February 7, 2016 - Michael Salinger

American International School of Maputo, Mozambique


We have just spent a unique week in Mozambique at the American International School of Maputo and it was really not enough time.


Before I recap our time there we need to sprinkle a little extra thanks to librarians Andree Keenoy and Joyce Miller for bringing these two crackpot poets to their campus. We’ve worked with Joyce before in Vietnam and she is one of those people who immediately feel like an old friend – so it was great to see her again and Andree made sure the secondary school was prepared for our poetic invasion.


What made this visit additionally fun was the chance to get into some cross-curricular classrooms. Joyce makes sure the poetry isn’t only confined to the Language Arts dept. Sara tackled the elementary and wrote in all subject areas and I go to stretch a bit (literally) in a dance class, humanities, drama, and even IB TOK, Lit and Calculus!


Sometimes when we are in an IB school the upper grades seem to think they don’t have time for writing instruction and or the idea of using poetry as a means to precise and concise communication. Their loss – not here at AISM – the teachers were adding on extra classes before the week was out.


The way I see it – if the 11th and 12th grade IB kids can afford to miss days of class in order to travel to a sports tournament (a valid reason) they can certainly take a little time for extra writing and speaking strategy instruction. This concept was not lost on the teachers and staff here. In the end we ran out of time not interest.


Along with the classroom workshops we presented PD sessions for the lower and upper schools as well as assemblies. It was a full week with a few surprises that stretched us and gave us new ideas for further workshops. We were supposed to be the instructors – but I think we learned more than we taught this time.


Thanks for having us Maputo – hope to see you gain soon!


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