Murdoch (2015) emphasized that constructing the emotional environment is key when educators aim to nurture quality relationships. When feeling trusted and part of a connected community, our students feel safe and take risks in their learning.
I write student notes and put them in their cubbies, lunch boxes, or their bags; I leave them on their tables when they’re not in the room or simply pass them directly with an additional feedback.
‘It is worth putting time into. Like all relationships, the connections we have with our students needs regular attention – it’s not just something to attend to at the beginning of the year’ (Murdoch, 2015).
References: Murdoch, K. 2015. Power of Inquiry. Seastar Education. Australia
‘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?
The healthy development of the whole person benefits from the ability to move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities. As a fitness professional I firmly believe that physical strength is the basis of all the things we want to do with our body in life: work, play, hike or catching the bus from the station, for example.
The concept of sport performance is at high stake in the swimming department programme of my school, led by Gil Levy, an elite swim coach at the national, international and olympic performance level. Gil came up with a comprehensive plan and he leaves no stone unturned on his way to achieve excellence, and this is one of the reasons that inspired and motivated me to get involved. The swimming performance training approach in our swimming team is centered on the following components: athletes’ neuromuscular factors, the psychological factors, environmental conditions and coaching and external support for the swimmers.
In leading the FitSwim strength and conditioning program I am ensuring that the neuromuscular components are being magnified through a systemic stress and a systemic response from the muscles during the strength sessions. We focus on the whole body as a unit, a system, instead of an isolated component. The system gets stronger and the components, too. It is an utilitarian adaption of simple biological principles of stress, recovery, and adaptation that we practice in our progressions.
The strength and conditioning program has a frequency of two sessions a week, with swimmers starting to train ar 7.00 am. Additionally, short technique sessions are performed during the holiday sessions or swimming camps. This tops up an intesive swimming training with some of the most commited athletes attending the sessions during school holidays.
In the upcoming posts I will share insights of our strength programme featuring the top swimmers in our school and Singapore. Until then, our swimmers are flying really high!