The project has taught us to think about how we can make learning meaningful to children and continually question whether we are contributing to this. Engagement with a community with whom we share similar values – autonomy, a sense of belonging, mastery – has been a great help. Thanks to the project, we have formed a community of collaborating teachers.
The project has motivated school management to take responsibility for the pedagogical guidance of teachers. It has given teachers the opportunity to participate in joint events focused on experiential and disciplinary literacy and reading in English.
We especially appreciate that the project is not one-way training. It is inspiring to explore and push the boundaries of teaching together. Whether this encompasses teacher support or collaboration with teachers at affiliated schools.
We arrange for our most motivated teachers to not only have consultations but also observations and reviews of their lessons or co-teaching. All staff are welcome to attend workshops to develop reading and writing and their teaching skills.
Three times a year, we organise a two-day meeting and an Open School day for affiliated schools. We plan the content of these events according to the collaborating teachers’ needs and the issues their schools want to tackle. We learn a lot from them, too.
Recently, we added a school that was about to merge with another school and change principals at the end of its first year in the project. Naturally, we were concerned because the principal is an important member of staff in determining whether the project is successful at the school.
Fortunately, from the start, participating teachers had come together to form a strong and collaborative team which was a pleasure to work with. Together, we looked at the principles of reading literacy development, safe environments, peer learning and other pillars of the project. Through their enthusiasm, we were able to inspire the new school management to attend one of our two-day meetings. The result? Teachers from the other school also joined the team, bringing the two schools together not only formally but also pedagogically.
Simply, where there is a will, there are results...
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