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Thoughts on Delpit

jayah's picture

In the beginning of her writing, Delpit talks about how teachers touch students in various ways. Teachers impact the students in ways that they do not even realize. This is the reason that there needs to be teachers present in schools who genuinely care about students and are willing to push students, demanding them to learn.  Students from “disadvantaged backgrounds” particularly, rely on teachers to academically support them because students, often time, do not get this support from home. This whole idea makes me think in depth about my placement. There are specific students who have IEPs and are separated from the rest of the class. While the majority of the class sits on the floor in a circle to listen to stories, these students with IEP have to sit in a chair. In addition, when there is an activity that occurs, like drawing an animal, the teacher pushed some kids to do better, but not the students with an IEP. When one little boy did not draw the animal to her liking the teacher explicitly stated, “He can do better, so I will not accept anything less of him.” But when a student with an IEP drew an animal she stated, “I don’t expect much from him.” When a teacher has low expectations for a student and allows for mediocrity, this goes against Delpit’s idea of pushing students and demanding success. I can’t help but to question how these students with IEP’s will succeed. One, they have an IEP. Two, they are expected to only speak and learn in English in the kindergarten, but only speak and, for the most part, only understand Spanish. Three, they have no support from their parents because their parents do not know English and cannot continue the instruction at home. I believe that it is crucial for the teacher to work one on one with these students, and push them to their potential. Secluding these students with IEP’s is not the answer. There needs to be involvement. Allow these students to be a part of the class so they do not look at themselves as being “different” in a negative way. Teachers play a key role in students’ education. They can either turn a student on or off to a subject, or to school in general!