Novice Urban Educators’ Perceptions of Immigrant Students, Culture and Family

Becoming a student-researcher in FARM, has been such a fulfilling experience for me.  Along with all the resources provided by Lehman College, Professor Magaldi-Dopman’s guidance has provided for a fully immersive research experience. I have inherited so much knowledge even beyond my teaching craft. 

I owe my accomplishment of publishing an article with Professor Magaldi-Dopman in the Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship to the group and Professor Magaldi-Dopman’s mentorship.  Before joining the group, I had never dreamed that publishing in a peer-reviewed journal would be possible.  In addition, working with the other student-researchers has expanded my perspective of what it is to be a teacher and researcher.   We worked together – from the literature review to conducting our full research studies. Applying our research on parental involvement in urban schools, I feel better prepared to establish relationships with the families in the school where I teach.  I have made parent relationship-building a priority in my professional development, as our research has clearly revealed its necessity, especially in urban classrooms. Doing this research has made me a better teacher. I would be remiss if I did not also give credit to the research participants in my study, many of whom were my classmates, for sharing the authentic accounts of their day-to-day experiences and struggles as new teachers in Bronx schools. This was an important contribution to our research project.  It is for their betterment that we began this research project in the first place and I hope that our findings will provide insight for other educators in our shared attempt to develop best practices in urban education.