Strelitz International Academy recently held an International Baccalaureate (IB®) Professional Development Day for the whole school, led by SIA faculty and administrators who attended the IB® Virtual Conference held in early December 2020. The conference, titled “Reimagine the Future,” was the first of its kind, virtually welcoming more than 4,500 passionate educators and inspiring leaders from 110 countries across the globe.
In addition to keynote speakers and topic experts providing insights and inspiration, there were a total of 77 breakout sessions for virtual conference visitors to attend. Topics covered the Primary Years Programme, the Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme, Career-related Programme, Cross-programme, Leadership, and Research.
The three keynote speakers included Kiran Bir Sethi, who presented “Human by Chance. HumanE by Design,” Graham Brown-Martin’s “Beyond tomorrow,” and Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, who lectured on “Leadership from the inside out.” These impactful speeches highlighted the importance educators play in creating learning environments that maximize students’ potential, stimulate innovation, and forge strong and long-lasting relationships with others.
The topic expert lectures urged conference attendees to re-evaluate their perceptions about teaching to find new strategies that would shape the future of learning. Some of the topics presented included, “Is our world really changing? Diversity and Inclusion in 2021” by Roy Gluckman; “Transform pedagogy, transform learning, transform education” by Chang Wathall; “Learning together while apart: Collaborative learning in the COVID era” by Daniel Wilson; “Practical digital wellbeing, or how to stay sane after eight hours of teaching on Zoom” by Dr. Anastasia Dedyukhina; “Building student agency through needs-based support plans” by Shelley Moore; and “Radical self-care as a tool to care radically for humanity” by Jamilah Pitts.
Considering this was a world-wide conference spanning two dozen time zones, the logistics involved to make sure attendees could have access to all of the information presented was incredible. To make it easier for people who could not attend a break-out session at 4:00 a.m. in their particular time zone, all sessions were available on-demand after airing so everyone could have access to them at any time.
Based on all of the information that our attendees came back with, our IB® Professional Development Day allowed us to review and share our new Assessment Policy, Formative versus Summative Assessments, rubrics, student portfolios, student reflections, inquiry into how concepts drive transdisciplinarity, and International Mindfulness.
This was a fantastic reminder for us all that education never stops. And Strelitz International Academy will continue to provide the best elementary school education possible for our students to help incite a life-long love of learning.