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Approaching the Final Case Study & Taskstream Artifact

The case study has no clearly “correct” response; rather, it is presented as a representative challenge that contemporary secondary school teachers are likely to face. Keep in mind that each teaching situation is unique, and although there are a variety of management techniques and processes available to the teacher, there is no absolute, perfect-every-time strategy for dealing with classroom management issues.

Read the case assigned. Refer back to the textbooks, and any other course curriculum materials (e.g., IRIS, Videos, articles, etc.) prior to drafting your response. Your response should include specific concepts, strategies, and techniques from the course materials (be sure to cite correctly in APA format and include a Reference page). You should also use the Taskstream Scoring Rubric to guide you in developing your paper. Although you have the luxury of time and a list of possible actions and classroom elements to consider – please keep in mind that, in reality, classroom situations frequently require that the teacher make quick decisions with little time to consider alternative actions and reactions. As such, the case study is intended to give you practice in exploring the possible ways in which a situation can be handled.

Remember:

Good teachers are those who have not only a vision of what students need to know, but also the capacity to respond appropriately to the students who walk through their classroom doors, no matter how variant they might be from the ideal students they might hope to teach. Success as a teacher always depends on the quality of the connections you make with your students (Wagner & Larson, 1995).

Instructions:

  • Understand the assignment in context. Be sure that you understand the overall framework and context of the case study.
  • Read the case for an overview to get the general idea of the situation – what happened, who is involved, the problem(s), and how the details described relate to the questions that follow the scenario.
  • Analyze the case. Reread with more care. Begin to make sense of how and why the situation occurred.
  • Explore the course materials for relative concepts, strategies, and techniques. Decide on a plan of action for the teacher; develop your response.

The written document:

  • Cut and paste the Case Study into your document as page #1
  • Be sure to include (describe) any additional assumptions that you make in order to develop your response.
  • Be sure that you respond thoroughly; check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Case Study

In Ms. Sawyer’s 9th grade World History class, (period 2), there always seems to be some students who do not understand presentations or assignments, and who require a good deal of re-explanation. While she is lecturing, students continually ask questions about what they should write in their notebooks. She writes a good deal of information on the whiteboard; most students take pictures of her notes with their phones rather than writing down anything themselves. When an in-class assignment is given, Ms. Sawyer finds herself answering many questions about information just covered in the lecture. Sometimes she has to re-explain, two or three times, parts of the lesson to the whole class; students whine and shout out that she is stupid and doesn’t know how to teach. As a result, there is often not enough time to complete activities before the end of the period.

In addition to the general classroom situation described in the preceding paragraph, there are several students who present more behavioral issues than others.

  • Octavio and Franco are consistently noisy and distracting the other students. They tend to clown around and vie for other students’ attention. Reminders and penalties have only fleeting effects on their behavior. Ms. Sawyer has contacted their parents several times, but has not been able to make their parents understand how the boys’ behavior negatively impacts the learning environment of her classroom. Both students are English Language Learners; Octavio’s native language is Spanish and Franco’s native language is Italian.
  • Ms. Sawyer has to tell Ethan to stay in his seat several times during a class period, and he is prone to outbursts that insultingly attack other students. Academically, Ethan is performing very poorly; Ms. Sawyer has wondered about Ethan’s reading level. The last time that Ms. Sawyer told Ethan to return to his seat and be quiet, Ethan responded by yelling:
  • Lena is one of the brightest students in Ms. Sawyer’s class, but she doesn’t turn in her assignments. Her attendance is sporadic; Lena may show up late to class and comes in looking disheveled. On the rare occasion that she does turn in classwork or homework, it is usually incomplete. When asked to do group work, Lena just sits there with a disgruntled look and never participates. However, Lena is able to pass quizzes and exams; she could easily be a top student if she were prompt in getting to class and more organized about attendance and completing her assignments. Ms. Sawyer recently communicated with Lena’s mother because Lena is currently failing the quarter. Lena’s mother, explained that she is working two jobs just to get by, so Lena has to do most of the household chores and take care of younger siblings. She asked Ms. Sawyer to allow Lena extended time to makeup her assignments and also requested that Ms. Sawyer tutor Lena during Lena’s study hall period and lunch to help keep her organized and more on track with her assignments.

“Why are you always picking on me? Other kids in the class do the same thing, and you don’t say anything to them. Whenever I do the least little thing, you jump down my throat. Is it because I’m black? You’re a bitch, and I’m not going to take this crap anymore!”

Before Ms. Sawyer could respond, Ethan ran out of the room. A week has passed since that incident, and Ethan has not returned to class.

  • Identify the underlying issues regarding this case study.
  • Outline specific steps that Ms. Sawyer needs to take regarding climate setting, organization, and lesson planning.
  • What rules and procedures are needed and how should they be implemented?
  • Specifically address the concerns regarding Octavio and Franco.
  • What are the steps that Ms. Sawyer should take regarding Ethan?
  • How should Ms. Sawyer handle the situation with Lena? How should she respond to Lena’s mother? And what type of intervention plan would help Lena?
  • What type of paperwork or record-keeping should Ms. Sawyer be maintaining?
  • If these problems continue to persist, what other techniques or approaches could Ms. Sawyer employ?
  • Overall, explain how instructional strategies and a management plan affect Academic Learning Time (ALT)[1]


[1] Academic Learning Time – the actual amount of time in which students are engaged in authentic learning

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