Παρασκευή, 8 Ιουλίου 2016

#30GoalsEdu Goal:Explore a Past Reflection

I have been working as an EFL teacher in the public sector for about ten years. I never really taught exactly what I had to teach-that is, the books set by the Ministry-I always liked to supplement them with materials of my own. And still that was not enough. There was constantly this feeling of inadequacy in me. I thought that to have the privilege to be around children every day and just teach them the language was not enough. I had to change something.

 I gave it a lot of thought till I decided that I wanted to teach my students the same things I teach my children. I didn't want to give them solely knowledge. I wanted to teach them values, I wanted to raise their environmental awareness, I wanted to teach them about Human Rights, about Citizenship and Digital Citizenship, about bullying and racism and stereotypes. And many more...

So a couple of years ago, I started having these "special days". A day raising awareness against bullying, a day raising awareness against racism, a day dedicated to environmental awareness, a day about how to use the Internet safely. And every year I try to add days.This year we have dedicated some time on Human Rights and Children Rights and Refugees, working on our project for Teachers4Europe 2016. We have also completed a programme with the British Council on Life Skills, and worked on themes such as citizenship, values, streotypes. Next year I am planning to add a day dedicated on HateSpeech as well.

 And I know now that you can find different ways to teach a language.One of them is to think first as an educator and then as a language teacher. This is what I have chosen to do.

This is my past reflection-about a year ago.

Raising awareness in the English classroom


Σάββατο, 2 Ιουλίου 2016

Teachers4Europe 2016, Human Rights-Refugee Rights-Solidarity: A collection of poems written for the refugees

During school year 2016, Grade 5 (E2) of the 1st Primary School of Amyntaio, Greece worked on the theme of Human Rights and Refugees Rights within the frame of our project for TEACHERS4EUROPE 2016.

At the beginning of the activity students read a poem written by a student  from Canada who won the first prize in 2010 in the first Refugees and Human Rights Child and Youth Poetry Contest, organised by the UNHCR Toronto Office and COSTI Immigrant Services in commemoration of World Refugee Day, June 20. The title of the poem is "I am". The student describes how he thinks being a refugee may feel. In spite of being only 12 years old the student uses very strong images of torture, death,slavery, war, sorrow, despair, lonelinessin the poem. We tried to discuss the meaning of the poem and the feelings it evoked. I have to admit it touched them a lot. Then the students were asked to compose their own poems based on some phrases taken from the poem such as, I am..., I am looking for..., I am hiding from..., I want..., I hope...After completing their poems they could accompany them with an illustration-this was not compulsory, but everyone did it, anyway.

The result amazed me! It is so beautiful to let children express themselves through poetry. Here is our little book of poems entiteld "I am a refugee calling out for rights".