Chancellor Carranza Visits Mr. Bernardi’s Classroom

Barakat Jooda, Reporter

On Friday, January 4, Mr. Bernardi, and his third period AP World History class, were visited by Chancellor Carranza, Chirlane McCray, and the Brooklyn Borough President. These people came into the classroom to have a discussion with the students and to hear their opinions on hate crimes and anti-semitism in New York City.

New Dealer: How did you feel when you heard the Chancellor, the Mayor’s wife and the Borough President were coming to your classroom?
Mr. Bernardi: I was honored that my class and my students would be the location for the visit. To be honest, this visit was very intimidating for me and my students.

New Dealer: Why were they visiting FDR high school?
Mr. Bernardi: Recently, there has been an increase in the amount of racist and anti-semitic attacks. The Chancellor, Ms. McCray and the Borough President want the schools to be a place to address these issues. They wanted a chance to speak with the students and hear their opinions regarding these issues.

New Dealer: How did you structure your lesson for their visit?
Mr. Bernardi: We were already learning about the Enlightenment in the classroom. The Enlightenment was a period where people began thinking about the relationships they had with the government and with one another. I decided to connect the issues that we were going to talk about, with what happened during the Enlightenment.

New Dealer: How did the students feel about the visit?
Mr. Bernardi: Upon first hearing about the visit, the students were unmoved until they understood the scope of the visit. Many students felt nervous due to the video cameras in the room, but overall the students were really excited to share their opinions and the ideas they had.

New Dealer: How did the students feel about the topic you were teaching on that day?
Mr. Bernardi: The students were interested in talking about topics that were happening right now in our society, They felt a part of the conversations in finding solutions to these disturbing issues. The Chancellor said that the students were very diligent and intelligent to connect all the ideas they had. This made me feel even more proud of my students.

New Dealer: Did the students have any interesting views or perspectives regarding the topics and issues that were being discussed?
Mr. Bernardi: Of course! I heard multiple conversations with interesting ideas about what could be done and who should be involved. Many excellent comments were being made in all the groups.

New Dealer: How did the whole visit go?
Mr. Bernardi: I thought that the visit went really well. The lesson was geared towards a normal class conversation. The students had the opportunity to talk about issues that are going on in the society now.

New Dealer: What was it like seeing your students on television?
Mr. Bernardi: It was really exciting to see my students on television. I think that it is always nice to highlight all the great things happening in my classroom and in the school too.

In all, Mr. Bernardi thinks that it is really important that in a very diverse school, like FDR, conversations about contemporary issues are being stressed. He thinks that the more these issues are being talked about, the faster societal issues will be fixed. Mr. Bernardi is continually impressed with the level of conversations in his 10th grade Advanced Placement class, whether they are on the news or in the classroom!