My experiences and progress in the Albion College Teacher Education Program

Youth Advocate


Youth Advocate

I learned a lot about being an effective youth advocate from my 3rd and 4th grade general music classes at Chelsea when I was student teaching. I went into student teaching thinking of this habit of mind in the sense that teachers support youth outside of the classroom (such as reporting abuse or neglect issues). I did not realize how much of the support is immediate, in the classroom action on part of the teacher. One example of this in-classroom advocacy can be seen in the rules and expectations I set-up for each class. The rules are clearly posted, well explained, and apply to everyone. I also like to ask for student input on the rules; if they are fair, need changing, need an additional rule, etc. to promote the feeling of a democratic, self-governing classroom.

In addition to setting and creating the rules of the classroom, perhaps my biggest role as an educator and youth advocate is my role of rule enforcement agent. As one can imagine, 3rd and 4th grade students tend to be very award of fairness and things they deem “unfair”, like cutting in line. These age groups were a constant test of my ability to treat every student equally and fairly based on the community rules we all followed. It made me realize that youth advocacy does not just start with making classroom rules that are fair, but continues into rule enforcement and advocacy outside the classroom.


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