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Tiffany

Author: Paul Allison


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Tiffany is a tall African-American girl in seventh grade. She will be 16 by the end of the school year. Tiffany was left back three times in elementary school: once between kindergarten and first grade--for reasons she can’t bear to retell--and twice more in third grade because she scored low on state math exams.

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Aug 31
Jessica A (Aug 31 2020 6:24PM) : Background knowledge. more

I wish with all my heart that as teachers we knew more about our students’ personal background. This could be the social worker in me, but knowing what a student is dealing with outside of school helps the teacher and school staff better understand where the student is coming from- quite literally and figuratively.

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Aug 2
Jen R (Aug 02 2021 4:53PM) : That must be a lot of trauma at such a young age to not be able to even describe what happened.
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Aug 13
Laura D (Aug 13 2021 11:59AM) : Sometimes the state exams bring consequences to the students. A test does not get to show the brightness and the abilities of the students. They should not evaluate students based on their exams score. more

There are many reason why students may not do well on a test. For example, some students may feel anxious because the test. I believe these state exams affect students by tracking their learning performance in a negative way.

Tiffany is three years behind her peers, and she thinks she is unable to understand mathematics, but she loves to read young adult novels about teen issues. When asked what she is really good at, Tiffany says that she makes collages on her computer. She seems obsessed with editing images and memes with music into short videos on different topics.

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Aug 31
Jessica A (Aug 31 2020 6:38PM) : I love how her strengths are highlighted here. [Edited] more

I especially love, “..and she thinks she is unable to understand mathematics.” By saying that, “she thinks she is unable..,” clearly communicates that this teacher believes that if Tiffany applies herself, she could do math just as well as she would in classes that are her favorite subjects. It implies that the teacher believes in Tiffany’s abilities and CAN do it regardless of what she tells herself.

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Aug 2
Jen R (Aug 02 2021 4:54PM) : I noticed this too! The language really matters.
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Sep 8
Zedica D (Sep 08 2020 4:12PM) : This can contribute to why she dislikes school.
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Sep 8
Zedica D (Sep 08 2020 4:10PM) : Utilize the child's interest in math since that is the subject she struggles most with.
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Aug 13
Laura D (Aug 13 2021 5:52PM) : I agree more

I believe teachers should take advantage of the students’ interests to help them succeed with what they are struggling.

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Tiffany doesn't like her school because many of the other students play too much. Except for math, Tiffany finds most of her schoolwork easy to complete, and she has learned how to do just enough to not appear on any teacher’s radar. She is rarely on disciplinary lists and has better skills than most other students, so teachers tend to not notice her. Tiffany hates revising her writing, but she does pay attention to craft and details when a teacher asks her to.

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Aug 31
Jessica A (Aug 31 2020 6:40PM) : Again- Recognizing her Strengths [Edited] more

Most of this paragraph is focused on what Tiffany can do, rather than what she can not. When describing areas in need of improvement, following up with a student’s strengths seems to create a more positive outlook on the students abilities rather than the incapabilities and hinderances.

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Sep 8
Zedica D (Sep 08 2020 4:12PM) : The students are significantly younger.
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Aug 2
Jen R (Aug 02 2021 4:56PM) : This is a problem, particularly for girls. Many girls with ADHD go undiagnosed until middle school because girls tend to be well-behaved, have strong verbal skills and are able to compensate. more

But this can be really challenging when the demands begin to exceed that ability to compensate because it’s even more damaging to the sense of self.

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The principal and counselors have put Tiffany on a list of students for accelerated promotion. Working with a special program in the Department of Education, the principal is trying to get youth who have been involved with the criminal justice system and who are two years or more behind into high school. Even though Tiffany doesn't have a criminal record, the principal would like to have her start high school classes as soon as possible.

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Aug 31
Jessica A (Aug 31 2020 6:49PM) : Does this help Tiffany or harm her? more

Does this stigmatize Tiffany now? Is he caught up in the scrutiny of this program by no fault of her own?

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Aug 2
Jen R (Aug 02 2021 4:57PM) : This calls into question whether her grade retention earlier was inappropriate. The use of high-stakes, standardized, non-holistic testing can lead to such inappropriate retention in my opinion.
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Sep 8
Zedica D (Sep 08 2020 4:13PM) : This would benefit Tiffany, all she would need is extra help in math.

The principal is under a lot of scrutiny because of how in the past, as part of this project to accelerate middle school graduation for some students, he has promoted over-aged, under-credited youth without transparent criteria.

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Aug 6
Rafael P (Aug 06 2022 11:01AM) : Schools that emphasize community action projects and portfolio-based assessments that allow for Tiffany to utilize her digital literacy skills, can be an option the principal can consider. more

I would recommend connecting tiffany to a high school that will continue to offer the services needed to support academic and social growth. Schools that emphasize community action projects and portfolio-based assessments that allow for Tiffany to utilize her digital literacy skills, can be an option the principal can consider. Visual programming languages like Scratch allow students to create and share interactive media are effective tools to develop students’ digital literacy. Therefore, Tiffany’s readiness for High School can be determined by some sort of dual language classroom that builds upon her fluencies in both English and digital literacy.

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He wants to know if there might be a way to have Tiffany show that she is ready for high school.

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Sep 8
Zedica D (Sep 08 2020 4:14PM) : He can show this by presenting her work the she excels in.
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DMU Timestamp: May 11, 2020 21:16

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