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This semester in praxis taught me a lot about myself as a student and as a learner. Each class I was meet with personal challenges that i had to either confront in class, or with myself later afterwards. This was the first time that I was prompted to think about what my educational experience was like and how it may have impacted my identity as a learner/student. The class provided me with an opportunity to think about how my identity may have aided or hindered my access to education and other privileges in society. And the process of working at a cite in the city allowed me to see how these privileges and setbacks actually manifest in the American Education system. 

When I first began the class, I had many preconceive notions about how it would go. I was very apprehensive about how class discussions about identity and access would go in the classroom. I was first afraid that I would (again) be one of the only students of color in the classroom who’s role was to provide non-POC students with insight into what it is like for students of color in the education system. I thought that our conversations would be a one sided, and that I would not learn anything that I already knew about diversity in the classroom. (As you can see, I was very jaded lol). I felt this way because it was my experience in almost every class I had ever been in that was focused on some aspect of identity. In these settings, I was always called on to act as the spokesperson for my identity group, or I always had to defend my identity against conscious/unconscious ignorant comments about it. But this class experience totally changed my perspective on identity focused classes entirely. 

Unlike what I thought, in class I was never felt singed out because of my race when we would talk about identity in the classroom. I will admit that at times I felt like our class discussions and readings were about topics I was familiar with because i learned about through personal experience with race and identity. During these classes, at first i felt like i was not learning “anything I didn’t know already”, but after a while, i started to realize that there was a different type of learning that I could be participating in. Instead of trying to trying to further understand myself and education through the texts, I tried out learning from he experience of my classmates. After I started doing this, the subject matter started to resonate a lot more. I learned about the various ways that other students interpreted their own identities and encounters with them in education. I learned about how they all interpret and articulated their beliefs and conceptions of identity. And most importantly, I learned about how to communicate with students on a level that they could understand where I was coming from despite our indignity differences. This is a skill i do not think I could have learned on my own. Being immersed in our classroom environment exposed me to the various ways that we all think, and interpret our realities.            

I also feel like this class has taught me how to articulate thoughts I have felt about identity and education that I never thought was possible. The readings and class discussions exposed me to language that I now use to talk about issues I have always been passionate about. The readings were very diverse and eye opening all semester. I learned about different research approaches used to study identity and access in education, and also learned a lot of new terminology. I can honestly say that I felt myself grow during this experience. This class gave me the tools and starting points needed to go out and learn more about identity and access in American education. I feel like this class marks the beginning of a long journey of educational scholarship for me.. 

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