A rewarding crazy adventure
In November 2020 my retired colleague and friend, Carmina Aguado, signed the agreement
of an Erasmus project with other 3 schools. Then Covid19 visited us and stayed for quite
long, so my colleague retired and I inherited the responsibility of the program at her request.
For two years, I wrote quite a few emails to the coordinator school and the other participant
schools, an Italian and a Bulgarian one. The response by the coordinating person was scarce;
he just ignored my proposals to start the project online and wait for the possibility of a real
mobility. No way¡
In November 2022, after a couple of emails with the Bulgarian school representative, who
told me she was closing the program by returning their budget, and knowing that the Italian
school had retired because the person in charge had also retired, I wrote to the Spanish
agency to quit the program. Surprisingly, in December, I received an email from the
coordinator school's new teacher in charge of the program, establishing the mobility dates and
the opening ceremony just a month later.
As you can imagine, I was amazed, but, at the same time I wanted to do it. The next month,
especially, and the rest of the course was really crazy for me. In first week of January
- Christmas holidays -, we organised a WhatsApp group, held three online meetings, received
the documents and started to learn what we were supposed to do and, to make things more
complicated, the Bulgarian school had to quit. However, the most discouraging moment came
when the Italian school left too, after participating in the opening ceremony we had held
online January 17, because they found it difficult to fit all the mobilities. Therefore, we had
double work and one third of the time.
After a conversation with our school head teacher, I was allowed to decide whether to do it or
not. The coordinator also asked me if I would do it and my answer was clear: “I have been
fighting to start this for two years, now it has become a dream come true”. I knew I had the
right kind of students to carry out the task and they proved me right.
Then came the meetings with parents, the selection of students, the effort to take more than
the 21 in the agreement… For me, the most tiring thing was bureaucracy: reading the
agreement, the annexes, watching the videos on how to do the project and the final report….,
and trying to get to the authorities to obtain their authorisation under the new conditions.
At the same time, in the classrooms, I had the compensation. This is a project for the students,
and all my students, even those who could not participate in the mobilities, read and watched
videos about the topics: Gender equality and Digital creation and Media literacy and Critical
Thinking. I thought they were very suitable and up-to-date topics and, working with them
helped me understand what the project was about. And it worked well. Second of bacharelato
and 3rd of ESO students made some great presentations and compositions and 4th of ESO and
1st of bacharelato, the ones who were participating in the program, started to study the topics
more profoundly and prepare possible creations on them.
In the meantime, we selected the participants, asked for the parental permits and passports,
booked the flights and tried to get accommodation in London; a really hard job as everything
is shockingly expensive. The cheapest thing the travel agents found was a hostel with bunk
beds for 90€ a night. Eventually, with the help of the British colleague, 28€ with breakfast,
in 9 – bunk bed rooms and next to the British Museum. Great¡¡ It was an obstacle race,
especially trying to avoid important tests. There is much more, but I would need a novel and
time which I do not have, because I have to finish the final report and start a new course with
quite a lot of bureaucracy.
Nevertheless, I will not finish without stating a couple of things:
1-Our English department has been working, at least partially, creating projects and different
kinds of practical works, which have improved the students’ level of English, as we could test
during the mobilities. None of the 21 participants had any problem to communicate
with the British students and teachers. I must say that the bilingual sections, in separate groups,
played a key role in this achievement.
2-This methodology was the tool which allowed us to fulfil the Erasmus project efficiently, as
the students did not have to do anything very different from what they had already been doing
for years. Here I have to say that the ITC teachers are also doing a great job, because the
students’ command of the tools to create the outputs is their merit.
**I will include a link to a Google sites web where you can see some of the things I have just
talked about and, hopefully, increasingly better productions my students have created during
the last few years, which should reflect the improvement in their ability to express their
ideas by using ITC, as technology offers them new possibilities to show their views of
Links to previous years' projects.