“Positively charged “ defines the ambience which transpired throughout the third and last day of the conference. The first speaker set the tone for the rest of the day’s events with much laughter at his seemingly trivial anecdotes which made us reflect on how fixated we tend to be on academic success and rather forgetful about other equally important aspects. Thus, we were reminded of the significant qualities such as resilience, effort and perseverance in achieving goals, the ability to interact and build relationships and curiosity have on increasing students’ motivation to succeed both educationally as well as socially. Furthermore, the role we teachers play in generating and implementing positive emotions in our classrooms was pointed out as being crucial for eliciting interest, pride, hope, joy and gratitude so that our students can develop constructive life skills and flourish as individuals.
Being amusement the most contagious emotion of all, many were the laughs and chuckles at the idea that we needed to be more “permalicious” in our schools, creating a more cheerful working environment where communication, trust and optimism are the cornerstones of a thriving school. As homework is synonymous with teaching, we too, were set a homework task to ensure the above-mentioned items go beyond the theory and are actually executed.
Right after lunch, we were encouraged to “eat that frog first” in order to achieve better time management skills and become more productive. Naturally, having tailor-made, ready-to –use templates for our varied professional tasks, save us time so we can sit back and enjoy a “cuppa” at the end of the day. Yet, before we could do so, we were introduced to three distinct approaches to teacher development. While the first focused on the systems which have been adopted to allow novice teachers to develop without neglecting the training needs of more experienced ones, the second underlined the problems Academic Managers face in dealing with the “dinosaurs in the staffroom” and how they can be incited out of their comfort zones to adapt new teaching techniques and given the appropriate support to avoid further hibernation, the last, presented by our own Sandra Luna, had us looking in the mirror and questioning whether we can reach all teachers through carefully developed teacher training programmes.
As much as I’d like to invite you to read the next entry in this experience, or sit back and watch another episode of “Star Wars”… this is the last B”log” post about the AMT’s uplifting and enriching sessions… but my “WOOP” is to keep you posted on the events and advances in Teacher Training at IH Porto.
For now, here are some reading suggestions about some of the above-mentioned topics: