Guest Author: Delandris Jones, MGMS
The French immersion team at Meadow Glen Middle School strives to teach all students the value of other cultures. In addition to cultural awareness and appreciation, we also push our students to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that in life we have have a greater duty, which is to serve by being vessels of positive change.
During one of our units, our region of focus was Haiti. As we were studying the unit, the students admired the rich culture and history of Haiti, and they wanted to give back. This was music to my ears especially since I was/am a Bonner Scholar from Wofford.
The other teachers and I knew that we wanted this to be totally student-led so we designated certain students to be leaders of the various committees, and we let them to do the rest! It’s sometimes hard to relinquish the power; however, we strongly acknowledge that it’s necessary when building proficiency and more importantly, confidence in the language.
As the teachers and I were reflecting on this process and seeing how students took control of the issues that arose such as dealing with some collaboration setbacks, rejections to phone calls from potential donors, etc., we were simply in awe that OUR kids could do this! They were leaders of their own learning! Even though they didn’t necessarily have titles, they acknowledged their greater civic duty, which is to be committed to being greater than themselves.
So what was the final product? Great question! The students hosted “Hotdogs for Haiti” where they sold various snacks and planned tons of activities on the field.
The money that was raised would be sent to Haiti via a state-side organization, Mission Haiti, to sponsor students for a school year. The goal was to raise enough money to sponsor 15 students; however, thanks to their unwavering efforts, we were able to sponsor 32 students for the next school year. YEAH!!!
This immersion program at MGM has really given me life and has inspired my other two colleagues, Shannon Gowe and Eric Ruppe, as well. Seeing how the students trust each other and aren’t afraid of taking risks is simply incredible. Each day is truly a blessing being able to teach and inspire these young ones, as we forever remember to stay committed to being greater than ourselves.
Thank you Delandris, Shannon and Eric for pushing your students to be "greater than themselves."
In what ways do you push your students to think beyond themselves?
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World Language Teacher Support Specialist (and Language Enthusiast)