Our common language

Guest post by Linda.

I was privileged recently to represent my school at an IBO workshop in Mumbai. For the first day or so my colleague and I oriented ourselves to the exciting, challenging and exhilarating place that that is India. I have now re-read Ed’s blog post  India: Assault on the Senses – her account of the sensory overload experienced is perfect.

On the morning of the first day of the workshops those attending gathered in front of the hotel, waiting for our transfer. Even though I knew people would come from a variety of countries, it was still a ‘wow’ moment to meet some of the other PYP and MYP participants – among them Ingrid, a West Australian teaching in Munich; Kimberley, a Canadian teaching in Kazakhstan; Munir from Dubai; Maria, a Uruguayan Australian teaching in Hong Kong; Brian, originally from Canberra, but living and teaching in Pune, India, for 20 years. Of course, once the workshop started, we also met a number of local Indian teachers from various PYP schools.

What was a revelation was the ease with which we settled into our discussions in the workshop, which was about collaborative planning. Even though we came from different countries and backgrounds, we all spoke the same language. I’m not just referring to English – what I mean is the language of PYP. All the teachers were passionate about learning and inquiry, they talked about essential agreements, concepts, learner profiles, attitudes, planners – all the attributes of PYP that have become like second nature to us. Any one of those teachers could walk into our school and fit seamlessly into our classrooms tomorrow, and likewise we could do the same in any PYP school around the world.

The workshop itself was interesting and stimulating, and there will be other occasions for me to talk about the content. What I am really thrilled about is the opportunity I was given to meet with and collaborate with this disparate group of people, and finding such commonality. We intend to keep our connection going into the future, with new opportunities to create connections between some of our schools.

photo: Mumbai school children

4 thoughts on “Our common language

  1. Linda, what a neat experience! I am always amazed that commonalities that we share can override any cultural and language differences that may exist. Common passions and shared goals are what make the world go round. What a blessing to be able to take part in such an experience. Thank you for sharing it with us.


    1. It’s great to know that our enthusiasm is appreciated world over!! I am aware that there are many mis conceptions that people have about India and Indians…. it feels good too see these gradual change of opinion 🙂


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