Zukunftsvisionen: Ein Plan, viele Ideen

Ich habe eine Zukunftsvision. Eigentlich habe ich mehrere, aber hier geht es um etwas konkretes. Seit einiger Zeit bin ich als Familienbegleiterin selbstständig und habe mir überlegt, wie es weitergehen kann.

Ich arbeite mit Familien als Beraterin fürs Tragen, Stoffwindeln, Breifrei und Stillen. Bald auch noch als Babymassage Kursleiterin und Babykursleiterin. Mein Plan war bisher, das alles weiter auszubauen und Frauenarbeit hinzuzunehmen. Jetzt gab es die Möglichkeit im November den Moon Mothers Workshop mit Miranda Gray zu machen und ich wollte das auch tun.

Da kamen die Zweifel. Will ich das wirklich? Was treibt mich dazu? Bin das ich?

All diese Überlegungen führten mich weiter:

Will ich meine Kinder wirklich betreuen lassen, damit ich andere Familien begleiten kann? Gibt es Möglichkeiten meine Kinder selbst zu betreuen? Was ist, wenn wir keinen Platz in der Wunschkita bekommen? Was ist, wenn die Wunschkita nicht das ist, was wir wirklich wollen?
Was will ich eigentlich für meine Kinder? Wie gerne würde ich eigentlich eine PYP EY Klasse für sie haben. Eine mit ganz engem Reggiobezug….

Die Zweifel wurden größer und der Wunsch, mehr Einfluss zu haben auch. Und dann meldete sich mein Traum wieder: Eine eigene Schule/Kita gründen.

Das wiederum löste viel Motivation und Enthusiasmus aus.

Jetzt war es also ganz klar. Da sind Träume und Wünsche, ja, eigentlich sogar Pläne, die ich vergessen oder verdrängt habe. Ich kehre wieder zu meinem Ursprung zurück. Schul- oder Bildungsarbeit ist das, was ich sehr mag. Ja, Kleinkinder brauchen keine Bildung in dem Sinne. Aber die pädagogische Arbeit ist das, was mir fehlt. Und seitdem ich in Italien mit den Kindergartengruppen in meiner Schule gearbeitet habe, viele Reggioeinrichtungen gesehen habe und somit ein neues Interessenfeld entdeckte, treibt mich der Wunsch, mich dort umzusetzen. Denn von dort kann ich auch weiter gehen.

Ich merke sofort durch die Motivation und den treibenden Kern in mir, dass ich genau das machen will. Auch meine Freundin meinte, dass ein Strahlen da sei, wenn ich davon erzähle, dass ich sonst nicht so habe.

Zeit also, neu zu denken, umzudenken und die bisherigen Pläne in Frage zu stellen. Denn ich bin Mutter mit Leib und Seele. Auch wenn ich Eltern gerne begleiten will, mag ich meine Kinder auch begleiten und sie dafür nicht immer “abgeben” müssen.

Ich habe beschlossen, dass ich die Familienbegleitung erweitern kann. Ich werde mich zur Tagesmutter ausbilden lassen und eine Betreuung im Rahmen der Reggio Pädagogik anbieten. Ich werde ein Konzept erstellen, ich werde hoffentlich hospitieren. Ich werde mich mit der KLAX Pädagogik nochmals auseinander setzen. Ich werde Kontakt zu Tagespflegestellen aufnehmen, die auch so denken, wie ich. Ich werde meine Kinder mit begleiten und dennoch auch eine pädagogische Aufgabe haben. Und vielleicht werde ich dann im Zuge eine KITA gründen. Oder vielleicht sogar eine Schule? Wer weiß.

Next Steps: Die Info-Veranstaltung der PiB in Bremen besuchen und mich anmelden. Kontakte knüpfen.

Dieser Blog wird mich dabei begleiten!

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Learning and rethinking

A quick apology for the lack of posts, but the last few months have been exciting on a personal level, but little has happened that made me want to post.

 

In fact, I’m now on maternity leave and expecting our little baby in late June. The very fact that our child will be born has made me rethink education, learning and development over and over again… and my focus has been on early childhood more than ever before.

 

What has also gotten my attention has been the publication of Precht’s new book “Anna, die Schule und der liebe Gott” (Anna, school and God), a highly critical book about the current educational system in Germany. I expect to be spending some time reading and posting about it in the next few days. I’m curious to see how it fits with my ideas on education, learning and development, my critique of the state school system and my ideas of how I can make a difference.

There is potential there for this blog, so please don’t give up on me quite yet. Looking forward to sharing new ideas and projects, thoughts and wonderings with you!

What catches students’ attention?

If I knew the universal answer to this question, I would surely post it here, but alas, there are many things to catch students’ attention …. and many ways not to.

However, yesterday I covered in grade 3.a all day long and as their science/social studies teacher, I took the opportunity to start on our unit on experiments and the scientific method.

A simple provocation: A question!

What is an experiment?

I didn’t even expect the class to be as engaged as they were… they shared ideas, thoughts and wonderings. They talked about experiments they had seen, heard of or even tried themselves.

After the first session, I expected them to be eager to continue today but I was amazed by the enthusiasm displayed: Some students talked to adults and consulted books about experiments, took notes and collected questions at home.

I’m thrilled and I hope that many of my approaches will keep them engaged! I will keep you posted!


A quick note: I work at a special needs school for speech disabilities. The students are often delayed in their linguistic development, and display a lot of problems with reading, writing and often speaking as such. 

Assessment and lack thereof

Assessment for learning has always been seen as one of the most important tasks of my job by me. Without knowing what my students already know and can do, I can’t plan anything. No meaningful learning activities,… and I can’t provide support and opportunities for learning if I don’t know where my students are.

The levels of assessment are huge…. assessment of knowledge, social skills, skills in general, and much more is important for any teacher.

But as I’m completing a module on assessment, I’m doubtful about how much assessment is really taking place in schools. How do we ENSURE that assessment happens in the classrooms and for every student? What do your schools do? What is assessment to you?

Pregnancy and temporary contracts

After having ranted on my German blog Vertretungsblog about the unfair and unlawful treatment of myself at my current school, I still feel like summing it up here.

I currently have a temporary contract my the primary school I’m working at. The initial contract was for the maternity leave of a colleague, and the extension of the contract was for the second part of maternity/parental leave she is taking. The first contract ends mid-January, and the extension was explicitly promise to me several times.

After telling my principal about my pregnancy though, the following happened:

  • I told him in confidence, but when I came into school to sign the papers for a medical examination (needed to continue employment where children are involved), a lot of my colleagues congratulated me. He broke the confidentiality agreement he is legally bound to.
  • While waiting for the results from my blood test, I called the principal to ask when I would be able to sign the new contract. He told me he wasn’t sure anymore, considering my pregnancy. He broke he law, using pregnancy as a reason not to employ me. 
  • When I returned to school this week, a lot of students knew about the pregnancy. Someone, without my consent, spoke to students about my pregnancy.
  • When telling my principal that I had decided not to stay, for various reasons, including a new position elsewhere, he told me he was glad, because he didn’t have to feel guilty. He, and I quote, stated that he didn’t want a third pregnant woman on the team and that it would be hard to find a replacement when I leave for maternity leave. See above.
  • He also stated that he wished he would have kept me on for a week though, as the school is scheduled for inspection. Slap in the face!
  • Later that day I was told my some colleagues that my pregnancy and the principal’s decision was also discussed in a team meeting, that I was a) not invited to and b) not informed about. My pregnancy was discussed without me being present and without my consent. Privacy laws…..!!!!

Sad, frustrated and disappointed. Shocked. But also looking forward to my new challenges. I am not sure how to proceed with this, but I think everyone should know what kind of thinking is going on in the heads of some people these days!

Creative educators!

We always talk about creativity in regards to the learners in our schools. But what about educators? Of course most educators are creative in many ways, but what about fostering and nurturing that creativity? 

And what happens to educators that find their creativity is not thriving in their current environment? I recently discussed this with some friends and this is what they said:

  • look for a new post/school
  • move into a more creative job
  • aim for change from within
  • start your own school/place of learning

And the latter, yes, that has been on my mind for so many years. And even more so since I moved back from international schools to the state system. 

Create your own…. that’s just such a wonderful thought. But where to start?

Where do we learn?

The classroom is traditionally the place where learning takes place. This is, of course, not true anymore. But where does learning take place in this days and age, for the children at my school, ….

  • at home?
  • outside?
  • everywhere?
  • worldwide?

The answer would have been easier for me when I was still a PYP teacher. And even as a class teacher in Germany this wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But I’m wondering where my students really think their learning takes place. I often hear them say something along these lines:

  • learning is stupid
  • i don’t want to learn
  • I hate school

Which is not what I want to hear. For them, learning means school, and school means many challenges. But what about their learning outside these four walls they call the classroom? What about the experiences that we don’t officially count as learning? Why don’t we make them more aware of this?

Learning is everywhere and can be anything: Something to take back to school and beyond next week!