Southeast Elementary

Working with students from diverse backgrounds

Believe ~ Achieve ~ Lead ~ Superstars Succeed!

Socio-economic Status and Race/Ethnicity

Teaching Tolerance Journal

Immersion experiences

1) What did I notice going on inside me physically, cognitively, and emotionally during this experience?

To be honest I was excited to have this opportunity to visit such a diverse school. My eyes were opened to diverse populations working and playing together. Of course I was nervous at first being in a new environment, but the kids soon made me feel welcome as well as the counselor I was working with. I not only was able to observe diverse cultures but also curriculum ideas and individual and group work that the counselor uses at the school. So I was inspired to research these new ideas for my future position as a counselor.

2) When attending an activity, what impact on others did my presence have?

I believe the students are used to having new people in the building but many would look at me and smile. Some would ask me who I was but most of the staff didn't even ask. I guess they just assumed I was a student working with the counselor. In one situation I was able to sit with a little girl who was struggling that day because she felt like she was being picked on. The counselor had to leave the room to help another student and I was able to sit with her and help her to calm down.

3) How did your observations compare with your readings in the text, discussion posts, and other readings?

My observations were fairly similar from our readings and text except that Southeast is heavily supported through the Park Hill school district in technology and qualified staff members. I left Southeast feeling like they really did a great job of listening to the students and meeting them for where they were at. One program that they started was a "walking bus" to school. Southview is a neighborhood school and many of the children were coming in late to school. The counselor and two other staff members would cross the street each morning and meet the students and then walk them to school. This has helped with attendance and making sure the students were getting to school on time

4) What did you learn about the culture in the areas of ethical, economic, legal and political issues?

With 50% of the student body being free or reduced lunch many of the children received breakfast before school every morning. The counselor would check in with them and as they were sitting in the hallway she would get down to their level and ask them if they were alright? How they were feeling? It was very touching to see the extra care she gave to her students. She would follow them into the cafeteria and talk to more students seeing how they were doing. Two of the students who were in her building were brothers living in a very hostile environment. We encountered both of the boys several times during the day. Redirecting the littlest one back to class when he tried to escape, congratulating him earlier on the good day he had yesterday, and helping his brother who was using in appropriate language during a guidance lesson. She gave him a warning, but then told him he needed to go to the safe seat. After the lesson she went to talk to him and realized he was tired. She walked him to the recovery room and told him to rest but that she hated for him to miss his Art class because she knew that was one of his favorite classes. This student comes to school for normalcy and it was encouraging to see the way the staff recognized his struggles and helped him work through it without punishing him.

5) How will your clients from this population benefit from what you have learned at this experience?

Something that I really liked when I went to the school was the bright and cherry decor as well as the soothing music that was being played during morning transition. The music put me at ease and I know this has to be powerful coping tool for the students.

I also learned that even when students come from very stressful home lives it would be easy for the counselor who I observed to let this student have a free pass when he was acting out during her lesson. She never made him feel ashamed for his behavior she just told him that what he was doing was not acceptable at school and then she gave him time to reflect and think.

6) How were you engaged as on outsider that can help you to empathize with clients?

As I said before the students were very warm to me by smiling at me or asking who I was when I went into their classrooms. While I was there I didn't have any staff members ask who I was or what I was doing that day. I am sure they are used to students coming in but it would have been nice to feel acknowledged and I will use this knowledge for when new people come into the building. Not only adults but new students in the building as well.

Free and Reduced Lunch

Free and Reduced lunch rate is 50%