For over thirty years, the world has celebrated children’s welfare and their right to quality education, and today, on the World’s Children’s Day, the school shares two of its teachers’ takes on improving the lives of children.
On this World’s Children Day, Bali Island School talked to Charles (Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher) and Siska (Preschool Homeroom Teacher), who shared their perspectives on encouraging students and developing their decision-making qualities.
How do you encourage your students to use their voices in the classroom/world?
Charles: In my classroom, I encourage students to speak with me or write me a note if they have anything to say. Students understand that they have the right to say, “I’m not sure if this is fair.”
We do lessons on what it means to be a whistleblower and an upstander, and practice presentation skills such as speaking loud, proud, and clear. We also play games to develop risk-taking behaviour.
Our class meetings allow the children to share anything they are excited about as it channels them to contribute to a problem and realise that “Sometimes if you are not part of the solution, you may be part of the problem.” The students are well aware that their voices will always add value.
Siska: I believe the ability of children to speak up can be built when they are young. Therefore, I always encourage my students to get involved in making decisions.
In Preschool, we have circle time in the morning to discuss the plan for the day and the news they have. In that circle time, the students could give their ideas on how we do things at school that day or matters that relate to the play they are doing.
“Can we make a marble run or domino game using the blocks?”
“We wanna build a house with cushions here Ibu. Can we do it?”
I would support them by asking how I could help and how to make sure they are safe. They will put their ideas into action during the free inquiry period. My class may look messy, and it is a sign that there was a lot of thinking, problem-solving, and communication happening in that safe space. If they feel safe to use their voice in the classroom, they will be able to use it in different contexts in their everyday life.
Can you share specific activities or projects that are IB-based where students actively contribute to decision-making or express their perspectives?
Charles: We have many outlets which allow students to take part in those areas. Some of them are:
- We created our own countries with the justice system, laws, and top SDGs.
- Creation of Inventions to solve a world problem and then present them
- Focusing on “keeping the conversation going“, how to argue nicely, and organise a debate session on “Social media use by children.”
- Persuasive papers that focus on the Sustainable Development Goals of the student’s choice.
- Social Justice Screen Print as a collaborative project with 8th & 9th-grade Art students
- Creation of posters on the benefits of being open-minded and created “hoodies” that expressed students’ interests.
Siska: It happened last academic year when we learned “Sharing The Planet” as a unit of inquiry. At that time, we learned that animals and plants have basic needs, and it’s human’s responsibility to help them with those needs.
Using the lens of responsibility as our concept, the students came up with various ways to help the stray animals around our school. They then mentioned making food bowls for the strays. They then prepared a charity show where they performed songs to gather funds from the audience. They then bought the materials to make the bowl and the food for the strays and committed to supply some food every day inside those bows. Once they saw the stray animals eat the food and drink the water, they felt proud and happy that their ideas worked well.
If you were granted one wish for the children in the world, what would that be?
Finally, both teachers shared their biggest wish for the children. For Charles, it is for the children to grow up being kind by adding value to people and places. Meanwhile, Siska wishes to let children experience many things so they know how the world they live in works.
May the teachers’ insights inspire us to continue creating an environment where every child’s well-being and education are at the forefront.
For more information, reach the school’s team through email or WhatsApp:
Ms. Katharina Vika, Marketing Manager (+62) 811-3960-8897 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Lilik Daniel, Admissions (+62) 812-3669-8461 / email@example.com
For more information about Bali Island School, visit the official website.
Tel: +62 361 288770, +62 81236698461