Why Agora Portals International School teachers are the best 'influencers' for your child
Many of us are already familiar with some of the ‘influencers’ and ‘youtubers’ our children follow on the popular video channel and social networks. However, in this age of influencers, there are some who are much more important for our children’s future: their words, their knowledge and a classroom – these are the tools of our children’s real influencers, the teachers.
“Teaching is more than transmitting knowledge, it inspires change. Learning is more than absorbing facts, it is acquiring understanding”, this phrase from the writer William Arthur Ward already pointed out the keys regarding what it means to be a true ‘influencer’.
The influence that teachers exert on our children is greater than we think. They are present in their lives day by day and they sow the seeds of knowledge to lay the foundations for their development and their future. “With great power comes great responsibility”, as Peter Parker’s popular slogan in the Spider-Man comics says, and the teachers at the Agora Portals International School are aware of this great responsibility and do not hesitate to make the most of this superpower.
In order to be close to the students it is essential to know what trends are popular among them, what channels they use to communicate and relate with each other or what arouses their interest and curiosity. That is why our teachers know that it is very important to be up to date with technology and social networks, that is why they are constantly training and also keep updated on popular trends among students, as this is the best way to reach them: “On the part of the entire school community the school’s technology project was and is being very well accepted, as it has allowed a significant change in methodology, communication between teachers and students, and in the individualisation of teaching. This project has provided all students with greater participation, expression, content creation, meaningful learning, personalisation in their learning and excellent motivation. Furthermore, the adaptation of the school to new educational trends has allowed us to be at the forefront of academic excellence,” explains Antonio Hernández, coordinator of Agora Portals International School secondary school.
It is not only the students who are trained and learn, but the teachers as well: “In order to be able to carry out all this, the constant training of the teaching staff is a priority, because in order to provide quality teaching, it is necessary to have quality training”, assures Hernández.
Their interests matter
In order to get to know the students and to be able to develop a more beneficial bond between them and the teachers, it is important to know what interests and motivates them. For this reason, at our school we are very aware of the interests of the group and, from there, a very concrete dynamic is established: “To start a project we start with the interests of the group. We follow a constructivist model based on the connection of their reality with their interests. The activities are related and the project is open to various solutions. The activities advance towards the development of competences. We seek to solve a problem or a case by producing a final product and a final reflection”, argues the secondary school coordinator.
The teacher’s job is to motivate and guide educational development so that students can find solutions to the problems posed by themselves, which is why the activities carried out in class have a key sequence: remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating and creating. How is this achieved? Through the model of the flipped classroom “We send videos of about 3 minutes and a couple of questions to be able to evaluate how many levels of learning we have within the group. The activities of the sessions are sequenced on three levels and prepared so that all the levels of the group can be reattached to each other,” the expert argues.
Personalised promoting integration
There is no better way to influence than to teach how to make the most of one’s strengths and how to put them to the service of the group so that everyone gives the best of themselves. This idea is very present in the educational project of our centre, that’s why to programme the projects it is important to take into account: objectives, resources, tools, groupings, dissemination, evaluation method, learning standard, product and, of course, the tasks to be carried out. In other words, at our school, as Hernández explains, “we work by planning a schedule so that all those involved know where they are, how they work and what part each one of them is taking in the project”. And all this is monitored through different models that allow us to establish a path for the work plan with the group, connecting with Bloom’s taxonomy, that is, evaluating the cognitive level acquired in each subject.
Teachers ‘influencers’ who connect
What do the ‘influencers’ our children follow do to get them so hooked? They know how to connect with their interests and their reality. Our teachers also know that, in order to achieve this, it is important to promote communication and well-implemented technologies in the educational field have improved this facet: “Since we started using new technologies and active methodologies, interactions between teachers and students have increased. The climate in the classrooms has improved, and motivation towards learning has increased for all students. The educational platforms allow for fluid, direct and rich communication between students and teachers, and also foster mutual enrichment of experiences,” the coordinator said.
It is not only ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) that have helped to improve this communication and, therefore, learning and academic results. As the teachers themselves say, starting from the most popular trends among students has proved to be an instrument that has contributed to change and modification in the educational dynamics within our classrooms: “Class sessions have become fluid and continuous conversations, giving meaning to what is being learned. All this favours an immediate presentation of the contents, an endless source of multimedia and interactive information, facilitating the relationship of the curricular contents with the daily reality of our students”, concludes Hernández.
The teachers at our school have these resources to help and teach our children, but their influence goes much further: we want all the students at Agora Portals International School to “learn to learn” and our teachers also do a lot of coaching, combining all the resources available to get the best out of each student.
The teachers accompany the students day by day, are present in their development and, without a doubt, have a fundamental characteristic in a true ‘influence’: they leave their mark. “The teacher leaves an imprint for eternity; he can never say when his influence stops” said the American historian and writer Henry Brooks Adams and only by valuing and cultivating the great power that teachers have, will we be aware that they are the true ‘influencers’ who will never go out of fashion.