That was my reaction when students of 2º BAT put it to me. It was something I had never done before and at first it sounded like a ridiculous idea to me. It was only when they explained the reasons why they wanted to do it that I gave it a second thought and a bit reluctantly, I told them I would think about it. Actually I needed some time to ask the other teachers if they were going to do it. I didn’t want to be the only teacher coming into school in my pyjamas!!! The aim of this experiment was to test the reaction of people when they find someone doing something completely unusual in a given situation. Also, it was useful both to measure their ability to convince people to do something unexpected and take a decision as a group.
Within the group of students there was no agreement either. Some students were keen on doing it, others objected to it. Definitely the idea of coming to school in their pyjamas was controversial among all the members right from the beginning. All the views had to be accepted.
After talking to some teachers and knowing that some were prepared to do it I made my decision; I wanted to help the students with their experiment and for my part, I felt curious about what the reaction of students and teachers in the school would be. The decision had been made.
What a coincidence!! The first teacher I saw at the entrance of the school was Encarna. Of course, being the one who had introduced the idea of conducting the experiment, she was in her pyjamas too.
During my first period I was on duty, which meant I had to walk around the school checking if every teacher was in their classes. As I was wearing my coat on top of my pyjamas some people didn’t even notice it. Those students who noticed but who are not in my groups gave me a funny look, but the students that I teach and noticed my unusual dressing, came to me directly to ask : ”Teacher, are you still in your pyjamas?” I explained the reasons and they accepted it.
In my second period, when I had to teach the 2º BAT group, my colleague Pilar and I put both groups of 2º BAT together. It was quite funny to see that some students who were not wearing their pyjamas were feeling out of place, as most of them agreed to the idea. In this situation these were a minority and therefore the focus of some comments or looks. But again, we all learned that no matter what decision you take, the others must accept it too. We changed the lesson planning for the day, not to waste time but to work on the lyrics of the song “Don´t Judge”, which I think was very appropriate to the situation. We finished the class with a debate about prejudices.
In my last period I had to teach a 1º ESO group. By this time, they are usually tired and easily excitable, so for me it was a challenge to turn up for this particular class in my pyjamas. Of course they were curious, which I found normal, but after explaining to them the reasons for my attire we had a normal class; they all forgot about what I was wearing and concentrated on the lesson itself.
Unfortunately , I didn´t have time to see the teachers´ reaction as I did not go to the staff room in my pyjamas. The ones I saw in the corridors of course asked me the reason for wearing my pyjamas, and then they made comments about how comfortable it had to be for me to turn up to school like that. However, I do not think many teachers agreed with what we had done.
Anyway, this term has been so long that breaking the routine, doing something different and at the same time, helping the students to conduct their experiment was not so hard for me to do. Most times we ask for students´ cooperation, so why not reverse roles once and let them be the instigators of an idea?
Lola Picazo, profesora de Inglés