News & Notes 696:A Review of the Teachers' Center Activities in 2016-2017
A Review of the Teachers' Center Activities in 2016-2017
The Teachers' Center continued to sponsor activities in several different areas in 2016-17.
- We maintained and circulated books from two professional libraries for educators, the ACCESS Center at Transition, and a small collection of the most asked for books in the Center itself. Most of these books have been photocopied and many are in constant circulation. If a teacher or a school desires a book in the Teachers’ Center collection, we can photocopy it for you or if not, we can order it, as we have a small book budget.
- The making of materials for teachers continued as a few people worked for much of the year on creating a resource bank of materials for teaching math and science, based on materials from the internet. These teaching materials are available for teachers to borrow.
- The Supportive Learning foundations course met almost every Saturday morning for five months at the Center. IEP meetings take place on request at the TC. There is additionally a dedicated selection of books on supportive learning for families and teachers to access.
- A few other small workshops were sponsored by the Center including one on Democratic Classrooms, another on Media Literacy, and a Conversation to discuss recommendations arising from three surveys on Auroville education. In a separate location there were a series of workshops for parents based on Thomas Gordon’s “Parent Effectiveness Training”.
- The Center was open by appointment for teachers seeking resource materials or advice, and for people from outside wishing to learn more about Auroville schools, or to share their experiences with professional development in other countries.
The main work of the Center, the invisible work, is the work of four permanent advisors and two visiting advisors from the U.S. Between them they network between schools, train new teachers, serve as advisors to individual teachers, attend teachers’ meetings and serve on policy making boards, initiate new programs, lead school based workshops, and occasionally teach classes.
Networking in the bioregion also occurs under the auspices of the Teachers’ Center when we are able, for example, to offer a teacher training program with one of the Outreach schools for teachers in a school in Chennai.
The noise from the construction of the Archives building has often made it difficult to hold meetings or workshops at the Center but the room remains open for any teacher related activities and for the distribution of professional materials. The decentralized and less visible work of the advisors and networkers continues to raise the level of professional development available in Auroville.