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The new me: Carla as a teacher!

Carla-teacher-banner Carla with students preparing live event on Facebook

By Carla Barrado, Team Teacher

I knew that I did not want to continue being part of this capitalist and consumerist society in which what you do has no value and in which you normally work for someone making that company or that someone grow economically. Therefore I thought that taking this adventure of working as a teacher at 'Another Kind of School' would give me the opportunity to work with others and with myself, not for others and draining myselft to get the profit for others. And every day the phrase 'work with what you like and you will never work again' resonates in my head and makes me smile. Because I am a worker, yes, but I am living the same experience as the students too, and it is an incredible feeling.

What does it mean to be Another Kind of Teacher?

It is relevant to highlight that it is not easy to be a teacher, or in general it is not easy to live in this type of environment. We face very controversial topics every day during the courses and tasks, and the community lifestyle makes us spend a lot of personal energy. In addition, each person comes from a different place in the world – and ages vary – and personal burdens also come with each person. So many times it is difficult to find the balance between the middle point, but at the same time it is an easy task - it may sound contradictory - since this arises from each person. Here everyone has to contribute their grain of sand in this experience and it is everyone's responsibility to make this work. It really is a unique and very rich experience.

Carla and her team having 1/2 day of practical actions preparing firewood,  supporting the Building Weekend

Carla and her team having 1/2 day of practical actions preparing firewood, supporting the Building Weekend

The Gaia team learning about refugees conditions across the world, here with a game to illustrate the obstacles they meet..

The Gaia team learning about refugees conditions across the world, here with a game to illustrate the obstacles they meet..

The Gaia team went for an outing in the local area, here enjoying a coffee with Rolf

The Gaia team went for an outing in the local area, here enjoying a coffee with Rolf

 

I like to think of myself as a guide and facilitator. The thought that I have the documents that the students must study and then prove that they have learned it through an exam does not work here. Here things are different, here materials are offered to learn and reinforce the different topics we study, but at the same time it is the student who must draw his conclusions or even change or readapt them if he considers it appropriate after a debate in class. Furthermore, it is the student who prepares his or her own exams – perhaps with a theatrical performance based on a court case or a song created from an investigation into homeless people in the country's capital. There isn't really a difference between teacher and student, perhaps the voice of experience is who rules here.

My motto: Learning by Doing

Learning by doing, my motto, the motto of this place. Without a doubt, this is what I learn the most from here and what I think about when things seem to become difficult or complicated. I love being able to combine practical skills with theoretical ones. And I strongly believe in team work, in developing the ability to organise events and create new experiences and in the possibility of finding a solution to problems. Gain new knowledge through the experience of doing new things.

There are times when as a teacher, you have to create strategies to unite the group, and for example the thoughts come to my mind of maintaining the official language in the group (English) so that everyone feels part of it, of asking them how they are and how was the week. Then, sit down together with them and make them feel supported and cared for, and above all, I think it is very necessary to create a safe space in the class so that they can express themselves and be themselves. In the end we are living as one big family and emotions are playing here too. Because a person alone is fast but -  but by working together in a group you can go further.

I came to CICD as a Gaia student almost 5 years ago, and now here I continue on this adventure. You know when you arrive, but not specifically when you leave - but in the good sense of the phrase. Because if I come back here, and in another stage, it will be for a reason. And it is good to have that feeling.
I will always remember the phrase I said when I first arrived here: that I wanted to discover a new Carla, and the number of them that are coming to light is incredible. And they are all quite positive versions.

My first 45 days at CICD!
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Saturday, 15 June 2024