Date of Award

Summer 2021

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Education, MA

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Sheila Nguyen

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

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This paper documents the observations, struggles, and insights of a first year teacher. It is a year-long documentation of the search for hope during a global pandemic that affected the way schools functioned and how students learned. This work is in three distinct sections. The first section is a self-reflection of identity and why this teacher chose teaching as a profession. The second section is focused on two of their students, one who is immunocompromised, and one who has significant learning challenges, and how they navigated the quarantine during the pandemic through their expression of learning. The third section reflects on the mostly white and wealthy community and school culture where they were teaching and the tension of being a social justice educator in this environment. The data was collected through participant observation, qualitative research, and ethnographic analysis. By documenting this experience of working in a mostly digital school year, navigating the complexities and tensions of a new school, new principal, new school board, and new superintendent the author provides insight into the various ways they were able to bring hope into their classroom, and remind us how we can thrive even living through our fears and hardships.