Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Locked Out!

This morning the children arrived to discover the classroom closed until further notice. They handled the news like champs! They immediately started throwing around solutions to our problem.
When everyone had arrived at school Mrs Kember said she was allowed to open the door to the classroom for 3 minutes only. Before she opened the door we all closed our eyes and thought hard about what we wanted to gather during the time. Then the timer started and the children raced through the classroom taking the things they needed.

Now we had to plan our first move. Where could we go that might have enough space for all of us...and our stuff! We discounted so many ideas before settling on our first stop...
The Office!
Getting our stuff there was easier said than done...

Luckily everyone pitched in to help each other carry the heavy things...with no prompting from the grown ups either! 

At the office...

Oh dear! Back to the drawing board. Next idea was the PE shed. We asked for the key, but the answer was a resounding NO! 

We sat down and thought...and thought...and thought until Stephanie suggested we used the Peaches and Pickles room K1. She led the whole class there and we discovered it was EMPTY! 

The children noticed how bare and empty the room was and seemed a bit deflated for a minute. Mrs Kember told the children that she was sure we could make something of the room if we tried and immediately the children set to work. Within minutes a stereo had been found and the radio was blaring some tunes to decorate to. We located a little heater, turned over stacked tables and set out chairs. Someone found some books and set up a library corner, while others set up spaces for bags, books, lunches etc. It was AMAZING to watch and one of my proudest moments of teaching. The children worked incredibly as a team, problem solving, collaborating and making the best of a bad situation. Their positivity was incredible. 

When we debriefed about the experience some wonderful thinking came from our activity. We made some important connections about feelings involved in moving or being displaced.  
Here are some of the things they said about the different stages of the activity:

When we arrived at school I felt...
  • miserable. I like going to my classroom every morning and playing with the toys 
  • confused and worried
  • confused. I thought we would be outside all day long
When I only had 3 minutes to find my things I felt...
  • worried that I wasn't going to get everything I had thought of
  • excited because it was like a race
  • sad about the things I had to leave behind like my puppet
  • worried I wouldn't have enough stuff for the day
When everyone said no to us around the school I felt...
  • frustrated because we couldn't find anywhere to go
  • mad that nobody would help us
  • embarrassed because people were looking at us
When we found a place to stay I felt...
  • so happy to be able to put down my heavy bag
  • so happy to have a place to be
  • a bit worried someone might come and tell us to go again
  • weird because we were at school but the room was not like our real classroom. it was empty and cold. 
Amazing how articulate they were at expressing the feelings many refugees are currently experiencing around the world! 

When we finally returned to class, we had a big discussion about our experience. I told the children that it was me who put the signs on the door and that there was something I wanted them to learn from the activity. We talked about how there are people in the world who have different lives to them. Some of those people live in places where their safety is at risk. Sometimes they may have to leave their homes quickly and only have minutes to get their important things together just like we had. We talked about how, when there are lots of people moving altogether in the same direction it can be hard for people to help them- just like no one had room for our whole class when we were looking for a place for the day. We talked a little about how, even when some people are lucky to find a place to stay, they then worry that someone might come and move them on.  One student brought up the fact that there are people without homes even in our local area. This is potentially an area that some children feel compelled to find out more about as a few knew about Love Soup at Whangaparaoa Hall. It was such a powerful and heartwarming experience. I was incredibly proud of your little people and how they rose to the challenges so beautifully. I will try to post some videos of the class in action soon.  For now, here are a few written responses :

The Moving Day
When I got to the classroom I saw a sign on the door. It said “ Warning!” We went to the office. Cathy said “ No! You can’t work in here!” We sat outside by the library. We asked the office for the Sports Shed key. They said no. We found an empty classroom. It was K1. WE fixed it up with teamwork. We felt proud of ourselves. Soon it was time to go back to M1.


When I went to the classroom, I felt weird. The classroom was locked. We played tag then when the bell rang we had to find somewhere else to go. We tried going to the office. They said no, so we thought  to go to the sports shed . They said no to that too. We thought and thought and thought and thought...and thought. Finally Steph said “ We can go to the Peaches and Pickles room. It was empty. Finally, we had found a place to stay. It was cold. We made it a classroom. Then we did some writing until it was tea break. When tea break was finished, we went to our own classroom. Mrs Kember said it was her tricking us.

Leaving M1
When I got to school, I saw signs that said WARNING! Classroom closed. Don’t enter. I had 3 minutes to get the things I needed. As I ran I saw the blocks and I get them. They were so heavy. I needed help! We went to the office. Cathy said no to us working in there. Stephanie had an idea...K1! So we went there. We unstacked the tables and the seats. The room looked cool. When we got to M1 I was happy to be back.

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