Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Teacher Education Internship Program (MA/Credential)


School of Educational Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Claudia Bermudez

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2020 Stephanie Nunez


Classroom Ecology, Social Justice Educator, Greater Los Angeles, Pandemic, Distance Learning

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Early Childhood Education | Educational Methods | Elementary Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | Online and Distance Education | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education


This ethnographic narrative follows my journey as a fifth grade teacher in the greater Los Angeles area. The purpose of this ethnography is to follow the development of my journey as a first-year teacher. In this ethnography, I explore my positionality and the levels of community, school, and classroom as ways to inform and improve my teaching practices as a social-justice educator. I begin this four part narrative by discussing my positionality and how it relates to my desires of becoming a teacher. Through this narrative, I was then able to conduct three case studies of students with different identities and needs. As I studied my students’ environments: community, school, classroom, and home, I learned of the importance that student-teacher relationships have on student academic achievement and socio-emotional well-being. This ethnographic narrative, however, was abruptly interrupted by a global pandemic as a result of COVID-19. There were nationwide school closures and schooling resulted in distance learning. COVID-19 was a true testament that a successful classroom ecology and positive student-teacher relationships are key to academic excellence whether it is in a physical or virtual classroom.