By the end of the third day of being with this group I was (I must confess) disappointed and to be honest quite sad. I didn't seem to be able to get most of the children's attention and commitment, which is something I hadn't felt before, at least whilst dealing with children.
What made me keep on going were the ones (very few) that did look at me as if to say "What about us? We are here and we are making an effort". There were moments in which I felt almost lost ... and wondering what to further do to get it all going as a group - The theatrical piece depended on each and everyone of them and more so with Eric not being present on Friday (which had me re-adapt the distribution of roles).
New technology seemed to have taken over during the morning break, which not only surprised Ana and myself but also shocked us to a certain extent, as the weather was fine and very few wanted to take advantage of it. We soon realised that once youngsters are "barehanded" they have a huge difficulty to be creative enough and find "simple" ways of amusing themselves. As they were taken away their exquisite paraphernalia of "mechanic" games many were lost ...
Back into the classroom and after having completed some group exercises they tried to finish their artistic pieces, which some have initially not done willingly but which they ended up enjoying doing.
The fourth day was so far the "best" day for me as a teacher of this group not only because children seemed a lot "calmer", more committed and enthusiastic about what they were doing and really concerned about the final outcome in regards to the "performance" on Friday. Prior to two rehearsals in the auditorium, so that they'd get used to the performing space we did some word-image matching exercises, which they really enjoyed.
Outdoor activities occupied the break time, which gave me some "hope" as to what the future might hold ...
The artistic activities were substituted by a film viewing and discussion, which I felt of being of utmost importance, as it revealed other realities, children with difficult lives,whose access to schooling very much differs from theirs. Morocco, India, Kenya and the Argentinian pampa is where the film took them to ... and there was no doubt it had touched them in a similar way to those who had seen it before.
I spent the afternoon decorating the room with the photos I have taken of them during the four days, having their artistic pieces organised for the exhibition and painting the feathers supposedly pertaining to some of the birds the children will "impersonate in the "adapted text of "The feather" (with the exception of the seagull and peacock feathers).
The sibling twins who had to exceptionally"stay with me for part of the afternoon together with another made some puzzles and helped me with whatever was necessary.
(To be continued)