“I want to be authentic as a teacher. Acceptance, empathy, understanding, student subjectivity, art of communication – these are the pillars our philosophy of teaching shall be based on,” said Marcin Waincetel, a journalist who decided to become a Polish teacher.
The PAFF and UW School of Education educates effective Polish and math teachers, develops their educational passion and prevents them from getting stuck in a rut. For a year the students of the free post-graduate course were having practical classes at a school, learning new ways of teaching and educating, how to communicate with students and their parents, and how to cooperate with other teachers.
“Prof. Douglas D. Ready from Teachers College, Columbia University, the first evaluator of the School of Education, was enthusiastic and made it clear that the School is a unique initiative on the Polish map of education. We strongly believe that community will be able to influence the whole system of education in Poland,” said Jerzy Koźmiński, the Polish-American Freedom Foundation President and CEO. “The dream of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation comes true. We wanted to reach also teachers and teach them the “technology of teaching”, that is how to teach so that the knowledge is absorbed by young people,” Prof. Anna Fornalczyk, a member of the PAFF Board of Directors added.
The portfolio is a big binder where all subjects and experiences are kept. Students had been preparing them since their first days at the School of Education. ”People learn only when they realize how much they know. That way we build the self-control and self-review culture, the responsibility for our own learning,” argues Dr. Grażyna Czetwertyńska, art of learning teacher at SE.
“In one of the portfolios I found a letter written to SE students by SE graduates. It said that the students would have a lot of work to do and they would have to give up many things. Next to that there was a comment ‘That’s true’. I am glad you devoted that year for hard work. It’s a great experience to see the results of that work,” said Prof. Jolanta Choińska-Mika, University of Warsaw Vice-Rector and the first director of the School of Education.
To change the image of Polish School
At the end of their course at SE each student prepared a presentation on a selected educational subject. There were presentations on diversity of students, teachers and subjects at SE, about avoiding a teaching rut, how pictures can help learn Polish, about the fear of math, school reading, discipline in the classroom, developing self-reliance in students, as well as building relations with students, cooperation and team work.
A group of students of Stefan Batory No 2 Junior High School in Warsaw came to see the presentation given by math teacher Piotr Gracjasz, who did his internship at their school. “He was the first teacher who showed us GeoGebra. We understood everything immediately, we didn’t have to imagine that,” said Michał Wielgosz, one of the high school students. The students liked Piotr Gracjasz because he was willing to help them even after the classes; they also liked his sense of humor, openness, and the fact that he was fast in checking the tests.
Marta Górska, a Polish teacher, presented the results of her year-long observations. “Unfortunately the conclusions of 60 presentations prepared by the students are sad. Many of students still perceive school as unfriendly. They often described their school as a closed, hierarchic structure, where they have no say,” she said. “I’m sure that can be changed. With educational revolution, but also by taking small steps at each lesson. These 10 months at the School of Education let me meet my dreams and start working at place where I want to,” she added.
You can see the student portfolios at the PAFF and UW School of Education (the UW Center of New Technologies, ul. Banacha 2c) during SE working hours.
The enrollment is on
Those who want to become effective Polish or math teachers can still apply to the School of Education for 2018/19 courses. The graduates of SE receive a teaching license. Eligible to apply are university graduates who want to improve their teaching competence, teachers, and persons who want to change their professional career. The enrollment is carried out online on: www.szkolaedukacji.pl.