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Educational Case Study

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Madisonville has one of the top high schools in the state but this case takes place at one of the feeder junior high schools, Deerfield Junior High. One of Deerfield’s beloved math teachers, Ms. Wright has taken a one year leave and her position is being filled by Clay Rutledge. For Clay, this will be his first teaching assignment and although he was expecting to teach high school, he is not worried about teaching junior high school students.

As Clay starts the school year, he is excited about the opportunity and is impressed with the faculty at Deerfield and even makes a resolution to be an asset to the Deerfield faculty. Unfortunately, only a few weeks after the start of the school year, Clay becomes aware that something is off in his classroom. He has trouble managing the students as they bounce between calm and working one day to unfocused and immature the next. Plus, there is a mix of college bound, serious students and apathetic students who just don’t care. This lack of consistency wears on Clay and his once positive attitude has shifted to one of frustration.

Clay makes an effort to speak with all of his students individually and is concerned that many of them have a low opinion of their math ability and are just trying to squeeze by with a C or D. Clay does nothing with this information. When the 6 week grading period results are sent home, Clay is contacted by many unhappy parents whose children received a poor grade. They want to not only understand why their children had received a poor grade but why they are anxious about their math skills.

After meeting with Clay, the parents deemed him to be the problem and quickly escalate the issue to the Principal, Ms. Cole. Ms. Cole informs Clay that it is not uncommon for parents to raise an alarm about a student’s grade, and math is of special concern given its importance in…...

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