cdJust before the last school week I found a mail in my inbox from some colleague, Peter, who works at a school that will start with a tto-programme as of August. I remember being desperate when discovering that a text book for my subject was not available. Art teachers like to devise their own very special curriculum, and I always had enjoyed doing so, but when it comes to teaching art in a foreign language, oh well, that’s a wholly different kettle of fish.
Even subject meetings organised by the European Platform turned out to be not very useful. I remember a fellow teacher who cavilled that he was not willing to share his work as “you never get anything in return.”

So I decided to give it away. Not just some of it, all of it. All my work of the last five years. Peter and I met and I gave Peter a cd. Unfortunately I had to leave some minor items out, as the work exceeded the 720 MB limit of  the cd I burned. Peter was delighted:

Dear Colleague,

Although it doesn’t sound to me as proper English, I’m sure you know what I mean when I say that to me you seem to be a gift sent to me from heaven.
And that is becaurse you are so willing to make me a participant of your skills as a teacher in Arts.
It was a very inspiring afternoon and what I’m up to is a lot clearer now (hope reading this in about a year will make me laugh as well) .
The cd-rom you gave me is more than I ever dreamed of: full of inspiring lessons and a clear overall view of the subject we have to deal with: Art.
Thanks so much. I hope we’ll meet again.

Kind regards,

Peter

Of course I answered:

Dear Peter,

I am glad you find something useful in my stuff. Feel free to ask any question. I know I will be rewarded with some idea that didn’t pop up so far in my addled brain, in due course, when you are going to return your nifty work sheets.:-). Or, you could invite me to your class room, when you feel up to it.

Bear in mind that teaching art in English only pays off by incorporating language development in your classes systematically. The students will recognise your efforts, and they will do you proud! My students always are eager to correct my pronunciation in a most amiable way, and they accept my profuse thanks with a smile, as we are fully aware that, between us. we face an extremely difficult challenge, teacher and students alike. We don’t need to be perfect yet, as long as we show progress by leaps and bounds.

Pick your colleague’s native speaker’s brains at school! He/she is the peerless source of impeccable English! Those fellow teachers never make any mistake in using prepositions.

May the sun shine on your path in the year to come,

Regards,

Joep

Conclusion
Yes, this is a self-congratulary post. I know! I am a conceited fellow. But I feel that it is completely o.t.t. that all those art teachers are reinventing the wheel. I suggest we all dump our brilliant ideas in Digischool/Kennisnet’s repository. Have a look at the links on the right!

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