quinta-feira, 31 de maio de 2012

How to Make Great Teachers

      Yesterday was a great day! I'd like to write about the good experience I had in my class with the 3ºE students. We had the opportunity to discuss about the title of the text that we were about to read: "How to Make Great Teachers" written by Claudia Wallis who is a contributor to Time magazine. (She has worked at Time as a staff reporter and editor, and has produced 35 covers on education, science, psychology, children and family issues). The article was adapted to fit in our material, but I highly recommend students, educators and parents read the complete article which story was the cover of the magazine (Vol.171.No.8). To read it, just click here. She started the article declaring that we never forget our best teachers - the ones who opened doors and altered the course of our lives. We couldn't agree more. The debate in our class was very invigorating. Although some students showed me how clear is their understanding about the teaching situation today, others didn't speak up their thoughts.

Even then I could see that their faces were expressing agreement to their colleagues. But nothing compares to their face when I asked their homework - to write, like Claudia,  about a teacher who has inspired them. I could feel that the great majority instantly remembered someone (and it also includes me). And that's the idea, to have the chance of reflecting on the theme and at the same time on their own lives. We haven't finish our work yet but I would say "so far, so good" and by what I saw last class, I know I can expect great papers. No doubts that a better education is an investment in all of our future.

Post question: Who was "the great teacher" you have met so far? Why do you consider this person a great teacher? When did you meet him/her? What about you, have you ever thought about been a teacher?

Tip: Professor A.A.Karim (from Malaysia) writes about education in his blog "One Stop Learning". Take some time to read it, leave a comment and share it.

terça-feira, 22 de maio de 2012

Selos, magistério e satisfação em aprender!

Selos sempre foram interessantes porque muito mais do que simplesmente comprovar o valor pago pelo serviço do envio da correspondência, eles também desempenham um papel social com campanhas como essas: "Toda criança na Escola" e a "Valorização do Magistério".

Levando-se em consideração que o ano é 1998, podemos afirmar que há mais de 10 anos o governo já estava empenhado em valorizar o trabalho realizado pelo docente na sala de aula. (Ninguém pode dizer que o governo não tenta!). Mas a questão aqui é outra...dez anos depois, quais são os frutos, quais são os resultados dessa e de outras campanhas? Será que podemos dizer que o professor é, atualmente, reconhecido pelo seu trabalho? Acredito que depende do ponto de vista. Com certeza alguns alunos valorizam o trabalho desenvolvido pelo seu professor e demonstram isso através de suas atitudes. Porém também temos alunos (e até mesmo a comunidade) que não compartilham dessa visão. O grande problema é que esse segundo grupo parece ser a grande maioria. O problema ainda se agrava quando a falta da valorização atravessa a linha tênue do respeito, o que pode comprometer a relação entre professor-aluno e todo o processo de ensino-aprendizagem. E quando isso acontece, todo o propósito da educação se perde e a função da escola passa a ser apenas servir como um ambiente para a convivência social, como o clube ou o parque da cidade. Quando isso acontece, é a derrocada da sociedade! Mas como quase tudo na vida, esse quadro pode ser revertido, mas demanda além de muita boa vontade, um grande esforço em conjunto de todos os envolvidos. Se estamos tentando, a mais de uma década, valorizar o magistério e ainda falta muito...talvez já esteja na hora de adotar outras estratégias para que de fato esse objetivo possa ser atingido.
1) Em sua opinião, o que poderia ser feito para que o magistério recebesse a devida valorização? 2) Observando a "carinha" dos alunos dos selos acima, impossível não notar todo o interesse e satisfação em aprender que eles estão expressando. Acredito (e realmente espero) que vocês já tenham participado de aulas como essa. Descreva uma delas, uma aula na qual você já tenha ficado com essa "carinha" de satisfação ao aprender algo que você tenha considerado interessante.

sexta-feira, 4 de maio de 2012

Education - the real elegance!

         May is a very special month. Besides the Mother's Day, Maypole tradition and other celebrations, it's also Audrey Hepburn's birthday, on May 4th.
The second sentence to describe her when you google for her is: "Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century."
 What else could I say? She is an icon and she will always be. Not only because she was a talented actress, but also due to the way she conducted her life and the exemplar attitudes that guided her life. Nobody is perfect and we know that, but it's perfectly possible to assert that some people can get very close to it. She was one of these people.
Although being beautiful can play a great role to became a legend, it takes much more than beauty to be an icon.
She was astonishing beautiful and her fascinating "magic" is that she was so polite and kind as she was beautiful.  The American Film Institute ranked her as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of America cinema. She inspired Givenchy and was inducted in the International Best Dresses List Hall of Fame. In the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (Bonequinha de Luxo), as in many others, she wears a very elegant outfit but her elegance was far beyond the character's wardrobe. Clothes can make you very well-dressed but they can't speak for you, they can't behave for you. It's necessary to fill the dress with grace, delicacy and lightness...in other words, to fill it with femininity, exactly like her. 
Waren G. Harris wrote her biography, a book which I strongly recommend - Audrey Hepburn - Uma Biografia, Editora Nova Fronteira. It's a very nice book to read, beautiful photos and for sure it helps to understand all the fascination that surrounded her while she was alive and that keeps on surrounded the icon that still lives. It's a great number of attitudes and facts that it's hard to explain and even if I tried I would have to write the longest post ever written! So, reading the book will make it easier!
But a point worth mentioning is her education, her politeness.  Her mother was a baroness but she didn't refuse to work menial jobs in order to support her and her daughter. That's dignity. For sure, good examples from her parents shaped her life and contributed to her human development. 
Due to her passion for humanitarian work, she worked as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Africa, South America and Asia.
Audrey died in 1993, at her home in Switzerland, aged 63 and with her beloved ones. 
She went away but left a great lesson behind: education is the real elegance! What about you, is there anyone you admire? What has this person done (or did) that, in your opinion, makes her/his a very special person? How and where did you get the information about this person? Answer the questions and add a photo of the person you decided to write about.