Ms. Cedar knows that students come to school with subtle, yet powerfully different, expectations. Learning experiences that work well for some students make others feel awkward, out of step, and alone.
She also knows that her own unexamined beliefs about students can cause her to treat them in different ways—to hold high expectations for some and low expectations for others. She doesn’t want this to happen, so she reaffirms her own explicit belief that all students can and will master challenging academic work.
She makes a mental note to think about ways to acknowledge Linda as a unique and valuable student in her class and to learn more about her, her community, and her heritage so that she can form an authentic bond with her.
Ms. Cedar looks up and smiles at Linda. For a moment she looks back a bit surprised, but then she smiles too. “Well, that’s a good start,” she thinks.