“Educators need to be encouraged to experiment with new ways of teaching without fear of making mistakes. Innovation requires mistakes, sometimes.” – Julci Rocha, Brazil
As a Microsoft Ambassador in Brazil for two years and a teacher-training for more than a decade, MIE Expert Julci Rocha met and trained over 3700 teachers, helping them to innovate with technology in the classroom. But she didn’t always want to be an educator.
“In my country, being a teacher is not something socially recognized.” she explains. “In general, we are poorly paid and working conditions are very precarious. Although I have always had affinity with this universe — influenced by a mother who was a teacher — I did not want to be one of them. But I realized that education was more than an occupation: education is our opportunity to make the world a better place.”
At the end of 2017, Rocha’s work inspired her to form a start-up, Redesenho Educacional (Education Redesign in English), to support educational institutions (schools and universities) in coaching teachers in their personal and professional development, and building their confidence to be true learning designers and facilitators.
“Our team is made up of Brazilians MIE Experts,” Rocha says. “I usually say that we are the Brazilian Microsoft partners, and real specialists in the classroom, because all of us are teachers.”
Rocha takes her role as part of the “transition generation” seriously, recognizing that we are facing a world crisis in the education model. And she’s optimistic that change is happening.
“We are going to migrate from a transmissive education model to an education model based on people development in all dimensions: intellectual, emotional and ethical,” she says. “For now, we need to consolidate the competency-based education model and all the pedagogical practices that support this model. [Technology] is very important in this process, offering new ways of teaching and new ways for students to collaborate and express their thoughts.”
How do we facilitate this crucial change? “To accelerate this process,” Rocha says, “Educators need to be encouraged to experiment with new ways of teaching without fear of making mistakes. Innovation requires mistakes, sometimes.”
About Julci Rocha
- Educational background: Major in Portuguese/French Language and Literature, as well as an M.Ed in Curriculum. Specialist in Education Management, Instructional Design and Innovative Education.
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Difficult question! I really love the versatility of Sway. But now, I´m in love with Windows Creator Tools, the Photo App, and Paint 3D.
- Website I check every day: Edutopia. Edutopia is a website to spread innovative practices in K-12, encouraging teachers to adapt them and to start innovating in their own context. We have a Brazilian channel that spreads practices and researches in Portuguese.
- Favorite childhood memory: Every beginning of the school year. I really loved the moment to start a new notebook, a new book, new colored pencil, crayon, eraser, markers. I still love to buy these things and to visit these kind of stores, because they remind me of school and my wonderful childhood.
- Favorite book: “The Solitaire Mystery,” by Jostein Gaarder. This novel is a blend of imagination and reality from the viewpoint of a 12-year-old boy named Hans Thomas. The journey of Hans Thomas to find his mother happens while he starts to read a mysterious book with characters entering in his real life. At the end, the great lesson is to follow this little boy finding the meaning of his own life and to realize that this meaning could be extend to us, the readers.
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Do not give a piece of advice to those who did not ask for it.