I have been teaching English for twenty years. I have been involved in eTwinning for 10 years. I thought I have already experienced everything in my job. And suddenly, the pandemic changed our lives last year. I must admit that this has been the strangest school year of my career. When we got back to school in September, both teachers and students, did not know what to expect. Everything was different and every single day a challenge. I wondered if this was the right year to embark ourselves on a project.
By January, one of my colleagues, who is an eTwininng ambassador, told me about a promising project he had found on eTwininng Live. They were asking for a partner to join their project. It was called Let’s write a story. At first,I hesitated and felt insecure (we were overwhelmed by daily tasks and the uncertainty about the rest of the school year was lurking). However, there was something about the idea that really attracted me.
As a teacher I consider creation and imagination as one of the key tools for the development of young minds and the learning of a foreign language. So, I immediately saw the potential of a project which was based on these foundations. Moreover, students were going to interact, learn and research about Ireland, make videos, use a great variety of online tools and above all, they were going to have the chance
to use their imagination to write their own chapter of this wonderful book.
Then I met Agata, Zeynep, Daniela and Svitlana, and I was stunned by their capacity for hard work, their enthusiasm and the variety of ideas they constantly displayed to enrich the project. They made things so easy, that I can only thank them for their creativity and support.
Among other things, we have introduced ourselves, both teachers and students, we have made videos about Ireland, we have made video calls to interview each other, we have talked about the pandemic, about our countries and cultures, about our daily routines during this hard period...but the most gratifying part was to discover how students had the ability to come up with the ideas for their part of the story, how
they enjoyed the whole process of imagining situations, characters and twists, and (surprisingly enough) their interest in following the continuation of each chapter almost like if they were Victorian readers in Dickens’ times. In these days of technology, TV and social media, it was a real pleasure to discover that 13-year-old children could feel the ancient pleasure of telling tales to each other and the pleasure of reading a good story.
It has been an honour to be part of this project. We just hope you enjoy the story of Clara and Alex as much as we did imagining and writing it.
Diego López English teacher at Felipe II High School, Spain