Anglojęzyczna wersja „Pomocnika nauczyciela”
Proven ideas to motivate and organize your class
Introductiona of the book:
„One of the greatest things in life is the opportunity to do something that you love and be appreciated for it. We are lucky enough to feel completely fulfilled in what we do. Work is our biggest passion and we give it our hearts and souls. We work in an environment that is both creative and supportive, enjoying flawless cooperation. We share our ideas and they become an inspiration to act. Our greatest motivation is indisputably our management, who give us a free reign at work without limiting our creativity in any way. We are immensely grateful for that.
Each of our trio is different. Kamila is a bank of ideas, a real inspiration for others and quite often she provides the necessary stimulus to action. Marta is a really calm spirit, she solves every problem that we face. She is always able to recommend the best publication through her familiarity with just about everything that has ever been put into print on the subject of education. Agata is very industrious and creative in making various teaching aids, and her hallmark is the ability to write a poem for every occasion. In a word – we are a great team – we support and complement each other beautifully.
Firstly, we like what we do or, as Confucius so concisely put it, „we never have to work”;-)… This is highly motivational. Secondly – we are looking for new and interesting solutions and we are not afraid to try these out in our every day classroom activities. Thirdly, we happily share our tried and tested ideas, aiming at further improvement and work on adapting them to our students’ abilities.
We openly admit that our first steps in the teaching profession were not easy and at times quite stressful. The clash of knowledge acquired at university with the reality of school was a challenging experience. It motivated us to seek our own solutions and to develop the techniques that would help us manage a laughing and chattering crowd of kids. Our ideas proved to be effective, but only after some time. All of them were instantly tested by children and consequently had to be modified in real time. The main objective of our work was to create an atmosphere of security, facilitating the willingness to learn and the feeling of enjoyment. We wanted to help our students to travel the difficult paths of education by working along clearly set principles and functionally organized work environment.
We have always sought and are still seeking ideas that will help us achieve our goals. Our trip to the United Kingdom was undoubtedly a great inspiration for us, as we could experience the English schooling system. We were very impressed with the organization of students’ work, where everyone knew their job and fulfilled their assigned roles. We found the classrooms surprisingly quiet. Although the lessons were held in classes, students carried out their tasks with the door to the corridor open or even without a door at all! Moreover, this didn’t seem to bother anybody.
We thought ‘if it works here, it must work at home!’ Feeling inspired, we started collecting the concepts that most grabbed our attention. We returned to Poland with heads full of ideas and slowly started to modify English learning solutions and implement them in our classrooms. The ideas soon proved to be effective and children really enjoyed following clearly defined structures. They acclimatize quickly to new environments and are willing to work in the classroom as long as they are given the familiar, simple ‘step by step’ instructions and understand the teacher’s expectations.
Another major positive influence that motivated us to develop our activities and ideas was ‘The Dalton Plan’, together with our extraordinary visit to the Netherlands and meeting Roel Rohner, the head of Dalton International. During this trip we realized how many elements of The Dalton Plan we had intuitively been using in our work, quite without knowing it. Visiting the Dutch school was a very exciting experience and we observed classes and the general organization of the school in amazement. We were delighted to see simple yet effective ways being utilized to help students find their place in the school environment, show them the best growth directions and teach them how to gain knowledge themselves and be responsible for their own education process. During the meeting with Roel his guidance and tremendous commitment in the development of The Dalton Plan made quite literally „infected” us with his enthusiasm, and planted a lot of ideas in our minds. Some of them you will find in this publication.
You have at your disposal a collection classroom solutions that, in our opinion, are the best and most interesting. We have worked on them over the several years of our research. Many of them have been tried and tested in our classrooms and adjusted and modified to fit to the requirements of our students. We hope that this publication will become an inspiration for creative work, and the materials included will be helpful in motivating and organizing classroom space.
We encourage everybody to try out the ideas and we hope that they will be found to be useful and will become a part of your everyday classroom activities.”
Agata, Kamila, Marta