Over 400 teachers, principals and education experts took part in this year’s edition of the educational event “Best Practices in Focus” on 29 and 30 April in Sofia.
Art Therapy Studio to improve students’ emotional competencies; project-based learning to celebrate the holidays of different ethnicities in school and develop tolerance among students; a student portfolio in biology to develop scientific literacy, short-term memory and motivation; and a comprehensive school strategy for environmental education and developing awareness of global challenges related to climate change. These are the educational practices that were rated highest in this year’s Best Practices in Focus competition. For the second year in a row, the competition collects, describes and promotes good examples of the work of teachers in Bulgaria.
The awards were presented on 29 April in Sofia during the largest educational event of the same name, which brought together more than 400 teachers, principals and educational experts to exchange experiences, inspiration, practical workshops and search for new approaches to engage students in the 21st century.
The organizers of the competition and the final event “Good Practices in Focus” are the Foundation “Together in class” and the educational website prepodavame.bg.
The winning practices are reviewed and evaluated by an expert jury of over 40 people. In the selection criteria, they look for practices that are effective, sustainable and improve the well-being of children, promote youth participation and support students’ academic progress.
“We often talk about what is not happening in Bulgarian classrooms, what needs to be changed and fixed. This gives the wrong impression that meaningful and inspiring things are not happening. With Good Practices in Focus, we want to show just how much resource and potential there is in the country’s schools. We have received many good examples that we believe will be useful for teachers in other schools – to find inspiration, to find like-minded people and to look for new opportunities to be even more helpful to their pupils.”
In addition to jury awards, audience awards and additional special awards were presented to some of the partners in the event.
In the program of the event, in addition to the awarding of the best practices, teachers from all over the country had the opportunity to participate in an important discussion on how we provide quality education to all students with the participation of Anelia Andreeva from the National Inspectorate of Education, representatives of the World Bank and education experts. [recording of the discussion coming soon]
After the discussion, the forum participants drew on the experience of Dr. Rima Shore, head of the Bank Street College of Education in New York. She inspired the attendees with a lecture on “Empowering Teachers”, which focused on the power and impact of teacher empowerment [lecture recording coming soon]. She also led two hands-on workshops on strategies for improving student well-being and progress and adapting best practices from elsewhere. The workshops were highly appreciated by teachers and helped many of them to imagine how they could innovate more in their teaching practice.
In addition to the international guest, the teachers at the forum learned experientially through practical workshops prepared by teachers from Sofia, Varna, Staza Zagora, Knezha, S. Bohot, S. Rumyantsevo.
The first day of the event also introduced teachers to over 30 educational organizations and initiatives during a special educational exhibition.
More about the event and a full list of the award winners can be found here.