Our Trashion Fashion Talent Show
Soon after starting school again with my students in February, my student English Club and I discussed event ideas. Last year my students wanted to do a talent show, but we didn’t have enough time. As I knew that my students are incredibly creative and love costumes, I suggested the idea of a “trashion fashion” show combined with a talent show. “Trashion fashion” is fashion created from only recyclable materials. My students loved the idea. We planned the Trashion Fashion Talent Show for the end of May. I coordinated this event with my mentor and the art teacher. The art teacher and I decided for this to be a combined art and English project for grades 8 to 11. Students in those grades would design “trashion fashion” costumes as a group project for a grade.
Suddenly a week before our event, the month-long teacher protest started. My mentor told me we could choose a new date for the event when school resumes. As time passed, my teachers realized that school was not going to resume in June. So around mid-June, I asked my mentor and principal if we could still hold the event. My principal and mentor were incredibly supportive and said “yes.” I am truly thankful for their support.
My mentor explained that there is not a good way to communicate with all students of the school. She also said that some people were traveling since they knew Colombian teachers were in “paro” (protest) for a long time. I was already Facebook friends with my principal, most teachers, and a few students (including my student leader Melanie, who is active in English Club and knew many students). I created a closed Facebook group for my school and added all the staff, teachers and students that I knew. In the Facebook group, I designated my English Club student leaders as group moderators so that they could add fellow students into the group. We had almost 200 students added to the group when I posted information about the Trashion Fashion Talent Show.
On the day of the event, about half of the teachers came and about 100 students showed up. As this took place at a time when Colombian teachers were in protest and they take the protest very seriously, I feel that the event was successful. It meant so much that many teachers came to support the event, despite the protest.
My English Club and I had decorated the English Zone board and created a music playlist a week before the event. Days before the event, the strong winds and rain storms had destroyed our board. But we did not let that upset us. On the morning of the event, the sound laptop was not playing the music playlist on my USB (which has not happened in the past). But my resourceful students had enough wifi connection to use songs on youtube and spontaneously DJ the music for the Trashion Fashion Show. We planned to do the Trashion Fashion Show first, followed by the Talent Show. Since many students could not show up, no students were prepared for the talent show part. Many students had been practicing songs and group dances for the talent show at home, but they were not at the event.
I told the English Club that after school resumes, they should choose a date to do the Trashion Fashion Talent Show in full. I hope that they do.
So we did only the Trashion Fashion Show and it was amazing! Students had put much thought and work into their recycled costumes. The teachers and I were incredibly proud of our students. Hopefully, the hard work of these students will inspire all the students at my school. My students are special and I will miss them so much. Without a doubt my year in Colombia will be one of the most memorable years of my life.
Below are photos of the students’ Trashion Fashion costumes:
Author: Elsie Samson
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