The Daily Herald writes that a teacher’s workshop was held Monday at Eugenius Johnson Centre in Windwardside. The workshop was named “The Teacher makes the Difference” and was presented by guest speaker Ludo Heylen from Belgium. This event was organised by Expertise Centre Education Care EC2 and sponsored by Saba Comprehensive School (SCS).
A great number of people were present during the day, which started with a meet-and-greet. Commissioner of Education Chris Johnson opened the workshop with a speech. Johnson mentioned that societies are changing, on Saba and around the world, and that the responsibilities of teachers are constantly in motion. Johnson expressed his worries on the youths of today. He fears they grow up in a less prosperous environment, very different to the previous generations on Saba who always experienced growth in their community. He emphasises that teachers and people in general should always look forward with optimism.
Heylen then took the stage and started the workshop, which lasted until 4:00pm. “Teachers should know how to better their school and always be convinced they can change the lives of children,” Heylen said. He is director of the Centre for Experiential Learning and does research at the Catholic University in Leuven. He is a specialist in activating forms of learning and competency-based evaluation. Through national and international projects, he has great experience with primary, secondary and higher education.
Heylen has been to Saba on several occasions and has worked with Sacred Heart School and SCS. The objective of the workshop was for teachers to become aware of the effect they have on their students. The day was divided into different focus points, namely motivation, differentiation, finding a student’s talent, wellbeing and involvement, and the learning process of boys and girls. Heylen’s method of confronting the teachers with themselves and asking them theoretical and practical questions they had to solve and discuss amongst each other, proved to be very effective. The attendants each had to bring a childhood photograph of themselves for one of the assignments. “I don’t use any methods I learned 30 years ago at my university. Times change and so the teaching methods,” Heylen said. It gave the attendants insight into their personal involvement with students and a follow- up workshop is to follow.
After the workshop everybody gathered at Scout’s Place for a New Years reception, which was sponsored by the government.