REFLECTIVE ESSAY 5
Description of the ChildSetting
Kayla is an African Americanstudent. She is fifteen years old. She is sitting in the first row,near the teacher’s desk. Kayla wears a very tight jean, whiteblouse and black shoes with three inches heels. Her socks are white,and part of her socks form a layer over her shoes. She has long hairwhich she ties into a ponytail. She has long earrings, whichcomprehend the three rings at her right hand, as well as the varyingcolors used on her nails including green, yellow and orange. Her bookbag and an English book are on the table, leaving no space foranything else.
The chemistry teacher asked ifsomebody has a dollar. Meanwhile, he turned on the Bunsen burner. Astudent named Yee gave a dollar to the teacher. Then, the teacherimmersed the dollar in the beaker that contained a clear liquid. Thewhole class was watching the demonstration. Kayla, however,interrupted the class and said “You are not going to see yourdollar!” The teacher called Yee and asked her to put on the safetygoggles and gave her the matches to start a fire. Yee was nervous,and she did it. Meanwhile, Kayla is laughing loud and saying the billwas going to burn. At the end of the demonstration, the teacherasked, “Why does the light go off?” Three students raised theirhands but Kayla called out. Teacher ignored Kayla, and they discussedabout the experiment. Then, the teacher asked who would like to writethe objective on the board. A volunteer stood up, and he wrote theaim. Kayla started talking with her partner. Later on, the teachernoticed that Kayla was not paying attention and told her that if shedoes not shut up, she will not be allowed to go to the sciencesymposium that was to be held at the end of the month in theneighboring county. Upon hearing this, Kayla shut up and seemed to bepaying attention. The teacher continued asking questions while thestudents participated. However, Kayla opened her book bag, took anapple and started eating. She, then stood up, and started searchingnoisily for her pen. Shecould not find it in which case she loudly asked the class for a pen.The teacher, then,told Kayla to shut up and suggested that she takes notes. Kayla,however, started arguing with the teacher, forcing the teacher tosend her to the assistant principal office. She refused to go andreplied: “I am not going anywhere, I did not do anything!” Theteacher opened the door and Kayla cursed the teacher and left theclassroom.
In my observation, Kayla seemsto be completely disinterested in the subject matter or even theexecution of the required tasks as the teacher would have wanted.This comes out clearly in her behavior during class hour where she isnot afraid to disrupt the class with her loud laughter andunnecessary predictions pertaining to what would happen to the dollarthat the teacher had inserted in the beaker. Of particular note isthe fact that the entire class had already set out to do the requiredtask and observe what was going to happen to the note as anychemistry class involving experiments would necessitate. On the samenote, she does not hesitate to open her back, take an apple and starteating it in spite of the fact that the class is in progress. Evenwhen she appears to be settling for the business of the class, shedoes not hesitate to ask for a pen loudly, whereas she knew that suchan action was disruptive to the class tasks.
Further, it seemed that Kaylahad been persistently engaging in this behavior at least in thechemistry class. This comes out clearly when the teacher fails tocastigate Kayla since the beginning considering that her actions wereconsiderably disruptive of the class. Indeed, it is noted that theteacher ignored her when she called out as other three studentsraised their hands to answer the question that the teacher had posedpertaining to the results of the experiments that they were carryingout. It is not until Kayla’s episodes become too disruptive thatthe teacher commands her to get out of the classroom and go to theassistant principal’s office.
Moreover, I observed thatpositive reinforcements seem to be effective in rectifying herbehavior and getting her to pay attention. This comes out clearlywhen she is told that unless she keeps quite, she will not be goingwith the rest of the class to the science symposium in anothercounty. The same, however, cannot be said of the negativereinforcement as it does not work well as far as giving Kayla anincentive to act in the right manner and pay attention is concerned.Indeed, when the teacher gets tired of her behavior and eventuallykicks her out of the class, Kayla is adamant that she will not goanywhere since she believes that did not do anything wrong. Even whenshe eventually gets out of the class, she is still hurling loudly.This could underline the fact that the prospect of receiving apunishment upon getting to the assistant principal’s office doesnot deter her from engaging in disruptive acts or even give her anincentive to demonstrate proper behavior in the chemistry class.
In conclusion, Kayla hasabsolutely no motivation to be in the chemistry class or even toparticipate in the experiments that are being done. This explains hertendency to behave in a way that is bound to disrupt the progress ofthe class even as other students continue with the lessons. In myexperience, such behavior would necessitate the use of positivereinforcement, which would give the child an incentive to change forthe better.