I am busy packing my bag for a four-day trip to Lisbon with 48 students and a handful of colleagues, I’m really looking forward to this trip, and no, not because it’s a holiday!
It’s a great opportunity to get to know students outside the classroom, and I’ve found that often gives us a new insight into their characters, and I’m sure they could say the same about me!
Not only do we have time to chat about everyday things, but we also share new experiences, good ones like visiting beautiful places, but also more challenging ones like handling fatigue and delays.
Recently (after reading an article by Vicky Loras) I set up a book club, at first I wanted it to be in English, but I soon realized that the students who were interested in joining didn’t have the level to read the books that interested them (and me!) in English so now everyone can choose what language they read and discuss in, and I have found a load of people to shere my passion for YA lit with!
As you can see it takes place at lunchtime, thers’s a great atmosphere and I love talking about books I’ve enjoyed, but even more, I love seeing students really enthusiastic about something and sharing that passion. I wish I had filmed one really shy student last week, he hardly opens his mouth in class, but if you had seen him presenting his choice for next month, I’m sure you would have been as persuaded as I was!
I teach a first aid course to older students with a science colleague, this is probably one of the most important things these students will learn at school and hopefully one day a life will be saved because of these classes.
While all of these extra-curricular activities bring different aspects of learning to a non-conventional “classroom”, what I appreciate the most is that the students speak to me like a person, and not a teacher. This is perhaps how we can bring dogme to the secondary classroom, in any case it is language being used for what it was designed for; communication.