Foto: Archiv Člověk v tísni
Our school has a clear goal – to help students transition to secondary school and give our students a sense of real-life problems and solution. But how can we achieve this? We receive enough support for teaching knowledge-based subjects, but we don’t have a good didactic support to work on students’ attitudes and personal traits. People in Need plays a vital role in this respect, helping us discover and test new and effective teaching methods.
When preparing my lessons I can use the websites of People in Need´s education projects and choose from a number of activities, documentaries and printed material. These varied teaching aids make my lessons more interesting for students. Their first thought is that watching a documentary is a good way of killing time, but it becomes clear later on that they are actually making real progress. In the follow-up to the film they usually work with a text, draw, discuss the topic and build on it.
The in-class activities encourage discussion and group work. Many of the students (and teachers, too!) are often surprised how well they can communicate about the issues at hand and realize that they want to make their opinions heard. My role as a teacher in these activities is not to give the students information, but to organise and moderate the activities.
The One World in Schools project has been a positive experience as well. Our students liked the films so much that they founded a film club where they show documentaries and organize debates with interesting people, like, for example, members of the anti-communist resistance movement, former political prisoners, volunteers etc. Two highlights of the film club´s activities are an annual film festival or shooting original student documentaries. It is great to see students organize all of this on their own! My role is again only that of a coordinator.
This project has also changed students´ attitudes toward their school. They often come back after finishing their studies and share memories of the film club activities. This is the best reward for teachers.
Last but not least: the People in Need organization offers professional support for creative teaching, but the most important foundation for teachers´ work is the support of colleagues and of the school leadership. An important aspect of every teachers´ work is their own enthusiasm for the job, the general climate in the class and students´ trust. It is the task of the teacher as well as of the school to create a safe environment that is based on trust. People in Need offers a helping hand at its professional development seminars even in this area.
The rest is up to each teachers.
Learning can be fun for teachers too
- Autor: Pavla Tolášová, učitelka občanské nauky a ekonomie
- Škola: Průmyslová střední škola Letohrad