Date of Award

Summer 2021

Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Teacher Education Internship Program (MA/Credential)


School of Educational Studies


This paper is a reflection on the unique and trying experiences of a being a first-year high school math teacher in a fully virtual setting.Written in three parts, the paper first focuses on the positionality of the author in relation to teaching, then focuses on a case study of a particular student, and finally a reflection on the evolution of classroom culture in a online setting during a dynamic year. Through ethnographic analysis, the paper explores how relationships can be formed between teacher and student in ways that are authentic and productive to learning and how through trial and error, one can learn what the quintessential elements of teaching look like that will carry from in-person experiences to an online setting. Through the turbulent year, it became very clear that the essence of effective teaching comes from a true commitment to understanding students as holistic human beings, and creating space to respect that idea within the classroom.