It was an absolute thrill to be a fly on the wall in my own classroom watching my students be the stars of their own universe. We had nearly thirty odd vibrant educators visit our school on Tuesday afternoon from Hong Kong's Victoria Shanghai Academy and Singapore's Chatsworth Kindergarten.
I would like to say that these lovely visitors kindly chose to step into our humble classroom but alas that would not tell the tale as it happened. No, instead, my pride of students hunted them down, pouncing on them as they walked by to drag them into their lair. After which I gave up “teaching” stepped back and watched them learn. They weren’t receiving a lesson from me but instead learning so much of themselves through practicing communication and social skills.
Their confidence soared. My quietest students didn’t stop talking to their captive audience for nearly 2 hours. My new-to-English student spoke with three adults simultaneously. One of my old-soul boys shared with four visitors about each and every aspect of his domain. By peppy cheerleader delighted in meeting her adult equivalent and loved every minute of interaction.
My students knew their classroom so well and I was bursting with happiness for them watching their sense of sheer ownership and pride unfold before my eyes. They dearly love their school and every little detail of their classroom environment matters deeply to each of them.
It is a sobering experience to remind me of what not to take for granted but at the same time it highlights the things which I contribute that they value. And, if there is any advice to share here it would be - open your doors and invite the world inside, you will be warmed by what shines before your eyes.
Hi, I am Natasha Hutchins an international teacher collaborating, exploring and sharing ideas with others, like myself from around the world, for our collective professional development and enjoyment of learning and teaching.