Teaching teachers and the power of collaboration.
When I was teaching in Muscat our school superintendent Dr Mona Nashman Smith M.B.E encouraged faculty, and parents to join together and study in firstly a Masters program and later to continue our professional development through the Wilkes Doctoral program in Educational Leadership. I used the opportunity to go back studying and I combined my interest in ethics and curriculum to study for an educational leadership doctorate.
Previously Sara, Jade (artist in our books) and I studied together in the International Graduate Program for Educators (IGPE) offered by SUNY at Buffalo State and this course inspired our teaching practice and set us on a new course. When I was studying for my Masters, two of the professors who encouraged me and Sara to write a book for teachers were Dr Joan Della Valle and Sherrye Dotson, Through meeting them in the Muscat program as their student, they offered me the chance to work with them for Core 21 Education Services based in the US. I wrote a number of courses and I continue to teach and consult with their company.
Sara, Jade and I collaborated for our final Masters project which was centred on brain based learning. “Drawing Aerobics” was a drawing program I had developed in Brunei and explored techniques of relaxing the brain through a series of strategies. We tested this and our data proved the program did affect the way students learnt.
I loved the courses we were studying and when I was offered the chance to teach in the program I was very excited. Thankfully I had my doctorate by this stage and I have been teaching in the program happily since then. My main message here is continue your life long learning, not only will it inspire your teaching practice but it will also change the possibilities for future projects.