Shall we go for a walk? Shall we? (Ecolint, Geneva Day 2)

| November 23, 2011 | 0 Comments 

Thank you to Shireen Ali-Khan, a teacher at International School of Geneva, for recording her thoughts and refections on the different levels of what happened during some of the sessions at Ecolint Middle School, Geneva with the Year 8 pupils and their teachers:

Shall we go for a walk? Shall we?

After the build up to this invitation there is only one answer to this question…a resounding YES! And that very answer booms across the room with voices in chorus in search of a promised adventure in to a world of words and stories waiting to be created by their own hand.

Tim Rylands, master story teller, and inspirer of children, left the students wanting more!  On a rock solid foundation of non judgmental and respectful sharing, he wove his magic to the delight of the participants.

Rich tapestries of story telling, magnificent description, and all as a model to what children can aspire to and way beyond.

Clear yet bite size instructions, reflective pauses and collaborative learning were the order of the day. With strategy after strategy to use for teachers wanting to elicit higher order thinking from their young writers. Students were referred to as writers and story tellers, the expectations were high and not for a minute was anything believed to the contrary.

Steeped in pedagogy and entertaining for all, there was layer upon layer of rich language and cheesy jokes, the interplay was genius, something for all, and theirs for the taking.

In Mr. Rylands’ theatrical delivery of his own special brand of magic, similes and metaphors were used abundantly, modeled abundantly and consequently created abundantly by the writers. Interspersed with personal stories and sensory experiences beyond this world, the backdrop unfolded for an afternoon that generated writing of powerful proportions.

Through laughter and exploration, the perfect combination, and the catalyst to uncovering the writers we all have within, an afternoon of word play was experienced.

Having returned from the 30th annual “Learning and the Brain” conference in Boston, the day before, it is clear that I had witnessed, through Mr Rylands’ session, an act that would, on a physiological level, seek to be repeated by the participants.

Positive feelings associated with an act will be sought after repeatedly, the association of writing and the subsequent positive feeling in the session were a perfect example of what I had been hearing about and reading about the whole time at the conference.

On multiple levels Mr. Rylands guided, scaffolded and most of all enjoyed what the students surprised themselves with. I look forward to using what I have learnt to spark my own imagination with the possibilities that await not only myself but the young writers in my life.

Thank you and please keep inspiring the latent writers that reside within each and every one of us.

Shireen Ali-Khan
International School of Geneva

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Leave a Reply