[Below is an essay I wrote for my English Composition I class in college when I first read the article I didn’t think I would agree with anything in it and I did agree just not with everything. The essay below will likely have to be rewritten and even if it have to be rewritten I do it anyway as I want to turn this blog into a brand of it’s own. I thought I should share it and get some feedback on it from other people and if this gets back to Rebecca Kline then so be it.]
Professor Drew Dunphy
English Composition I
17 February 2017
Why minority students should read Rebecca Kline’s Article?
I’m first going to start off by saying that I don’t agree with everything in Ms. Kline’s article, but I can however agree that there are teachers that do expect less of minority and low income students. In my general opinion I think that while high expectations do make it so students are more likely to do better in school, but in my experience I have had teachers from both sides of this issue where ones who were very open about their low expectations of me and I have had teachers who have had high expectations of me. Both high and low expectations have positive and negative consequences that come with them. For example if a teacher has high expectations of a student white, minority, or low income then said student could feel pressured to do well to impress that teacher and if a teacher has low expectations of a student white, minority, or low income then that student could want to prove them wrong. The point being is that while research shows that when teachers have high expectations of students they do better it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any negative implications that come along with those high expectations.
When I was in school I had teachers that had high expectations of me and I felt that if I didn’t do good in their class it would disappoint them and make them look bad. Needless to say that even though I excelled in those teachers classes I didn’t get the grades they expected of me. My grades were average in subjects like Science and History/Social Studies even if the teachers expected me to do really well in those subjects. Then there were teachers who had low expectations of me and in their classes I was working hard to prove them wrong and show that even though they thought very little of me I was going to do good in spite of what they thought about me. Which brings me to my point that expectations while good are given too much credit for the pass/fail rate of students. I’m a conservative politically and I believe that working hard can achieve great things and improve your station in life. By taking someone from low income to high income or somewhere in between. Because it is individual struggles that build character and shape the kind of person someone is going to be, no one said that life was fair.
In conclusion while the US education system needs improvement it should focus on treating each student as an individual and not as a group based on how much income they have or where they live. We should be encouraging students from all walks of life to work hard to achieve their goals so they don’t expect them to be handed to them. I learned in history class that children in the past were expected to listen to and respect their parents as well as anyone older than them. They were also expected to have a good work ethic as that was the how they could achieve their goals, but today children expect things to be ready at a moment’s notice when that’s not how things work as sometimes even hard work goes unrewarded for a while. Teachers while they should expect their students to do well shouldn’t be focused solely on that. After reading this article myself I recommend that minority and low income youth read it and then make their own conclusions from it, but they shouldn’t take it as the reason why they’re passing or not passing in school. It comes down to personal responsibility and living with the consequences of one’s actions above all else as the victim mentality moves us backwards not forward.
Kline, Rebecca “Teachers Expect Less From Black And Latino Students” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/07/pygmalion-effect-study_n_5942666.html