Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Art Budget

by AJ

Re: the last post-- I recently emailed a Jim Trelease article to our school director-- the one about using rain gutters to create in-class browsing libraries. He loved the idea and so we may, in the future, give this a try. I also suggested that he give each teacher an "art budget" to use for classroom beautification. He's considering that idea as well.

Im blessed to work at a school that is open to such ideas [kudos to our director, who has built a successful school very quickly]. And Im blessed to work in a school that is gradually becoming more beautiful. Our director is continuously making improvements. This week, for example, he bought a huge curved couch for our TV/Theater room. Its hard to explain, but that couch transformed the rooms feeling. It is now a place thats conducive to large gatherings. 8-10 folks can squeeze in cozily... all with great views of the (large screen) TV. Its made a big difference with our movie-technique sessions.

We've also got a ping-pong table and now have weekly tournaments, every Wednesday. This was my director's idea, and its worked great. Rather than bolt out the door, lots of students now stick around to socialize, play in the tournament, and chat. My hope is that by covering the walls with books, we'll also encourage them to browse and read. Hopefully we can add DVDs to the wall as well, to encourage students to watch/listen to movies.

Step by step the school is being transformed: from a drab school building to a learning/community center. The increase in energy is tangible.

Next step, in my opinion-- start to pull in native-speaking community members. Our students CRAVE interaction (and friendship) with Americans. We are creating an excellent social space,... my hope is we can leverage that... into powerful connections between students and community members.

San Francisco, CA