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Teranga Center News: Circle of Influence

As part of our ongoing commitment to Professional Development, this week the ISD Secondary School has been delighted to welcome Mr. Rob Treacher from the UK. His consultancy company ‘4 George’ is involved in educational development work with Schools and Universities. He has been working with our MYP and DP Faculty, Heads of Department, Grade level leaders, Counsellors and students, building onto work focussed on social and emotional learning which was started formally in 2016 and continues to be a central focus for us.

At ISD we recognise that social skills, communication, self management, self regulation and inclusion are key areas of emotional intelligence which when developed community wide lead to more engaged, better learners. All of these attributes twin perfectly with the MYP/DP Approaches to Learning.

"The spirit of community is something ISD is looking to develop and within that we are looking at something called the circle of influence, which is basically a state of mind around how effective you can be. So what are the behaviors we can use and develop to be more influential around the people we develop. Whether that's teachers with teachers or students with students or teachers with students and visa versa."

This year we are explicitly focusing on social skills, communication, and self-management. Rob has been highly impressed with the community spirit clearly in evidence here at ISD and has explicitly commented on the high quality learning taking place both within our classrooms and outside. His comments have been based on a number of informal observations, classroom visits as well as working with our students.

"Here at ISD, I found great attitude from the students working together, both across student to student and also with the teachers. They're independent learners, which is really important, you know. They're facilitating inquiry all by themselves... The level of maturity is just really impressive."

Rob’s developmental work with the Faculty and Senior Leadership team highlights our administration’s commitment to the ongoing importance of social and emotional learning which is a key focus in terms of our community development and our embracing of the Teranga concept. In addition, whilst working throughout the afternoon on Wednesday with Grade 11, he noted how collaborative and engaged they were in the activities as well as showing positive communication skills alongside reflective thinking.

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