EARCOS Conference, Bangkok

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the EARCOS leadership conference in Bangkok last weekend and was blown away by Rick Wormelli’s keynote session. He builds a skit into his sessions where he discusses progressive teaching methodology through the movie The Sound of Music.

The video quality is not great, but he is very funny – a great example of using humor to build learning; I can only dream of being able to present in such an original manner one day. We are hoping to bring him in for one of our ANPS sessions soon, but he is (deservedly) booked up until 2015!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huFrNwRfpxc

Teachers Observing Teachers – Instructional Rounds in Action

Last weekend (19th and 20th of October) I had the honor of presenting a workshop on Instructional Rounds at the ANPS Leadership Conference in Bali. For those of you uninitiated to Instructional Rounds, a rundown can be found here and here.

Put simply, rounds is an intersection between Walkthroughs, Professional Learning Networks, and School Improvement Plans and, when it is done right, is the most powerful tool for professional development that I have ever seen.

A one hour session was never going to be enough time to truly prepare school leaders to launch rounds at their schools, but judging by the response, it was at least enough time to whet their appetites. Hopefully, more schools will start experimenting with this highly valuable form of PD and with any luck we will be able to form a network of schools in the JaBoTaBek region to start visiting and learning from each other’s schools.

A few people have asked me to upload the Prezi I used for the workshop and make it available online, but unfortunately, Prezi is (as it sometimes does) acting up and cannot upload. If anyone would like me to send a copy, feel free to email me and I’ll send you the original file via email.

SBR Building 2 Opening Ceremony, October 5th, 2012

Just yesterday (Friday October 5th) we held the Opening Ceremony for our second building. While the building has been unofficially in use for the last month and a bit, yesterday was its official unveiling. In front of an audience of around 350 students, teachers, local dignitaries, shareholders, and the school leadership team, we had performances from different levels of the school as well as speeches from Bogor’s mayor and our Yayasan.

All in all, the performances were excellent and the event was a huge success. Many thanks to all of the teachers and students who worked so hard to make this event well-organized and effective.

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Our new school logo, on our new school sign.

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Our Parents Advisory Board, who also joined the event.

 

 

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Our talented Grade 3’s in full song.

 

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The Tari Saman dance from our amazing Grade 8 girls.

 

 

 

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The Yayasan, our Shareholders, assorted local dignitaries, and our school founders at the signing of the cornerstone.

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Touring the building with local dignitaries.

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The scene in our new hall at the inauguration of our new building; October 5th, 2012. A wonderful milestone in our school’s proud history.

Hello? Is anybody still there?

So, it’s fair to say that I’ve been a little slack in keeping this blog updated.

In my defense, I have three good reasons. Firstly; I was entrusted with the position of School Director at my school, Sekolah Bogor Raya. It’s a wonderful, often frustrating, always rewarding and consistently challenging position that takes up not only my waking hours, but also gives me the occasional sleepless night.

Secondly; I have been studying. I am taking a combined Master’s in Education, US Principal License, and International School Leadership Certificate through Washington State, USF, and EARCOS. This has, predictably enough, taken up the few remaining hours I had left for blogging.

Thirdly; we have been working on a new building, which has required a huge amount of oversight and involvement (and still continues to, despite the fact that it is officially finished).

But I’m approaching a stage now where I feel that I am getting a handle on the leadership role. My degree is drawing to a close (it should be complete in December), and the new building is standing and only requires a little fine tuning at this stage.

So here I am. Considering starting to blog again. Why? Because I miss it. I miss how it forced me to reflect on what I was learning. How it got me into the habit of crystallizing my thoughts into a coherent narrative. How it kept me in the habit of writing regularly.

The only question is…  is anyone still out there?

(cue tumbleweed)

High School Science Teacher, Urgently Required (Teachers)

Sekolah Bogor Raya exists to provide international standard education to the people of Bogor. Through a commitment to English Language fluency, technological expertise, and inquiry-based teaching and learning, we deliver an international program that integrates global concepts with a local focus. Our programs prioritize the physical, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional development of our students and encourage them to build self-esteem and strive to be the very best that they can be.

Sekolah Bogor Raya is Bogor’s leading centre for international standard education. As a national plus school, we offer a mix of international curricula including the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP), the International GCSE program, and the GAC university entrance program. Our students also work on the Indonesian national curriculum and achieve considerable success each year in their National Examinations.

Sekolah Bogor Raya is currently seeking expatriate candidates for the following position;

Science Teacher (High School)

Teaching in the high school, the Science teacher will be responsible for teaching a variety of high school level classes.

Required

-          S1 degree minimum

-          Good standard of English

-          Experience teaching at primary and high school level

-          Good communication skills and a positive and caring approach

-          Respect for diversity

-          Experience of using English as the medium of instruction

Desirable Traits

-          Experience with IB PYP, IGCSE, or GAC curricula

-          A proven track record of training students for success in science competitions

 

Please send your CV and a recent photo to admissions@sekolahbogorraya.com We apologise, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

 

Ugly Fonts Lead to Beautiful Minds? (Teachers, Administrators)

A group of Princeton Psychologists took classes of students in an Ohio school and taught half of the students using Powerpoint presentations, handouts, and worksheets in standard fonts and half of the students using the same materials but in disfluent fonts such as Monotype Corsiva, Comic Sans Italicized and Haettenshweiler.

Their conclusion was that disfluency; actively making things harder to learn, improved long term learning and reflection.

There is strong theoretical justification to believe that disfluency could lead to improved retention and classroom performance. Disfluency has been shown to lead people to process information more deeply, more abstractly, more carefully, and yield better comprehension, all of which are critical to effective learning.

The students retention in English, Physics, U.S. History and Chemistry was then tested and a significant improvement was found in those who had learnt from materials with fonts that were more difficult to read.

This study demonstrated that student retention of material across a wide range of subjects (science and humanities classes) and difficulty levels (regular, Honors and Advanced Placement) can be significantly improved in naturalistic settings by presenting reading material in a format that is slightly harder to read…. The potential for improving educational practicesthrough cognitive interventions is immense.

Worth trying out before the next testing cycle?

Via Wired

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