The 6th graders completed a project that was to interview 3 people. Each interview had to have a theme such as leadership, profession, WWII, or a sport. Students then composed emails to each person, drafted questions, and practiced verbal skills in preparation. Each interview had to be recorded or filmed.
A reflection of the entire project was also required.
EAL Reflection – Pedro
This projects consisted of interviewing members of the Dwight Community, or not, and learning about their role in society. These interviews took place after school, during lunch, and during study center. Each one of them was about eight minutes and thirty seconds long. Moreover, there were 3 days in between the interviews, and I used these days to write the base of the paragraph about each interview. As a result, I scheduled the interviews with Mr. Meeder, Mr. Rubic and Mr. Posner.
Before my first interview with Mr. Meeder, anxiety took over my mind. I was nervous because I did not know how long the interview would take, if I had enough questions, if the mic would be working, among plenty of other reasons. However, in the end everything went well because Mr. Meeder and I were communicative. This represents me showing the “Communicator” learner profile several reasons. First, I managed to speak clearly to the interviewee so he could understand what I was saying. Secondly, I kept the interview concentrated in one point which was his profession. Lastly, I listened well by writing down his answers, and occasionally, creating new questions based on the answer he gave. In conclusion, the interview went well in spite of my anxiety.
As a result of my interview with Mr. Meeder, I was calmer for my interview with Mr. Rubic, who is a communicative and funny person. Therefore, I was not worried about the outcomes of his answers to my questions. I was very involved during Mr. Rubic’s interview and, as a consequence, I asked questions about the science he studies, his philosophy of science, and the universe. For example, I asked questions for which his answers gave me a better understanding of science. This second interview represents me as an “Inquirer’. Overall, this interview was much better than the first one.
My interview with Mr. Posner was overall better than the interviews of Mr. Rubic and Mr. Meeder. In my opinion, it was better because I listened to the recordings of the previous interviews many times, and fixed the errors I made. One of the improvements I could have made was to inform him beforehand that my family was going to Brazil, and as a consequence, I would not be present. I interviewed Mr. Posner about leadership and his profession as the head of middle school. I asked questions about his philosophy of leading, his job, and the way he sees students. Mr. Posner said that Middle School student relate to him in many ways. All the answers he gave me suggested that he likes better working with Middle School students than High and Lower School Students. In summary, my interview with Mr. Posner went well because I learned more about the way he sees the school.
In conclusion, my interviews went well from a point of view of someone who has never interviewed someone before. In my opinion, I set up the interviews well and did what I could do to get the best out of it. All my interviewees, Mr. Meeder, Mr. Rubic, and Mr. Posner; were interesting people to be interviewed about. At last, writing a reflection about each interview helped me notest the smallest errors I made and fix them from one interview to another.
Reflection – Lucas
I think that this project really taught be how to be a better communicator, and that helped me to interact more with people. I choose a Dwight school teacher and a staff member to be my interviewees; I also chose a person that was not related or worked at Dwight School. Those people were: Mrs. Sahr, Mr. Gelfand, and Sergio (Pedro’s dad). All of these people people told me very interesting things about their life and about their thoughts on their past jobs, Mindfulness, and being a balanced person.
Since I started emailing him to the end of the interview, I learned many things about the process of interviewing and about Mr. Gelfand. THe topic I chose for him was professions, and answered all my open ended questions and closed ended questions in ways that helped me learn a lot about his life and what he did before he was an security member for Dwight School. He told me that he has worked in Dwight School for almost 21 years and he has enjoyed it. He also told me that when he was 19 he joined the NYPD and he retired in 1997. He said he was a police officer for a short amount of time and a detective for a longer period of time; he told me he worked on cases of pedophilia and in many other interesting cases.
After Mr. Gelfand’s interview, I started making my questions for another interview that I had to do one day after his. My interviewee was Ms. Sahr and she also helped me a lot by giving many open ended answers. She told me that she loved working at Dwight and she teaches Social studies and latin; she said she is going to Graduate School to get a masters in teaching. The topic I chose for her was Balance and what it meant to be a balanced person. She told me that for her to be a balanced person she has to take active breaks and calm herself down. She told me that and active break would not be watching tv or taking a nap, for her it is to go to the gym or go swimming. She said that she also has to take breaks from her work so she doesn’t get stressed out. After she telling me of what being a balanced person is, I asked her if she considered herself a balanced person. Ms. Sahr told me that she is not perfect and that she is not completely balanced yet and she is working on it. She said that she was very busy because she had to cook and do a lot of paperwork but she didn’t have time for it; she was very creative and started cooking all her Monday to Friday dinners at the weekends so she had more free time during the week.
Mr. Carpenter’s interview was the last one I had to do. I chose him because he was not related Dwight School; also because he was my friend’s dad. The topic that I chose for him was mindfulness because I think he is a very mindful person and because it would be a very good topic for him. He told me that in his free time he likes to run in the park and that he likes to read; when he is with his family he likes to watch a movie, but he is busy working on his final exam at Columbia so he doesn’t have a lot of time. Sergio told me that mindfulness is when you are looking at the things in life with a balanced and thoughtful way. He said, “I aim to be a mindful person, I’m not sure I have reached that goal successfully.” Sergio also said that he thinks that both of his children are mindful but sometimes they are immature and they drive him crazy.
To finish up our grammar unit on conditionals, students interviewed a teacher at Dwight. During the interview process they practiced email etiquette, speaking, note taking, and then writing. They turned their interview notes into a magazine article, which is featured here.
Students learned about sustainability through readings and class discussions. They then wrote what sustainability meant to them in their journals.