Sunday, August 22, 2010

IB Training and Buka Puasa

As of yesterday morning, I officially completed the introductory training with the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. Throughout the training, I kept thinking back to the Professional Development I received over the past few years and how the IB way of thinking compared with that of TFA and the NYC DOE. TFA wouldn't like the MYP because of a lack of standardization or norm-referencing exams. The NYC DOE would find the MYP to be too difficult to implement in such a large system because of the holistic change in teacher training required. However, both of these things caused me to question the way in which we approach education as Americans. While the MYP is far from perfect, yet the importance it gives to things such as community service and independent research helps us acknowledge we can't educate the mind without also educating the person. Being supportive of education is good rhetoric, but the wise wife of President John Adams is as true today as she was in the 18th century, "we have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them."

Additionally, last night Ab and I were honored to sharing buka puasa, or a breaking of the fast, with the Fathony family. In a spirit of transparency, I had not been fasting yesterday as having to wake up early to get to the IB training was making me cranky (like that's hard to believe, right? :) lol), but it has been an outstanding comfort to be welcomed as family so far from home. Actually, funny story; the Fathony's don't live very far from MPR (the People's Consultative Assembly) which is a prominent government building in central Jakarta. However, upon getting into a cab in Kemang, the cab driver had no idea what we were talking about (in fact, suggesting MPR was in a southern suburb of the city, which is kind of like being in DC and having the cabbie try to take you to Silver Spring, MD) Fortunately, after a conference of cabbies on a side street, a phone conversation between Sabina and the driver, and consultation of a map, we were able to find our way :) Not exactly the fun I was planning on having during a Saturday evening...but you know, gotta stay alive on your feet!

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