I know a lot more about social justice than I did when I first started class on August 15th. This is not to say that I am finished learning about social justice, because is anyone ever truly done learning? This being said, though, there are three main things that I have learned throughout my experience in this class. The first is that there are many different factors that separate students. These factors can be things like ethnicity, culture and sex, but can also be learning disabilities, out of school opportunities, and family standing within the community. Secondly, there are many ways that a teacher can set up his/her classroom to engage with students in the most effective ways. For example, by providing extra vocabulary help for English Language Learners, the teacher is helping to level the playing field and give students the extra help that they need. Teachers can also discuss cultural issues in class head on, teach diverse themes and topics, and find connections to things that students are interested in. Finally, one of the most important things I have learned thus far, it is just as important to take into account a student’s life outside of school as it is to take into account class participating and grades. What is going on outside of the classroom could be, and most likely is, influencing everything that the student is doing. If they are not doing well in class, it could be because his/her parents are going through a divorce. If a student starts acting out during reading time, it could be because he/she does not know how to read because his/her parents do not spend any time reading with him/her. It is important to think outside of the box and try to understand things from the students’ perspective.