Now the semester is in full swing, Chatteris’ own Sean Daly tells us about what he’s been up to with his English Ambassador Team.
Being a Chatteris Tutor isn’t just about clocking in, teaching for a bit and then clocking out. Far from it. In many of our partner schools around Hong Kong, tutors have the opportunity to help further develop the proficiency of their students, helping them go above and beyond what is expected.
For example, in Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School (BLMC), myself and my fellow Chatteris Tutors Joey, Sophie and Eibhlin were in charge of running the school’s English Ambassador Team (EAT) project. This project gives students an extra opportunity to develop their English skills in a fun and engaging environment outside of regular timetabled lessons.
Now you may be asking: “But what motivates the students to stick around every Monday after school?”
Great question, I’m glad you asked. The purpose of the English Ambassador Team is to create and develop the BEAT Magazine.
“What is the BEAT Magazine?”
It is a bi-annual magazine released by BLMC that focuses on a theme chosen by the Chatteris Tutors and students. The English Ambassador Team is tasked with creating content for the magazine.
“But Sean, where’s the fun in that?”
Wow, you are full of questions aren’t you!
Well, the content that students create is centred on activities that are designed to allow them to stretch their creative muscles. Themes in the past include magic, and festivals around the world. The possibilities are unlimited when it comes down to what students can come up with.
As long as the activities allow students to create content with a focus on the English language then they can really do anything from creative writing to riddles, from creating arts and crafts to cookery lessons. This is how we make English more than just a lesson.
Not only does the EAT project help students develop their English skills, it also helps them develop in many ways. As mentioned earlier, a huge part of EAT is the creative aspect. We encourage students to be as creative as they possibly can. The wilder, the better!
There is no idea too silly nor too ridiculous… and let me tell you that with this approach you will find that the students can output some weird and wonderful creations. Perhaps they will write you a story involving their favourite Chatteris Tutor getting into a predicament with their favourite Disney character, or perhaps make a word search so complex and elaborate that not even the most seasoned puzzle master could find all of the words.
However, it isn’t just the students that benefit from the EAT meetings. I’ve found that both myself and the other Chatteris Tutors have gained a lot from the project. I thought I got on with students pretty well before but this project has definitely encouraged a camaraderie between us as we’re working towards the same goal of completing the magazine whilst we’re all having fun!
When it comes down to it, EAT can be a great time! These meetings serve as a great opportunity to get to know students a little more. You might not think it at first, but it actually benefits your lessons as you find students take more of an interest in what you’re teaching them, making your job just a little bit easier.
You also find that your skills in classroom management are improving alongside the students’ English skills – you start to see what students respond well to. In this environment, students seem to feel like they can speak more freely as they’re not in a traditional classroom situation. They’re being encouraged to get up, walk around and talk about the things they enjoy while taking part in a project that will result in something tangible that they can keep. Something they can look back on in many years with fond memories, saying “You know what? That Mr. Sean, he was a good laugh! I owe a lot of my success to him” in perfect English because you were a great teacher.
So, there you have it! Being a Chatteris Tutor isn’t just about teaching the curriculum. It’s also about helping students really develop, while you yourself develop professionally and build a rapport that will hopefully leave a positive imprint on both you and the students.
Keen to build a creative learning environment for Hong Kong students like Sean? Click here to find out how.