A (democratic) family adventure…

Deciding on a six month sabbatical is an exciting and also daunting family decision but one that we have decided to do together and with joint ownership.  We are confident that our three children will gain much from the following months of adventure, travel and community engagement as will both my wife and I.  We have started by choosing our favourite aspects of Thailand that we want to re-visit before moving on permanently and also those places that we never got the chance to experience over the last few years.  Below is an image of our kitchen blackboard and our top five choices that we are working through over the next couple of months:

blackboard

As part of the sabbatical we are also challenging ourselves to be reflective learners and to become more effective digital global citizens.  One of my personal and professional targets is to increase my own digital profile and to challenge myself to utilise social media and online resources to become a better learner and educator.  Developing this blog (and the future potential of it) is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone #goomcz.  Creating a Twitter account has also been a big step for me but something I definitely see the benefit of having and being able to connect and collaborate with inspiring educators and leaders throughout the world.  I hope that I can connect my Twitter account and blog effectively in the near future… watch this space!

As ever, teaching and learning is all about role modelling and as a family we are all sharing our learning experiences.  Jonah, our oldest, has created his first ever Weebly, and I have to say is a lot better than me at this – as are most young learners growing up in this digital age and a significant reason why we must embrace this change and not resist it or be afraid of it.  You can follow his blog here:

http://jonahcrouch.weebly.com/

My other two kids are writing (and drawing) learning journals and I am sure that between Jonah and myself we will post a number of entries and images from their journals at different times in the future.

 

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GOING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE – PAUL CROUCH’S FAREWELL TO REGENTS AFTER 15 YEARS

With #kroojit at Baan Huay Sapad School in Chiang Mai

His ability to create meaningful and sustainable community partnerships, his success in encouraging students and others to actively engage with their community and his drive to empower students to confidently reach beyond their ‘comfort zone’ is one of a kind. Paul Crouch will be dearly missed by our students and alumni, our staff and community partners.

We have asked Paul Crouch to share with us what he believes makes Regents so special:

Initially, I had only planned to come out to Thailand for two years, but instead it ended up being fifteen years and I will be leaving with a loving wife (10 years of marriage this year) and three children who mean the world to me.  Regents International School Pattaya has been such a huge and significant part of my life and I will always be grateful for the time I have had at the school and living and working in this amazing community.  I am glad that I have grabbed every opportunity and put my maximum effort, commitment and passion into everything I have aimed for and been asked to achieve. 

From teaching ICT to the whole Primary School, to being the Head of the Geography Department, to hosting International Round Square Conferences and now being an Assistant Principal, it has truly been a fantastic journey of self-discovery and professional learning. The phrase “going out of your comfort zone” seems to have become attributed to me at Regents (probably because I say it too much); but it is this physical, mental and emotional concept of trying something new and challenging yourself and learning from it, that makes a Regents’ truly holistic education so inspiring – as Kurt Hahn, the father of Round Square said: “there is more in you than you think”. 

Looking back on the last fifteen years, I suddenly realise the importance of that decision to leave the UK for Thailand – to go out into the unknown and to discover what education and life-long learning is really about and to grab it and make the most of it.

This time, as I try to walk the talk, and go out of my comfort zone for a second time, I am not doing it alone but with my family and three young children eager to learn about the world. I am excited for them, as much as for myself, to enter this new chapter, to go into the unknown once again and to seek out a whole new set of opportunities and learning experiences – anything can happen!  I leave Regents and Thailand as a much better teacher but I know I will come back as an even better one, because as we all know:  anyone that really understands the magic of Regents always comes back! ”  

Paul Crouch #gooycz

Global Citizenship Award

This is a website for all people that love the world and love to learn with it.  It is for people of all ages and in all professions but originates from an international school based context of recognising that young people actually never stop learning and should be encouraged to celebrate their adventures and achievements at all times.  By doing this you make learning smarter (and teaching easier) by personalising your own learning through ambitious target setting and your own unique way of reflective practice – “reflection is what links our performance to our potential.”  Ultimately this award is a way to maximise transferable / dynamic skills that benefit you in any learning experience and should not be  mentally compartmentalised for a specific academic subject as some teachers would lead you to believe they should be.  Learning is a dynamic process and extremely personal and involves every aspect of a persons mental, physical and emotional state – that is why this award focuses on the four ‘Pillars of Learning‘ as stated by UNESCO (http://www.ibe.unesco.org/cops/Competencies/PillarsLearningZhou.pdf):

Learning to know

Learning to do

Learning to live together

Learning to be

You are required to select 16 Identities of a global citizen, four under each of the four Pillars of Learning to demonstrate a broad and diverse range of learning experiences and achievements.  This award is unique to each individual person and their own learning journey and is therefore not dictated by a set of predetermined outcomes or benchmarks.  To achieve the award and formal recognition (for school, university, work, personal motivation, whatever…) you must first set a challenging target for each Identity, e.g. give a 3 minute speech or presentation in front of 100 people, record and reflect on the learning process ideally setting a new and even more challenging target for the future (beyond the award).  It is up to you how your record the process as this is all part of your own unique reflective practice and a large part of this award is discovering how you reflect best and how it helps you to achieve beyond your (perceived) limits.

Once you have completed all 16 Identities you can post your reflections as comments on this website or send us a link and the Global Citizenship Award team will review the portfolio of evidence and provide relevant feedback, either successfully issuing the Global Citizenship Award to you or giving further suggestions for improvement.

This award encourages you to track and organise learning for life.  It will formally recognise your achievements and help you to produce an effective digital portfolio for future interviews and applications.  It is also a universal and free award for all schools to use to track their students (and staff) achievements across a curriculum and to help them measure the real value added (or internal professional development) that schools offer as a learning community.

The 16 Identities of the Global Citizenship Award:

16identities