This post is about my cross-visitation experience at the English School.
Before the class started, the teacher, Linda and I talked about the nature of the class, the students in it, her approach to teaching the classroom, and my own interests in education.
The girls walk in and sit around 3 tables. They immediately take out their lunch, but three girls get up to ask their teachers if they can get spoons. They seem to like standing up a lot
Then as the students eat, the teacher come up to us to explain the lesson for the day, she tells us that the girls are learning algebra and that she's a little anxious about it being too difficult for them.
two girls walk in late
The teacher then goes up to a table where a group of girls are having a conversation and she starts engaging with them, asking them questions etc.
Then she claps and sings (seems to be a class song) to get the student's attention, but she forgets how to do the clap and the students quickly show her how to do it. The teacher tells students that they have two minutes to finish their lunch.
One of the students begins passing out pencils after the teacher prompts her, and two other girls begin passing out a paper with a math problem. Students seem to be a big part of the classroom, not just as students but as helpers.
The practice of right thinking, according to Freire, is grounded in a number of factors, one of which includes teaching by example. When teachers engage in right thinking they are open to multiple answers, and are able to acknowledge and respect the autonomy and lived experiences of their students. Right thinking stands in opposition to the banking system of education because it recognizes that education is not the transferring of knowledge but the wonder of curiosity and discovery. In describing right thinking, Freire emphasized the importance of leading by example by saying “right thinking is right doing”, but what does it mean for educators to teach by example? How are authorities responsible for fostering right thinking?
Today I went on another school visit with my supervisor. This time we visited a high school that has a Student Success Center, therefore, instead of meeting with a guidance counselor we met with the director of the center. Only a small portion of Philadelphia Public Schools have student success centers, which is determined by the funding that they receive. These centers are involved in many college access programs, mentoring, etc, but they vary between schools.
When I arrived at the school I was first struck by how huge it was. It had several floors, big hallways and big rooms. The murals on the wall made it seem welcoming but the size made me feel small. I wonder what the impact of architecture and space has on students. That is something that I hadn't thought about as thoroughly before, but the difference in size between this school and the last one I visited made it noticeable.
I will post my fieldnotes tomorrow night since I havent had a second visit due to development day in the Philly schools last week. I hope this isn't too inconvenient
Reflective Writing in Response Groups #1
Critical Issues in Education
Table of Contents
- Learning in the Island
- The Great Escape: Immigrating to the United States
- The Trouble with the Accent
- Girls Inc.
- Propellers: The Role of Mentors
- Bryn Mawr
II. The Great Escape: Immigrating to the United States
Today, I took field notes on a field placement orientation in a class. I’ve used pseudonyms throughout. The orientation took about 30mins.
Below you'll find our workshop and attached my reflections on how it related to our work in our 360.
Final 360 Workshop
I Can’t Believe I’m Still Workshopping this Shit: Race and Privilege at Bryn Mawr (1 hour)
Goals: discuss importance to the whole community;discuss issues of race and privilege (color paper)
Voice: Educating people, privilege, school to prison pipeline - criminalization, voice/discussion, Bryn Mawr College History
Vision: The New Jim Crow, walled space, niches - as related to Perry House, where you feel at home on campus
Silence: Voices are silent on campus, silent activity/discussion, silence as a place of reflection, Delpit,
Materials: flipchart, markers, candy,index cards/pens for each team, tape the floor for step forward statements
After Linda-Susan Beard's visit to our class on Thursday, i've really been thinking of silence in different ways. As I said in another post, I'm in awe at how "full" and "rich" silence is, and how she needs it in order to recharge. Listening to her speak, and watching the facial expressions showed me just how much she enjoys the experience of silence, whether she uses it as a way to confront aspects of her life that she needs to deal with or because it gives her the opportunity to do something she likes, such as gardening. Her visit left me with questions on this sort of relationship with silence is built. Is it something that takes a long time? Is it something that works for some but not for others? I would love to hear more from her about how to make silence an enjoyable experience used to recharge. I usually feel jittery and definitely notice the small moving clock, but I want a contemplative experience with silence that will leave me feeling rich and full.