The PAFF and UW School of Education has completed its 6th academic year – the diplomas were received by 26 teachers of four paths of education: Polish studies, mathematics, history and social sciences, and biology and life sciences. Additionally there were 12 graduates of psychological and pedagogical paths run in cooperation with Faculty of Biology at University of Warsaw.
Among the guests at the ceremony which took place on June 23, 2022, were: member of PAFF Board of Directors Prof. Anna Fornalczyk, first Director of School of Education Prof. Jolanta Choińska-Mika, Head of the Representative Office of Polish-American Freedom Foundation Grzegorz Jędrys, and deans of faculties at University of Warsaw.
Already for six years of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation and University of Warsaw School of Education has been running the only one of that kind in Poland free full-time postgraduate courses for future teachers. The School is a joint undertaking of Polish-American Freedom Foundation and University of Warsaw, and its syllabus was prepared in close cooperation with a prestigious teachers educating center, that is Columbia University Teachers College, New York. The School of Education offers full-time postgraduate courses and their graduates receive a teaching license.
“There is already quite a big community of School of Education alumni which we want to popularize and extol. Dear teachers, you have created your teaching philosophy, your teacher’s credo. We are proud of you!,” director of the School of Education Professor Jolanta Sujecka-Zając said.
Like in previous years, also this time presentation of the effects of the year of studies was an element of the school-year end ceremony. The future teachers spoke about things that had had the strongest impact on them or had changed their way of thinking, and how they can use new tools and skills in work with their students.
Many graduates of the School of Education focused in their speeches on the role of errors and mistakes in teaching and learning. Polish teacher Anna Bala keeps telling her students that they may make mistakes because school is the right place for that. In her opinion, a teacher also has the right to make mistakes because it is the natural element of learning. “That is what they taught me at the School of Education,” Anna Bala says. While biology teacher Agata Poddębska emphasized importance of paying attention to various cognitive half-truths and distortions.
Most graduates also noted that at the School of Education they have learned a lot about building relations with students, parents and above all with other teachers. “Team work is a critical element in teaching. I’m glad we have built such a strong team at the School of Education,” math teacher Paweł Kubik says.
The School of Education community has closed another unique in its nature academic year. In September the graduates will start teaching at schools. Over first years of their work they may take advantage of mutual assistance and support from their experienced tutors.