Field Trip Fun

Luther’s Malta and the Mediterranean Program, currently in its 26th year, offers students the opportunity to spend a semester exploring Malta's rich history and traveling to other countries in the Mediterranean region. Coursework includes Paideia II: Ethical Issues in the Mediterranean, a Service Learning class, where program participants teach English to recent immigrants to Malta, Maltese History and Culture and additional classes taken at the University of Malta.

To learn more about the program, visit the Malta Semester website.

At the beginning of the month I was at St. Francis School for the reading group I observe on Wendesday’s. I was talking with the teacher about the plan for the reading groups I guide on Thursday’s when she mentioned that they would be going on an outing the next day. I figured it was worth a shot, so I asked if I could tag along.

After discussing with the Headmaster and other staff, I was officially invited to go on the outing the next morning. The kids were SO excited to have me tag along which made me equally as excited in return.

Early Thursday morning I walked 30 minutes to St. Francis School and waited for the weekly awards to be completed. It was my class’s time to be awarded and everyone seemed so eager for the day! The kids were wearing their more “athletic” uniforms, a sweatsuit in the school colors complete with matching baseball caps. We all got in the vans after waiting for the rain outside to stop. I was begged to sit in the back with some of the students I befriended in the class.

I really regret not drinking coffee that morning because the students were talking with me the ENTIRE van ride. I was extremely exhausted and had to force myself to stay awake and peppy! They were a rowdy bunch so I had to put on my mean face and enforce some rules. I even tried to get them to play “The Quiet Game” which lasted for a peaceful 45 seconds.

When we got to the nature reserve we all piled inside for a picnic lunch. Of all the days to be on a field trip I cannot believe it actually rained all day! I like to keep up the allusion that Malta is always 75 and sunny (which it will be for my last two weeks on the island). Again, the teachers had to quiet the students. After lunch we went into a room with one of the nature reserve staff members who taught the students about the importance of trees and the ocean. Since Malta is almost completely developed, many of the students do not get the chance to interact with nature. This field trip was aimed at engaging the students with the natural world.

The next room we went into was full of things about sharks. I think they liked this a lot more! I tried to make a “Sharknado” reference but no one knew what I was talking about!

While the difference groups were waiting for their activities I enlisted the help of a few students sitting nearby. I wanted to learn Maltese. Right off the bat they giggled when I pronounced “Malta” as I have been doing this entire semester. Apparently it was absolutely hilarious that I was saying it differently than the natives. Throughout the day I learned phrases such as “my name is Erin,” “I love Malta a lot,” and “I live in Malta.” By the end of our language session more students were engaging with me than with the shark materials. It was so fun to see them talk with each other and figure out how to best translate certain phrases. I loved seeing their enthusiasm for language and sharing their culture with a foreigner.

I left the field trip that day with a full heart. The year 3 class I spend time with is full of resourceful and remarkable students. I hope that I can continue to spark their interest for learning and communicating during the next few weeks I have in the classroom.

The market in Marsaxlokk near the nature reserve
Salt pans near the coast of Marsaxlokk
Along the coast of Marsaxlokk earlier this semester