måndag 5 juni 2017

The International Week

This is a week that one could write a lot about, for numerous reasons. Many things happen simultaneously during the week when we greaten our new friends from Spain, France and Germany at the same time. Our whole school changes and the new comers are the subject of a lot of attention. Many of our older students, mostly in Spanish, participate in this week as organizers. Their participation serves as their final oral test in Spanish, and they are, naturally quite nervous. They do all sorts of different activities with our guests, such as cooking class in our fantastic cooking classroom, music and dance classes, guidances in the sights of the town and being the hosts of language cafes. They perform remarkably well, and the Spanish students are very supportive, imaging this happening to themselves in two years in French or German.

Apart from the activities organized by the pupils, this year we had a scientific theme on Tycho Brahe since many of the teachers involved this year are science teachers. Last year we had two art teachers involved, and focused more on creativity. On our excursion day we went to the island of Hven where Tycho Brahe spent most of his life and visited his observatory. In Lund we also had e lecture on astronomy and built small binoculars siting the star chart. 

It is fantastic and inspiring to work with colleagues from another country during a great part of the year, and getting to know them well during a week when we spend all labour time and most of our spare time together. There are drawbacks with the system they have in the Spanish school where they change teachers responsible for the exchange almost every year, but being a teacher that keeps coming back has enabled me to get to know quite a  big part of the staff, and as a pedagogical training it is a true gift to see many different teachers interacting with their pupils under circumstances that really forces every teacher to do one´s very best. 


Creating contact

With the Spanish teachers coming to Sweden with their exchange students, so did different kinds of group presentations from three classes in the school of Zaragoza. The pupils from grades three and five hade made class presentations of themselves, the fifth graders in shapes of jigsaw puzzles. Our pupils here in Lund rewarding them with presentations of themselves and their schools, the later in a small film, made by the third graders, presenting their school in their first semester of studying English. Both in Sweden and in Spain the concept of real audience, of pupils in another country reading what they write and listening to what they say have deepened their sense of motivation and made them work hard. We hope for a growing friendship in many ages!

With the teachers to be

I haven´t had the possibility to write for a while. Unfortunately my fellow exchange colleague got ill and has not been able to work for the last month and the absence has kept me rather busy. Now, however, I wish to tell a little about what has happened during this time.

I the middle of April we where invited to the Center for Languages and Literature to give a lecture to their students about our enduring exchange with Spain, and also about the other exchanges emerging at our school. We were happy and proud to go there, for many reasons, but the most important one, for me at least, is that I can think of no audience as crucial as this one. I vey much want to hear the ideas of the language teachers to be and discuss the future of pedagogics with them.

The lecture, as asked for, was one that very much adressed practical issues of conducting international exchanges with young students. The underlying reasons to engage in international collaboration was implicit, and all though we naturally stated some reasons, we were really there to help the center out with a manual.

We had a great time, with a lot of laughs and recognition, and I am sure we helped the students with at least some inspiration. The international work at our school is very rare and there is really no school nearby that works in a similar way. I very much hope for more collaboration. One of the highlights of the evening was a student from Spain coming up to us after the lecture talking about how she would like to spend som time at our school while studying to become a teacher. This last month she has been present a lot, helping out with classes of my colleague.