Saturday, May 23, 2009

Books, Skype, new friends, goodbyes...


As the next two months progressed, most of our conversation revolved around the book and the translation of the poems. It was a huge task, especially for Tyrone, who had to handle all of the translations.

Meanwhile, the classes continued to visit using SKYPE. Pictures were added to Orkut, sharing prom. Lovejoy added juniors to the collaboration. The seniors were beginning to wind down with finals, end of the year activities and their
approaching graduation.

And at Escola Parque, students accepted the Lovejoy juniors, the students began to get to know each other. One of the advantages of the school years beginning and ending at different times is that there is always one group who is experienced to help the new group acclimate to the procedures.

Secretly, Escola Parque students began to use a movie maker to surprise the graduating class.

The students had grown very close. They had shared their lives, their hopes, and their fears of the future. A bond was formed.

Lovejoy seniors celebrated Class Day the week prior to graduation. They did not know, until it was flashed on the wall, that their Brasilian friends had sent a video. The "ooh's and ah's" and the whispered, "there I am's" were mingled with tears. Yes, the project is a success.
As for the teachers, both beam with pride, knowing that their students are not just taking a class, but that they are learning in a way that will prepare them for the 21st century workplace, that will enable them to do jobs that do not even exist yet. They are ready to face new tasks, analyze how to do them, and apply critical thinking skills to meet any challenge they face.

It is a joy to know that our students, young adults from violent neighborhoods where they are not expected by society to succeed, are enjoying and making the most of an opportunity to develop the skills to make it in the world. This is what education is really all about.

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