I am still finalizing my plans for conversations with the students learning English in Poland. I am visiting 11 schools in the Krakow area and will be discussing several different topics, based on the age of the students.
I have created five different PowerPoint presentations and lesson plans. The teachers are all looking over the plans and determining which will fit in with their students. I see these mostly as conversations. I am hoping the students will participate with me as I talk – there will be many opportunities for them to answer and ask questions as we go along.
Each presentation has some activities – games, songs, stories, etc. that should get the students engaged. Today I had a conversation with one teacher and needed to basically scrap the idea for the PowerPoint presentations because I will be meeting students at this school in a very different situation. I will be there on a bank holiday, and the students are not really in school that day. They will be there to have fun! And, their English will be very limited. I have put together a totally different plan that is closer to the story times I presented as a librarian. I am hoping this meets the needs of this group.
The teachers and I have been Skyping! This is giving me a chance to meet them in advance and learn about their specific needs. We are getting a chance to go over the plans and make any adjustments. I am grateful they are willing to meet with me. I am learning a lot and I think it is making our plans even better. I am still quite nervous about my talks, but speaking to the teachers over Skype is really helping prepare me.
I am so honored and excited to have them inviting me to their homes! In some cases, however, staying in a home is not possible, and I will be staying at a local hotel. This is just fine with me. I certainly understand that not everyone can host someone in their home. They all ask me about food preferences! Oh my, I am not at all fussy! I will eat anything, particularly if it is Polish food. I have had to tell them, however, about my scent sensitivity and that is always embarrassing. They have all agreed not to spray anything in the room or put out scented candles. I should be just fine, but it is a pain to have to mention this to people who are so gracious as to have me in their homes.
At one of the schools the groups will be particularly large, and the students are a bit older and more proficient in English. So, I have created a game that will be a competition. I will divide the group into teams and have them see how many words in English they can make from the word Minnesota. Software I used indicates 541 words of 3 or more letters can be made from this word. I hope the teens find this a fun activity! I am going to double check with the teacher, however, before I definitely add it to my plan.
Now that I have met the teachers on Skype, I am feeling more comfortable corresponding with them. I will be sending messages via email and getting their input into my talks. All I hope for is the teachers find my time with their students to be valuable and the students find our conversations to be fun. That’s not too much to ask, is it?