How Teacher's Assumptions Affect Students

It is human nature to assume things about the world around us. Humans are biologically equipped with the ability to gather information about their surroundings and develop conclusions. However, it can be dangerous to be absolutely sure that we know something when it comes to students. As teachers we must challenge ourselves to not assume about a students potential based on obvious factors.Take for example the assumptions that come along with what is referred to as the "culture of poverty" (PG 102). The culture of poverty refers to negative generalizations associated with students of low-income families, generalizations that describe them as "loud, inherently criminal, sexually deviant, and not valuing education" (Pg 102). Students of low-income families are automatically seen as inferior simply because of their economic status. Of course, this is fundamentally flawed. There is more to the character of the person then their socio-economic status. Every person is unique and it is a detriment to assume, as a teacher, how they are going to act or how they view education. Socio-economic status is only a piece to the puzzle that makes up a person, and even then different people may develop differently in similar situations. On one hand, a student from a low-income family may drop out of school in an effort to join the workforce and supplement the household income. On the other, another student may see their status as motivation to escape poverty and thus choose to remain in school. These are just two, broad possibilities among a myriad of possibilities. Abstaining from assumptions not only apply to socio-economic status, but also to students of other cultures and races. There is no connection between a students culture or race and their ability to excel in the classroom. Teachers must challenges themselves to see each student as an individual with his or her own areas of strengths and weaknesses. It is by doing this that teacher will succeed in being a teacher.


Hall, Gene E., Linda F. Quinn, Donna M. Gollnick. "Introduction to Teaching: Making a Difference in Student Learning." SAGE Publications, Inc. 2013. Print.