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Discussion Questions

1. Suspending Judgment: If we assume that Dr. Dufraine is operating with the best
intentions, how might her behavior be interpreted?
As a student teacher I am new to this school and its teachers. Dr. Dufraine by her very name
of Dr. is assumed to be an experienced educator. I would speculate that she is confident in
her tried and true lessons and activities. This would suggest that she could be nervous of
steering away from her planned lessons and implementing mine into her classroom. I also do
not know how much time and energy that she put into her lessons, it is possible that she
feels that I got recognition for my unit idea while she has had a variety of options and ideas
for an interdisciplinary unit that were never fully realized. Dr. Dufraine most likely
appreciates structure and feels that implementing my idea would disrupt her structure.
2. Asset-Based Thinking: What strengths or positive attributes might Dr. Dufraine possess in
this scenario? How might a characteristic or behavior that you found problematic in Dr.
Dufraine actually be a strength in disguise? What are the other positives in this situation?
Dr. Dufraine represents the structure of a classroom. I suspect that she has been teaching for
quite sometime and possibly may have had a poor experience with a unit like this in the past.
By her sticking to her original lessons the students are guaranteed to receive quality
instruction, no matter what. This could be seen as a strength when looking at the scenario.
A characteristic that I found to be positive was how she professionally handled the situation
with gossip behind her back. She addressed the source and quickly. Professionalism is
crucial when working in an environment such as education. We rely on other departments to
provide a quality and diverse education to our students. The other positive in this situation
are as follows: we have to contact her personally since we are planning another unit, we can
have a one on one meeting and talk about the future unit and its implementation. We can
get her insight into the situation and ask her opinion on how to move forward with the
situation. Also, we received praise from our mentor concerning student content retention
and engagement.
3. Interpersonal Awareness:
How might Dr. Dufraine perceive this situation? What kind
of impact might your words and actions have had on her? On others?
Dr. Dufraine is most likely perceiving this situation as a threat to her teaching ability. As
mentioned before Dr. Dufraine is expected to be a seasoned teacher and doesnt like
immediate change. This can be seen in a negative light, as not everyone welcomes change.
She may feel that I am questioning her ability. She may also feel that I did not consider her
situation (lessons and activities that she already had planned) or ask her for input before I
presented my idea in the professional development meeting. Dr. Dufraine most likely felt
that I was pressuring her by having the students ask her why she wasnt apart of the unit.
She probably felt attacked when I went behind her back and asked other teachers what to do
in the situation. By asking others I put them in the middle of the situation, which was not
needed.
4. Locus of Control: Which things were within your ability to affect in this case study? How
could you have targeted these things while still operating with respect and humility?
A variety of areas were within my control, specifically how I managed Dr. Dufraines
resistance to my unit idea. Instead of getting upset and developing a negative attitude
towards her I should have taken the time to understand why she was resistant and asked her
input on the situation. I also could have met with all of the teachers independently before
the professional development meeting, this way there wouldnt be a surprise

announcement, everyone would have been on the same page. If this step were taken it
would have been easy to figure out if anyone was opposed to the idea, and the steps that
could be taken to make sure everyone was on board. Perhaps the most important ability that
I had control over was what to do when I met Dr. Dufraines opposition. I should have gone to
her directly, brining in other people made the situation unfavorable for all parties.
5. The case study ends at a critical decision/action point. Consider the Professional
Competencies and the responses you made in the previous questions. Then:
a. Decide on a course of action. Describe what this course of action entails.
i. The plan of action that logically makes sense is to approach Dr. Dufraine in
person and ask her input on an interdisciplinary unit. I would ask her if she has
done one in the past and what her experience was. We could then build a plan
together that includes her ideas and aligns with both my content and hers. This
would hopefully build our professional relationship and allows us to work as a
team in the future.
b. Address the possible consequences (positive and negative) that could arise from that
course of action.
i. The positive consequences are that we build a professional respect for each
other. If Dr. Dufraine agrees to the future unit our students will benefit in
content retention and engagement. I might also learn new and effective
teaching strategies from her input.
ii. The negative consequences could include further detachment in our
professional relationship. She could see this as further harassment as to why
she isnt partaking in my unit idea. She could completely shut me out and never
listen to what I have to say in future collaborations. Since she has a longstanding presence in the school, her opinion of me could possibly make it
difficult to get hired, if I chose to work at that school.
c. Explain the most desirable outcome if all goes well.
i. The most desirable outcome is success with our collaboration for the future unit.
We will find common ground and combine our ideas to prefect the
interdisciplinary unit for the Civil War. A positive side effect of this collaboration
is that Dr. Dufraine sees me as a professional teacher that has the students
best interest in mind.