Teaching teachers

For Jugoslava Lulic, helping other teachers teach is a life-long mission. An innovative teacher recognized three times in her country’s Creative Schools competition, and by the Innovation Education Forum in Berlin, Lulic’s mission is to support other teachers. She does this formally (developing her own online course on ICT and moderating PIL online seminars) and informally, by encouraging teachers to share experiences and helping to expand Serbia’s e-learning community. Lulic was one of 50 teachers from around the world who were invited to participate in the first Partners in Learning Institute held at Microsoft’s headquarters, and she credits that experience for enabling her to increase her influence on other teachers.

Describe the most inspiring day you’ve experienced as an educator.

It was when I organized the first TeachMeet for Serbian teachers. I wondered if this informal way of learning could influence teachers’ professional development in my country and awaken within them the desire to share with other teachers. I wondered whether they want to learn from each other.

The idea was to bring together (in one classroom) teachers from different parts of the country to share ideas through three-minute presentations, to inspire, and to encourage each other to further innovate in teaching.

Teachers presented good examples from their practices, passionately and with love, and were very open to exchanging ideas and resources. I got the impression that they had been waiting a long time for such an opportunity. And I realized that, despite domination of the traditional way of teaching in most schools, teachers are aware of the 21st century demands and ready for the challenges of using various methods and tools for communication and collaboration with today’s digital generation of students.

If you could change one thing about today’s “system” of education, what would it be?

I support informal learning (especially after seeing Sugata Mitra’s “Hole in the Wall” experiment). I would give students a greater role in the creation of lessons and choosing what to learn and how to learn, allow them to freely express and discuss their ideas.

What advice would you give a new teacher (or to anyone wanting to make
a difference in education)?

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world.” Use that weapon and teach your students how to become lifelong learners, listen to their needs and interests and don’t be afraid to lose some battles.

What is your greatest hope for the future of education in your country?

Thanks to technology, the space-time causality and limitations disappear, so today we can learn anytime and anywhere. I hope that e-learning will become mainstream for education in my country, because learning and teaching in the 21st century need to be relevant to the age in which we live.
I also hope that schools will be able to prepare the students for living and working in that age, and for dealing with real life problems.

Jugoslava supports a more informal style of learning – do you agree?
What are the limitations?

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About Jugoslava Lulic
Teacher of Serbian Language and Literature, e-Learning Course Designer, Backa Palanka, Serbia
Lulic has worked for 17 years as a teacher of the Serbian language (mother tongue) and literature in vocational school “9th May” in Serbia. She loves to learn and teach, to share her knowledge with others and to collaborate with other teachers in order to improve her skills.
Birthplace: Backa Palanka, Serbia
Current residence: Backa Palanka, Serbia
Education: Serbian literature and language (University of Novi Sad), E-learning course design (CARNet, Zagreb)
Websites I check every day: Twitter  (while I drink a morning coffee) and Facebook (because my students are there – we have a closed group where we discuss various topics). I also love to read PIL digital magazine for teachers and blogs of teachers from all around the world, especially those with whom I share a commitment to education and to developing 21st centuries skills of students.
Favorite childhood memory: all memories are precious, because I had wonderful childhood.
Next travel destination (work or pleasure): I would like to visit my sister who lives in New Zealand.
Favorite book: Umberto Eco’s first novel The Name of the Rose (I have read it seven times.)

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