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Thursday, 16 May 2019


Reflection- A great skill/ attribute/ attitude to possess. 
Any person does this periodically, I guess, unconsciously, most often with a blank stare, a lost look, daydreaming?

With the  International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP) this becomes more conscious, intentional and pronounced.   More attention and focus is given to developing this in individuals. One cannot help but become more cognizant of one's actions, thoughts, feelings, communication....  (the list can be pretty long) with reflection!

School is such a busy place that I  found I was really not able to spend quality time with teachers to get to know them better professionally. We do have conversations about our personal lives most times (Being a community school, everyone has a fair idea of everyone else). One of the great things of being in Zambia, maybe :)

Over the years with my teachers, late April and most of May is used at school to have a chat with teachers and teaching assistants. We talk about the year, what worked this year and what did not, support required, the progress of their goals, thoughts on new goals etc. Quite different from an appraisal, I find this exercise meaningful for me but I wonder if it is for my staff too. Maybe I need to send a survey to find out if they like it or find it meaningful?

I learn from them and about them, in the time I get to spend with them and marvel at their initiatives and what they have accomplished over the year. Most of them, (especially my teachers) have loads of things they would like to share and I sense pride in their achievements as they talk about it.

Teacher portfolios have grown in quantity and  hopefully in quality too. I saw some wonderful examples of how goals translate into practice. This year, a few teachers shared examples of having created mind maps with their goal as the focus, shaping their thoughts and ideas, developing plans and putting them into action.  What they picked up from workshops they related to their goal, some attempts worked and some did not. The process they went through however, allowed them to finally find something that did! Process over product- that's what we believe in!

It feels wonderful to discover together what we facilitate and encourage in classrooms through the programme is what we do in real life.

Reflection needs to be part of our daily lives....

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