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The Other First Days of School: A Case Study of Two Teachers in an Urban School Setting

Cacey L Wells, Stacy Reeder


The first days of school are critical for many teachers across the country. They are often set aside to establish routines, expectations, the tone of the class, and begin developing the learning space for the year. As a result of high stakes accountability culture, many teachers revert to top-down management methods for establishing normative behaviors in their classes. This case study examines two mathematics teachers in an urban high school who approach their first days of school through alternative, democratic methods and learning spaces. Their examples include sharing ownership of their physical space, co-creating norms and building positive relationships with students, and providing students with opportunities to learn in ways that work best for them.

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ISSN: 21586195

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