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In A Perfect World

If we were to live in a perfect world then everything would be in a harmonious

relationship. However we do not live in a perfect world where everything is as it should

be. In our world today the classroom can never be perfect we can try to obtain the best

classroom that is possible for the students. In this classroom the students would be free

from bias and other forms of discrimination along with everyone understanding the

background and ideals of everyone in the classroom. While looking at the ideal

classroom we must also remember that each person's version of the ideal classroom

could be vastly different from another's point of view. While many of the points will be

universal and some points may be specific to a particular group of people.

One of the major debates that has gone on for the past several years is how

different social classes are treated in the classroom. Many of these situations have risen

from events that were poorly handled, and therefore led the student to believe that he or

she was being discriminated against because of their social class. One of the main

issues that separates children in the classroom is the education, occupation, and the

income of their individual families. Unfortunately, the number of kids that are affected by

this unfortunate situation is not decreasing, rather it is staying constant and therefore

not changing whatsoever. With this being said there's also a relationship between class

and race in the United States. An increasing number of people who have African

American or Latino backgrounds come from unprivileged backgrounds and because of

this are not always presented with the same opportunities that many other people are

presented with. Now this does not mean that the middle and lower class have not made
significant increases in improving their education, however the speed which they

improve their education is far slower than that of the upper class.

Unfortunately many people believe that the problem presented before us can be

fixed purely through school funding, however the Coleman report, which stated that

there is only a one percent difference that could be found through balancing the funding

of all high schools. Furthermore, it stated that the only way that more drastic measures

can be taken is if our society as a whole would be willing to change. This change would

mainly consists of a shift toward socialism, under this policy all jobs would be relatively

equal and pay the same wage.

Gender bias in schools is also a large topic of discussion in the United States.

While gender bias in schools has come a long way since our country began there are

still many issues that can conflict with a student's life today. Often times these conflicts

come from predetermined gender roles or people subconsciously believing that a

certain student should focus on a particular topic of study solely because of their

gender. Some of these biases would include that men would are superior at math and

science while women are better at school as a whole. These different topics can effect

and adolescents view of the world and bring different stereotypes into the classroom

that were not originally intended. However, if these stereotypes were to be removed

from the classroom then many of the gender roles that we face today would also be

eliminated from our students lives. An additional topic that must be discussed is when

we teach history, we must not solely teach history from the viewpoint of the white male,

which it so often is, but also from the viewpoint of the women living through this time
period. The reason why history is often told from the viewpoint of the man was because

Through a long period of our nation's history a man was considered superior to a

woman, however times have changed and now women need to start learning about

their history, because men and women are indeed equal.

This being said with all the negatives that are constantly surrounding gender bias

in schools there is at least one good thing that has helped females in school. This law is

known as title IX. Under this law no school that is receiving federal aid can discriminate

based on sex or take away benefits according to one sexual orientation. This law not

only is enforced in schools but also through their extracurricular activities and the hiring

of various different jobs in the school. Because of this law, we know that we are not

perfect, however as time progresses we are slowly becoming more and more accepting.

Secondly in order to have a perfect classroom you will need to remove gender bias from

your classroom and you will have to attempt to show both sides of the subject in which

you're teaching, one being from the male perspective and one being from the female

perspective.

Another way in which many students differ from one another would be their

religious backgrounds. For the most part, the majority of the teachers that I've had as a

students have come from a christian background. This is due to the fact that many of

the original settlers that came from England during the seventeen hundreds were

predominantly white and follow Christianity. Because of these early views our country

has made christianity the backbone of our country's religious beliefs. If we were to look

at our government one quote in particular stands out to me and that is during the Pledge
of Allegiance it says one nation under God, this is one of many examples that shows

that even though our country preaches religious freedom it is not always absent from

our governments influence. If a teacher allows their religious views to come in between

them and the child in which they wish to teach then they can negatively affect that

student and the amount of drive that they have for school. An example of children facing

negative discrimination because of their religion can be found during the September

11th attacks. During this time period and ever since Muslims have faced hardships and

have been giving a bad reputation because of the acts of a few. This religious affiliation

can affect students significantly because it affects how different students act around

them. Our job as teachers is not only to accept different cultures but also to learn

about them. If one does not understand something then they're often times inclined to

dislike it, however if you understand where something comes from then you may be far

more inclined to assist them.

Continuing on with different biases that can be present in the classroom, one of

the major biases that is currently affecting many people in our society today is racial

bias. The teacher is one of the most vital aspects of the classroom, so they must see

different racial material in their content that they teach and teach their students the truth

rather than racial bias that may unknowingly be placed and their material. This is

important for the classroom because a teacher has a greater impact upon a student's

life and if a teacher is only seeing the world through singular lens then they may be

blinded by simple topics that may have a great impact upon their students. Teachers

must also remain sensitive about other ethnic backgrounds and make sure their
statements, beliefs, and attitudes don't stereotype a certain group of people or belittle a

culture. Furthermore, if a student has a particular belief it is vitally important for a

teacher to not immediately discourage this belief simply because they are personally

against it. Just because you do not personally believe in something does not mean that

this topic is not extremely important to the student. This can become apparent when a

teacher is teaching a particular subject in which they have little personal experience and

the class and which they're teaching has a high amount of personal experience.

Therefore it is very important for the teacher to attempt to assimilate with their students

and to learn their backgrounds so that they can further understand their students and

connect with them on a personal level.

Lastly, a teacher is not the only heavy influence a child has over their education.

Another vital aspect of school, that is often not seen by many people, is family support.

It is vitally important that a teacher connects not only with the student but the family of

the student in order to most prepare the student for what they need to accomplish.

During research it has been proven that parents that help their children at home with

their homework, versus children who do not have parents who can help them at home,

do far better in school and have higher grades. This connection is not seen by many

because they do not realize that the teacher instructs the student during school but the

parent instructs the student at home. Parents were their children's first teachers and

have a very strong impact on their beliefs so it is very important that a teacher and

parent are on the same page to strive to reinforce the idea that their child is expected to

learn. This relationship must be a two-way communication that involves both the
parents and the teachers so that both parties are on the same page and they're actively

involved in furthering the student's education. However these arrangements are not

always as easy to implement as one may assume. Some of factors that may affect a

parent involvement in their child's education maybe the fact that they're either a single

parent, they come from a low-income family, or potentially both. If you're dealing with

single-parent you will need to be more flexible with your conference time so that the

single parent can have the option to get time off of work and therefore create less

tension between the teacher and parent. As for low income families, their parents are

often times more supportive than parents of middle to higher income families because

they want their son or daughter to do well in school and achieve a higher education

than they were able to. One of the limiting factors may be that the parents may not

physically be able to contribute to their son or daughter school work. Rather than

helping their student you can encourage the families to instill positive values upon their

son or daughter therefore giving them the motivation to try harder in school and reach

for success to attempt to have a more prosperous life than their parents have.

All in all if I was trying to describe the perfect classroom to someone I would

only be able to describe the perfect classroom that I see. The perfect classroom maybe

different from person to person, however I believe the perfect classroom is a classroom

with as little bias as possible and a classroom where both the teachers and parents are

working together to improve the life of a student. While I know a perfect classroom in

reality cannot exist all teachers should strive to be the best that they can be. Even if I'm

not perfect and not able to completely avoid bias in my classroom I hope that I will see
the different biases I have and therefore be able to change them in the future and help

all my students to succeed to the best of their abilities.