College, individuals went through a phase in high school during their
adolescence years in which it began at the age of the thirteen and ended at the
age of nineteen. For myself, I am at the
final stage of my adolescence. Thus, I have started an observation study of an
individual named Cameron Williams who is a fourteen-year-old male freshman in
Pathways in Technology Early College High School. In my observations of Cameron,
I have noticed he experiences different stages of adolescence which includes:
Physical development, cognitive development, language and his social-emotion.
After my months of observations, I managed to gain my knowledge about the
development of the high schools in New York City.
Every high school is unique as I
conducted my observation in Pathways in Technology Early College High School or
P-Tech for short. In P-Tech is a nine to fourteen high school, whereas students
can obtain their Associates Degree and High School Diploma in four years.
P-Tech is affiliated with CUNY City Tech, where students can take College Level
Courses in high school and on campus. The school is in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
and twenty minutes from City Tech. The school enrollment of the school is less
than six hundred students, students can utilize the internships that are
offered in the STEM field for their future. Observing Cameron helped me learn
the first steps of understand adolescents in their path to success.
Currently Cameron is a male freshman
at Pathways in Technology Early College High School and about fourteen years
old. Cameron is about five feet three inches, Caribbean descent and connects
with everyone in class. Thus, according to Average Height for an average
fourteen year old boy is about five foot four inches. Noticeably he feels challenged in high school,
since he can obtain his associate’s degree and high school diploma in four
years. He is eager to participate in class and be involved in class
discussions. He is very comfortable in
his school, since the school are mainly Caribbean. I believe students are of
the same color are comfortable, since they have more to relate. In class
Cameron does not have an assigned seat, although he often moves around the
class. According to Adult BMI Calculator
Normal Body Mass Index for Cameron is about one hundred twenty-five pounds (2015).
This holds true for Cameron, since he does eat nor sleep in class. In contrast,
adolescents are all different from each other as one has their capabilities.
Cameron is unique, since he can transition
from his conversions outside the classroom to inside class on his academics for
English. Entering the classroom, he takes a minute to settle down and avoids
being late. In his school, he has two minutes to get to class and there are no
bells to tell him if he is late or on time. On my first day, I noticed his
teacher clears the hallways and tell him specifically to come inside the
classroom. His English teacher is very persistent for putting phones away in
class. His teacher utilizes all the time that is given and cold calls on
students to answer the “Do Now”. In his class, his peers present their “Do Now”
in front of the classroom rather on sitting down. His teacher is unbiased on
name calling, he uses clothespins inside a bag and typically moan when they
were called to present. Cameron is happy when he participates in class. Generally,
the students would avoid eye contact to and usually students would participate
in class. The students are slowly learning to progress from middle school to
high school. From speaking teacher would mention how the curriculum for English
has changed and teaching lessons harder for students to learn. Despite Cameron environment, his physical
development plays an effect of his adolescence.
Cameron’s class starts around eleven
and comes to class on time occasionally he talks to friends first and decides
to come into class late. When he is outside he leaves his conversation outside
and inside he transitions in classwork for English. Surprisingly when he comes
to class on time he participates on the Do Now and gets excited to work. He is
comfortable with his friend Roydin. Beginning of class period, they sit next to
each other and the middle of class between the two do not work out.
Unfortunately, Roydin causes Cameron to get distracted in classwork by getting
into a verbal argument. His teacher would move their seats on opposite sides of
the classroom. When they sit apart Cameron would get more work done. In the
same way, Roydin felt upset once his teacher tells him to move to the back of
the classroom; he would say “Come on Mr. Williamson, why does it have to be me
and not Cameron”. His teacher says “Roydin you know why” in a monotone voice.
Roydin sucks his teeth, rolls his eyes and moves his seat without question.
Speaking to his teacher none of the
students nor Cameron have an IEP or any type of accommodation. In class, he
moves his seat from one side of the classroom to another. The other students
find new seats in the beginning of the class period. I believe he moves his
seat due to his discomfort of double period English class. His teacher plans, when
some finishes early with their current assignment. Margret Mead believes, “adolescents should be
given more freedom to make their own choices and live their own lives” (Dolgin,
2011, p.49). This held true, since Cameron chooses his peers and gets his work
done in his new seat. Occasionally Cameron works better when he works alone
compared to group work. His teacher allows him work in a group or alone. Above
all, many students a unique way of learning for adolescents this might seem
awkward for them.
management is important factor for adolescent in their learning ability, as one
day I observed the transition of a class before Cameron class began. A teacher in
P-Tech named Mr. Reinhardt works in a ICT classroom where the classroom setting
is half IEP students and half general education students. I believe that this
is his first time working in an ICT setting. I would always s see the students leave
the classroom a mess and constant altercations with the students and teacher.
Cameron’s English teacher Mr. Williamson is unpleased when he cleans after his Mr.
Reinhardt class and sometimes calls him to see the mess. Some of the messes
would include sunflower seeds on the floor, gum on the desks and soda bottle on
the floor. In the middle of October, one day Mr. Reinhardt lost control of an
adolescent named Ashton. Mr. Reinhardt spoke to him outside and said, “what
going on class” in an uncomfortable way. Ashton commented and said, “I don’t know
what I am doing wrong” cried into tears on the spot. In about two minutes dean had
came to the class to resolve the issue. I felt bad for the student, since it was
ten in the morning and this issue was going to spread to his next classes, with
the dean made him very more uncomfortable for the student. The method resolving
the issue of Ashton was taking a bathroom break and seeing his guidance counselor
to settle down.
Usually adolescents experience negative emotions,
and projected in front of his classmates, for that can spread on the next
class. Cameron has his expresses negative emotions, by he would do two things
to recover. At first, he goes to the back of the classroom to work by himself
and secondly, he takes a bathroom break. He is in denial of his emotions, and normal
for his age, as stated, “this age of early adolescent can be one of the mood
swings, a craving for privacy and short tempers” (“Changes Helping Your Child through
Early Adolescence”, 2005). Recently his teacher spoke to him to privately
especially from his short temper in class. When he came back into the classwork
he managed to cool down in class and managed to complete his classwork. Above all adolescents have their own
coping method when one, experience negative emotions.
Age fourteen Cameron is transitioning from
middle school to high school and soon to college. Fourteen prepares them the world
ahead of them, by understand the curriculum. During his adolescence, Cameron can
cope with his emotional intelligence by coping with his self-regulation. As
stated, “Cognitive control systems lag emotional development, making it hard
for adolescents to cope with their emotions” (Shallcross, 2015). During class, he
pays attention to his classmates with eye direct and he is only concerned in
own work. He has self-control in one day and other days he would debate his answers
with his teacher and peers. On group work he works with Roydin and avoid
distractions from his classmates. This showed me that he is comfortable with teacher
and his peers. Every day is the same schedule and Cameron is used to his
everyone in class. With this mind, his self-regulation between his peers and
adults is good for his age as he never gets into a fight between his anyone is
the stage of adolescence, an adolescent in high school has one desire to be the
best in both academics and outside of school. However, no one is born perfect
as Cameron has his strengths and weakness in English class. In the beginning of
the semester to present, he has been a roller-coaster for his grades. From
speaking to his teacher, he had received an Eighty for English. This is average
for an adolescent as they are transitioning middle school to high school. Colete
Benett stated, “Freshmen will participate in the writing process by
constructing thesis statements and writing genres (argumentative, explanatory,
informational)” (2005). In class, he excels by actively participating in class,
manages to get his classwork done and punctual in class. He is rarely absent
for school and showed he cares about school. As Dolgin stated, “changes in
public attitudes since 1980 have declined over the years and decreased the
number of segregation” (Dolgin, 2011, Pg. 63). Cameron has managed to overcome
obstacles and always put his best foot forward. While he does struggle with, following
instructions, controlling his emotions and cannot take criticism from his
English, everyone has their own way of reading and writing and Cameron noticeably
works better alone. From reading a sample writing, legible and very detailed in
his work. In addition, while he works
with Roydin, he gets less work done. When he works alone, he can finish his
classwork sooner. From reading his work, I notice that he is very detailed in
his work and slowly progressing in the common core standard of writing. However,
he In class readings, he never falls asleep in class and noticeably, he reads
ahead compared of the class as he actively participates in class.
On my recent obervation, Cameron started
off class on get with argument outside of class and in the end of class he managed
to get his work done. Beginning of the class his teacher was persistent when he
said, “Cameron gum out or leave the classroom” and he sat in front in the class.
Eventually when he spits his gum and started with the “Aim” and “Do Now”. Inside
the classroom there would be two types of teaching techniques of teaching: either
working on laptops or reading handout and worksheets with class discussions.
Generally, I believe that Cameron is receptive when he active classroom
discussions. Recently without distractions from sitting to his peers he got
classwork finished and actively participated in class. Speaking to his teacher,
Cameron gets more work done when he seats in front in center and no one aside
by him. However, when Cameron seats in the back, he causes a distraction to
other students in learning. From my observations, I was surprised to see that Cameron
can makes a good impersonation even he starts with trouble.