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Field Notes 10- 4/23/13. Reflecting on Tragedy

mschoyer's picture


            This week, my field notes involve an interaction my teacher and I had, as opposed to interactions with my students. On this day, I had 1st, 2nd, and Kindergarten students, and the day was pretty typical. I did a read a loud in each class, and also designed a corresponding activity. The students were all pretty well behaved, and the day was as “normal” as can be.

            At one point, when I had just finished instructing the students, my mentor teacher turned to me and whispered, “How about the Boston thing?” I saw her during the previous week right around when the bombing happened, but of course, a lot had developed since then. For example, one suspect had been killed and the other had been recently captured. I responded by stating what a tragedy it has all been, and my teacher answered back with something along the lines of, “That’s why I find it so important to make these students feel comfortable here.”

            By saying “these students,” my teacher meant her ELL students, of which a large number of them are immigrants, much like the suspects. I do agree with her sentiment to some extent. Immigrant students come into unfamiliar environments, and they should be made to feel as comfortable as possible. With this said, students who are not immigrants deserve the same love, attention, and accommodation from their teachers. It is not only immigrants and those of other cultures who commit tragedies. I know that my mentor was not insinuating this, but it got me thinking. The scary part about teaching young children is that I have no idea who or what they’ll be in ten or fifteen years. When I look at them I see sweet, innocent children. It’s hard for me to imagine the teachers of the Boston suspects. I am sure at one point they thought the same thing. This interaction made me realize just one of the reasons to give students a nurturing and supportive environment. Do these types of in environments always prevent senseless tragedies? No, but I believe they help.