Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, MA


School of Educational Studies

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Subject Categories

Elementary Education


This paper documents my year as a resident teacher in a multi-age classroom in a suburban city in Los Angeles County. Its purpose is to explore the multiple levels that affect a single classroom, including my positionality and motivations as a teacher, learning about students as individuals inside and outside of the classroom, the values and resources of the community, and the evaluation of the instructional strategies and practices I employed this academic year. In order to research these levels, I conducted an ethnographic study by conducting case studies of three individual students and researched my school site’s mission and core values. To receive a holistic view of each focus student, I consulted cumulative files, spoke to their past teachers, interviewed them, and conducted visits to their home. To learn more about my school site’s values I researched the community’s history, attended community events, and interviewed school personnel. Through this ethnographic study during my first year teaching, I was able to learn the importance of getting to know my students beyond the classroom and just how deeply personal and emotional teaching is.