Missed Opportunities

I went for a walk along Manly Beach this morning. I recognised a face on the beach; a young dad enjoying some quality time with his kids in shallow water. It was Joel Parkinson. The Australian Open Surf Championships began on the weekend. It dawned on me I had missed a fantastic opportunity. Sometimes you get caught up with meeting deadlines and other administrative duties you fail to see the forest for the trees.

This was a fantastic excursion opportunity for PASS and SLR students, who are currently studying Event Management at my school. It certainly would have addressed all the dimensions of the NSW Quality Teaching Framework. Significance: having an event such as this near your own back yard immediately creates a connection with the students. I believe that “significance” is a critical ingredient. It could be the key to engaging students in a task. Quality Learning Environment: rather than having to create mock activities, watch videos, or rely on our own school carnivals, there is an actual showcase just down the road, where the students can experience firsthand. Intellectual Quality: where do I start? Addresses all the meta language from the syllabus/program.

There are often programs, activities and the sort happening within our communities that we are oblivious to. They provide perfect opportunities to support the education of our students and maybe spark their engagement to the task. Getting students out of school is always a good thing. Understandably there are always school protocols and systems for organising excursions so that planned activities do not interfere with other planned activities. In my school excursion forms have to be in at least two weeks before the excursion. However, there are exceptions for every rule. Maybe I haven’t missed this opportunity.

There are many aspects of the championship for the students to analyse: the venue, facilities, display of the draw, role of the announcer, advertising, merchandising, sponsorship, security presence, amenities, accommodation provisions, food, the list goes on.

Police Presence

One thing that impressed me, and I’m sure the students would revel in, is a game the sponsors have set up to involve/engage the community/spectators. Sponsor representatives distribute ID cards that individuals scan at various booths around Manly – opportunity to win prizes during the day. The major prize each day a Blackberry playbook tablet. I won a pair of sunnies – woohoo!

ID Card Booth

Just imagine what some of our students can come up with in a venue like this: the photos, recorded interviews (with spectators, organisers, police, competitors, Joel parkinson), sample merchadise, win a major prize, an excellent analysis of a major event, enthusiasm for my subject.

Oh, I also bought a T-shirt. $10 of the $30 price goes to Surf Aid.

I better get that VOR (variation to routine) in for tomorrow.

Is anyone doing anything creative about the London Olympic Games? How often do you take your students on excursions?