By Evangelia Triantafyllou, Greece
Our participation in the program wouldn’t be complete without any school visits. Big Sky High School was the first to visit and we all relished the experience!
All of us have read about or watched documentaries about the Watergate affair, but this time teacher Cameron Johnson helped us approach it from a content-based approach, far away from any chronological approaches in traditional teaching classroom settings. A video and an excerpt from an article on Washington Post became the stimuli for a lot of discussion both during group work to figure out the people involved in the affair as well as their role in it, and with the whole class addressing issues of democracy, liberty and public loyalty.
And this was just the beginning because the lessons we attended after that added to our incredible experience. Spanish and French lessons, creative writing and English language lessons helped us get a better understanding of the way lessons are delivered in the school.
We visited Big Sky High School during a period of time when changes to the schedule take place due to the fact that the lessons finish in about a week. We were excited to watch the student assembly, during which students that have been awarded academic letters were recognized, and the changing of seats took place as the current juniors took over the senior section of the bleachers, all of which happed in a very joyful and musical atmosphere.
What amazed me the most is how every corner of the school has been given a personal touch by the students and the staff of the school. Doors, walls, windows, floors become excellent spaces for improvisation, project exposure or decoration. The students felt free to express themselves and justify their opinion in front of others and present their school work. There were also quite a few instances when students approached us and wanted to find out who we are and where we come from, driven by a genuine interest in communicating with us.
I would like to thank all the students and personnel of the school for their warm welcome and their willingness to accept us in their classrooms sharing with us their teaching experiences and practices.
Thank you Big Sky High School! You really deserve some relaxing and invigorating summer time!