This month our featured educator is Bela Luis. Thanks SO much Bella for giving us a glimpse into your classroom and your journey. What an inspiration!
We're still looking for other educators to feature here in upcoming months. If this is something you might be interested in, please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let us know.
MB RICE: How and when did you become interested in RE?
Attending the RICE conference with a teacher friend in 2009 was one of the main reasons that I decided to become a teacher; my previous life had included working as a Marketing Analyst for several years and then as an entrepreneur while I stayed home with my son. Listening to Lella Gandini tell the story about the little girl and the watch sparked something in me that made me want to learn more. Until then I hadn’t realized that teachers were no longer just standing in front of classrooms lecturing to children and hoping they learned something, they were actually including students in the learning. After that I was hooked.
MBRICE: What are your favourite aspects of the philosophy?
I can truly connect with so much of the philosophy, however the bigger areas for me are the image of the child, environment as the third teacher (both in the classroom and outdoors), the child as a co-constructor of knowledge, and the idea of community. These are things that I’m always thinking about as I’m planning my days. How can children’s ideas come into play? What materials can I bring in? Can we do this outside? Are the children’s hundred languages being represented? Can someone from the community come in to enhance our learning?
MBRICE: What books/resources would you recommend?
These two books focus on creativity - something that all of our learners of the 21st century must have. I often refer to these books to assist me in moving things forward – allowing children to express themselves in so many ways, to create, to problem solve and to negotiate.
MBRICE: What do you find challenging?
Remembering to slow down. We always want to do so much, but almost always quality is so much more meaningful than quantity. Slowing down also helps with the time to document the learning that is going on. Both of these things are so easy to push aside, but are also integral in ensuring that deep learning is taking place.
MBRICE: How has your teaching changed since you began learning about RE?
I think my teaching changes all the time. It evolves – ebbs and flows. This comes from conversations and discourse with colleagues, professional development, reading all sorts of books, and reflection. I read a quote once that asked the question – “if we’ve been teaching for ten years but haven’t changed what we’ve always done then aren’t we becoming irrelevant?” I don’t want to become irrelevant J
Thank you for allowing me to share a little bit about my journey. Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any comments or questions.