It all started when a bunch of Tunisian English Teachers decided to take part in the summer EdYOUfest event in Sicily in September this year; an event that was principally aimed at celebrating innovation in education. We joined the event as a way of enhancing our Continuous Professional Development and to have the opportunity of networking with our PLN and worldwide peers.
At first, socializing, learning, sharing experiences, networking and having fun were our main objectives. Nobody had ever thought of being involved in a project that would gain our full commitment and dedication and we never imagined making something like this come true within just a few months. Yet, the sunshine of Sicily and the warmth of the Edyoufesters’ hearts brought one of the most insightful and impressive projects into existence: Heart ELT Tunisia.
To be honest, I missed some workshops but I just couldn’t miss Julie Pratten’s sessions, one of the inspiring women I was eager and curious to meet in person after following her on social media and reading about her involvement in activities to raise funds to help children in refugee camps access education like any other kids, and her initiative to create safe learning spaces through the Tent School Project.
It was during an upbeat and interesting zero-resource classroom workshop held on a sunny day by the sea in Sferracallo, Sicily that Julie introduced the project which planted the first seeds of hope in the hearts of Tunisian teachers. Our passion and enthusiasm paved the way for further hard work and collaboration to create activities for a crowdsourced book, to meet the deadlines and to get the book published on schedule. We couldn’t have managed to do that without Julie’s guidance; she orchestrated the Tunisian “Hope Band” efficiently and professionally.
Tunisian, American, and other European Edyoufesters are looking forward to reaping the fruits of passion, hard work and collaboration and celebrating the launch of the A-Z Warmers of Hope in a few days with a special tea party. We are looking forward to coming together once more in the historical Cafe du Souk in the Medina in Tunis to share tea, ideas and laughter. We, the teachers of Tunisia, would like to express our readiness to dive deeply for new horizons and opportunities that foster hope around the world.
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all”