The Problem Of The Classroom Authority

858 Words4 Pages
Attention colleague: I have surveyed some of my students about the quality of your class, per your request. The overwhelming response I received related specifically to how you deliver instructions in the class. Many students reflected that when ask questions such as “Is that where that book goes?”, “What did you forget to put on your paper?”, and “Would you like to sit down?” you lose your credibility as the classroom authority. I am writing concerning this issue because of my desire to share with you information I have recently learned in relation to the differences in characteristics of authority between white, working-class communities and black, poverty stricken communities. I will also explain the linguistic concept code-switching, which is the ability to read the context of an environment and actively choose the language style that fits the environment, as mentioned in Wheeler (2008), and how this will lend a hand to you having more of an authoritative presence in the classroom.
In the classroom, educators are the ones wielding the power and I believe you already understand this, which plays out in how educators speak to their students. From all the information my students have given me, I believe you are talking to them the same way your middle working-class parents spoke to you and I believe that you understand that when you ask students to perform a task, you are implicitly telling them to complete the task. Delpit (1998) says that working-class white parents
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