Jude McKerrecher started teaching Modern Languages in Edinburgh. She was curriculum leader at Liberton High School and then curriculum leader at Craigmount High School. She is currently on secondment to The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools based at Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in the University of Strathclyde. This remit takes her to schools across Scotland to support teachers in Primary and Secondary schools with the introduction and progression of Mandarin and includes supporting projects, designing and delivering Professional Learning for teachers and supporting the Hanban teachers with training throughout their time in Scottish schools.
How are teachers ensuring results in an environment where no one size fits all? I thought it would be useful to ask Primary and Secondary school learners for their own views about how a teacher brings teaching and learning to life for them. I imagined some rather all-singing-all-dancing responses but, surprisingly, this really was not the case. Here are some of their responses:
“To become a leader, you must first become a human being.” Confucius
I started this post just as we awaited the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize winner 2017. Nobel Peace Prize winners are leaders who, through their passion, determination and influence, fight for causes close to their own hearts - with much wider societal and global benefits. They are inspired and moved enough to insist and persist, leading a cause with fire and enthusiasm for the good of humanity. This year’s award was to ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. “ICAN” – what a hugely important cause, and a great campaign name which embodies a leadership attitude: “I can”.
When you are outside, choose and use your language wisely!
In the beginning, human beings were not designed to spend hours each day surrounded by brick walls. They were naturally programmed for survival, for the great outdoors with its unpredictability, and each day provided naturally occurring learning opportunities which were a necessity if our ancient ancestors were to survive.
Take a look at part 1 of Jude's journey here.
Visit - “Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.” – Asian proverb
The opportunity to be in China for a block of time, and the chance to learn and discover new places, meant that any freedom we had for rest or recreation was largely taken up with maximising every moment to go somewhere or to absorb the culture. While there were the planned visits to the Great Wall, The Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace, there were other opportunities to take the metro to some of the absolutely wonderful markets and ornate temples.
“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!” – Dr Seuss
The opportunity to be immersed in the language and culture of another country provides a valuable opportunity for increasing cultural awareness first-hand, interacting with native speakers and developing new perspectives. A little over a year ago, I left Scotland to spend two full weeks in China with a group of Scottish teachers. Our group was composed of Primary and Secondary teachers. We were all heading to the Beijing Language and Culture University to learn Mandarin, enhance our understanding of Chinese culture and gain new ideas we could bring back to our own work contexts.