J-Term: A Time to Grow and Think

Winter break passed by in a flash, and I found myself back at HGSE over J-Term! What an incredibly interesting few weeks I had during these last two weeks!  Before this time, I wouldn’t have been able to tell my friends that I had the chance to personally have philosophical discussions about truth, beauty, and goodness with the famous Prof. Howard Gardner!  What an opportunity!

I truly enjoyed my J-term class (Prof. Karen Mapp’s “Effective Family School Partnerships”) as well as various J-term activities. As a student with various interests, I loved the opportunity to find out about different educational topics in a short amount of time. For example, despite my interest in education, I had never read Paulo Friere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Since reading it over J-term, I think about education in a different way.

As J-term is wrapping up, I am realizing how much I learned during this short period. Before J-term, I did not know what instructional design meant, or what the elements of design thinking were. I did know that there was an entire theoretical framework for negotiations, which I learned during a Negotiations weekend workshop. Neither did I know my strengths with video storytelling and my ease in front of the camera.

J-term allowed me the opportunity to learn about topics I did not have exposure to before, and may not get a chance to learn in my semester classes. It allowed me to learn about my own strengths and weaknesses, as well as giving me the chance to meet lots of cool HGSE students I hadn’t gotten to hang out with before!

For students considering HGSE next year, don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn and grow during J-term!

Irteza Binte-Farid is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Education Policy and Management program.  Having worked for QuestBridge, an education non-profit which matches low-income, first generation students to great colleges within the US, Irteza continues to be interested in the experience of first generation students in college. In the future, she is excited to enter the field of Higher Education Policy.