Earlier in class we participated in an exercise in which students used “I see, I think, I feel” statements to to discuss an issue. This is a method that Dr. Brocato states she has used several times in her real world teaching experience with at risk students. It should be noted though that students do not have to be at risk for this activity to work. In class, we discussed they hypothetical situation of a fellow classmate being habitually late to class. “I see” statements come first in which the speaker states what they observe happening. “I think” statements follow and speakers describe what they think about their observation. Finally, “I feel” statements are made, and these statements carry the most weight because they contain the speakers emotions about situations and can have the most impact. This activity provides a peaceful and safe environment with a facilitator for students to process their emotions and to learn how to resolve conflicts. To me, the use of this method can be very useful in teaching social justice values in schools. To me, part of social justice is not oppressing others viewpoints and giving everyone an opportunity to express themselves. This practice teaches students how to work and communicate with either towards a common goal in a manner that does not stomp on anyone’s voice.
Dr. Brocato’s retelling of how she realistically used this method helped me to best understand it. According to her, it takes a lot of time and building trust to do this activity effectively, and therefore it is not something that can probably be done at the beginning of the school year. Once mastered by the students, though, it is a wonderful tool to help students advocate for themselves and others, and I will hopefully use it in my classroom one day.