Well, today I said my goodbyes to Y5CAL and Y5B and tomorrow it’ll be Y5A and Y3C. Thanks for a wonderful year. I’m hopeful about your results, but, as you know, I don’t really care because I know (for the cases of those people whose English I know things about!) and then because I have never believed in exams. Actually, I’m critical of exams. I believe they help destroy a love for knowledge. But in this, exams operate like most people. Knowledge is not very much loved in our society. It’s undervalued, underestimated, underrated! Our society doesn’t believe we can grow in every way through learning. Most people think learning English is about learning to pass an exam in English, and most people are not aware of all the learning that happens in our minds when we learn a language, a most complex intellectual activity. I believe we’re beginning to change this, culturally speaking. And I have not noticed this lovelessness towards knowledge in class, so that is why I’m grateful. Interactive teachers mirror what they get! You have paid a lot of attention to me, so I’ve had the chance to be a better teacher! And you have taken part in the construction of the lessons! ❤ 🙂
As a teacher, the most valuable thing I might’ve helped you learn is that you cannot become a competent (and joyful) user of a language without establishing a personal and everyday relationship with listening to the language. I hope this course helped you develop the habit of listening to English every day. I believe English will allow you to grow in every sense, because through learning a language we learn about ourselves and others and the worlds we create in all kinds of ways. Human language is inextricably connected to human thought and human relationships. It’s hard of us to think something we have no words for, and then the language we use, the way we name, reflects the kind of relationships we have with people. The more you allow your language to develop, the more your intelligence (your heart-mind) develops and the more options you have, the freer you get, because the world expands.
These are my own thoughts. I am also interested in yours.
So once the Exam Experience is over, if you wish to send me an email assessing your learning this year, your personal learning and the learning in class, I’ll be very interested in reading it, and grateful, of course. (It goes without saying I understand you would do it from your total freedom, and not to manipulate or impress me or those horrible things they tell people they are doing when they try to analyze things and be honest.) I’m interested in knowing what helped you, what eased your path, in which ways, what moved you, what you learned, what you discovered about your own skills, what you missed, what you found useless or uninteresting, when or where you noticed progress, where you got stuck, what activities you enjoyed the most…
About not having enough time, well, you might leave that out. I do understand. (I had to quit my language learning this year because I could not get enough time. My French and German and Catalan listening courses! Hopefully, next year I’ll make sure I find the time I need for that.) But understanding is not finding it a good reason. We do what we can, and I respect that. But learning deserves more time, more passion, and should be seen as a priority. And then a great part of our learning can be integrated into our routines and make us feel good, interested, energetic, involved, connected on a daily basis. I believe this is urgent, both for our personal and social lives — we need to push learning/education further, make it more meaningful, more useful to change the world for the better, in spite of all the harm it always gets because education is such a powerful tool for social change.
So that is also why I find that students’ feedback is something I need to include in my research!
About the party, I will certainly feel very happy to welcome you to my new house, any of you in the 4 groups who wishes to drop by for a hello! I’m not sure when the house and we, its prospective dwellers, will be ready for organizing that, but we will, and I’ll let you know. We’ll move there in July, so perhaps August, September, October… We’ll keep in touch some way! 🙂
In any case, 😉 best of luck! ❤ 🙂