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Diving into a Skyping Adventure

December 12, 2010

Not long ago, I wrote about our “Singing Fridays”, a really special event we had every Friday in my classroom. I was really excited when Joan Young asked if it would be possible to share our “Singing Fridays” with her class. I had never connected my classroom with another classroom before. So I thought it would be the perfect ending to an incredible school year.
I must admit, I was freaked out, at first. What if my students behaved badly? What if it was a mess? Joan and I agreed to connect our classes on our last day of school. To be honest, this made me feel even more scared. On the last day of school, kids are usually so excited that they tend to be a bit noisier than usual. I had so many questions and doubts…
While Joan and I were planning our Skype connection, I realized she felt just as nervous as I did. We shared our questions, doubts and fears. We realized that it’d OK, if kids were a bit wild. After all, isn’t Skyping with another classroom an exciting experience? We’re in Argentina and they are in California, wouldn’t you be thrilled about it? So, we decided to make it happen. We would let our kids enjoy the adventure and we were determined to savor it too.
Getting my kids ready to Skype was incredible. I was amazed by how well they behaved. There were absolute no fights about who would sing first or what song they would sing. It was such a pleasant surprise to see how easily they agreed and planned everything.
Seeing their faces beam as we established the connection was priceless. Let me tell you, Skyping with Joan’s class was way more amazing than I had expected. Watching my students sing was powerfully inspiring. I had tears in my eyes as each group performed. Watching them blissfully listen to the Christmas carols Joan’s class sang was deeply touching. While our Californian friends were singing for us something magical happened… We were really touched by a sign they showed us. They had especially made a sign that said “Feliz Navidad”, which means Merry Christmas in Spanish, our native language. What a touching and delicate gesture! Not only were we connected through Skype, but we also felt a real connection with them. Finally, my kids sang a Christmas carol in Spanish. So enthusiastically they sang! So beautiful sounded their voices! It was magical how through music we could share the Argentinean Christmas spirit and feel the American Christmas spirit at the same time.
Needless to say, both classes did an awesome job. What’s more they behaved amazingly well. I can’t find the words to describe how marvelous it was. So powerful was this experience that even one of my students wrote a post about it on his first day of vacation… (see at the end of the post)

Seeing my students in action has made me aware that they shine when they are motivated. Once again, It was my students that proved to me how important it is to bring the real world into our classroom. Amazing things can happen when we are able to make real world connections with students’ learning. It’s time we stepped away from our fears and started knocking down our classrooms walls. Let’s stop wasting our children’s precious time and challenge ourselves to make our classrooms go global. Let’s recreate the world in our classrooms and prepare our students for the real world.

One of my students' thoughts on the Skype connection.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2010 11:52 pm

    Thank you Greta for writing such a beautiful account of our Skype singing experience! I will never forget the priceless looks of pride on your students’ faces. I learned so much from the experience and hope to connect with future classes of yours!

    • December 13, 2010 9:37 am

      Thanks so Joan! It was so hard for me to write this post. I seriously couldn’t find words to describe our wonderful adventure!
      I’ll never forget your wonderful students and their beautiful voices. I can’t wait to start school next year and connect our classes again! I loved sharing our last day of school with you and your class. Thanks again!

  2. December 13, 2010 4:45 am

    Hi Greta,

    It sounds great. Please can you tell me about your students ages and levels? Are they in a private school? is it bilingual? Their class blogs look great too. I’m amazed…What kind of levels are they?

    Thanks sorry for all the questions

    Great Post


    • December 13, 2010 9:54 am

      Aww Thanks Leahn! No worries about the questions! My students are 5th graders. They are in a private billingual school. They have been learning English since Pre-K. They sat for Flyers this year, but their level is a bit higher than that. Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Glad you liked my students’ blogs! It means a lot! Thanks again!

  3. December 13, 2010 10:07 am

    What a great post, Greta! You captured this incredible experience through your words and really took all of us there too. Most importantly, you included a very important message at the end: we should break down the classroom walls and allow our students to learn and grow with others from around the world. Your post is a great way to inspire others to do just that!


    • December 13, 2010 11:54 am

      Aww Aviva! Thanks so much! It was an amazing experience, and to be honest, it was difficult to find the words to describe it. I decided to share the experience, so I could help other teachers jump into this kind of adventure and create meaningful learning experiences for their students. Can’t wait to read about your Skype Sing! You’ll see how wonderful it is! Thanks for your kind words and support Aviva! It means a lot.

  4. December 13, 2010 1:43 pm

    Agreed! Lovely post, Greta.
    And a great inspiration for anyone wishing to provide their learners with wonderful experiences through English. Must have been really exciting for your learners to see how it connects – I would’ve been completely blown away had I been your student! 🙂


    • December 13, 2010 11:06 pm

      Aww Thanks so much for your kind words! Let me tell you, I was totally blown away. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my teaching career. I seriously hope this hope can inspire other teachers to provide this kind of experiences for their students. It’s priceless! Thanks again!

  5. December 14, 2010 1:35 pm

    Hey Greta,
    Great post. Your students are so fortunate to have such a creative teacher who loves them so dearly. I was thinking recently that only two teachers in my life really stood out for me as ones who knew me and cared that I was a human with interests and dreams. I have a funny feeling that each child in your class will think of you when they are asked which teachers meant the most in their lifetime.
    Thanks for caring about kids.

    • December 21, 2010 11:33 am

      Wow Tara! Thanks so much for your words. It means a lot coming from a wonderful educator like you!

  6. December 14, 2010 7:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing that story Greta, what I love about your post is your honesty about your hesitancy and apprehension. I think it is important for others to see that all of us are stepping into uncharted territory, it is okay to be nervous but the rewards are worth it. I’m sure it is an experience your students won’t soon forget!

    • December 21, 2010 11:35 am

      Thanks Kelly! I agree with you! It’s OK to be nervous about it and it’s so rewarding! That’s why I decided to share this story. I hope other teachers are inspired to connect their classes with the world too. Thanks again!

  7. January 6, 2011 4:41 am

    Moving and inspiring! A wonderful reminder to move education beyond the walls of the classroom, regardless of the students’ ages.

    • January 10, 2011 10:35 am

      Thanks Anaka! Expanding our classroom is so important… Agreed, doesn’t matter if our students are in Pre-K or 8th grade! 🙂


  1. Tweets that mention Diving into a Skyping Adventure « About a Teacher --
  2. links for 2010-12-13 | MYAM's Blog
  3. White Christmas Goes Global! « About a Teacher
  4. My 2010 Most Memorable Teaching Moments « About a Teacher
  5. Picking Up From Where We Left Off or How Skype Eliminated Distance « Vicky Loras's Blog
  6. The Daily Digest(ive) December 13th 2010 | Creative Education

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