While the excerpt we read this week was extremely long, I felt that it was also very interesting and informative. It didn't seem to be repetitive like some of the other longer pieces we have read, so I didn't mind the length as much as I would have. While reading this excerpt, I was very interested in Anyon's experiment with the different schools, and I was constantly comparing the school that I grew up in to the school that I do my service learning at. I grew up in an extremely middle class to upper middle class area, so my school would most likely be categorized somewhere in between a middle class school and an affluent professional school. I would categorize the school I teach at as a working class school. It is very interesting to compare Anyon's findings to both of these schools and determine for myself if her findings are true.
I definitely notice a difference between my old high school and my service learning school. My school was about 99% white. There were very few poor families who lived in my town and a few richer families, but everyone was mostly middle class. At my service learning school, most of the students are latino, and there are many students who do not come from middle class families. My school seemed to be newer, cleaner, and less beat down than my service learning school. I've also noticed that the secretary at my service learning school are not very helpful, and they often pretend that they are too busy to help someone who enters the office. The secretary at my school were very friendly and helpful, and it seemed as though most of them enjoyed their jobs. Anyon was definitely right in saying that middle class schools are different than working class schools.
A few of the things that Anyon said about affluent professional schools seem to be true to both schools. Creativity and personal development seem to be important aspects of both schools, and students can go about their own way of doing things as long as they are able to explain their reasoning. I also feel like there could be a theme of individualism in both schools. However, the rest of the affluent professional traits can not be applied to my service learning school at all, and can only be applied to the school that I attended for a few of the teachers there. Some of my teachers were in a very middle class school mindset, where the textbooks and correct answers seemed to be the most important thing, but some of them taught in an affluent professional mindset. In my service learning school, a few of the middle class aspects seem to apply as well. Maybe it is just the teacher I am placed with, but she does not treat her students any differently than she would if they were better off. She expects a lot out of them. The one thing I would say matches the working class description is that if the kids try, the teacher is happy whether or not they do something correctly. As long as they put in effort, the kids are doing their job.
I definitely agree with a lot of the points that Finn made in this excerpt, and I really enjoyed comparing it to schools that I have experience with.