavior
in my classroom. For these students, I will need to accommodate my lessons, use individualized
instruction, and frequently collaborate with the Special Education teacher to make sure I am
helping meet their IEP goals. If a said student is only in my class for some normalcy and least
restrictive environment, I am still going to try to accommodate for that student, to help them gain
knowledge while in my classroom.
Finally, with any student, I will shape lessons to accommodate learning styles, but push
the kids to learn and practice concepts, even if it includes failing. My goal is to not encourage
learned helplessness in my classroom, but to foster a sense of willpower and self-esteem. As an
elementary teacher, I am a part of setting the tone for the rest of a students school career; my
goal is to be their empowering teacher by promoting positivity and ambition.
Conclusion
Though commonly joked about, teaching is not a simple job. I am learning that it may be
one of the most complicated and demanding fields, but in my opinion, it is also the most
rewarding. Some days may be a struggle to find the perseverance to handle an unruly classroom,
and some days may be simple and leave me wondering what happened. But, whatever the day
may bring, I will strive to remember the influence I am bestowing on my students, and search for
that extra piece to make the puzzle come together. Students will come to me from different
cultures, communities, family styles, socioeconomic statuses, and diverse intelligences. My job
is to instill the desire for learning, instill the self-concept that they may accomplish anything, and
the plant the seed of determination for future professionals of the world.

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References

Berns, Roberta. (2013). Ecology of Teaching. In Child, family, school, community (9th ed. Pgs.
22-350). Belmont, California: Wadsworth Pub.