Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

9. Teaching linguistic competencies

Pedagogy textbooks explain that children learn under epistemological proposals very difficult to understand and inapplicable in a real classroom, but experience so far, tells me that if a teacher puts a big smile and motivate children to do something cool to learn and we can find the way to make them feel an important part of that project, where they have so much fun that it’s easy to forget how much they are learning, we can make apart all the amazing and expensive books.
Our theater project thrilled them more than I expected. As soon as I arrived to the classroom next day, I plugged my laptop to the projector and started to explain them that we needed a project, and I told them all my ideas. I began explaining our to-do list that I had prepared and the profile of each participants and I could not wish more enthusiasm. I began to see raised hands to cooperate, to do, to think, and share ideas.
 There were so much participation that my assistant director had to jump from his chair and give some order. I believe this child born being a leader. I didn't have to tell him what he had to do from his position. There was a moment that he stood up, wrote something on a piece of paper and hanged it on the door helped by his own assistant. I preferred to not read the message; I knew that it would take me a surprise.
Ideas floated everywhere, from pumpkin possessed by dark energy, to trees costumed as rabbit with pumpkin hats. Even for a moment I could see running down the classroom a naked tree searching its leaves. Each idea allowed us to focus more and more our work, until after two hours, we had written, edited, searched on the internet read, learned two new words and still had mood to review a couple of books that we found.
I slow down for a second while I was packing my laptop at the end of the class and I thought how much we had done that day in matters of language. A single book would not have been able to give us so many excuses to laugh so much and at the same time advance our project. Before going home a girl back to my place and told me in secret: "Thank you!”
When I asked why I was grateful, she replied: "I hate acting; I prefer to be in charge of the scenery.” I gave her back the smile and told her that I had no doubt we would have the best stage.
When I left the room, I saw the paper almost at the middle of the door; it was a sheet with almost drawn letters saying: "Do not interrupt, we're thinking big ideas.” I tried to remember when at my own school life, I had a great idea and more importantly, a great idea to share with my classmates.
I carefully took the piece of paper and saved it in my backpack. It's corny, I know, but I couldn't believe the impact of our small school project. If a film maker would be in our classroom, viewers would have seen all sorts of images jumping all over the screen and a voice saying, "no, but then this other idea may be better", and we would have seen the first idea fade and another would occupy the center stage, as Bob Ross’s work, with happy elements flowing, but best of all is that the creators of all that were children interested in the English language.
While I walked home I sent a message to my guru to tell her how much good had been the creative session. I received her reply when I was opening the door of my apartment: ¨when a child smiles while he or she learns is a good sign that you're doing the right thing¨.


Creo que este niño es un líder nato.