Take a peek into the daily life of Taalhuis Amsterdam online
A short and very recent history by our teacher Eleá:
It is Friday afternoon, a day after Mark Rutte announced that we need to stay inside, but 8 of my colleagues are sitting in my living room. Not really, of course. Their heads are bobbing around on my laptop screen. We are busily trying different programs to put our classes online, and having a lot of fun in the process. The gallery view of Zoom offers a gallery view of our lives. Una is baking chocolate cupcakes with her son and we compliment Sharon with her beautiful kitchen.
From that moment onwards my iPhone keeps buzzing. Not with news updates, but with a true and unprecedented wave of creativity and fresh ideas that everyone in Taalhuis Amsterdam is sharing to build the best online classes. Pictures, games, technical advice, and tips are flying across my screen. Teachers from all languages – Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Farsi, French and Turkish – all together.
But the most wonderful surprise is waiting for us next week. Our students turn out to be the best contributors to this online world, sharing their homes and talking in Dutch, Farsi, Italian and Spanish about how their lives have changed. We get to know each other in surprising new ways. People show objects they love in their home and explain how they got it and why it is important for them. Or someone is enjoying the class with a snack and a glass of wine. Maybe that is something we can keep doing, even when we return to our actual classrooms?
We are now in our second online week. Yet again the government’s measures have been tightened. But I can take it. Everyday there is a sweet relief when I open my Zoom meeting, and all of my students are there. They talk about how they feel in their second, third or even fourth language. In uncertain times we stick together. We can soothe our anxiety and boredom with creativity, connection and learning new skills. We can meet up from our living rooms, so let’s stay connected in Farsi, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Greek and Latin! Until we meet again in our classrooms, Taalhuis Amsterdam is only a mouse click away.