I am a hoarder of much, including work related to my 30 years as an English teacher [from teaching resources to student work, especially their creative writing], and when I have the occasional rummage and clear-out, though the latter is an intention rather than a fact, I generally come across some precious memorabilia that reinforces the good times, especially in the early years/first half of my teaching.
So coming across this today brought back one of my fondest recollections, and at 1997 it occurred into that second half I generally regard as the beginning of the decline [pre-1997 had seen beginnings of Tory SATs and targets, and 1997 itself saw Labour come in to power – and continue it all, with enthusiasm].
These two clips from a newspaper written by the students who were involved in the West to West visit/‘exchange’ set the context. I put exchange in inverted commas because our American friends did not come back to the UK, but our British students did stay with and in the homes of their American partners.
This only scratches the surface of what went on and how dynamic and rewarding the whole week was there in Ashland, Oregon, but on a personal note I was reminded today – with the re-discovery of this ‘hoard’ – of the writing workshops I took there and how brilliant that was as a teaching experience for me. Though humuments gets misspelled by the student writer in the following article, that is all a part of the honest reality of the experience and the two humument examples [USA on the left; UK on the right – I edited out the names as I don’t have permission]. I must stress that these two examples are just the text – humuments also have their crucial visual element and we couldn’t at the time reproduce this, but I might be able to find in another hoard and will perhaps post at a later date.