Teachers at TWIS value life-long learning, just as the International Baccalaureate (IB) has always advocated. To provide students with a more innovative, comprehensive and diverse teaching and learning framework, TWIS is committed to providing high-quality seminars and workshops for teachers so that educators from different countries and disciplines can exchange cutting-edge teaching methods and trends. After all, teacher quality is the greatest predictor of student success.
On 9 and 10 October, teachers and staff returned early from their holiday to engage in professional development.
Mr. David Calia facilitated the workshop for our primary teachers on teaching young children to read. He shared his experience being taught by his first-grade teacher whose archaic approach to teaching did not develop at all his love for reading. Mr. David introduced Jolly Phonics, which is a set of English learning approaches that originated in the UK and are currently applied all over the world. Jolly Phonics includes the coordination of visual, auditory and tactile elements to help children learn English with multiple senses.
Born and raised in the United States, Mr. David Calia, has a master’s degree in Special Education and TESOL certification. He started working in China in 2006, and is now a teacher trainer and works with local governments to advance the correct way of teaching reading to instill the love of reading to children. He also believes that by directly working with teachers, he can make a bigger, positive impact in education.
Jolly Phonics: A Multi-sensory Approach
“TWIS was very pleased to welcome Mr. David Calia on October 9th who led an introductory workshop on Jolly Phonics to our staff. I first had the opportunity to learn about Jolly Phonics while teaching in Japan, and I found it amazing how young children became fluent readers by using the multi-sensory approach of the program. My three children all learned to read using Jolly Phonics, and they can still recall most of the actions associated with the sounds. It was good to be reminded of the importance of introducing the letter sounds first even before the alphabet.”
TWIS is officially a candidate school for the IB Middle Years Programme. As part of the requirements of the candidacy phase, the school invited an IB Workshop Leader to the school to introduce our staff to the MYP curriculum geared towards preparing students to engage in the highly-rigorous Diploma Programme.
Some of the topics covered included the rationale behind the MYP, constructing units of inquiry that are engaging and challenging for this age group, and assessing students’ growth in different areas.
From Practice to Reflective Thinking
“I came away from the course feeling that I’d just experienced an extremely high quality, holistic and practical two-day coursethat also increased my own understanding of the MYP dramatically.
The workshop was helpful to both new and experienced MYP teachers as we were presented with a series of practical group tasks that made sense of the sometimes quite complicated process of creating MYP units and of creating excellent formative tasks in support of the unit.
In addition, it helped us understand and manage the crucially important task of assessing our student’s works with the highest possible standards to arrive at a fair assessment through a highly practical and honest process for us teachers.”