I love this time in the school year. Reports are in (after 60 plus hours of work). Marks are entered. The pool is open. Year end celebrations are planned. Summer is (almost) here. Both kids and teachers can taste the excitement of the impending summer holidays, but have to wait two more weeks to fully seize its goodness.
Though I am definitely looking forward to Christmas break, it has truly been a phenomenal school year. A was entrusted with a very special group of kind, crafty, enthusiastic students this year who most definitely grew very dear to my heart. We shared a lot of awesome times together over the past 10 months, but one that stands out in particular was a recent fieldtrip.
As part of our social studies unit, “Connect + Contribute = Community,” I recently had the pleasure of taking my gorgeous class on a fieldtrip to visit another school in South Auckland. Prior to our visit, we began first by researching the school as our focus community, and then communicating by email with another class of Y5/6 students.
Our visit to the South Auckland school ended up being an even greater success than I had hoped. It was a really neat experience for my students to visit another school community, especially one much more culturally diverse than their own. Though I think everyone was a little nervous at first, the two classes warmed up to each other, and we were made to feel very welcome by both students and staff in this very special South Auckland school.
The day began with some introductions and a collabroative art project. This was followed by a sharing of dance: We taught the other class a hip hop dance, and they taught us a Samoan dance. The kids did a fantastic job of taking leadership of this component and did all the teaching themselves!
The exciting announcement that our home-made pinatas hanging in a tree lit up eyes and grew huge smiles on faces. While it was probably the highlight of the day for many, this operation was quickly shut down when numerous injuries resulted from the uninhibited lunging for lollies.
After a tasty and enlightening shared lunch where students had the opportunity to try many foods that were new to them, including taro and chop suey, we spend the final part of our day doing some buddy reading with younger classes under a tree.
The whole experience was truly special. I got some great pics of the children interacting, and really wish I could share them with you so you can see their gorgeous faces! It was truly beautiful watching the kids form friendships with one another. After taking some time to debrief with my class, it is neat to know that they did get some awesome learning and new understandings out of it too. Here are some of the things my students had to say…
“I learned different types of things to do to make new people at our school feel welcome.”
“The highlight of the trip was learning the Samoan dance because my partner encouraged me to come up to the front and just do it!”
“I feel more confident about meeting new people now.”
“I feel more appreciative of other cultures.”
I think it will be an experience that none of us will ever forget!