From November 20th:
Today I only worked in the English 7 class because the English 6 class was having a listening exam and I had to start working on my own final papers. English 7 was a non-mandatory class today and only seven students attended. A non-mandatory class would never happen in a US high school and I was surprised by this trend. Since the class was so small, it was structured as a small group discussion with the students who chose to attend class. The students’ next academic writing assignment is to watch a TED talk and analyze it in a paper. Today the students went around a discussed the videos they had selected to write about.
One of the students had not yet selected her video because she had been on a school trip to India for the past two weeks. Norra Real offers many school trips throughout the year to various countries around the world. The trip was not for a specific class and was just an option for students to sign up for. It was extremely interesting to hear the class’s discussion about the trip and India in general. The general discussion was centered around the differences between India and Stockholm. The two were positioned as very opposing countries, with few similarities by the teacher and students. A lot of negatives were pointed out by the teacher which I thought was quite interesting. She talked about pollution, dowry, a rape that happened a few years ago, and plumbing problems. I thought a lot of these were huge generalizations and was surprised by the teacher’s blanket statements. The student who had been to India was more focused on just how “shockingly different” the country was while the teacher was focused on what she viewed as negative.