During the Easter break four teachers successfully completed a course entitled ‘Facing Diversity: Intercultural Classroom Management’ in Florence, Italy. This is part of an ongoing programme called Erasmus+. Erasmus+ ProgrammeRoscommon Community College received funding from the European Union for 24 teachers to partake in six different courses in Iceland, Finland, Italy and Malta. These courses are ongoing into the next academic year.
Ms Farrell, Ms Joyce, Ms McNamara and Ms Barrett participated in this particular course. They engaged with teachers from both primary and secondary level education systems from other European countries such as Greece, Finland and Spain.
The course began by the teachers involved talking about themselves, telling their story by means of a seven word biography. This is a methodology that would most certainly be useful in creating a classroom that is culturally inclusive. As a group, they talked about what ‘culture’ meant to each of them personally and about the biggest challenges relating to diversity that they face as teachers. Teachers reported that it was interesting to examine the cultural rules that we live by and how these rules vary between countries. They also compared cultures and differentiated between individualistic and collectivistic cultures coming to the conclusion that Irish culture is somewhere in between the two. At the end of the session, the four teachers discussed tactics that they could use to foster a cultural awareness in our classrooms in Roscommon Community College.
The course continued with all participants presenting on their schools and how they face diversity in intercultural classrooms across the various European countries present. Teachers found it particularly interesting to hear about challenges faced by schools where over 80% of the student population are non-nationals. They examined the skills required for integration and what we, as teachers, can do to help students with this. Some of the methodologies investigated, through case studies, included ways of expressing interest in varying ethnic backgrounds, redirecting the role of teacher from instructor to facilitator and creating an inclusive curriculum that remains respectful of differences.
Teachers also looked at overcoming language barriers by building relationships with students through the use of methodologies based on play, movement and art. Conveying meaning through methods other than language is very important in intercultural classroom management. They examined the use of a “flipped classroom” as a means of integration and supporting students who do not have English as a mother tongue. All four teachers felt that this is something that they will try in their own classrooms.
The final session of the week developed discussions on how to communicate effectively. Teachers looked at how to be empathetic towards our students. They reflected on situations where they felt upset by something a person said or did to them and examined their feelings at that moment and their needs. Teachers also examined the feelings and needs of the person who made them feel that way. The discussion also allowed us to look into a restorative approach to communicating with our students. The teachers observed different methodologies adapted by educators to engage in non – violent communication. This is something that teachers feel should be adopted in our teaching practices. The course concluded by teachers reflecting on different case studies relating to refugees moving to another country. Teachers had to consider what feelings and needs those individuals had. They then discussed these feelings and needs within groups in order to develop our understanding of the situations of others.
The teachers on this course will demonstrate methods explored to the rest of the teaching staff in RCC and we will adopt a whole school approach to incorporating some of these methods where teachers feel they could be useful in their classroom.
Participants also had two days extra to explore the amazing city of Florence taking in the stunning views, architecture and art and experiencing Italian food at its best!
International WorldWise Fashion Show
All 1st year Modern Foreign Language students took part in the inaugural International WorldWise Fashion Show with great excitement and determination. Students put in tremendous effort preparing costumes and practising their best moves to show off on the runway. Each student followed the international theme and dressed up to celebrate some of the various nationalities in Roscommon Commuinty College as well as other international countries.
There were super prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place Best Dressed students and numerous spot prizes to show appreciation for the time and energy put in to some of the costumes. A big thank you to WorldWise Global Schools for funding the prizes. Well done all!
RCC Volleyball Ladies Progress to Next Round
Congratulations to our Girl’s Junior Volleyball team that topped their group in the first round of the competition. Both our Yellow and Blue team headed to Strokestown where they faced two Strokestown teams in the hopes of progressing to the next round that is being held after the Easter break.
Our yellow team was first up where they battle against Strokestown’s Pink team. Our girls started off excellently, having taken on board mistakes from last week’s games against Drumbshanbo, they were the comprehensive winners of the game on a score line of 25-10, 25-15.
Next up they faced Strokestown’s Blue team which was both the toughest and closest battle of the day. Both games could have gone either way as both teams displayed their great serving skills and spectacular teamwork. In the end it was the RCC ladies that prevailed and nipped the win: 25-23, 25-23.
Finally both our Yellow and Blue team battled it out in the final game for the Yellows. Despite the rivalry, it was a great opportunity to see how both teams had come so far since starting to train last month. Both teams were eager to gain the bragging rights and both ensured they did all they could in order to secure victory. Unfortunately for the Blue team, the Yellow’s took the win in two very tight games: 25-20, 25-17.
This result meant that RCC Yellow has topped the group and would now progress to the next stage of the competition. It was then up to RCC Blue to beat the two Strokestown teams in order to make it to the next round. They first encountered Strokestown Blue where it took our girls a while to get settled. After losing the first game 25-6, our girls pulled together and displayed their ample volleyball and communication skills. In spite of their efforts, Strokestown took the win in a very narrow 25-23 score line.
Our girls now knew they had a battle on their hands. Our Blue team played their final must-win game against Strokestown Pink in order to be in with a chance of being placed second. Just as the Yellow team had an epic match earlier on that was won on the tightest of margins, our girls Blue team showed their grit and determination during their finally battle. The game went down to the wire as both Strokestown Pink and RCC Blue knew what was at stake. In the end, however, it was Strokestown who proved triumphant in two very close, nailing biting games. 25-22, 25-23.
We want to say congratulations to both teams who did RCC proud and the very best of luck to the Yellow team in the next stage of the competition.
Krzysztof Cieslinski, 3rd Year, recently had the honour of being selected to create a short promotional film to launch the recent work of acclaimed author Dave Rudden in Poland. Krzysztof met Dave, author of the celebrated “Knights of the Borrowed Dark” on a recent author visit to Roscommon Community College during Literacy Week 2018, where they discussed the art of storytelling, the craft of writing and all things fantasy/science fiction. The promotional film will be used by Dave’s publishing house in Poland as the writer’s work is launched and distributed to the Young Adult market in the coming weeks. Well done Krzysztof- what an achievement!