“Every sunset is an opportunity to reset. Every sunrise begins with new eyes.”
— Richie Norton
The first week of term is always eventful, and this term at Avinya Academy Bandaragama was no exception. We were all excited to see all our students again and help them continue their journey towards vocational training. As always, we began by earnestly taking the initiative to practice language and other skills required for the next step of the student journey.
Being the new Floaties at Avinya, and given the first ever opportunity to write a blog, here we are, Sanduni and I, treading on our new adventure as a pair! So, we thought of following the quote by our all time favorite, Dr. Seuss, “You are off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So, get on your way!”
The week started with a highlight of the address by guest speakers who enlightened us on prospects, requirements and expectations of the healthcare sector. Our students were particularly interested in this subject, and they had many questions for the speakers. We were all impressed by the passion and curiosity of our students, and it was clear that they were eager to learn more about this important field.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
The real excitement of the week came with the launch of our new project, “My Passion.” This project gives our students the opportunity to research community issues that are close to their hearts and then present their results to the class. It’s an excellent way for them to develop their critical thinking and communication skills while also learning about important issues facing their communities.
As always, our approach to education is different with many diversified activities, as we deliver them as projects. We don’t believe in simply teaching our students facts and figures; instead, we plant seeds and empower them to blossom on their own merit. We use this Project Based Learning to inculcate 21st-century skills that students need to excel at work and in life.
During the last term, our students explored sustainability, sense of fashion, and the importance of digging deep and expressing themselves. They learned about the fundamentals of digital literacy and digital citizenship, and they actively organized events, understood the importance of physical work, and learned about actions and consequences.
But perhaps most importantly, we have seen our students become a better version of themselves while retaining their uniqueness. We are proud to say that we have created a safe and nurturing environment where our students can grow and thrive.
As we move forward with “My Passion” and our other projects, we are excited to see what our students will accomplish. We know that they will face challenges and setbacks, but we also know that they will rise to the occasion and overcome them. And when they do, they will emerge stronger and more confident, ready to take on whatever the future holds.
The Avinya Apps software system was ready to go live this week. It was a whole new way of marking registers for the Home Room teachers (which we embraced warmly as it was a feather on the tech cap for us). It also has many features, such as getting a cross section of the gender based distribution, absenteeism pattern etc.
So as we look back on the first week of term, we can say with confidence that it was eventful, exciting, and full of promise. We are proud of our students and of the work that we are doing here at Avinya Academy Bandaragama. We also look forward to the rest of the term, knowing that we are helping to prepare our students for a bright and successful future.
Sanduni and Vidushi
Thank you Sanduni and Vidushi for doing a fantastic job outlining the key highlights of this week!
The corridors are no longer quiet and you can overhear intriguing conversations by the lockers and the cafeteria. Our students now greet all members of staff confidently as they see us approaching and some engage you in conversation. The other day I was invited for a surprise birthday event, of course I can’t tell you anymore, shhhh…it’s a secret!
So, the sense of community is real. Confidence levels have risen and hopes have ignited as we head into our second and final term of the Empower program. Our main focus this term is to continue our work with the students, prepare them for the world of work and counsel them to their vocation which they are passionate about. All the vocational partners we have talked to have one thing in common – you can’t have a career without passion!
I know I did promise more snippets from IATEFL…So the snippet for this week is the team value of volunteerism. I never thought too much about this until a few years ago when I wanted to recognise a team member for going above and beyond. The only way I could describe this person was that they would never fail to put their hand up for whatever job that had to be done. I would turn around and before I even knew we needed something done, that team member had thought of it, planned loosely around it and approached me pleading to lead on it. Needless to say I was always very impressed and grateful. Part of me did worry and we had many conversations about the need to balance work, yet, it was clear that this stemmed from pure enthusiasm. The answer I always got, when I asked “are you sure you want to do this?”, the team member would answer, “Are you kidding me? I WANT to do this! Working in this team makes me WANT to do more!”
It was a vibe that spread to the whole team as new people joined in and together we accomplished some pretty amazing things. That’s for a whole other blog 😉
For this week, I shall leave you with sunsets, resets, opportunities and volunteerism!
Speaking of volunteerism and all the wonderful team values, we’ve got some bitter sweet news. One of our Educators will be leaving us shortly for greener and colder pastures – you can guess that’s the bitter news, the sweet news is that we plan to focus on student enrolment soon for our next batch of students. On to the sweetest news now! This means we will have some opportunities in our team.
To find out more about this please follow this link: https://avinyafoundation.org/avinya-academy/join-our-team/