School leader or talent manager

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I have been school principal for 17 years and I am still amazed by teacher’s commitment to students, even in hard times. Creativity, innovation, motivation are some keywords for teaching with projects. Freixo School Cluster, a public school, has a solid experience in innovative projects and partnerships with private foundations and companies (last 2 years we have raised + $55.000 in funding for our projects). How have we achieved that? Team work is crucial for creating ideas, building projects and innovating. By recognizing their autonomy to create, implement and manage projects, I am certainly promoting success.

Let me introduce some great teachers (among others that also deserve my recognition) and what they do to excel every day work: Sandra Lima, Júlio Nogueira, Ana Lagoa, Teresa Alves and Lídia Mendes

Sandra Lima is a primary school teacher and she has developed an awarded science project “LactoFun” where students are producing adapted pedagogical equipment for special needs students. They are using milk (from local producers’ excess productions) and chemical protocols in our school laboratory to create, for example, pencil adapters and games fully adjusted. Molds for the equipment will be made in 3D printers with a local partner company. Sandra believes that “science is fun and must be useful, so if we can help those who are closer to us even better”.

Júlio Nogueira is a music teacher who integrates high-tech and music. Our special needs students attend music classes thus promoting their integration. Júlio uses apps that enable students’ motivation for a fun way of learning.

Ana Lagoa is one of our arts and robotics teachers. After 6 years as an extracurricular activity, with lots of success in several competitions, robotics is now part of curricular activities for 7th and 8th grade students. At first girls were reluctant about coding and building robots, but now they are better than boys. Team work, peer training, problem solving, coding, art and high-tech are just some skills all students develop. For Ana “this is not just teaching, this is giving students a lifetime experience”, while preparing her students for the next national robotics competition.

Teresa Alves is one of our physical education teachers that, after a long study about our students weight, developed with other teachers a special program “Let’s move dude!”; where students have the opportunity to exercise and control their weight progress, playing games and experimenting indoor and outdoor activities.

Lídia Mendes is a science teacher that is implementing a Flipped Classroom scenario and 1:1 Windows 8 Tablets, a project from the European Union: Creative Classroom Lab. One 8th grade class was provided by the school with tablets which they use at home and in school. “Sciences became much more attractive considering that students can access and prepare classes at home using Office 365 and also some great apps, like Corinth Classroom B, that provide immersive experiences with strong visual content, so important to learn.”

So my mission as school leader is to manage all “teachers’ talents” and help them drive our school towards success.

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