Saturday, April 24, 2010

Professional Development in the ES

Teaching for Transformation through Engagement Training

At the beginning of April 2010, Kyle and Lynea Mitchell and Brian Nelsen facilitated a one day workshop to on strategies for engaging all students in learning across disciplines, content and context lines. This was the first workshop on Cooperative Learning and Experiential learning made available for both English and Tamil medium schools from four surrounding community schools. Over 30 teachers, administrators and directors met in the Spirit Splashers room on Jumisba Campus for the workshop. As we were planning this workshop, our goal was to highlight engagement methods rooted in Jesus Christ’s experiential methods of teaching exemplified in the Sermon on the Mount. At the end of His teaching, the Bible says the people left his class on the mountain inspired and in awe -transformed. The programs introduced included Kagan Cooperative Learning, Team Building and Classbuilding by Tom Jackson, Inquiry-based teaching components and IB Learner Profile and skill development.

We send a huge thank you to Zareen Babu for gathering schools together to unite in training to bring top quality education to all children of India and the world.

PYP Planning Workshop

On a sunny morning in April 2010 all PYP teachers boarded a bus for a one day planning workshop at the Kodaikanal International Hotel. Janice VanHaltren and Brian Nelsen led the PYP team through sessions on relationship building, transdisciplinary planning and the completion of our PYP Program of Inquiry to be implemented next year. At the beginning we reflected on Jesus’ miracle of the feeding of the hungry 5000 and discovered that the 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread were multiplied as his disciples distributed them to the 5000. Not only were all 5000 people fed, but 12 baskets of leftovers remained. We prayed for the same miracle of multiplication for our day of planning. With God’s help combined with the PYP crews diligent work, we completed more than expected, felt completely satisfied with the results and ready for next year and the PYP site visit with three planners ready for first semester. Thanks to Kaisar Dopaishi for approving the funds for the day.

Win-Win Discipline

Keeping in line with KIS MSA goal to improve school culture at KIS and the all school professional development focus on differentiation, Kaisar Dopaishi and Sam Balachander requested Brian Nelsen to conduct workshops for both teaching and dorm parent staff introducing a classroom management program called “Win Win Discipline.” This comprehensive, classroom management program is built upon concepts of differentiation and collaboration. Win-Win discipline believes that the reason for most disruptive behavior in school is rooted in students’ attempt to meet universal needs including attention, power and belonging. Students often break school expectations trying to meet these needs in irresponsible ways causing disruptions. The program provides tools for teachers, administrators, dorm parents and students to identify the need and use discussion models to collaborate with the student to find responsible ways to meet needs. Once students meet their needs in responsible ways, we believe a pattern of disruptive behavior is broken resulting in a healthy and happy community for staff and students. On Wednesday, 28 April, all dorm parents participated in the workshop during the dorm parent meeting and left motivated to implement next year. Teaching staff will participate in a similar workshop during one Tuesday PD session before the end of the year.

Cooperative Learning at Kombai School

Two weeks following the “Teaching for Transformation through Engagement” workshop at KIS, Heather and Brian Nelsen visited Kombai School to provide follow-up coaching, feedback and resources for their staff to continue implementation. We were overjoyed to discover 100% of teachers fully implementing the engagement strategies and making adjustments to them to better meet the needs of their context in Kombai. We believe this is just the beginning of a sustainable training project which will impact young generations to come providing quality education for all.

Brian Nelson

PYP & K-8 Coordinator