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Reflections of a PYP Online Facilitator Part II: Learning from Example

March 15, 2012

It is kind of an anniversary for me.

The kind where you stop and take time to reflect on all of the things that one has accomplished over the past year. That is kind of where I am at in my IBO Primay Years Programme (PYP) journey as a workshop leader. January 2011, I underwent training for the role of PYP Online Workshop Leader. Training went well. Training had not even ended when the call came out. We need 3 online workshop leaders in 2 weeks to facilitate, anyone interested?. So of course me being me put my hand up, really having not much of an idea what to expect. I mean I had taken a few online courses before and many back in Grad school but never as a facilitator.

I was VERY fortunate to have my first workshop co-facilitated with Paul Schkade from Colorado, USA. If you do not know who Paul Schkade is, he is a well known PYP workshop leader, IB visitor and PYP coordinator. He is a constant on the PYP Online Curriculum Centre (OCC) as a faculty member. I learned so much from watching the way he connected with participants of the workshop. His caring nature, his probing questions. I say probing not pushing. I felt if I were a participant, this is the facilitator I would want to have guiding my learning. Challenging me to rethink my own understandings. Paul did this on a regular basis and is superlative at it. THAT was how I wanted to be. That is the kind of facilitator I aimed to be and set that as the standard for myself. You see, I am fortunate to work with Paul. I believe it was by luck that I got to work with him (I don’t think he facilitates many these days as he is busy managing all of the PYP online courses) but this time, he decided to I guess,  and I got the nod.

So after this one workshop, this gig really became a passion. Paul kept offering workshops and I kept accepting them and here I am in my second year of online workshop facilitation.  I have lost count how many I have facilitated but I have facilitated every one since that first encounter with Paul. He taught me a lot, and taught me well, leading by example.

I do hope someday we meet in person, maybe even facilitate a face to face workshop together. His guidance has certainly motivated me to challenge myself as an educator and I hope that I challenge and extend the learning of my participants as well.

Thanks Paul for your guidance and motivation.

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