I observed Kindergarten classes at the Edge Academy in Akron, Ohio over a period of approximately one month in 2011 to build an assessment that would help me develop a personal teaching method designed specifically for young learners. …
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During this time I was introduced to the Kindergarten teacher Mrs. “Adams” as well as the school Principal and other teachers on the staff. The Edge Academy is a Kindergarten through Fifth Grade (K-5) school located in Akron with approximately 98% of the students coming from African-American families. According to statistics, “The Edge Academy spends $7,064 per pupil in current expenditures. The district spends 45% on instruction, 48% on support services, 7% on other elementary and secondary expenditures.” (Education.com, 2011) In standardized test results, the school scores an average of 2/10 nationally last year. This school can be seen as having potential problems due to the challenges the children and their families manage in coming from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Some parents have removed children from classes in preference for more racially diverse and integrated schools. However, while there may be many challenges in this school it is a very good place for children’s education.
The teachers at Edge Academy are attentive and caring about the students’ needs, and conduct themselves in a professional manner. The school has facilities for music, sports, science, library, and other special activities. The Edge Academy has been developed to meet the challenge of providing the best education and foundation for future personal development to students in Akron. I am happy about the time I spent there in observation, and I gained many memories in working with the children and staff. The Edge Academy represents a school that I would like to seek a career in because I believe it is possible to make a difference in children’s lives by being a good teacher in such an environment. The Edge Academy is in the Akron School District and is publicly funded through tax dollars. It participates in standardized testing and also upholds Ohio Department of Education standards of quality in education. The Edge Academy has an enrollment of approximately 158 to 268 students per year. (BES, 2006; Great Schools, 2008, Education.com, 2011) The school has been rated between 3/10 - 2/10 on the Standardized Testing Scale, based on national averages of performance for similar aged students in the country. (BES, 2006; Great Schools, 2008) The school has classrooms for six classes, plus additional rooms for group activities, events, and administration. The school has only a limited outdoor play area, but is near to a local city park in Akron. Source: Council of Chief State School Officers, 2011 The Kindergarten class I was assigned to observe in had all of the students sitting at four big tables in the room. There are three windows in the room to allow for natural sunlight and fresh air. There is a large chalkboard at the front of the room which the teacher uses for instruction. The classroom has a teacher’s desk in the corner that is used to prepare lessons and keep class materials organized. There is also a large rug that students can move to for play or other activities related to instruction. There is a restroom facility attached directly to the class for the students to access. The
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I equate this with medical doctors, who take the Hippocratic Oath, to save lives, at any cost. I adhere to the school of thought that all children have the same rightful opportunity for education, regardless of any disability they may have. At the same time, I see the difficult challenges for educators, who need to use effective tools “to create the best possible learning environment for children with disabilities.” CITATION WEA11 \l 1033 In line with the above, this paper highlights children with special needs, rather than children with disabilities.
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