By S M Tahmina Parvin

08 January 2020 - 17:50

“If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” In this era, I believe working in collaboration is the most important professional skill of a teacher because these days it’s almost impossible to ensure proper education without the ability to effectively communicate with others. Or we can simply say, better collaborators make better students—and better citizens. So as an educator, I am responsible to give my students the best possible learning experience and for that, I needed to skill-up myself. I was really lucky that the British Council gave me that platform with their ‘Connecting Classrooms’ project. I have been working in Connecting Classrooms since 2009 and so far, my experience has been wonderful.

It helps me to bring international education to life for my students, and the benefits of doing joint projects with international schools are wide-reaching. For learners, partnerships can help to develop their core skills and introduce them with cultural diversity and for educators, international collaboration is a useful way of growing professionally and helps to share knowledge and best teaching practices with international audiences.

So far, I have worked in multiple group projects and it has been more than just teaching, rather it helped to develop me as an educator and motivated my students to create positive changes in the world. As part of school partnerships programme, my school collaborate and plan how to embed global themes into our curriculum, strengthen pre-existing partnerships and expand our network, equip students with the skills they need to thrive in an increasingly global world, support the international collaboration of young people in their community and play a part in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

I appreciate the British Council for the Connecting Classrooms programme, which is helping to promote 21-century skills. It helps my students possess the ability to collaborate seamlessly in both physical and virtual spaces. It is so important because students of the digital age are social by nature. Through connecting classrooms, we can constantly co-create in a technological environment with each other from the school. As a result, students become engaged and attached to what they are learning. It is also enabling my students to strengthen, both mental and emotional health.

Through Connecting Classrooms projects, my students also developed problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, digital literacy, citizenship, and leadership skills through interactive sessions. As a language teacher, I believe it makes English language teaching and learning more spontaneous.

I believe the British Council made it easier for me to develop my professional skills through their Connecting Classrooms project. I developed extensive skills working with different schools, both at home and abroad. My school has won the International School Award two times consecutively under my coordination. However, at times it has also been a huge challenge for me as the concept was new to me, and every change has been a challenge that pushed me further.

Besides my regular duties, I also work as a Schools Ambassador for the British Council. It helped me a better speaker in public and enhanced my leadership traits and also showed me the best way to be a skilled, perfect teacher. It was an honour for me to visit a number of countries, partnering with other local schools and teachers, and making friends both nationally and globally and it was only possible because of the British Council and their Connecting Classrooms project.