'A Day in the Life'-A Camera Journal

Build empathy with students by experiencing what it is like to be one!

Photo of Samantha McMillan
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Have one or more of your students document their day through film.

In my experience, I asked two students to chronicle their day through film. Both students had GoPros (or something similar) to use throughout the day. I contacted all of their teachers ahead of time to let them know these students would be filming in all classes. 

After watching the videos, I had these take-aways: 

1. Students rely on each other a lot.  I saw a lot of movement around the room, in every class--students helping other students problem-solve, troubleshoot, and answer questions. 

2. Students are busy. They are constantly moving around from one class to another and juggling multiple assignments, projects, and responsibilities throughout the day.

3. Students adapt all the time. Each class has different furniture, procedures, technology, and floor plans. Students are constantly being asked to be flexible and accommodating. 

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe something you learned from your empathy exercises or research.

Students have to learn to be adaptable to not feel overwhelmed at school. How might we better empathize with students so that they are not as stressed and can use each other for support?

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The pictures could be exchanged with another school nearby or around the world.