Starting the school year has always been exciting not only for students but also for teachers. We, as a teacher would never know the children we are going to deal with for the whole year through. Thus, setting up an essential agreement at the beginning of the academic year is essential as we want to establish a good and conducive class.
Rules or agreement?
Teachers in some school are now starting to move away from using the word “rules” to using the word “agreements”. What are actually the differences between rules and agreement in classroom? Rules are imposed. They’re set for the purpose of compliance. Any violations of rules should be punished to maintain the power of the rule. Rules are “above people.” The locus of control is external, teaching us that we don’t have the power – so we’re pushed toward obedience rather than internal motivation.
Agreements are negotiated. They’re set for the purpose of collaboration. Any violations should be discussed to learn. Agreements are “between people.” The locus of control is internal, teaching us that we have the power – so we’re pushed toward intrinsic motivation.
However, although some teachers are no longer use the term “rules” in their classroom, some others are still using it because they might think what their classroom would be like without any rules. They don’t want to have a chaotic class so that they prefer using the “rules” instead of “agreement”
As for me, since i am teaching in an IB school, i prefer starting my class by creating an “essential agreement” to make sure that my class will function well and in a conducive way. Rather than teachers imposing their rules on children, everyone in the group works together to establish an agreement of how the class will function. Here are some tips of creating an essential agreement in class.
- Last year, i tried this with my students. First, i will let them watch some video about what a good classroom and a “not-good” one. After that, we brainstorm together. We ask them which classroom they would prefer studying in and ask the reason why.
- After brainstorming, we ask the students again what make a good classroom. Students will come up with various answers. We can also ask students to come up with things that might disrupt the class, anything that will make the class stray from its goals. For example, if students want to improve their listening comprehension or learn to think in English, it will be highly disruptive to hear students speaking their native language. Little ones might say that they don’t want any shouting, yelling, or hitting in class. Some students may say that they shouldn’t interrupt someone when he or she’s speaking.
- How to avoid disruptive behaviour. After getting some ideas about what disruptive behaviours are. We can brainstorm with the students about how to avoid the disruptive behaviours to make the class run smoothly. They might be quick to say that no shouting, yelling, or hitting is allowed in class. And to avoid interruptions and make sure everyone has a chance to speak, your students will suggest that they have to raise their hands. Try to phrase each of the rules in an affirmative way, for example, in a way that tells them what they should do and not what they shouldn’t do. Having your walls filled with “No shouting”, “No eating in class”, in other words, no, no, no everywhere does not contribute to creating a very positive learning environment either.
- Now you have to put it all in writing, after all, verbal contracts won’t hold water in a classroom. They can make a poster illustrating the essential agreement, and then put it up some place where it’s clearly visible. You can also give students some post it and have them write about what they just said about how to avoid disruptive behaviours to maintain a good and conducive classroom. Ask them to paste/stick into the place provided and together read all the agreement.
- So, to sum up, make sure each and every student is clear and agreed on the agreement. They should also understand that the agreements are subjected to any changes should there be any cases which require any changing or improvement of the agreement.
Grade 4 Teacher
Scouts in the PYP
What really makes the difference when it comes to making a success in life? Character. And what is character? It is resilience, common sense, kindness and an independence of mind. It’s about inspiring others and believing in yourself. But this talk of character training is nothing new. It’s exactly what Robert Baden-Powell had in mind when he first dreamed up the notion of scouting. “It has more value,” he said, “than any other attribute in life.”
Here at Sekolah Cikal, we are proud to apply the scouting program or PRAMUKA for the school community. Started at Year 3, the Cubs or Siaga the early level in Scouting the members are 7 to 10 years old, It consists of: Siaga Mula, Siaga Bantu and Siaga Tata. As an IB School, both programs are blending effectively among students learning inside and outside the classroom.
SCOUTING AND PYP PROGRAMS
In Communication unit under How We Express Ourselves, it becomes more interesting when students learn kinds of verbal and nonverbal communications. Scouting introduces Semaphore a system of signaling using flags where a sets of alphabets constructed in form of flag formation. It can be used to signal between ships, plane and also across open land.
In Math area, Scouting supports students in learning directions through compass skills just in case they get lost in a forest they know how to find their way home. Another fun learning like in Measurement where students learn to read digital and analog clock. We set fun clock games where we asked students acted like an analog clock. With sets of instructions, they stretched their left hand as the short hand and the right hand as the long hand of a clock showing an instructed clock given (show me 07.00 am, 10.00 am etc).
The Scouting programs also encourage students to meet the purpose of PYP Transdisciplinary Skills where some of the dimensions of its aligned as well (Thinking skills: comprehension to grasp meaning from material learned; communicating and interpreting learning. Social skills: Accepting responsibility, Respecting others, Cooperating, Group decision-making. Communication skills : Listening to directions; listening to others; listening to information).
Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia or Indonesian Scout movement is a name of non-formal education organization that performs scouting education in Indonesia.
Its founded in 1961 by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX, and in 2011 Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia became the world’s largest scout association in the world with 17 million members.
Pramuka is derived from the word “Praja Muda Karana” which means young soul that loves to work. As well as family education that is wrapped as an interesting, fun, healthy, arranged, focused, and practical activities that may be done in nature as an outdoor activity.
Every activity is performed according to the Scouting Basic Principal (Prinsip Dasar Kepramukaan) and Scouting Method (Metode Kepramukaan). The final goal of these activities is the building of character, morals, helping boys and girls become happy, healthy and useful global citizens. It also helps children embrace adventure and succeed in life and furthermore fosters personality development of the students and helps them to aware their sense of social responsibility. To become disciplined, courageous and noble character of young people in Indonesia. We also must know that scouting in Indonesia was built as an education system that was adjusted with the interests and development of society and the nation of Indonesia.
ACTIVE GLOBAL CITIZENS
As practical education, Scouting at our school also empower students as active global citizens. As they said the Scout promises every Wednesday practice and If they really want to keep their promise of ‘helping others’, they have to help themselves first be a role model for their community that cultivates their practical wisdom and character and then continually puts these to good use. A fantastic example of vibrant and exciting Scouting events at our school was when the Cubs shared the sandwiches that they made during the Scouting session to all of school community who help them every day at school and at home. SALAM PRAMUKA!
Grade 3 Teacher
Sekolah Cikal Cilandak
As part of the Global Jaya School Year 6 PYP Exhibition, our students had the opportunity to connect with other schools around the world to discuss the progress, implementation and reflection of their experiences.
Over the course of the two-day event, students held video Skype calls with schools in New Zealand, Indonesia, Germany and Norway. They had the chance to share their thoughts about their exhibition experiences and ask questions of each other to gain a deeper mutual understanding of similarities and differences between how people from around the globe engage in the PYP exhibition.
Renatta, Dhira and I Skyped with a school from New Zealand and we became their tour guides. We took them on a tour around the theater foyer to see all of our booths. We stopped at our booths and explained our issue, solution, and other things on our display. They asked us questions and we answered them. It was a really fun experience. I was very lucky to have the chance to be able to call schools from other countries.
I was very lucky to be able to call schools from other countries/places. My favourite calls were with the New Zealand and Norway schools because they made us laugh. We were also able to give them a tour of the theatre foyer, and allow them to interview other students. They asked great questions, and made Kiara, Dhira and I laugh.
It was like talking to us in the past when we Skyped with IB schools in Germany and Norway because they are just starting their exhibition process and we were just done. It was helpful for them to get tips and answers from us because we are finished with exhibition and we have experienced all the work.
International Teacher Comments:
My students really enjoyed the presentation. Dhira was great! We are going to have our exhibition next month. I’m thinking we could probably have a Skype session during our exhibition, just like yours. Thank you again for the session.
Ibu Marina, Sekolah Global Indo-Asia, Indonesia
We will be having our exhibition towards the end of Nov. It would be amazing to see the performance as well. Due to talking with your class today, I already have students wanting to form groups and start their research. They were very motivated by what they saw.
Robert Bale, Ashburton Borough School, New Zealand
Skyping with students to share their exhibition experience.
Video conferencing with students in Germany.
Nowadays, our kids are exposed to facilities like having cars to bring them to and from school, nannies, gadgets etc. It is normal that parents want to give their kids the best in everything. However, sometimes or often they don’t realise the way parents give or provide all the best things to their children can bring about a negative effect later on. Children become more dependent than ever on all these items. Somehow, they do not even need to ask… Voila! Everything is ready in front of them.
I realise that my students have become more and more dependent. One time, without any words, one of my students gave me her lunch box. At first, I automatically opened it and gave the opened snack box back to her. Then I regretted it. How come I gave in to such an inappropriate request? From that experience, I started to introduce to them 3 magic words: “please”, “sorry” and “thank you”. Using those three magic words made them more “human.” Their empathy and appreciative feelings have grown and their behaviour became more polite. Eventually, those magic words become a habit for them.
In my school now, teachers always bring a small broom and a dust pan during snack time. Since I teach kindergarten students, those two things are very useful during that time. We have a janitor who is always available to clean students’ rubbish. Instead of asking the janitor to clean the students’ mess, we teach them how to do it themselves.
Perfection does not come immediately, of course, but we can see the effort of the students and how they feel about themselves. They try hard to use the broom and the dust pan, which is also a good practice for their fine motor skill. Students also feel proud of themselves after they are done cleaning their own mess. The most important thing is that by doing that, students appreciate others’ feelings and job. They will try first to clean their own area before they ask help from the janitor by using those three magic words. However, they have become more careful in eating, so they will try their best not to spill anything on the table or floor.
One day, I look forward to seeing the kids develop their independence and willingness to help others in school, not only to those who are in need, but also to the strangers they see along the streets, neighbourhood and around the community. Little practices can make a difference in building big goals for children’s learning which start from the little things that young children can manage to do by themselves.
By Dian Anggraini (firstname.lastname@example.org), K2 Homeroom Teacher,
Sekolah Global Indo-Asia (Batam)
If there is one thing I learnt from being a teacher for so many years, it is the importance of a positive teacher-student relationship. The teacher-student relationship is one of the most powerful elements within the learning environment. Students learn best when they enjoy learning with their teacher, the classroom atmosphere or the ambience the teacher creates.
When teachers form positive bonds with students, classrooms become supportive spaces in which students can engage in academically and socially productive ways. Students who have a positive rapport with their teachers use them as a secure base from which they can explore the classroom and school setting both academically and socially.
Each student has a different learning ability and as a teacher, we need to recognize that. I have always treated my students as my friends. I like to get to know them better. Firstly, it means getting to know the students’ learning styles and where they are in terms of their knowledge, abilities, and potential. More importantly, it also means getting to know their interests, personality, and background. For the teacher, this body of knowledge opens up the possibilities for growth and learning opportunities.
Teachers will see wonders once the students are willing to come out of their shells. It means they trust us as their teachers. We have gained their trust and confidence. Hence, students will no longer see us as only their teachers but also their friends. To me, this is what a positive teacher-student relationship means. I have seen so much improvement in my students once they no longer see me only as their teacher. Yes, they still have to respect me because I am, after all, their teacher, but they also trust me because I am their friend.
By: Devi Godri
English as a Foreign Language Teacher
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug, Jakarta
Four years of teaching the PYP curriculum and attending an IB Exhibition workshop was not enough preparation for what was in store during the PYP Exhibition. The greatest challenge was leaving the students to their own inquiry with only minimal supervision. Not to mention that, in the beginning, personalities clashed within groups. I was almost sure our first exhibition would be a complete disaster.
However one thing I have learned in 12 years of teaching is that there is something new going on each day. Surprises are right around the corner. As the inquiry got underway, the students became more and more engaged in their learning and would often share new discoveries with one another and with their teachers.
For our first year, the theme was HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES and the central idea was “Self-expression bridges cultural diversity and celebrates individuality.” Teachers anticipated that students would come up with singing, dancing and theater arts as their topics. But like I said, there is something new to learn every day. We were pleasantly surprised by the topics the students came up with. They ranged from cooking and pottery to sports and social media. This wide spectrum provided such a big pool of information that made inquiry so much richer and more interesting for the students.
Our grade 5 students were out all over Jakarta. They were out interviewing experts and celebrities. They were learning how to cook, paint, make batik and do pottery. They became actively involved in sports as well as playing traditional Indonesian games with their friends and creating computer games. Some groups came up with campaigns on how to use social media responsibly. Another group came up with the slogan “love yourself” to remind people to be themselves.
As I watched this exhibition unfold and as I witnessed my students step out of their comfort zones, I am reminded of my favorite Chinese proverb, “The flower that blooms in adversity is rarest and most beautiful of all”. Indeed, it was a difficult time. Some of them would fall ill along the way. Buckets of tears were shed. Yet many of them blossomed quite magnificently and unexpectedly. As Exhibition Day approached, I was confident that these grade 5 students would be able to share the journey of their inquiry to anyone who cared to listen. I am even more confident that this is only the beginning of the many obstacles they will encounter and ultimately conquer.
Ms. Pat Manning
Homeroom Teacher Grade 5
Mentari School Jakarta
As we celebrated Indonesia’s Independence Day on August 17th, all the students from Reception to Year 6 had a flag ceremony in the gymnasium in the morning. Afterwards, each year level had their own celebration by organizing some competitions or events. Year 2 had some games to play in groups such as transferring marbles from one spoon to another as fast as they could, putting a pen which was tied in the middle of a parachute into a bottle, and dancing with a partner with a ball between their foreheads. Not to forget sharing the special meaning of August 17th’s annual celebration of Indonesia’s Independence Day.
-Year 2 team Global Jaya School-.