Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Education, MA


School of Educational Studies

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Rights Information

© 2020 Valerie N Daifotis


This project documents my experiences before, during, and after my first year of teaching. It examines my own experiences within the education system and my entry into the teaching profession. By looking at my past with a critical social justice lens, I also explore how my positionality affects the students I teach. Finally, this project reflects on the lived experiences of my first year of teaching. This project uses a combination of anecdotal and qualitative data gathered from my past, qualitative and quantitative data from my current students, visits to three focus students’ homes, and informational interviews of school and community members. Overall, this project encouraged me to challenge my beliefs, explore and analyze my experiences, and reflect on myself as an educator. By examining my entry into and experience within the teaching profession, I have found that my greatest growth comes as a result of deep reflection and meaningful relationships.