Monday, April 18, 2005

what do we want to know?

Seniors have two more weeks of classes, then exams, and there's something I want to do before the majority leaves. I would like to ask my students to answer some questions for me that I could include in the blog. I'm also thinking of profiling some students. I need help knowing what a reader would like to know. I was thinking about the following (in completely random order, off the top of my head, that I wrote in my journal at school today):

the students' life stories, their feelings about writing, do they want to write? what frustrates or stops them? what do they like to write? tell the truth about their reading skills, lack of, whatever, and what went wrong, when did they learn to read, where, with whom? what do they wish for? do they long to be educated? do they believe they can be? are they angry, disappointed, with their education? where do they place the blame? do they think it is natural to want to learn about the world? do they remember when they loved learning? do they remember what happened?

I was thinking about being honest with them, telling them I want to include some of what they write in this blog (later into a book), and perhaps I could make a questionairre sort of thing out of it, though I want them to essay their thoughts, not answer a list of questions.
But what do people want to know about these children?
Thank you for your thoughts.

Melanie

3 Comments:

Anonymous Cassandra said...

I want to know the following:
1. Who are their role models?
2. What do they believe they should be learning about in school? Do they believe in what society wants them to learn about or do they have a different idea? What could they learn in school that would make a more practical difference their lives in the real world?
3. What do they think that teachers who teach in urban schools should know (about society, about the community, about education, about psychology, about life on the streets???) before stepping into their hallways?
4. What advice would they give to a teacher who wants to teach in their school?
5. How do they define the term "education"? What does it mean to them to be "educated"? Is this a good thing or a bad thing or what kind of thing is this???
6. What one thing the student believes they have taught their teacher in the past year? Education isn't a one-way street and teachers are constantly learning. Ask the students what they believe they have honestly taught you.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Nancy McKeand said...

Wow! Cassandra's questions are great!

I think that I would, personally, not want to ask them to write their life stories. If they did, I would read them, but I would feel bad about it somehow. It seems patronizing to me. I know you don't mean it that way, but that was my initial reaction to the suggestion.

I think knowing what they think went wrong in their education would be fascinating. So would knowing what went right.

Like Cassandra, I would like to know what they think it means to be educated and whether or not they value that.

It would be good to know why they have continued to go to school when so many others have dropped out. Maybe they could try to identify an individual who was instrumental in that or an experience that encouraged them to persevere.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Clay said...

What do they want and expect from thier year in your class (or their high school years) ?

Do they think they can get ANYTHING of value from this?

I.e., if they truly were getting (or could get) something that they felt helped them, they might be more invested in school.

3:11 PM  

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