The PLP take-away varies from teacher to teacher. For Millie Guzman it was personal.
Millie, a Spanish teacher from Bronxville School, participated in the Ontario cohort last year. Her team of “six chicks” worked together to create a model of learning for their school by basing the project on what each individual was learning herself.
And Millie knew exactly what she wanted to focus on: her sister school in Ecuador.
“We wanted to share what we were learning personally,” she said. “But we also wanted to make sure it came together for the good of everyone.”
Millie’s piece involved taking an existing project and making it better. After an author visit two years ago, which focused on an Ecuadorian school’s limited internet access, Millie’s students decided they wanted to help. The students raised money to help pay for the internet access and later to pay for paint for a playground shed on the school’s site. This collaboration led to an ongoing relationship with the school via Skype and email.
Millie wanted to document some of the things she was doing, but needed to “perfect” the practice. So, she spent her PLP time learning how to communicate more effectively. Ultimately, she was awarded a grant to visit Ecuador, deliver the funds the students had raised, and to provide a workshop for the teachers.
As for the team, they created a space on Edline, the existing online space for their teachers that showcased all their work, including Millie’s.
“We learned so much,” she said. “I especially learned that collaboration is an area that helps you grow as a professional.”
Her students continue working with the sister school in Ecuador, practicing their Spanish and learning to use Skype and other online tools.
And the teachers at Bronxville have continued to benefit as well by being able to see the lesson, examples, and models the Bronxville team put together.
“The final product exceeded our expectations,” she said. “We are proud to have provided this piece.”
Susan Carter Morgan
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