Diving into a Skyping Adventure
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.