Bringing up the topic of conducting a case study to my cooperating teacher was a surprising experience. I remember asking my teacher to recommend a “difficult” student that would provide an interesting interview. My teacher quickly responded, “Why do your professors always want a difficult student? Sometimes good students provide the most interesting interviews.” I thought about his response and the next day asked him if I could interview Antonio, a student who had intrigued me from the first day I entered Dunn Middle School. Antonio caught my attention because based on his appearance and demeanor in class, one would assume Antonio was a poor student who could not care less about what was being learned in the classroom. However, once a lesson began or a worksheet was distributed, Antonio transformed into a focused and enthralled student. During my lectures I had to avoid calling on him because he knew the answers right away and loved giving correct answers. I wanted to know how a student who was so quiet and indifferent during homeroom could become an ideal student when class began. Antonio might not be considered a “difficult” student, but he is definitely an interesting case and I learned a lot from him during the interview.
Based on looks alone, Antonio is an average student in my classroom. He is of average height with a slightly slim build. I have never seen him wear anything other than jeans and tee shirts. Antonio is Hispanic, but I have not heard him speak Spanish in class as other students frequently do. He is also especially quiet in social situations, such as homeroom or free time. From my observations before our interview, I honestly believed Ant...
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...ed me that students who may exhibit troubling behaviors in homeroom or other social situations sometimes become model students when classroom time starts. My final question for Antonio was the stereotypical “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. Antonio thought for a second and then said, “A doctor or a lawyer.” His answer delighted me, Antonio is essentially dealing with a double life, but he still has big dreams. Even though he has to make lingual changes on a daily basis and sees his friends not taking their education seriously, Antonio has a goal, an impressive goal at that. All in all, Antonio showed me that there are students who can fight the setbacks in their life and work hard to do well in school. I do not think there exists a “hopeless case” and I feel that every student can work hard to at least perform satisfactory work with the help of teachers.
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