journey reflection.docx - Kassandra Elliott

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					                                                                                 Kassandra Elliott

                                                               EDU 1191 Intro to urban education

                                                                                    Davis, Jennifer

                                                                                  August 31st, 2011

                                 K-12 Journey Reflection Paper

       I started kindergarten in a private school setting. I attended St. Joseph’s Catholic school

in West St. Paul. I remained there until eighth grade. Then, I went on to Henry Sibley high

school, a public school. I really believe I got to experience both sides of the education spectrum.

At St. Joe’s, the location was in a somewhat urban area. Weiner (2006), describes urban on a

continuum of the area, and the size of the school district. However, the student population

consisted of children who were not affected by urban-ness so much, and lived in the richer cities

surrounding West St. Paul. At Sibley, it was urban all around. There was a vast variety of

people. At St. Joseph’s, I learned with majority of white middle to upper class children.

       Describing the scope of my K-12 experiences is going to have to be split into two, as I

was in two totally different environments. At St. Joseph’s, I believe I got an amazing education.

However, there was very little diversity. First off, almost every child in my classes was white,

with the exception of a few adopted children. Secondly, I was not faced with different religious

beliefs, as it is a catholic school. I also did not deal with anybody who had immigrated or lived

in another country previously. Everybody there was high middle to upper class, so the variety

was not very much. Lastly, there were not children with disabilities, as those children were sent

to the public schools, where they could get proper attention and special care.
       My transition from eighth to ninth grade was a bit of a shock. I was faced with many

things that I hadn’t before experienced. One of my best friends there was Jewish, and I had

never even met a Jewish person before! Also, there were many students who didn’t speak

English as their first language, as well as students that had emigrated from different countries.

Sibley provided a lot of firsts for me. There were students from all different races,

socioeconomic background, and religion. Also, for the first time, I was in the same learning

environment as children with disabilities. These were not only physical disabilities, but mental

and learning disabilities. Another first was being surrounded by different sexual orientations; at

St. Joseph’s, nobody talked about different orientations, as it was considered “wrong” in their

eyes. Sibley provided me a first look at being around these different orientations.

       I feel lucky to have learned in two totally different environments. I think this will have

an impact on my beliefs and practices as an urban teacher. I will not only be familiar with urban

education, but also with the opposite. I will have learned privately and publicly, making me

aware of all the differences that shaped me into who I am today.

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