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Sylwia Zabor-Zakowska

Sylwia Zabor-Żakowska​

How the crisis influenced my work as a material writer

I believe we – English teachers should do our best to help our planet recover. In 2017 I contributed to the BC publication “Integrating Global Issues in the creative English language classroom” with an article on “No Poverty.”

In April 2020 in the HLT Magazine-an edition hosted by Poland (April 2020-Year 22-Issue 2 ISSN 1755-9715) my lesson plan ‘Global Goals Creatively: Animals-Our Friends’ was published.

In the same edition appeared my two poems.

“Giraffe Jeff” is devoted to eating more vegetables and peace.

Giraffe Jeff

Giraffe Jeff was dreaming of being a chef
in a nearby town, where all lived in peace
nobody had a gun.
He made a plan.
He sowed plenty of seeds of flowers and fruit
to have the best ever food.
Vegetables, red, yellow and green
in this field could also be seen.
Beans and peas he planted on knees.
Every day came
Elephant Plops
to water the crops.
One day, when the right time arrived
Giraffe Jeff made his restaurant thrive.
Was coming up with lots of ideas
how to pamper his fellas
with delicious dishes from their wishes.
He served all kinds of soup, stew and salads
in a chamber decorated with garlands.
Icecream and cakes matched each lady’s dress.
Elephant Plops took care of the pots
and washed all the glass for the coming mass.
Some of the clients didn’t tend to be quiet
They loved to dance so Jeff gave them a chance.
Invited Dino, who played the piano.
The music then spread over the town
where all lived in peace, nobody had a gun.
Where Jeff was a chef
and had the best friend
this is the end.

As I am a member of the C group I got an email from Alan Maley with his initiative to create a collection of writings for the C group teachers in response to the crisis.  Because my intuition tells me the pandemia will let more people appreciate non-materialistic values of life I have written several poems as a series, conveying the message of the value of friendship, care, creativity, art, love, nature, inspiration, peace and the Earth. The work is now in progress. The collection has been entitled “A Viral Time Warp.”

I also submitted an idea of a creative GG ELT project based on one of my poems – “Dragonfly Why … ?” to Rose Aylett from IATEFL Global Issues SIG. She has accepted it. It should be published in FUTURITY e-zine in the winter months. I decided to help parents and English teachers who need creative ideas and are stuck at homes with their children. I set up my YouTube channel Creative English Teaching with Global Goals and Art.

I released a new issue of ‘JUMP’- bulletin of Cogito foundation promoting creative teaching. I have promoted creative English teaching in Poland through a contest ‘JUMP’ for two years. It is based on my book “Poetry and Art for Creativity” awarded ELL for the innovation on a European scale in English teaching by the European Commision. This autumn I’m going to introduce Global Goals into the project.

Most of the information can be found on website
and Facebook

How the crisis has influenced my work as a teacher

Creativity has been my main interest in English teaching since I discovered its enormous potential to bring happiness and fulfilment to people. What is more, when we face problems what helps us overcome them is creativity – thinking in a divergent way to find a good solution. The necessity of teaching online came to me all of a sudden. I had never done it before. I had to react very quickly and in a flexible way, which is a crucial feature of creativity, to cope with the unexpected challenge. It was difficult and stressful not only for me but for my learners – children and teenagers – as well. Some of them, especially the younger ones – seven, eight year old children – had had Skype lessons for the first time in their lives with no previous preparation. They had to learn new skills very quickly. Certain aspects of it were quite fascinating for them, e.g. opening the links to YouTube videos or the British Council Learn English Kids stories. As time passed by it became clear that children miss creative art activities and a personal contact we had done and had before .

With teenagers there were no problems with using technology at all. They were 100% ready to communicate via Skype and surf the Internet for the right materials e.g. BBC Learning English whenever I asked them to. Cooperating, we succeeded in online learning-teaching process. It demanded a lot of patience and creativity to switch rapidly to a new situation. I am so proud of my young students. We all have experienced the silver lining of the lockdown and have possessed a new skill – learning and teaching online. I think that despite the fact the pandemia crisis has been so hard we can find the “silver lining” in it and creatively develop it for the good of all living creatures on Earth in the future.

All the best,
Sylwia Zabor-Żakowska

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