For about a year now Manal and Rinan, two English teachers at Beit Hanoun Prep School have been doing weekly online sessions with Julietta Schoenmann, a HUP volunteer based in the UK. Here’s their account of a session they conducted which involved parents and children working together.
On April 14th 2019, the English club students in Beit Hanoun Prep. Girls’ A School, with their teachers Manal Ismail and Rinan Al Mazanin, had an online session with our volunteer, Julietta. We were honoured with the participation of the students’ parents. It was a unique, exciting experience in which parents took part in classroom activities with their children.
The session started with a warm welcome from Julietta, who expressed her extreme happiness and surprise to see such a large number of parents especially mothers.
Julietta then moved to the first activity in which girls created dramatic scenes using two dice for inspiration. One die had place words (e.g. forest, circus, café) and the other had job words (e.g. singer, doctor, clown). For each group of 5/6 students Julietta threw the dice so that the group had a place and a job to use for their dramatic scene. Even though some of the combinations were strange – a doctor and a circus, a clown and a forest – our students were very creative like they always are. They immediately wrote the scenes with their parents’ help and acted them out. Everyone enjoyed the acting and admired the endless creativity and good language skills of the students!
After that, the parents had open conversations with Julietta. They asked some questions related to HandsUp project activities and they expressed their gratitude to the HandsUp project and Julietta for giving their girls the chance to talk freely, to act, to sing and use drama to convey their thoughts and feelings. Julietta really enjoyed talking to the parents and listening to their ideas about learning English. She said it was brilliant that parents were so interested in supporting young people in their learning and said how much she enjoyed working with the girls on their English language skills.
Deema’s mother said, “Deema always talks about you, Julietta.” This sentence summarises all the love and thanks to Julietta. (Jules adds that she couldn’t do any of this without the expertise of Manal and Rinan in each lesson!).
We can’t tell you how proud our students are now, thanks to these sessions which have opened a gate to the world for students and their parents.s