‘No man ever steps in the same river twice.’ (Heraclitus)
In the sixth century BC Heraclitus said that nothing in the world around us is constant except the change and becoming. Far away from trying to be philosophical I just had one of the greatest opportunity to experience both concepts today, with physical education teachers and a cohort of students. Taking in consideration that I am an international educator for the past thirteen years and that personally I don’t favor gifts, I have to be honest and say that this is one of the best gifts in life; one of those small ‘essences’ that motivates you, keeps you smiling and on your toes, when some others will need coffee or boosters to keep you going
During a job-alike session, I visited my former school, SEK Qatar, where we had to interact and collaborate with a group of international educators and two classes of grade 5 students. In its big majority the group was made of the same students that I taught when they were in KG2 and grade 1 levels at the same school. So, not only that I could see the physical transformation of these students for the past four years, but I have also experienced the questioning, understanding and hands on activities of their learning process. I smiled when recognizing them by their faces, gestures or even more interesting, by their walk, which in turn reminded me their names. How rewarding and how grateful one can be!
I have reflected and reached one conclusion that is connected with my previous posts: as educators we hold a great responsibility over what we instill in our students and how we empower them, always with a purpose in mind. Once they grasp meaning from the learning we plan for them, we are, then, artisans of memorable learning experiences that last for a life time. With a bit of luck, one day we could witness with our own eyes the outcomes of their becoming process. And what a day that would be!
Are these some of the ‘every morning thoughts’ that may keep us engaged and motivated as educators, on the long run? Have I stepped in the same river again?
In the rush of the last three weeks of school, I couldn’t miss the chance to connect with my students and the learning that happened this year. Technology is ubiquitous now days and I am happy that I have got a glimpse from my favorites partners in this learning journey: the students!
I created a Padlet for each grade that I work with and I have shared it on their grade Seesaw online portfolio. The aim was to enhance the value of all the learning experiences we have been through.
Then I edited a Google Form document for each grade that contained a set of relevant questions for the PE context. Since the end of the year is busy with events, I have managed to navigate and take from my free time and not their PE time, to apply the form and collect students’ answers.
The answers were nothing but simple thoughts that learners felt comfortable to talk about: While some “wish to do more swimming and dancing”, others dream to “get to run in the speed of light and getting a six-pack”. The students are “proud of working in a group and they wish they could “get better working independently”. Some they learn best “by making mistakes”, others enjoy “playing games, listening and asking questions”. “We should have chocolate or ice-cream fountains” and they feel very proud and motivated when playing Go Home, Stay Home and everyone is cheering their name.
Lastly I have worked in Canva to display an overall presentation of this reflection, including the Padlet and the answers.
I feel that the power of reflection may enable students to better express and acknowledge their achievements or areas of improvement and it constitutes a great opportunity to generate meaningful feedback. I would definitely use this experience in the beginning of the next academic year, when it can prove beneficial in harnessing information related to students’ prior knowledge. With an increased value of the pre- and formative assessments in learning, I am curios and excited about the road that lies ahead. It keeps me engaged and motivated on a path that I am passionate about: Learning.
Let’s connect if you want to exchange similar learning experiences or to find insights about this reflection!
Under the 4 Generations 4 Education generous agenda of events I have presented a workshop that focused on communication and trust as successful elements to construct a powerful school culture.
Hosted by the the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai, this event was an excellent opportunity to identify, explore and broaden the perspective over the settings we are activating as educators and to share strategies that give results.
We have inquired over various concepts such as constructionism, trustworthiness, listening, Activity Theory, assessment, Zone of Proximal Development and scaffolding, school culture, vision and mission, learning environments and most of all we had fun in a group of dedicated educators.
We examined the characteristics of elevated communication and we have identified challenges of how communication is shaping relationships. Investigating conceptual understandings for constructing a positive learning environment and reviewing the purposes of assessment were areas that often positioned us out of our comfort zone.
The time will prove the success of this event, as when returning inspired to our schools we will empower students and colleagues towards continuing this learning adventure that started on the 28th and 29th of October.
As educators, I believe we are seeking more for learning in adventure than adventure in learning! This workshop has been an adventure where learning happened at a high level and I’ve felt inspired by the professionals I worked with! Thank you!
When looking for valuable opportunitie to develop professionally, 4 Generations 4 Education takes this mission beyond expectations and sets a high standard in international educational services.
We are striving when we interact and face the challenges of working in a group. Getting out of our comfort zone is not an easy task. At the end of the day, who likes it? Well, this attitude can be educated and transformed into a habit. 4 Generations 4 Education thinks ahead and offers fantastic opportunities for educators. If you plan on leadding the students to meaningul learning paths, sign in for these great workshops. Early bird tickets available.
It will be my pleasure to meet with like-minded educators from all over the world, this October, in Dubai. See you there!