My Disappointment

As a young child who fortunately received many forms of support from both sets of parents and excelled, especially in primary: being part of group five clearly challenged and disappointed me in the resource allocation workshop. Not only was I challenged, but my confidence was also dented. I, for probably the first time in eighteen years, experienced a very different viewpoint in discriminating treatment within a classroom setting. I was always aware that the classroom was not always a level playing field and, in comparison to some peers, I did have an advantage but this never caused me to reflect on my classmate’s perspective, as I was more than happy basking in the praise when I got all my maths questions correct. However, when I was in the position of the underdog I was left experiencing several diverse emotions.

As soon as the envelopes were opened I observed our group were off to a disadvantage. Instead of having the attitude “let’s make the best of what we have got” it was tough trying to get out of my head “This isn’t fair!” It was challenging watching the other groups receive more resources, gaining all the attention and approval, whilst we were constantly put down with comments such as ‘Is that it?’ following our first presentation. This knocked my confidence prior to presenting again because I felt I had floundered in the challenge, and our end product was an embarrassment and sadly incomparable to the more privileged groups. Already lacking in confidence, we had to present the final piece, self-conscious and ashamed, knowing the teacher, no matter what, would be very disappointed in the whole group and our product.

The resource allocation workshop certainly opened my eyes to how not only, the resources you receive can challenge and undermine you, but also a negative and indifferent attitude and feedback from the teacher can significantly damage you. A more positive response and additional support would certainly have enhanced our confidence and not let us feel ashamed, humiliated and ready to quit instead: thereby enhancing the ability of the group to work effectively together.

After being discouraged by the negative comments, compared to the approval and positivity more privileged groups received, we became more motivated to achieve the same praise they obtained. We attempted to duplicate some of their highly thought of ideas. We couldn’t construct a colour coded timetable, because of the lack of resources, but we assumed surely this would be considered when our score was cast. I, personally gained a little extra confidence when presenting again, knowing we had “borrowed” some of the aspects other groups had received praise for. However, our lack of resources was not considered and once again we were crushed with our result and unappreciated for the efforts we had gone to.

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Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

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