We have all the essays and podcasts in for my classes as well as our cooperative classes in Virgina and Qatar for our This I Believe assignment. It has been an interesting in a good way, learning adventure. I am really interested in my students’ reflections about the whole experience. Did they gain any cultural understandings? Did they learn something new or appreciate something they never thought of before? How do their beliefs connect with kids from around the world some of who are not native English speakers?
For my part, I am impressed for the most part by their comments and conscientiousness towards others feelings and beliefs. I remember sitting in Karl’s office thinking, “How are they going to comment on one another’s beliefs without hurting someone’s feelings or coming across as too critical?” And you know what, the kids figured it all out. They talked about what they should do, they communicated with one another what was appropriate, and many ended up reading more essays than the ones they were supposed to .
Did we change the world through this assignment? Probably not, but did the kids get a chance to see how others think and feel? Yes, and in order to change the world, we have to start with a little bit of understanding other’s perspectives. After all, period 2 and 5, doesn’t it all come down to thinking for yourself and appreciating another’s perspective?
Here’s an example of a shift in perspective:
FatimaEmranAmir My comment on Kelsey's essay
Hi! My name is Fatima Emran Amir and I am a ninth grader in Qatar Academy. Personally, when I started reading your essay, I thought that I was going to disagree with your point of view at the end. You may know that I, as a Muslim, believe that dogs are unclean and thus, we are told to keep a little distance from them; not that we hate dogs! Instead, I thought it was a great essay at the end! You really changed my approach towards the fact that how a simple dog can make a special place in your heart and act like a family member. I must say that you have an awful lot of power in your writing! Posted Sunday, 11:13 pm -
KelseyC2012 re: My comment on Kelsey's essay
Hey! I never knew that the Muslim religion believed that about dogs. It seems like such a foreign concept to me. It is really cool to find out these things though. I am glad I could give you another perspective on this animal. Posted Monday, 11:25 am
What did you guys think of the work we did with TIB? What did you learn? What are your take-aways? What would you do differently and keep the same? Be reflective!