Class-Based Value Differences

taken from JZ’s work, part of the whole. She said she doesn’t want her name on it yet. (And she still said that in 2007.)

Another Cultural Diversity Issue in the Classroom

The often unspoken personal hierarchy of values drives decision-making, and student responses to education. If we are to retain students from homes with generational poverty values, we must understand conceptual barriers to success. Community college teachers must plan strategies to optimize strength and bridge differences in order to release hostility and build trust. Understanding does not connote tolerance of unacceptable behaviors, as one of our unstated missions is to help students function positively in an academic and /or business environment dominated by middle class values.

From Melvin Kohn (1969) is this gem: “the essence of higher class position is the expectation that one’s decisions and actions can be consequential; the essence of lower class position is the belief that one is at the mercy of forces and people beyond one’s control, often beyond one’s understanding.”

In other words cause and effect obvious to middle-class may not be visible to persons from generational poverty. Middle class persons may label lack of action by persons from generational poverty as a personal deficiency such as “lazy” or “unmotivated” or having “low self esteem.” Persons from generational poverty may view middle-class community college culture as hostile and untrustworthy.

Possible scenario based on value differences across classes:
Teacher: “Come and ask me if you have problems.” (Values achievement)
Student has problems but never comes. (Values politeness and conformity, feels powerless over destiny)
Teacher labels student failure to ask for help as personal deficiency (Values self direction).
Student views teacher as hostile and drops class (Values relationship over achievement).

Teaching Gaffes

When you are a new teacher, no one tells you anything, because they expect you to know everything. Which would be fine if you did. But I don’t.

I was going to sleep tonight, cuddled up with my sick husband, when I realized that I hadn’t posted my grades.

I thought yesterday was the last time to post them, which would mean I was in big trouble. But it turned out it was today. However, when I went to post I realized two things. One is that someone dropped one of my students who shouldn’t have been dropped. Two of my students who should have been dropped weren’t. And I forgot to check on a test of another student. I can’t do that at midnight, so I have to go tomorrow and hope they’re there.

AAAGGHH. And the bloggers I’ve been reading think finals are hard.

Actually, if you could spell and write grammatically correct sentences, mine was rather easy.