This week, our Crenshaw crew shares their thoughts about the impact of their presentations in New Orleans.
The experience I had in New Orleans was memorable; I learned and experienced new things, interacted with new people, and improved in many ways. We all went with a purpose – “to not be heard, but felt” – and I believe we accomplished that. The research we presented was effective in the sense that we reached out to others, spoke from our hearts with confidence, and, most importantly, made an impact. We made our audience see and understand the daily obstacles that we urban students face in today’s educational system. Our presentation stayed on point, highlighted our message, and it was fluent, engaging, and touching.
Students made connections between our daily lives and the concepts and theories we studied, which demonstrated that we understood what we were being taught and had a true understanding of what we were presenting. Having this in mind gave the students ownership to own and tell their story, which I believe is was what made our presentations engaging.
This trip brought each and every one of the members closer and I feel that we also formed a structure of what a presentation should look like. We all gained much more confidence with public speaking, which felt great! The determination and dedication we put in was impressive and prepared us for the future by teaching us discipline when it is time to work.
This presentation showed how effective we are as civic agents and I believe the audience was blown away and impressed. Like Professor Ernest Morrell said: “either we inspire them or put them to shame.” I think we did both. We inspired those who have passion to help others to create change and put those who say they know our struggles yet do nothing about it to shame, and gave grad students and future grad students a challenge. You can’t just write dissertations, create research and say you have done your job when you have not taken your time to come into our neighborhoods and work with us to change those negative findings. It’s like saying a cake is delicious when you have only tasted the frosting and didn’t even bother trying the bread; you need to go inside the cake (our neighborhood) and then state your opinion.
In terms of next steps, many of our peers are unaware of what a high quality education is, which is why we find our peers not demanding more. We need to present to everyone and open their eyes so that they can see how unfair this is and together we can start a revolution.
I have noticed that all the theories we have studied are based on students’ experiences, our daily struggles, which has led me into thinking and believing that you do not need a degree or a fancy name to create a theory for others to study. We know what we go through, we know where we stand and I believe it is time for us to come up with our own theories and make a change in how society views “experts.”
Our research that we presented in New Orleans was great. I noticed how all of the practicing and hard work paid off at the end. Even though most of us were nervous, I liked how we kept our presentation flowing, which caused the audience to stay engaged and focused. I also liked how people reacted with their facial expressions and nodding their heads as we presented our findings and most importantly when we presented our experiences.
The experience I had in New Orleans changed my identity as a student by helping me to become more demanding. Now I feel that not speaking up is like not caring for your education and your community’s education. If people don’t start to speak up, it won’t just be this generation’s education being affected, but the younger generations also. In other words, if we aren’t resistant we will not see a change. I plan to help younger generations in the future by creating a program like the Council of Youth Research in my community so that their voices are heard.
I hope that our audience keeps in mind that all students are not receiving an equal and high quality education. More importantly, we don’t want to see younger generations having limitations in their future because of the education they are receiving. Now that we informed people, I expect them to share the information and try to do something so that our findings don’t exist anymore.
Before students can demand and try to make a change, students need to be informed of the type of education they are receiving and how they are being affected by it. We also plan to present to the School Site Council so that they become more considerate when it comes to their decision-making. I hope that our presentation makes School Site Council realize that we need more resources like technology that will prepare students for college.
I felt relieved when I presented our research in New Orleans. I felt this way because once again, I let someone know what is happening at my/our school. Without letting anyone know about what’s going on in the school, then we will not see anything change.
I think my identity as a student has changed after presenting in New Orleans because I appreciate the opportunity that CYR gave me to explore another part of the country. We put a lot of energy to our presentation and even though I got nervous, people were really into what we were saying.
I hope that people took away from our presentations that if this council of high school students can do this type of research, then any student can do it no matter where they are coming from.
We can ensure that our findings don’t exist anymore by continuing to tell other students what it happening here at school and building an awareness amongst the student body and community.
Presenting our findings in New Orleans, Louisiana at AERA is an experience I’ll always remember. All the countless hours we spent practicing after school felt worth it once we presented. I felt that the audience learned that academic education isn’t equal in California. Our experience in New Orleans changed my identity as a student because I feel more aware of my voice and the impact it could have. But when it is a number of voices advocating the same cause it is more powerful. I think what people took away from our presentations is real, informative material. They probably realized that programs such as CYR are helpful in the long run and should be implemented as a course in many schools such as Crenshaw.
I feel the work we presented was filled with a very strong sense of purpose. Even when my group wasn’t presenting I was very interested in the other groups’ presentations despite having seen some of what they had presented before. My identity as a student has changed as a result of our experience in New Orleans by us as a Council having to put so much of our energy into a presentation that will show to the world what students are capable of and how much we’re not going to stand for the disproportional conditions in our schools and communities. When we asked people what they thought of our presentations some said it was very engaging, that we had courage to speak out about the inequalities in our communities and schools, and that it was the best presentation they had seen in years. I really hope that people not only just listened and enjoyed what we said but are willing and able to make the changes that we told to them in our demands. Some things that we could do within our school to make sure that the inequalities within it don’t stay the same are to present our information to the principal and the School Site Council, so when the time to set the budget is here they would know how to spend the money. We have to share our information to the students and teachers because there are many students who don’t even know that they aren’t receiving a quality education and that they really deserve better. Some teachers don’t know how to teach students on their level and how to engage the information with them and how to have a caring relationship with the students.
New Orleans was a trip, both literally and figuratively. I can go on tangents about each of the capacities it takes to see what the students did and translate it to the sense of urgency to implement and institutionalize this kind of work in our classrooms. But, to keep my ramblings focused, I’ll stick to the idea that resonated with me the most during this experience, which was witnessing the growth of my students through this process and, equally important, my growth as an educator. With the exception of Jessica & Brian, the “3” and myself began the Council together. I was wrapping up my 2nd year as a teacher and they their 2nd year as HS students. In my opinion, we went from “cool” (alright) to pretty dang solid (with invaluable contributions from Jessica & Brian, of course). What they did is set a benchmark for future Crenshaw council members to surpass. I say this from a firm footing of confidence because this experience and the many more lessons/experiences to follow and in Brian becoming the veteran of next year’s squad.
In short, I’ve grown as educator in developing a new pedagogy for general classroom curriculum and instruction by integrating participatory action research as my semester-end culminating assessments. I’m excited at the continual growth to come to strengthen my craft (LT, Crenshaw is coming), specifically in the arena of powerful public speaking. I’m very humbled to be working with other powerful educators, graduate students & HS students and to have the guidance of (triple OG) Ernest…My name is Frederick David and these are my reflections.