October is a busy month at AISA. With AISA professional learning institutes (PLIs) happening across Africa almost every weekend, I find myself in the fortunate position of needing to make choices as to which of these I should try to participate in. But what a great challenge to have! For example, I've just returned from an exceptional PLC at Work institute at the International Community School (ICS) in Addis Ababa over the past weekend. Dr Tim Stuart and his team crafted a powerful 3 days of deep learning around the key principles that support Professional Learning Communities in international schools. My mind is buzzing around how AISA can support these key principles in our schools and, in time, encourage the fully articulated implementation of PLC schools within the AISA region. If you're wondering what all this about please take a look at the Solution Tree website.
Among the many highlights of my time at ICS was the time I spent with the Teaching Assistants (TAs) who were in attendance at the PLC institute. I found myself gravitating towards them in sessions and at the breaks as I have not really taken the time to explore this important perspective of learning support in our schools. Their engagement, articulateness, proud sense of inclusion and the way they valued so highly the opportunity to learn that this event afforded them was such a pleasure to witness. Although we have included PL opportunities for TAs before in the AISA programme, I am working with the AISA team to explore ways that AISA might better support TAs across all our member schools on a regular basis. This will start with AISA designing (at least) one of our Webinar Series later this year with Teaching Assistants as the focus and to follow this up by establishing an online Community of Practice for TAs across the AISA region.
The other big event this month is the annual AISA Educators Conference taking place in Dakar later this week. This will be another rich learning experience for educators in our schools. I hope to see many of your there - but if you can't join us why not take a look here at what will be on offer. I'll let you know how it goes in the next eCircular.
Dr Peter Bateman