Who doesn’t remember the day when they finished college? It is an unforgettable day in any teacher’s professional career. On that day, we receive a beautiful diploma, which is the “entrance ticket” to the challenging professional world of education. From that moment on we begin our first official experiences as teachers.
Continuing our professional development in teaching requires regular meetings. Still, these meetings aren’t enough, by themselves, to ensure the professional development of a teacher who desires to be increasingly excellent, not only in moral and spiritual values, but also in innovating and differentiated pedagogical practices.
As teacher, Adventist, and trainer of teachers who work at the Portuguese Education Ministry, I acknowledge the existing difficulty in accessing training in Centers of Continuous Formation for Teachers, for the teachers working in Adventist School Institutions. This is due to two reasons: 1) They are not teachers of the public-school system, which has access to the formative package available to the schools that are part of it; and 2) most of the training sessions available in private institutions are ministered on Sabbath.
Nevertheless, some windows of opportunity have been open, where pedagogic and formative experiences are shared with the professionals in Adventist education through workshops and training sessions.
One of those training spaces was the Education Retreat “Dare to be more successful” (“Atreve-te a ter mais sucesso”), that took place March 2017, where I had the privilege of directing the pedagogic and formative part.
Another formative offer was the seminary (certified and credited) “1st COOPERA Project Pedagogical Meeting: A transforming pedagogic experience for students and teachers” (“1.º Encontro Pedagógico do Projeto COOPERA: Uma experiência pedagógica transformadora para alunos e professores”), that took place July 2017.
COOPERA Project in 5 min
The “2nd COOPERA Project Pedagogic Meeting: Classroom Cooperation for Success”, held in July 2018, was another training offer (accredited and credited seminary) in which two teachers from the Oliveira do Douro Adventist School and two teachers from the Setubal Adventist School participated.
Here are some practical suggestions, included in the projects and workshops I present, that promote educational success whenever they are applied in daily pedagogic work of pupils and teachers:
- Learn to cooperate in the performed activities;
- Develop active learning;
- Learn that talk is not part of thinking time;
- Respect and valorize others’ ideas, even when one does not agree with them;
- Wait for his/her turn to participate;
- Contribute with ideas and resources;
- Share responsibilities;
- Manage time efficiently;
- Motivate others;
- Always clarify doubts;
- Speak at low volume;
These suggestions are applicable in two different contexts:
- In classroom, when teaching the contents of the different courses and the different school years, through the application of different techniques or Cooperative Learning methods (which are about 100).
- In regular teachers’ work meetings, included in the constitution of Professional Learning Cooperative Communities.
In short, the professional development of teachers goes through unique and distinct experiences, which must regularly be shared as means of incentive and motivation for others. My educative mission has also passed by establishing actualized formative pedagogic bridges with Adventist Education Institutions, in an effort to collaborate in the promotion of an education of excellence, whose ambition and maximum value is to educate for Eternity.