Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Attitude - its all that made a difference...

The ultimate human freedom is the

ability to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.

Vikt Frankl

Its so easy to succumb to the negativity of situations and circumstances. I was pretty upset with how things were moving at times with working with teachers. It could be frustrating to draw out the "let loose" and work it through components of ideation and allowing room for people to fail-safe to experiment. After couple of weeks of partnering with the school below, I gained little encouragement from how things were moving.

The morning before the talk, the coordinator called to inform that perhaps taking small steps would be safer since its the first time they are testing the new pedagogy. It was even more disappointing to hear that teachers may not be most excited with the idea of training in the middle of their marking of mid year exams. Yet, it was a directive from management to carry on with the training. That was a huge blow considering the amount of consultation and discussion- but the customers always right. As I was driving, I prayed that I continue to provide my input as professionally as I can and to put their needs in the centre. I think the spirit led and changed my attitude as I saw that the teachers, though tired were open to learning and that inspired me to be honest with how they would like the session to be beneficial.

In the end, it was not the materials that mattered. It was the connection with like-minded educators that allowed the fruitful discussion. Isn't this the same when we are in classrooms as a teacher- to be MINDFUL of the students' state of mind of learning? Thats one of the core values as a facilitator. The letter below is a testimony that being professional also means that we need to be true to what we can truly offer.

Dear Simon,
I would like to put on record my sincere thanks and appreciation to Mr John Yeo for the successful workshop conducted for my teachers on Thurs 8 May.

Through the workshop, he has inspired my teachers to become more effective facilitators of project work which we are embarking on next week. In particular, his ideas on PBL and use of questions to provoke deep thinking amongst pupils were refreshing and have equipped my teachers with new ways to challenge our pupils' thinking. He was well-prepared for the workshop and able to engage the teachers effectively.

His advice for our unit plan on ways to make the tasks and questions more authentic for the pupils have also helped to enhance our unit design. His commitment and generosity in sharing and working with my PW coordinator is commendable and worthy of mention.

On behalf of my staff, I would like to thank Mr Yeo and CPDD for the assistance endered. I look forward to working in consultation with CPDD officers again in the near future in our TLLM journey.

Best regards,
Principal, XXXX School

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