An Interview With A Public School Setting

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Working in a public school setting provides a rich profusion of opportunities to interact with both children and adults claiming a multitude of different cultural and ethnic identities. As diverse populations continue to grow in the U.S., it becomes increasingly necessary for professionals and service workers of all types to acquire cultural competency. Although Suh (2004) identifies multiple variations of the exact definition, and the term as a whole contains many different components, its meaning and adherence have an undeniably universal effect and leads to harmonious and synergistic relationships between people of all cultural backgrounds. In an interview with John (named has been changed for confidentiality) on June 3, 2016, the…show more content…
He decided to pursue a career as a high school English teacher. He began his career teaching in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he taught for 6 years falling more and more in love with being an educator every day. While teaching, he pursued his master’s degree in educational leadership, and gradually took on roles within the school practicing leadership and curriculum development. It was there that he admits having his first real exposure to a melting pot of diversity both in his students, and his colleagues (personal communication, June 3, 2016). During the interview process, John (personal communication, June 3, 2016) reported that the most common minority groups he worked with were Hispanics and African-Americans, with the demographic breakdown of his first school being 20% African-American, 35% Hispanic, and 60% low income. During conversation, John admits that he strongly identifies with “white middle class” and feels his beliefs and values are consistent with the “average American”. He also admits that he entered the field with the naïve impression that everyone was more or less striving to attain the same “Middle-White-American dream”. As he quickly learned, nothing could prepare him for the diversity-laden challenges he would soon encounter (personal communication, June 3, 2016). Though there are many things John (personal communication, June 3, 2016) values in his work, he
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