• Learning Experience

    By, Emma Janas

    click here to access the slideshow:


    Throughout the process of meeting and working with our group for classroom discussion and coming up with an engaging and initiative way to teach the classroom, I have grown as an educator and have learned new ways to make the classroom a safe and comfortable place.

    “Creating Classrooms for Equity and Social Justice” was the first chapter that our group was assigned to read. This chapter was split into 8 main points that focused on how to make our classrooms places of hope and how to make the society one that we want to live in. It is described that the curriculum should allow students to be able to have a voice and ask questions about their curiosity. It is also said that in order to have a social justice curriculum, the classroom must strive to include the lives of all those in the society, and the students must have equality and structure so that each student is appreciated and valued just as much as the others. So, in order for a classroom to be a “social justice classroom” and a safe spot for all, it is important to make sure that students feel safe and open to having discussion so that they are able to share their real emotions and thoughts. When a classroom of students comes together reflecting on the diversity between themselves, they are going to be able to make a difference in the world and in today’s society. When our group began to describe this chapter to the class, we summarized it by explaining that in order for a classroom setting to work, each student should feel cared about and important by both their teacher and their classmates. We listed several quotes, two of them being “A social justice classroom equips children not only to change the world, but gives them the work ethic to maneuver the world that exists”, and “All good teaching begins with respect for children, their innate curiosity, passions, and their capacity to learn”. We then created a quizlet on the 8 summary points of the chapter to sum it up.

    The next chapter that our group had to read was titled “Black Is Beautiful”. This chapter focuses on a kindergarten teacher who had a predominantly white classroom and felt as though the black children were targeted and looked at differently because of their race. The teacher wanted to make a point in her classroom that black is beautiful. She asked the students to come up with black things that they thought were beautiful, and some things that the students came up with were horses, birds, sneakers, and rain clouds. She then expanded on their ideas, teaching that aside from these things that are black and beautiful, black people are beautiful as well. In order to address this in our teaching with the class, we asked the students to write down two reasons why they think black is beautiful and something about their own background that makes them unique. We then had them crumble up their paper and throw it to the front of the classroom so that we could read their anonymous answers out loud. There were several great answers that portrayed each students backgrounds, and it allowed the class to appreciate the diversity among one another.

    The final chapter that our group was assigned to discuss with the class was “Seeing Ourselves with Our Own Eyes”. This was the chapter that me and my partner specifically worked on and came up with ideas to have the class be engaged with. This chapter’s main focus was that the problem with the special education program is that they focus on students inabilities, which causes the students to see their disabilities in a negative way their whole lives. The students were then told to be able to see themselves through their own eyes, and to see their differences in a beautiful, positive way, instead of in a negative way. The teacher had the students write “About me” poems to read to the classroom so that they could get to know each better, and then after they read them they were told to write compliments about one another. In a similar way, when we were teaching the class, we told the students to turn to each other and give each other a compliment, describing that words of affirmation are important to lift each other up in the classroom. We then described how every body is beautiful in their own way, whether they are tall or short, thin or fat, or different in any other way. Each body is made differently and with purpose and no person should ever feel judged for that. We had the students raise their hand, describing ways that we could promote body positivity in the classroom, and things such as spending time teaching about the toxic role social media plays in our lives, and advocating for positivity while encouraging students to check in with their bodies was brought up. We then had a text message poll, that asked questions about what the key takeaways were from the lesson that the students could incorporate in their future classrooms. My contributions and responsibilities during this learning experience included meeting with my group, and coming up with ways to summarize and teach the class about body positivity and how each student is special in their own ways. Me and my partner also worked together to come up with questions to ask the class in order to keep them engaged and interested in the material that we taught them.

  • All about me!

    Hi my name is Emma

    1. I prefer to be called Emma and my pronouns are she/her
    2. Rochester, Ny is my hometown
    3. I want to teach early elementary students on every subject, primarily English.

    4. I am into exercising and following different fitness accounts and influencers who inspire me with new workouts to try. I have been a cheerleader my entire life. I am planning on utilizing the gym here to keep me active and fit in college. I am also planning on attending sporting events on campus to get in school spirit and support our sports teams.

    5. A book that inspired me was called All your perfects. The quote I really like from it is “If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim.” I really like this quote because it is easy to get caught up in your flaws and have a lack of confidence, but you have to be grateful for the person that you are and the beauty within yourself.

    6. For me to be comfortable taking intellectual and creative ricks in a college classroom, I need to feel welcomed in my classroom with a positive atmosphere around me. I also like to be able to have quite time in order to get my work done.

    7. A formative memory that I have from growing up was the teachers not allowing us to work in groups with our friends. I realized as I grew up this was not necessary for the teachers to not allow us to work with our friends because working with people that you are close friends with makes working in a group more enjoyable and the communication is better!

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