Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cultural Changes

While student teaching, it was interesting to see how the culture of Cyprus was involved in the school often. There were many cultural events that showed off events that had taken place in Cyprus. The students often put on a show in the quad that showed many of their expertise in the arts. While I could not understand any of the acting, because it was in Greek, one of the other teachers were always around to help with the translation.

We were also given the opportunity to go on a few field trips during our trip. Field trips in the United States usually consist of going to a museum or to a national monument. The first one was similar since we went to the mountains to see a very old church. The students were not required to wear their uniforms this day and the trip to the church lasted about 20 minutes. We took a 2-hour bus ride to the church, stayed 20 minutes, and then left. The best part of the field trip follows visiting the church because everyone goes to a restaurant to eat for around 2 hours. The teachers all order many different foods to share and the students bring their lunches. It is an amazing meal and the students enjoy it because they get a day away from the school.

Along with field trips, we were given opportunities to attend other sporting events. One the first weekends we arrived, we were given the opportunity to attend the Junior and Grammar School basketball marathon. This consisted of many of the students from the Junior and Grammar schools meeting and playing basketball against each other all day. The money that was raised was given for children in need. There was an alumni game and a teachers’ game as well. A group of players, Peace Players International, from the Northern part of the country came together to play as well to show how efforts are being made to mend the sides.

The Cypriots are extremely competitive and while I was at the Grammar School I was lucky enough to experience the extreme competition. I was able to go to a track and field day as well as experience Gregoria sports day, which is held for the founders of the school. The students in the Junior and Grammar school participate in many different sporting events, but if they act unsportsperson like, they were disqualified. I felt so very honored to be the judge of one competition of builders and bulldozers, which led to many disqualifications. I hope to never meet people as competitive again in my life.

1 comment:

  1. Beth, I really enjoyed reading your post today and it really made me think about other countries and their school systems. Too often I feel as if people are very closed minded about school systems in other countries when actually we as up and coming educators can learn a lot. I find it interesting that the schools are so competitive out there. While I know our society is constantly talking about how youth athletics are too competitive but from what you described it sounds like Cyprus is much worse. I would love to know what creates this competitive atmosphere and how we as physical educators can minimize competitiveness that can ultimately affect our teaching. Thanks for the great post