Training and Perfecting Neohumanist Didactic Competencies
Teacher Training Romania, Summer 2014
By Magda Zambet, Educational Director
A good Neohumanist pedagog, besides mastering the principles of Neohumanist Education, understanding the methodology and content specific to the Neohumanist system, needs to also have a rich overall general cultural training, in order to be able to respond flexibly and creatively in different educational interventions. In the month of August 2014, before the beginning of a new school year, our annual teacher training took place for the entire team of “Gradinita Rasarit” (Sunrise Kindergarten.) As it is a personal development workshop which involves also training and perfecting of Neohumanist didactic competencies, the entire staff of Gradinita Rasarit looks forward to it. Everybody knows that Didi Ananda Devapriya will transmit or remind us of special things that will be of great help in the future activities with the children.
The essential objectives of this training were:
- To develop individually and professionally by acquiring new competencies in Neohumanist Education and to reinforce those already transmitted
- To review the layers of the mind and their functions, as well as the domains in which they are applied and the contents associated with each one
The main unique characteristics of Neohumanist Education were reviewed:
- forming an ecological awareness based on universal love and the sentiment of devotion and respect for unity in diversity
- balancing active stimulating moments with sweet relaxing ones
- guiding children to discover peace and quiet within and to self-regulate emotional states
- transmitting values through role plays and discussion, not through imposition
- the role of the self-development of the teacher in the process of teaching and interacting with the child
- respecting culture and cultivating the aesthetic capacities of the mind, avoiding commercial pseudo-culture and games, as well as stories and toys which contain negative stereotypes or form limits that inoculate fear, shame, inferiority or superiority.
- positive and effective communication with the child
- morning circle and its specific stages.
The entire training, took place over 4 days, with one day dedicated to a site visit to a Montessori kindergarten, and one day dedicated to curriculum planning. The training was full of games and interactive activities chosen to help the information be more easily assimilated. There were intense discussions on the layers of the mind and the ways to apply it practically in the classroom. The teachers also enacted various role plays in order to understand more easily ways to communicate positively with children. In the same manner, the teachers also created different role plays about situations they commonly face with the parents, which led to lively discussions.
As we often do – we combined our creative energies and composed several neohumanist songs specifically designed for certain activities and transitional moments of the day. The whole team also united to compose two songs that were combined with yoga movements and verses – one for the smaller children, and one for the older children. The results were beautiful choreographies with exercises that flow gracefully from one to another. They also composed songs for naptime, sharing love and mealtimes. This particular songwriting workshop was a particular success. The teachers continue to use the songs they made every day. The work of our team doesn’t stop here – the Neohumanist Education system is a complex one that asks for openness, unconditional love and creative work from those that are putting it into practice.
The training was an important part of our program for personal and professional neohumanist development.