Monday, 5 January 2009

The trap of 'schooliness'

Fallen in it again... Despite all my good intentions of starting a DIFFERENT, more student-centred, more self-directed (all the great buzz words of the moment - aren't I in???) project, I got worried before the long Christmas break that the momentum started would somehow fade. So, being the prim and proper Ms. Teacher, I came up with a writing task for holidays.

It says:

Hello everyone! Good to see so many new members here! I am leaving for the AEC-NET conference in Malaysia on Wednesday. That is where we will plan the project activities in more detail. If I can I will try to post some pictures and stories from Malaysia, too. And as you may know in Asia, here in Europe we will soon be starting our Christmas holiday. So to keep you busy till January I will leave you with a challenge for a writing competition.

Write about your best / worst / funniest / loveliest / most unique memory of a public holiday/festival in your country. Make it personal, so write about something that really happened to you then. But also try to make it interesting to young people from other countries to read and learn about the traditions in your country. You can choose any special day, any season. Or maybe you would like to write about a special celebration you took part in abroad while travelling. Remember that pictures always tell more than a thousand words, so if possible add pictures or links - or if you really get adventurous and have the machinery and skill, why not video yourself telling the story! Don't make it too long - 200-300 words maximum. A catchy title will attract readers' attention.

There will be A SURPRISE PRIZE for the best entry! You have got till the 7th of January to upload your piece as a reply to this post.

Look forward to reading lots of fascinating stories! And also, keep getting to know each other as you have done so well so far. More activities will start at the beginning of 2009.


Guess how many essays I have written to date - CORRECT! Zero, zilch, not one! (The deadline is tomorrow, so maybe there will be an inundation tonight...)

If I was a student, I don't think I would have participated either. This is too much like boring homework. Who wants to waste time on boring homework assigned by an even more boring teacher??!!!

Start again! I will now delete this embarrassing competition from the Ning, and try to learn from it!! Why is it so difficult for us teachers to stay in the background, facilitate without orchestrating, observe without constantly butting in, and above all, only guide when asked for help or otherwise absolutely necessary?

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