José Antonio González – Teacher at El Tostón school in El Cotillo
"We want the school to become more international and open up to Europe "
José Antonio González teaches French at El Tostón school in El Cotillo and also in the schools of Tindaya and Tetir and he is also the coordinator at El Tostón school for the Erasmus projects. Can you tell us more about those projects?
Those are two projects that we have presented and that we will carry out this term and the next. They are financed through European funds and they include various actions. The first line of action is called K1 and deals with the mobility and training of teachers. This project was created in order to give teachers the opportunity to move to other European countries and get trained in different academies, improve their level in a foreign language or exchange good practices with other schools. An exchange already took place during 15 days with a school in Bayonne, in France and I had the opportunity to share with other colleagues on pedagogy, methodology, work dynamics, etc., that I could then apply in my own classes. The objective of this project is to carry on with other schools in Italy with the same dynamics. We have been looking for various courses to cover the possible shortcomings that we could have in the school. I then got involved with international and European educational platforms and we discovered members from other schools who we are now sharing the K2 Erasmus programme that is aimed at exchanges with students. Together with the schools of IES La Oliva, IES Puerto del Rosario and CO in Antigua, we are the only ones to currently carry out exchanges with teachers and students.
When and how did those programmes come about?
It started about one year ago, as the year 2018 was the year of Cultural Heritage in Europe, I contacted the Basque-French school where I had been before. We presented this project of exchange together with a school from Sicily and another French school in Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. The project is called Cheritage and aims at getting each school to present their heritage based on teaching, history, culture, gastronomy, music, etc.
Have you already done the first exchange?
Yes, we have, we recently came back from the island of Guadeloupe where we experienced the first immersion in another culture and children learned to cohabit with other children and share their experiences. They participated in various activities such as sports, handcrafts with ceramics' workshops, and traditional activities. Now children who went there are going to participate in 5 workshops in order to present what they learned to their school friends.
Is the project continuing during the rest of the year?....
The second stage is going to start, during the third week of May when we will welcome children in the Refuge of La Alcogida one week before the celebration of Day of the Canaries. Children will participate in painting activities, elaboration and tasting of gofio, ceramics workshops, etc. They will discover our museums, music, sailing Canarian sports and they will also spend three days in the school to mix with children from various schools and nationalities. We will gather here the four members of the Erasmus project.
How many children will come?
Quite a bit, of course, furthermore, the process is quite long, with two oven phases of eight and five hours each with a polish in between. It isn't a product that can be requested from one day for the next. But for some clients, it is difficult to understand the difference between cheap necklaces from high street shops and what I make.
What is your goal with those projects?
We want the school to become more international and to open up to Europe. To give children the possibility to discover more beyond our borders, independently from the social and economic situation of their family.