«ПРОСВЕЩЕНИЕ. ИНОСТРАННЫЕ ЯЗЫКИ»

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TOGETHER WE CAN BE THE CHANGE!

Вторник 31 Июль 2012

Опубликовано в печатной версии журнала. Вып. № 4.

 

настроение: вдохновлённое

ключевые слова: motivation, international movement, teacher training, Primorsky krai

город: Биробиджан

e-mail: SvetlanaSemenovykh2011@yandex.ru

 

“I can, you can, together we can
be the change in the world.
Feel, imagine, do your part…”
by Raffi

What do you feel when you enter your classroom on the First of September and see your students’ smiling suntanned faces? What do your students feel when the bell rings, and they leave the classroom in a week, a month, a year? How to carry that feeling of joy and gratitude to each other through all the school years? What helps you not to burn out, not to get disappointed and keep working with our wonderful and so different in their levels of motivation students?

My career as a teacher trainer began 11 years ago, so I have been with my teachers through all these recent waves of modernization, and every year I ask myself “What can I share with my colleagues? How can I help them to overcome fear of changes, of all those national exams, tests, and new requirements?” This makes me constantly look for new resources, ideas, projects and take part in different conferences — regional, national and international. The idea of a lifelong independent learner who is never tired of looking for something new that contributes to their successful personal and professional development is the key in a definition of a modern teacher and a student. There is a great list of ways to continuing professional development given by Jenny Johnson at http://teachingenglish.org.uk/
articles/ways-continuing-professional-deve-lopment
.

Last year when I got a list of requests from different districts to conduct the regional seminars, I was a bit “surprised” when I read the following: “Ways of raising motivation to learn English in elementary school”… I thought it was a joke but it was not, and that made me ask the teachers: “Who is poorly motivated? How can we destroy our students’ love for everything new and exciting in the very beginning of their school journey? Why do not we, as teachers, change our attitude to our students and ask them what is meaningful to them? Why do not we help them use the language for real communication when there are so many incredible opportunities for them? How do your students react when you ask them to take part in a new project?” It depends on the project, but.. What will be your reaction to my invitation to join an exciting international project for schools?

In fact, Design for Change is not just a project, it’s a “global movement designed to give children an opportunity to express their own ideas for a better world and put them into action”.

The story of DFC began in India in 2009 when Kiran Bir Sethi started her Riverside School Design for Giving contest that spread to 1,300 schools within a year. That year she was invited to present the movement at TED (Technology, Education and Design live conference), and the world got inspired by the simple and powerful ideas that appealed to people’s hearts. The idea was supported by 23 countries in the year 2010, and the number of country-participants has increased to 35 this year, including the U.S.A, the UK, Finland, Canada, Romania, Brazil, Ireland, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand.

Why is this movement spreading so fast and why does it keep both teachers and students inspired? “Children and adults learn through the Design for Change Challenge that “I Can” are the two most powerful words a person can believe. Children who have discovered this are changing their world. The challenge asks students to do four very simple things: Feel, Imagine, Do and Share. Children are dreaming up and leading brilliant ideas all over the world, from challenging age-old superstitions in rural communities, to earning their own money to finance school computers to solving the problems of heavy school bags — children are proving that they have what takes to be able to “design” a future that is desired”.

The movement was introduced in Russia by its activist, teacher trainer and writer Chuck Sandy at FEELTA (Far Eastern English Language Teachers’ Association), and the first project was made by Birobidzhan Access students in October, 2010.

Access — the English Access Microscholarship Program is an English-language program focused on highly motivated students from economically underprivileged families. “Participants gain English skills that may lead to better jobs, educational prospects, and increased opportunities to participate in future exchanges. Since its inception in 2004, over 70,000 students in more than 80 countries have participated in the Access Program. (For more information go to www.eltrussia.ru/articles_22.html, englishprograms.state.gov, www.facebook.com/AccessProgramHQ?sk=info)

Our project called “Antidrug campaign” has encouraged other Russian cities (Krasnoyarsk, Nakhodka, Birobidzhan, Teploe Ozero with 170 participants) to join the movement. The problems that the students are trying to deal with are different. The project from Krasnoyarsk, Gymnasium No. 16 called “I can talk to the world” was devoted to promoting understanding between countries and included the following activities: building a bridge of friendship with the students from Sawston Village College in Britain, helping the elderly, planting trees, drawing pictures for the international contest “Sochi–2014”, making a joint musical project “Next to the beautiful”. The students from Nakhodka, the English-language club “Angel” submitted a project “They won’t survive without our help” (helping homeless animals), Birobidzhan, secondary school No. 1 — “Let’s make the world green!” (making their school beautiful by planting flowers in many classrooms), Teploe Ozero — “Our Park” — trying to make the local administration help the teenagers reconstruct a children park).

The second Access group that joined the movement last year is from Nakhodka, Primorsky krai. Together with Mr. Thomas Santos — English-language officer — and their teacher Tatyana Ishchenko the students planted the first flowers that would grow into beautiful flowerbeds later in summer. During their summer camp ten Access students together with the other 60 enthusiastic campers brainstormed and discussed different problems that bother them: seaside pollution, cruel attitudes to endangered species, helping the elderly people and kids in orphanages, preserving natural resourses and unique historical places. What they finally chose was doing some volunteer work at their unique archeological village and planting more flowers around their school No.1. Neither rain nor wind could interfere with the students’ willingness to finish their work and present the results to their parents, teachers, and friends. I have not yet experienced such strong emotions as when 70 kids with their teachers were singing the “I can” song, and their eyes were shining with pride, happiness, joy and success. “Small steps — big results” was a motto of the Access students in Birobidzhan who made a new project “Computer and Video Games Addiction”, and this motto is true to all the Access students in all the Russian cities.

Why do I encourage you to join the movement? Many of you are involved in various volunteer activities and this is one more opportunity for us to keep working together with the world community and to create a generation of change-makers who are mature, responsible, flexible, open-minded, successful and hard-working — active members of the society. We can help our students break the cycle of failure: low motivation — low ability — low confidence. What can it give you? You will enjoy working with a huge number of outstanding teachers, teacher trainers, writers, representatives of various NGOs, and this will allow you to promote your school, your city, your country. All the participants will get their prizes and certificates from our sponsors (Program of small grants with $2,000 is among them).

The winning stories which are the boldest, best designed and create the most change will be entered into the Global DFC contest.

Join the movement of change makers, be the change!

If you have any further questions or would like to become a participant, a member of the jury or a sponsor, please, contact Svetlana Semenovykh, Birobidzhan Access and DFC Russia coordinator, teacher trainer:
SvetlanaSemenovykh2011@yandex.ru

Edited by Noel Marie Becker,
Access teacher, DFC jury member

 

2 Comments »

Ischenko Tatiana,Nakhodka:

«Design for change» movement is a wonderful way to involve students into volunteer activity in their own community.

3 Август 2012 | 17:13
Марина Джихатовна:

Great!

5 Август 2012 | 19:21
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