It was a beautiful March day, when the whole world, literally, decided to go online in every field. Obviously, a disaster occurred named Covid 19. Economies, culture, even religious rituals were badly affected by it. As this was brand new, almost no entity was prepared beforehand. While millions were losing their lives due to pandemics, it was harder to think about how to adapt to a new life. Every profession had its own challenges, and in the case of education, we had our own too, in fact, we are still having.
It would be so utopic to hear that all challenges can come to a final solution, however, while a solution works one day perfectly, the other day it may become useless. When I was interviewing Mrs Bostanci about how she dealt with all the changes by herself, she expresses that she wasn’t alone. She took the initiative and contacted the parents. I appreciated her being open-minded and her efforts in including all the stakeholders of education in the changing situation. Collaboration is the key to achieving better! Supporting the principle of ” Partner with educators, leaders, students and families to foster a culture of respectful online interactions and a healthy balance in their use of technology“, I wanted to hear her collaboration stories and asked the following questions:
Mrs Bostanci is a very good learner, as well as being a good teacher. Likewise, in this case, I believe she demonstrated a good example of turning crises into learning opportunities. After analysing ATAWA` s parent profile, she realized that some of the parents are actually IT workers who might be the ones developing the online conferencing tools. There was nothing wrong to ask for collaboration and this is what she did. Surprisingly, some of the parents who were working for IT companies didn` t know how to use those tools as they weren` t users before. That problem, even, turned out to be a learning opportunity both for the parents and for the teachers. Parents, firstly learned how to and then they offered training session to the teachers. Being amazed by this collaboration, I asked her what the current situation is with them now. As the feedback of this pandemics time application was successful, she feels ATAWA and parents are more attached now. Not only the IT parents, she said, but also all parents should be engaged in technology as it is our present and future.
As I said Collaboration is the key to achieve better, it is never one sided! There has been a lot of different collaborations in ATAWA.
ATAWA Teachers are members of Turkish diaspora and know each other, but, surely, all of them are doing their jobs with love and sincerity. They love introducing their culture to the new generation as well as teaching literacy skills. In ATAWA, as a teacher myself, I could observe the warm atmosphere we have. Everybody is willing to share and care about what they are doing. Teachers have a very active professional learning community in which they share what they are doing and whether it worked or not. Not only sharing ideas but also sharing experiences are also so common among them. As a new teacher of ATAWA, I could see how helpful they are to me when I get stuck or when I pop up a question. Similarly, they are very open to learn about educational technologies from me. That said, I had a better understanding of how eagerly ATAWA teachers helped each other so that the transition occurs more smoothly.