Last month, I went into the school I had been working with for a ‘Showcase’ event. It was the culmination of the E-Mentoring sessions I’d led, teaching a group of students Spanish via Skype fortnightly. It was a chance to celebrate the success of the pilot project and discuss how it could be scaled up to engage students in a new way of language learning.
Sadly, figures of students taking up languages in schools are on the decline and have been for a long time in the UK. However, Spanish seems to be becoming more popular and it was an opportunity for me to gain some experience teaching languages.
More importantly, the event celebrated the pupils and they had the chance to show what they’d learnt to their parents, staff and others involved in the project. They took on the role of teachers and it was wonderful to see them presenting with such confidence the PowerPoints and activities they’d prepared.
I think this applies to much of the work we do.
All we can try and do is plant a seed of something with those we work with. Maybe that’s an idea or something they’ve never thought of before. It was humbling to see the impact on the students and they’d really taken something away from the sessions. They were engaged and enthusiastic about languages and that for me is so important. But it wasn’t me doing that work. We can sow and cultivate the work we do, but the growth happens with or without our influence. That is what we have to trust in, that we are doing good work that matters to others.