Contact Day reflections 16. – 18.9.2013

I was happy to meet my fellow classmates at the Vocational Teacher Education after the summer holidays. During three intensive contact days, we covered a lot of topics. We debriefed the summer assignments, we had an introduction to pedagogy, we formed teams, we discussed about the Personal Development Plan process and the role of the  Competence portfolio as well as kicking-off the the modules “Teacher Activity in Communities and Networks” (3.3), “Education, Society and Culture” (3.2) and “Learning at Work”. Working as a full-time teacher, I enjoyed being on the other side of the class and totally enjoying the whole process. Observing how the guidance counsellors and the teacher-students present and talk is a learning experience as such.

On the first day, we had an interesting conversation about the terminology of ‘pedagogy’ and the history of pedagogy. Being Greek myself, I enjoyed sharing some of the concepts at least linguistically and etymologically with the other participants. I was glad to see that the discussion rose the interest of many of the participants. I will expand on this topic in another blog post, however I can briefly mention two concepts that are good for teachers to know: 1) ‘pedagogy’ in Greek means ‘leading the child’ usually male children who were given education and 2) ‘andragogy’ in Greek means ‘leading the man’ meaning adult education. I felt really proud of my Greek heritage, explaining these concepts to the teacher-students! We should not forget the importance of Ancient Greek civilization in science and culture. As you can see from the photo below, Ancient Greeks discovered Tablet pcs, too! 😉

I liked the metaphor of teachership in the form of a tree which have green leaves (aspects of teachership that should be kept) and yellow leaves (aspects of teachership that should be shed away). The word ‘teachership’ was new to me as well. Teachership – the position of teacher.

Take a look at our beautiful tree of teachership:


This is the green leaves I added: allowing failure and imperfection (teachers are perfectionists, aren’t we?), coaching and mentoring, new teaching methods and skills (constant development).



And, here, are the yellow leaves I wish to shed away: extra workload and stress.



Irmeli, our guidance counsellor, presented table showing the diversity and variety of the portfolio concept. This widened my understanding of the portfolio concept and I will make sure that explain this to my own students, who are often confused about what a ‘portfolio’ really is.


Last, we got divided into teams, our team is Team Focus and consists of Leena, Kevin, Faisal and I.

An exchange student (in the photo below) attended our session and helped our team create a mind map on the topic of Learning at work, which is one of the modules we kicked-off during the September contact days.


Here you can see Kevin giving a presentation summarizing our mind map for the rest of the class.


We concluded that teachers learn at work though a number of ways, learning from working life, students, and teacher colleagues. What do you think? Do you have something to add or comment on? Please leave your thoughts below.


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