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Postcard 2/23

mcsweeney's picture

            My postcard was inspired by both the guest lecture we had last Tuesday with Laura Hummer and by my first visit to my field placement. In our discussion with Laura, a comment that stuck out to me related to the way that schools are largely focused on output from the students. This is communicated in my postcard by the way that the students are placed on a conveyor belt, as if they have been put into a machine, one day to become a product, or output, of the machine. I feel like I see this issue in schools in the way that teachers have to push for students to get the best scores on standardized tests because high scores reflect well on the teachers and the administration. Another comment that stuck out to me from Laura was that she felt that there was a need for caring in the schools. This is represented in the postcard because, even though the students are on a conveyer belt, they are inside of a bubble of the classroom. Inside the bubble, their teacher acts as an instructor, but she also acts with compassion. Laura showed her students that she cared for them by incorporating mindfulness practices into her classroom to alleviate the stress of the students. Inside the bubble, the teacher cares about the students themselves, which contrasts with the colorless, sterile world outside of the bubble, which is only focused on the student’s output. I used the image of a bubble in my postcard creation because, just like a bubble can be easily popped, a teacher’s classroom can be easily infiltrated by feelings of stress and worry over standards and expectations coming down from leaders of an administration. During the first visit to my field placement, which is in a seventh grade Latin classroom at a private school, the students were taking a test. The teacher explained to me that the students were very stressed because many of them are struggling to meet high expectations and they also had a test every day that week in different classes. In order to help the students feel less stressed, the teacher surprised the class by letting the students use their notes during the last fifteen minutes of the class. This situation serves as an example of a teacher bringing caring and compassion into a setting where there is heavy stress placed on the students to produce output. And in the end, the teacher’s steps to show the students that they are cared for, will most likely help the students to achieve more anyway. 


alesnick's picture

I appreciate the way the imagery and the words really support each other in this postcard.  A test every day of the week sounds like a lot of tests.  Wow.  It's inspiring that the teacher was listening to this and using the power s/he had to respond.