Hi everyone! Welcome to COETAIL! My name is Joel Bevans and I am delighted to learn with and from you throughout your COETAIL journey. I first participated in COETAIL for Online 5 and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The course transformed me as an educator and made me rethink what education could be like for my students and my school. Exploring new ideas, applying them in your day to day role and getting feedback from an amazing Personal Learning Network was a catalyst that set me on a path to becoming an Elementary School Curriculum Coordinator, a role that I truly love.
A little bit about me
I am originally from Leicester, United Kingdom however I went to University in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. After I qualified as a teacher I moved to London, where I taught for 9 years in a South East London Primary School. I decided to move into International Teaching in 2012. I started my journey in beautiful Luxembourg, where I spent 6 years. During my time at the International School of Luxembourg I was an Elementary School Teacher in Grade 1 and Kinder. In my last 2 years in Luxembourg I was an Activator for Thinking and Learning whose role was to support the school in Creating a Culture of Thinking. In 2018 I moved from Luxembourg to Panama where I am a member of our Teaching and Learning Team and the ES Curriculum Coordinator at the International School of Panama. I love what I do since I get to work with teachers and students every day to design meaningful and dynamic learning experiences.
I have a few other projects that I am involved in as an educator. I am a Project Zero Online Coach who supports teams of educators in Creating a Culture of Thinking. I created and run Travelling Tales, a global storytelling project (that was my #COETAIL course 5 final project). Finally I am also a #TeachSDG’s Ambassador who believes that as educators our role is to rally around a single vision: a world where a roadmap to a better humanity is introduced and explored in every classroom on earth.
When I’m not working you’ll often find me at the beach or in the rain-forest (whilst in Panama!), reading, playing sport, travelling or spending time with friends and family.
The COETAIL community is a truly global one and I encourage you to get active in conversations with your Online 12 cohort. Twitter is an amazing tool for educators to connect and share, and it’s a big part of how we can stay connected with each other. The #COETAIL hashtag is very active, and a great addition to any of the posts you are sharing.
My Twitter handle is @bevansjoel and your cohort handles (so far) are:
COETAIL courses are organized by weeks so it’s important to start working out a routine that works for you. Since you are finishing up the orientation course you have had the opportunity to build an understanding of the schedule, requirements, and tools at your disposal. Once COETAIL officially gets underway your typical week will likely include:
- Checking your RSS Reader
- Checking in with the My Courses tab to see if something is new.
- Completing the weekly readings.
- Writing a weekly blog post & completing any assignments
- Interactions or sharing via Twitter (not mandatory but definitely helps in building community connections).
- Writing a weekly comment on another cohort members blog post.
- At least one that you’ll record on the spreadsheet, but the more you engage with each other the stronger the experience becomes.
- Document your work on your Grading Spreadsheet (links to the blog post and comment) for assessment and feedback.
A few thoughts about writing blog posts…
During each course, you will be asked to submit weekly blog posts based on your readings and/or assignments. If you’re new to blogging don’t worry. It will get easier. Try to find your own voice and style as you write. Remember, in most cases, the writing prompts are suggested topics for getting you started. You don’t have to respond exactly to the prompt. If you have an idea or connection that came to you based on the week’s readings, go for it. This is about you and your learning experience!
As your COETAIL instructor, my role is to support and guide you through this learning experience through feedback, assessment and communication. I will assess your assignments including your blog posts, comments, and projects. I will also assign a final grade and leave formative and summative feedback. The majority of the feedback will take place on your grading spreadsheet. If you ever have questions about assessments and/or feedback on your Grade Sheet, please feel free to let me know – you can e-mail me or even leave a comment on your gradesheet, whatever you feel comfortable with.
I will communicate frequently with you regarding anything that will affect the course via emails and our cohort blog. I will also let you know when I will be unavailable for timely responses (i.e. when I am at a conference, on break).
Our cohort blog
I’ll post here at least once a week with highlights from your posts, thoughts on the coming week and any tips or instructions you might need. I’m really looking forward to reading your blog posts and hearing your perspectives on the course content. As a COETAIL graduate, I am also looking forward to seeing how each of you experiences growth both personally and in your practice during this journey. This is going to be a fantastic learning adventure for us all! Let’s get started!