Friday, September 08, 2006

Teachers Unleashed

Yesterday afternoon saw me running a workshop optimisitically entitled Unleashing Your Creativity for around 90 teachers and teacher-trainers from across the country invited by my friends and ex-collegues at ELTEC (English Language Teacher Education Centre).

I wanted the group to have a taste of the kind of activities I use on my courses, particularly as they can use the ideas in their own classrooms to build the confidence of the students. The physical conditions were less than ideal though - space constraints and a lack of tables meant that the participants had to write on their laps of take to the floor!

Fortunately, they were a most sporting bunch!

Handling so many people at the same time was also a juggling act (I like to work with intimate groups of 8-10). And in case you've wondered, teachers en masse can be every bit as naughty as the kids they teach. (Teacher-trainers being the worse of the lot. Just try controlling a roomful of them!)

But it worked out okay in the end, and I think the participants enjoyed the 'hands-on' nature of the session and came away with pieces of personal writing they can polish at home. (Was very moved when one woman came to show me her writing afterwards - she had really hit a nerve with the piece she had begun about the death of her son. Hope she completes it - the story really wanted to be written.)

I then had a chance to grind a favourite axe and talked about how schools and the education system too often serve to smoother creativity, and about how teachers can create the space and time and conditions for creativity of all kinds to occur. Hope something strikes a chord ...

It felt really good to be back and working with teachers after a long time away from it, and it was great to see so many of my friends from the Makatab Peguruan Ilmu Khas (Specialist Teacher's College) days ... as well as a couple of my former B.Ed students doing well (one of them now in ELTEC herself and training teachers).

*Sigh* As they say, old teachers never die they just lose their class.

Was exhausted after the session. (Training takes so much energy, psychic and physical!) I then had a horrendous drive to KLPAC in the pouring rain and rush-hour traffic to see Jit Murad's Gold Rain and Hailstones. But I couldn't miss it. Jit is for sure one of my favourite people in the whole wide world - I get the warm fuzzies inside every time I meet him, which is nearly always in Bangsar Shopping Complex, his second home. It was opening night and Jit's family and friends were there - so there was a very nice atmosphere. I was much too tired to be a very responsive member of the audience though, and longed only for my bed.

Need to do the play more justice than this, don't I? Shall come back to it later.

But right now I've got to get ready to go to the Pay Less Warehouse Sale! See you there??


Tina said...

Hi Sharon. Good to see you again at PB's warehouse sale. We did meet 'officially' this time. I'm the one sitting on the floor, wishing I could take all those books home! - Tina

bibliobibuli said...

there's no end to book greed and book need is there? hope you like your photo in today's post.

Anonymous said...

"terribly" is misspelt. There're too many sentences starting with "I". In fact, there're too many I's altogether. Can you sayd "Std" ? also, "further the middle" should maybe be "nearer the middle" or "near the middle", depending on what you actually want to say. Is it "taking breakfast" or "having breakfast" ?

What do you think ? What makes this essay uninteresting ? Why are adult teachers writing like ten-year-old-kids ? where are the shadows ? where's the color ? where are the sounds ? where's the wind ? what does it smell like ? it sounds as if it was written perfunctorily, as if these teachers were just treating this as a holiday from teaching. If I ran a writing class I'd drill that stuff into them.

Anonymous said...

Also, you should maybe ask her permission to put that one up instead. It's gotta be better than this one. Alright, once more with _feeling_ :)

Anonymous said...

I mean that other one with the death.. that would at least have some emoption in it.. I'm off to the booksales :)