Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Teacher Education Internship Program (MA/Credential)

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.


ethnography, social justice, teaching, education


This paper outlines the journey of a first-year teacher working at a charter school in southern California. It is a reflective ethnography that chronicles their journey to becoming a social justice educator. Divided into four sections, it highlights the work, research, and personal struggles of becoming a teacher. Part A outlines the background of a first-year teacher and their experiences and reasons that lead them to teacher. Part B follows three focus students and how a first-year teacher interacts with those students. Part C discusses a school and surrounding community, and how that community shapes both the students and the experiences of a first-year teacher. Part D is highly reflective and culminates the thoughts and experiences of a teacher after concluding their first year in the classroom. As this ethnography progress, the experiences and growth of a teacher lead to their identity and commitment to becoming a social justice educator.

Keywords: ethnography, social justice, teaching, education