Have we managed to help our students embrace the fact that learning is part of their lives for way longer than during their schooling years?
I got tired of listening to grown ups discussing what kids need. I wanted to hear what kids think about it.
Butkovic Education Centre is a private edu centre where students of all ages attend one or more foreign language programs, STEAM classes, soft skills courses, art classes... Our youngest students are 4, the oldest are retired and eager to learn some new skills. In the 26 years since we opened the door for the first time we have become used to having a toddler starting our language course and leaving as a 18 year old grown up.
The first semester of this school year has therefore been dedicated to the talks with our students. It is quite a relief to learn that what we as a team put so much effort in is being recognised and appreciated.
Safe environment - they say they feel "at home" in our school. It has to do with the nicely designed and flexible learning space but more, they point out, the relationship they have with the teachers
IT tools - but not too many! We were the first to embrace IT and give every interesting tool a test drive. We have limited the tools we use to the ones our students learn to use with us in order to be capable to create new content. Most of the time is dedicated to their communication and establishing collaboration and relationships.
Guidance in mastering Communication Skills - our students are trained in a few tools to overcome obstacles in group work, presentation and content creation. They love it!
Interdisciplinary approach to the topics - our students have chosen the topics for the textbooks they use. Yes, textbooks. We didn't ditch them but rather involved students into the creative process. They are very proud their selection of the up-to-date topics is used but even more, they create practical exercises for others and have them published on www.nostresspublishing.com website. That way they contribute to someone else's progress.
Encouraging Creative/Critical Thinking - they are encouraged to speak their mind. They are also taught how to listen, add, question and, in the end, come to a conclusion they can back up with data.
Again and again, safe environment - they can't get enough of the freedom of thought it provides.
I am very proud of my team of teachers who make this possible by being open to constant change. We are connected through a common goal: to teach our kids how to become life long learners and love very minute of it