Empathy Interview with Kari

Kari teaches 9th grade ESOL at a large public high school

Photo of Charles Shryock, IV

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Kari Rowe teaches science to newcomer ESOL students (new to the United States), ages 14-20.

Although Kari is not directly involved in the college application process, I gained a number of valuable insights about the needs of her students. It's important for us to learn about how everyone in the school thinks and feels about preparing students for college. I walked away really energized by what I learned from her, and feeling even more inspired by this collaboration!  

We used the Storycorps app to record our conversation: 
(Note: If you grab the embed code, you can click the video icon in your post to insert it. You can read this how-to guide by coach Jess.) 


I planned to ask the questions listed in bold.
Then, during the conversation, I improvised the follow-up questions listed below those. 

  1. What is your role at school?
    What are some things that have worked when transitioning new students into the school?
    So on their first day of class, how do you welcome them?  
    When you say "we," are you doing a lot of that, or are counselors pairing them up...? 

  2. What do you think it will be like for your students, after we go back [to school] after Snowzilla? What do you think will be on their minds? 
    (Note: We haven't been at school for six days, because of the snowstorm.)

  3. What kinds of questions do your kids ask you about college? 
    What is the age range of your students now? 

  4. If you were to redesign the college application process, what would you choose? You don't have to offer solutions now... but thinking about what your students need, what do you think needs to change? 

  5. How does your school celebrate people who do plan to study at college? When they get accepted, is there a community celebration around that? 
    Any idea who was updating that? How did you feel walking down that hallway? 

  6. Reflecting on your own college experience, when you were in college where did you find support when you faced certain challenges? 

  7. Any other thoughts you'd like to share about the needs of your kids, in terms of going to college? 

**To prepare for conducting your own empathy interview, please check out this awesome guide from Emma

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe what you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research. (Ex: Good advisors make a difference.)

For new immigrants, school offers a vitally important time and place for socializing.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Chris Good

Awesome Interview Charlie! 

Photo of Charles Shryock, IV

Thanks Chris, loved your interview to Meet Marcella too!! 

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