Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Caitlin Murphy

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Lein

Third Advisor

Dr. Ali Taylor


As schools become more culturally and linguistically diverse, we need trained, well-prepared educators that value students for who they are, build on their backgrounds, and maintain their unique identities in the classroom. An asset-based, culturally sustaining approach to teaching incorporates theoretical grounding, a consideration of global identities, and a sociopolitical edge that allows students to thrive and think analytically. Through this approach, we can give students more confidence in their abilities as learners by activating their prior knowledge and experience to break down the content and build understanding of it, and we can connect the students to their learning, providing them with a space to recognize themselves and their identities as valued and as crucial in the classroom. The first critical step in challenging current practices and attitudes in the education system and offering solutions to reconstruct education today to be asset-based and culturally sustaining, is teachers’ self-reflection. Toward that end, my autoethnography provides a model of teacher self-reflection. In my autoethnography, I portray my lived experience as a student teacher by analyzing my lesson plans, reflective journals, and evaluation feedback to uncover the assumptions, challenges, and motivations that I encountered. I hope to inspire future teachers to critically analyze their experiences and to recognize that change starts in our own classrooms with us and our students.