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Tiffany Poritz

SPE635
September 12, 2015
CRCM Reflection

Conception of Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Reflection


While reading the article titled, Toward a Conception of Culturally
Responsive Classroom Management by Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clark, and
Curran it had me thinking about where I was an undergraduate working
towards my initial licensure, my experiences currently on the job teaching,
and Alvernos graduate teaching program. My reflection on the article not
only includes my growth as an educator but it also includes where Id like to
go with embracing a culturally responsive classroom management.
As an undergraduate at UW-Whitewater, the program focused on
helping their students understand the importance of being culturally
responsive. Their program included lectures and field experiences in urban
school settings. Initially when I first sat in the classes, I didnt see much of a
reason to be introduced to different cultures. My plan was to teach in a small
country community similar to the one I grew up in and where there was not
a lot of exposure to different ethnicities and culture.
Fast forward to 2015 and I am in my second year of teaching in a rural
town less than 7 miles from my hometown. While the school district I work
for is considered rural there are larger factors that affect and influence the
school. The school district I work for is very diverse. There are many different

ethnicities, cultures, religions, and socio economic backgrounds present.


Therefore, the background that I received from UW-Whitewater and the
exposure from Alverno is greatly appreciated and understood. According to
the article, there are 5 components to culturally responsive classroom
management. These components include (a) recognition of ones own
ethnocentrism and biases, (b) knowledge of student cultural backgrounds,
(c) understanding of the of the broader social, economic, and political
context of our educational system, (d) ability and willingness to use culturally
appropriate classroom management strategies, and (e) commitment to
building caring classroom communities (27).
I have firsthand experiences that provide evidence to my
understanding of how important it is to develop a classroom environment
that is culturally responsive. For example, the article outlines the importance
of Definitions and expectations of appropriate behavior are culturally
influenced, and conflicts are likely to occur when teachers and students
come from different cultural backgrounds(26). It is important for me as an
educator to recognize and accept that my students come from different
backgrounds than I do. When I set expectations for my students I need to
consider the differences in my background and my expectations. For
example, I work with a population of students who come from lower
socioeconomic status, working families, single parent families, and homes
where English is not their primary language. If I were not to consider the

backgrounds of my students prior to setting homework expectations, I


would be setting my students and I up for disaster.
Homework for example, is a struggle at my school. Homework is
assigned but hardly completed. The culture of our students need to be
considered before assigning homework. Otherwise, we are setting the
students and teachers up for failure. There needs to be an understatement
made between teachers and their expectations. Students are not completing
homework at home for a variety of different reasons. Some of the reasons
include having to babysit younger siblings while the parents are out working,
children left at home unattended while papers are working, or the parents
are home with the children but cannot help them with the homework
because of limited education. These are just a few of the reasons why
homework is not successful at our school --- socioeconomic background.
It is also important to identify behavior differences. I have worked with
colleagues that believe in having students look at them in the eye when they
are talking. It is clear that such teachers lack the understanding that in
some childrens home looking adults in the eye is unheard of and deemed
disrespectful. It is important for individuals to identify their ethnocentrism
and how it will differ from others.
This is also important to continue to monitor our own behavior. The
article outlies the questions that we should be asking ourselves as educators.
Some of the questions included, Are we more patient and encouraging with

some? Are we more likely to chastise others? Do we use hairstyle and dress
to form stereotypical judgments on our students character and academic
potential? (32). I think it is crucial to ask these questions of our viewpoints
within the school context.
This includes integrating culturally appropriate management strategies
into the classroom. Reflecting on your viewpoints is one strategy that can
help lead you towards using others within your classroom. Another strategy
is question traditional assumptions of what works. For example, because
Latino culture emphasizes the importance of contributing to the group,
singling out individual achievement may be embarrassing and punishing,
rather than reinforcing (32). Therefore, it would be important to identify the
group accomplishment versus just the individual. The third, strategy that can
be applied to the culturally appropriate management strategies include
considering when to expect students to accommodate mutual
accommodation.
Overall, I feel as though I have embraced my students different
culturally backgrounds. I identify that there is a possibility that they do not
have the same background as I do. I respect differences and I acknowledge
the positives in all of my students and address the challenges that come with
working with a vast array of students. I think all the points in the article are
necessary to address. I feel like I am a successful teacher in the school
district that I work for. I embrace what is different about each of my students

and I meet their needs directly. There is not a one size fits all label to
education.