From Mobile to Successful: Perspectives of Teachers of Highly Mobile Students
Research clearly shows how hard it is to the new kid after the school year has started. It extremely difficult to always have to adapt to new teachers' expectations and learn another set of class rules, not to mention constantly having to leave old friends and having to make new friends. Unfortunately, for over six million kids scattered across the United States, being the new face in the classroom is an all too frequent occurrence, and this not only impacts the new student in their academic and social development, but it also takes a toll on their classmates. Highly mobile students tend to have greater educational learning gaps as compared to their peers, are more likely to exhibit behavior problems as well as have a higher likelihood for stunted social concepts and interactions.
Currently, this is not a wealth of studies that specifically addresses how effective teachers can decrease the educational gap of the highly mobile students currently sitting in their classroom. There are many theories established on the work of previous researchers, such as Maslow and Paiget, all stating that children needs to feel safe and be part of a structured environment. Using Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory as my theoretical framework, my qualitative study studied how teachers identify and then modify their teaching to better accommodate highly mobile students. Interviews were given to three participants who were once highly mobile students themselves but are currently teachers in the public school system. The data sifted from these interviews revealed teachers need to take a much greater active role in building relationships with their students, most importantly the highly mobile students, who often struggle in creating and sustaining any long lasting relationship. The participants agreed that more professional development was needed to better prepare teachers, a system needed to be designed to better transfer student data from one school to the next, and creating a welcoming classroom culture where both teacher and students have roles in smoothing the transition of the new student. This study could be a spark future research so that the next generation of highly mobile students will become just as successful as their classmates.