Second Student Interview

Can you tell me about your experiences in school as a student?

  • Um, it’s been good over all. I’ve had good teachers, good classmates, no issues with bullying. It’s been good.

 

Do you like school?

  • Yeah.

Can you tell me a little about why?

  • I like being around my classmates, and I like learning new things, and I like getting to experience different teaching styles.

 

What is your favorite part of your day?

  • Probably…AP U.S. History is my favorite class.

Can you tell me a little bit about why?

  • Um, the teacher is very interesting, and the class goes by fast, and I like the students in the class.

 

Do you have a least favorite part of your day?

  • Probably…English.

 

Can you tell me about why?

  • I just don’t like what we’re learning about this year and it’s very boring for me.

 

Can you tell me about your first day of school this year?

  • I was mostly excited because it was like, senior year, I knew all of my teachers going into it, so I knew I’d like all my teachers and I had a good group of people in all my classes, so I was mostly just excited.

 

Do you think as a student and a learner, do you think you’ve evolved over time?

  • Yeah.

Can you explain?

  • Um, I don’t know how to explain that – just like personality wise I’ve matured, and I’ve like, learned how to handle different situations.

 

Can you tell me about how you feel throughout your day?

  • …Tired…bored some of the time. Happy (laughs).

 

Can you tell me about how you feel when the day is over?

  • Happy, ready to go home.

 

When do you feel most engaged at school?

  • Probably when I’m in math, or Stat.

Can you tell me why?

  • Cause, math isn’t my best subject so like I feel like I really have to focus and pay attention or else I won’t do well.

 

Can you tell me when you feel least engaged?

  • English.

Can you tell me a little bit about why?

  • Cause I find the content pretty easy, so I don’t feel like I need to pay attention.

 

Do you have a favorite teacher?

  • Either Mr. Craven or Mr. Graham.

Can you tell me a little bit about why?

  • Mr. Craven, I really like his teaching style. I like how he’s very like – he knows a lot about what he’s talking about. I just like Mr. Graham as a person, I think he’s funny and his class is very entertaining.

 

Can you tell me when you feel most curious?

  • Probably during…AP Environmental. ‘Cause I’m learning a lot about like what’s going on in the world today and a lot of stuff I didn’t know about.

 

Do you think there’s a difference between being a good student and a good learner?

  • Yes.

What do you think those differences are?

  • Well being a good student, I feel like you prepare for all of your exams and you do all of your homework and stuff and I feel like being a good learner you can really just absorb the information, and like you don’t really have to study as hard but you know the information anyway, cause like, you just absorb more.

 

What do you think your responsibilities are as a good student?

  • To just try to the best of my abilities in all my classes and ask for help when I need help.

 

What do you think your responsibilities are as a good learner?

  • To try and learn as much as I can with the time I’m given with like, different teachers.

 

What do you think the ultimate goal of your education is?

  • To get me prepared for my future.

 

Notes, Questions, and Interesting Moments

  • It’s interesting that this student described her favorite class as “going by fast”. Often, during enjoyable times we use the adage “time flies when you’re having fun”. This seems to apply here, but there is also a sense that it is a relief to be done with a class for the day. Maybe this is not the case with this student when she is discussing her favorite class and really only the adage is applicable. I couldn’t help but think that this sense of relief was tied into even enjoyable classes at school simply by the sense of relief all of the students who have been interviewed so far have expressed when asked about how they feel when the day is over.

 

  • This students says they enjoy experiencing different teaching styles. It seems the variety of different activities, ways of approaching activities, teacher personalities, etc. makes school more interesting as this students will have a different experience in each class.

 

  • Does learning about material one finds they’re not very interested in always need to result in not enjoying the subject? How can one become curious about something in which they are not finding interest? Can the approach to teaching the subject make a difference in a student’s curiosity?

 

  • All of the students who I’ve interviewed so far mention that they feel tired at some point during their day…I know I always feel tired. Students are asked to do so much and are expected to do so much…whether it’s school, after school activities, activities outside of school, volunteer work, spend with friends and family, pursue passions. No wonder students are tired. How does this affect a student’s curiosity? Are students less curious when they are tired? Do students have less time to be curious?

 

  • It was interesting that this student feels most engaged when they are in a class they struggle in because they know that if they don’t focus they won’t do well in the class. Does this sense of focus come from wanting to insure that she gets a good grade? Now I’m wondering if she feels more curious/interested in the subject because of her acute focus in the class. Interesting…she is learning from her struggles in a subject that is difficult for her. No one has said they feel most engaged in the subject in which they struggle the most.

 

  • In contrast, it was interesting that they said that they felt least engaged in a subject in which they didn’t struggle. Without any struggle, they grew bored. This is interesting. When a class feels easy, does one feel less consequence for investing less time in it?

 

  • Again, students seem to include times when their teachers are “funny” when they describe their enjoyable experiences in school. When teachers are funny they are human. We learned in Creative Expressions that playfulness and laughing is a way in which we relieve tension. Having times to laugh or hear stories during the day provides human connection and relief from other stresses like schoolwork.

 

  • This student says they feel most curious when they are in AP Environmental because they are learning a lot about information that is very relevant today. Students seem to be curious about classes that teach them a lot about the current world around them. Many students (including ourselves) really enjoyed Human Geography for this reason. She was also curious about what she was learning because she didn’t know much about what she was learning. This makes every learning experience in the class a new discovery.

 

  • When asked about whether they thought there was a difference between being a good student and a good learner, this student differed from the first student who was interviewed in that they believed a good learner to be someone who can easily learn – someone who doesn’t really need to study because they absorb information. This differed from the response in the first student interview.
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