Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Education, MA


School of Educational Studies

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What makes an effective teacher? This is the question I have tried to answer as I developed this ethnographic narrative. What is written here for you to read is an outline of what my experiences have been for the past two years, although it could have been my first year of teaching, but because I set back in the program, I will talk about both my first and second year of teaching. It traces back to the early expectations and hopes to more complex understandings of my students and myself. It has been 19 months since I started writing my ethnography, therefore you will notice my verb tense throughout the whole writing process. There are also new perspectives for each section. The project begins with a reflective piece about my personal educational experiences and my journey to become a teacher. I do wish to warn you that I have included specifically, details about my personal upbringing that may make a few people uncomfortable, but all in all this is who I am and what has helped shaped me through out the years. The work of this ethnography centers on my experience in my current position as an Intern teacher at a high school in Pomona, California. This opens with a study of three focus students who I had the privilege of visiting in their homes. This allowed me to discover who my students truly are and lay a foundation for my teaching goals. It is then followed by a section on the school, classroom, and community environment because this is what helps further analyze what shapes my students and it opens up opportunities to understanding where, how and why my students perform at the level they do. Finally, this project although the majority analytical, it is also very personal. In the last section presented, I reflect on the journey as an educator and what changes can be made to better suit my students. This section allows me to analyze how effective I have been and continue to be as an educator.