Tuesday, December 26, 2017

IB Online Workshop: The Road Goes Ever On!

I will focus my reflection on two things: the process I went through towards the finish line and the products I made and my take away from the workshop.
I came in the workshop with the confidence of someone who has an experience working in a school that has been running the DP program for seven years. Attending this online workshop was not my first so this experience added to my confidence. I was excited to participate and engage with peers and colleagues to share practices that worked and challenges we face in implementing the EE. During the first module, I found common ground with seasoned IB teachers and colleagues new to the IB. 
I found myself moving a step ahead in module 1 like posting a question that is more appropriate for module 4 and identifying an action plan to help teachers supervise the EE with their students. When module 2 began, I was overwhelmed with the content and coverage that I had to pause and step back so I can find my center, gather my thoughts and strategise a manageable time and space to jump back in the learning engagements.
I appreciated John's email prompting me to participate everyday since learning engagements lead to deeper thought and distillation of content covered in module 2. Indeed, the posts of the participants lent insight and pushed me to look at my own including my pacing and time management.
Mid-way in module 3, I fell ill and was confined for three days in the hospital. Once again, I am appreciative of everyone who reached out and made an effort to reply to my posts late in the module. Catching up was a lot of work and I feel that, till the end, I am still trailing behind. A slice of humble pie never tasted this good!
Also, there goes the lesson to keep one's self healthy at all times. It is time to take seriously this concept of work-life balance and how to make it really work for me.
I have attended face to face IB workshops in the past with good results, but an online workshop has its advantages. The discussions boards and forum will be open for six months. This will give me enough time to review, look back and recall discussions, answers to my questions and back read on posts I missed.
Of the four module, I am most affirmed and validated in module 2. Reading the posts of participants saying how valuable the librarian is in the EE journey inspired me to further assert my role in the school. Not everyone in my learning community recognise the relevance of librarians in the EE and in teaching and learning in general. But, knowing I have the support of my DP Coordinator and Dean of Faculty is already a platform I can work on to spring board more ideas, services and programs to help teachers in the supervision of the EE.
Modules 3 was a lot of work, especially that there are no grade boundaries to work on in the new guide. Nonetheless, I felt and learned how a year 11 student would feel and think at the beginning of the EE. The student-supervisor relationship must be strong and the school must really set up a support system for this relationship to flourish. I look at the EE supervision not just an administrative job, but a formative and teaching job that goes beyond the expected job description.
Feedback and reflection are two of the important concepts that I will carry with me back to the Academy when I discuss my PAP with my school leaders. Plus, the learning of the WSEE. Module 4 was the most challenging! 
And so, I conclude this workshop with a revised Personal Plan of Action that includes a personal development to write a WSEE by August 2018. I resolve to actualise the plans I have in my PAP and I will start by sending a copy of it to my DP Coordinator and Dean of Faculty. They have something to think about the rest of the holidays. :-)
I thank everyone who patiently answered and replied to my posts, to John most especially for answering all my Burning Questions!
This online workshop reaches an end of a journey, but I begin another one back in the Beacon Academy.
Have a meaningful holiday everyone! A grace filled New Year to all!

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