Phew! All done, what a ride! I think it took us 7 weeks all in. Considering the amount of upheaval that we experienced, we did a great job. What I wanted to prove most of all was that YOU CAN DO THIS. In a very short time. I'm a 2nd-year teacher struggling to get my program together...but won't I always be? Yes, the cross-curricular work was not to the best standard but that was through my inexperience. I now see that I could EASILY have improved the standard of the work by either:
- making the quality of the work PART of the Mantle
- having some forethought about my core subject teaching, and theming that work according to the topic and our focus
My MOTE was very separate from my core subjects. This needn't/shouldn't be the case. I did this because it was the first term and there was too much going on with assessment and class setup and what not. Next time I will integrate the MOTE story across the curriculum. It's easiest to do with art but making it part of literacy and maths is not difficult either.
In fact, the topic of identity was everywhere in our learning and, as time passed by, I found it easier and easier to find connections on a day to day basis. You'll be surprised how many ways your topic can be expanded upon and connected to your everyday learning.
The children are sooooooo capable. Even though this term I was blessed with a willing crew, I still found it difficult to let go at times. My desire to do good work sometimes got in the way of...good work! You have to let go and manage the behaviour whilst guiding THEIR creativity.
The response from my Principal was very positive. He was impressed with the outcome and the attitude to learning from the kids. Mt Teacher assistant and Tutor Teacher were blown away by the kids' commitment to their stories. However, I still didn't get the feeling that most would want to implement MOTE in their classroom due to the fear of not being a 'drama person' or by the amount of work that it seems to go into a successful project. My first two projects have been assisted by Viv. And there was a fair amount of work done on weekends but it was just part of my topic planning, which I would have had to do anyway. Week by week it became easier because we were in full flow and the project took on its own inertia. I intend to do this again next term but I want to use different conventions. Not sure what yet but I'll find something. Kids want to do something with superheroes and the topic is 'investigations'. Any ideas?
Lastly, I don't know if anyone is reading this. If you are, please consider doing this FOR your children. I truly believe that, apart from my wonderful personality, MOTE has contributed immensely to the happy go lucky class culture that we are experiencing. Many of my shy kids have blossomed through this process. It is so worth it. The most prevalent comment on the Q&A with the kids was that they enjoyed working with their friends or with people that they would not normally work with. I know that they learnt a lot about the topic but I think most of all they learnt about themselves and their classmates through the topic. They were engaged and they were committed to the topic AND each other. That is something to build upon over the next three terms.