Earlier this week I had a conversation about #1S1W with my 8th grade language arts students.
I was inspired by Pernille Ripp’s post HERE after she reflected on the day with her students. I also adapted the discussion questions (and used the classrooms around the world and Detriot, MI article links) from Ms. Korver HERE.
First we looked through the pictures from the Twitter feed. Many students expressed disappointment in what these classrooms have that we don’t. I asked students to write about what similarities and differences they noticed between the classrooms we were seeing and ours, and if they noticed any “voices” missing from the conversation. I explained that this project was designed to be a snapshot of classrooms across the country and around the world. Did it seem like that is what happened?
We then looked at some photos from classrooms around the world (from the link shared by Ms. Korver above) and some of the pictures from the Detriot school’s suit. I asked them to think about why more schools like this weren’t part of the #1S1W project on Twitter.
They had lots of valuable things to say, but a few things have remained with me now that we are a few days away from the conversation.
1. They recognized that people choose to share parts of their school that they were proud of on the #1S1W Twitter feed. They suggested letting students and/or parents choose what to photograph to maybe get a different view of the school.
2. As we were looking at the Twitter feed, one student said, “Where are the black kids?” 8th graders aren’t known for their tact; however, that student was right. For a nation that’s quickly becoming a majority minority, there wasn’t a whole lot of diversity in the photographs we saw.
3. They were very astute in recognizing that teachers could get in trouble for posting pictures of their school if it were seen in a negative light. I’m not sure that I realized so many of them would understand this.
And finally, this is the one that is staying with me most of all…
4. One of the students, in the best way, (I so wish I could remember the words used exactly) explained that perhaps this is making kids who are in schools that are less that desirable feel bad. “Isn’t it like we’re bragging? or just putting them down to make ourselves look good?”
And so, this is where I am today. I feel so grateful to teach in a school that is safe where we have the things we need. As we talked about this week, do we have everything we want to have? No. But, we have a lot to be thankful for. I want to help my students recognize this fact. I want to continually remind myself of this fact. But how can you look at everything you have, without seeing what others do not have? And how can you look at what others are so lucky to have, without feeling badly that you do not have those things?
Now, I am looking for ways to continue this conversation – to keep thinking and learning from the wisdom of 8th graders.