Several years ago, when we were both teachers at “De Blije Gaarde”, we once had a seminar on the educational climate in the classroom. How do you deal with students, how do you build a good relationship with your students and what can you do on a daily basis to keep that relationship work? That were pretty much the questions that were treated that day. At the end of the day all participants were presented a small calender, with on each page a little tip or assignment, in relation to educational practice, which the could work on that day: The Pedagogical Climate Calendar. We both have used the calendar for years. One time intensive than other times, but the Pedagogical Climate Calendar was always present in the classroom and was therefore a simple tool ever to make us conscious again of our own actions.
Now, several years later, we are here in Nigeria to develop and support the education sector. When we just arrived in Nigeria, we soon realized that the teachers here are really not concerned with educational practice and building a relationship with students. The truth is that many teachers are not or poorly trained, most teachers are happy if they have survived the day and often the students are happy if they survived the school day without receiving some blows from the teacher. I had to think back to the Pedagogical Climate Calendar that we had used in our classes and soon I realized that such a calendar could be a simple tool to support teachers. To see if it was possible to translate the calendar and use it here, I contacted Joep Willemsen from Office of Learning Assistance Breda to ask permission to translate and use the calendar.
Joep was very excited and wanted to know more about the work we do here and how we can use the calendars. After some emails back and forth, Joep said he wanted to help us. He was already working on an English version and even wanted to adjust the calendar to connect it a little better with the Nigerian education. After the translation was done, Joep informed us that he would like to sponsor a few calendars and print them for us. Luckily for us we would soon come to the Netherlands, so we could come and collect them at his office.
so we went to Joep’s office to collect the calendars and took them to Nigeria and shared with a group of National Volunteers who, without any educational background, teach groups up to 80 students. During the training we have given to these volunteers, we slowly introduced the calendar. The first training the Volunteers made a weekly calendar (every day of the week a point, where they could work themself) and during the second training we distributed and explained the Educational Climate Calendar (each day of the month a tip or a assignment to work on). The National Volunteers were very happy and promised to use the calendars in the classroom. We actually cannot wait for the next training we going to do with them. We are very curious about their experiences.
If you want to know more about the pedagogical Climate Calendar (especially for all the teachers), you can check out their website: www.joep.co