The title should read ‘Who I am’, but it doesn’t, as that would not be so PYP.
Who am I? Mum, year six homeroom teacher, PYP coordinator. Living overseas a few thousand miles and a number of timezones away from my birth country and family, including my son. Working in a small school juggling the role of the coordinator with the role of a homeroom teacher. It’s an act but the one role undoubtedly supports and feeds the other and the combination makes me better at both. It’s an act that needs balance.
Our first unit is Who we are
Central idea: Perceptions of self evolve over time
An inquiry into:
- Personal identity (form)
- Personal, social and emotional development (change)
- People’s perceptions of self and each other (perspective)
With our related concepts of identity, development and perception.
When our team wrote the central idea and lines of inquiry I didn’t realise how pertinent and personal it would be to me in my new roles and new location. The students have taken me on a journey inquiring into
- What makes up our identity and what influences it
- How we grow and change, particularly socially and emotionally
- Growth Mindset
- Perception: what is it, what does it mean, how can it affect us
- Building our community of learners
And much more.
It is a journey and a juggling act. As they grapple with what are, in the face of it, big concepts for ten year olds, it has made me think about how to help them access their understandings. It has made me reflect and look to the journey I am on.
What is my identity and what has influenced it? I am in a new school in a new country on a new continent. I could present myself as an entirely new person but my identity is, in some ways quite fixed. A lot of the students’ identified influences – family, culture, home country, language, community, friends – are all new here, or different or in the case of language, a real challenge. Even my hobbies and interests will adapt to my new surroundings.
How am I growing and changing? With transition we always hope for growth with the change I think. This is a biggie for me and I have left a lot behind me and have a lot to look forward to. Is it causing social and emotional change and development? How could it not?
How do I develop my growth mindset to support me through this time of change? This concept came into this unit naturally when we were looking at the ways the students react to mistakes and errors. We have been looking at it as a class and the students are fascinated by the idea that intelligence is not fixed. I will talk about this in a later post as I can see that this is going to be pivotal in both of my new roles and it is an area that has long interested me.
What are my perceptions of myself? How do others perceive me? What are my perceptions of others, of where I am, what I am doing and my new roles? These are all huge questions that we find ourselves grappling with at times of transition. All things to learn about, to understand and to develop. All part of the journey.
And our learning community? It is all about building community; for our personal and social development, our developing personal identities, our growth mindsets and to sort out perceptions with reality. We are on this journey together.
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. — George Bernard Shaw