Can you Change the World with Just One Teaspoon? - Mid-Pacific Institute

Middle School Principal's Blog

Can you Change the World with Just One Teaspoon?

Posted on February 11, 2018

by Dr. Dwayne Priester on February 11, 2018

Congratulations to JoAnn Jacobs and Mohala Boncales, who recently gave presentations at the Association of Middle-Level Educators (A.M.L.E.) two-day summit held at the Hawaii Convention Center. Mrs. Boncales and Mrs. Jacobs are Social Studies teachers who have gained an international reputation for delivering innovative student-centered instruction.

Their session "Can you Change the World with Just One Teaspoon?" challenged middle school teachers to think of and design instruction relevant to the lives of their students. For example, Mrs. Jacobs and Mrs. Boncales shared how a simple kitchen spoon can be used as a tool for helping teachers understand the challenges faced by the middle-level learners within their classroom. While it may be difficult to imagine how an innocuous eating utensil can be used as a teaching tool for transformational learning, Mrs. Jacobs, and Mrs. Boncales operate within the framework that teachers must employ a pedagogy centered on creativity.

In fact, after using the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Goals For Transforming Our World, Mrs. Jacobs, and Mrs. Boncales designed a series of lessons that used kitchen spoons and containers of cereal to help students understand the importance of sustainability. Additionally, they created units of instruction that helped teachers effectively understand various learning challenges faced by their students in middle schools. During their presentation, participating teachers were challenged to visit the 17 Sustainable Goals For Transforming Our World website and create lessons of their own. The goal of this session was twofold: to challenge teachers to rethink their pedagogy, and to walk away with resources to support them in the classroom.

Kudos to Mrs. Boncales and Mrs. Jacobs, who recently discovered that they were asked to give a presentation at the Building Learning Communities (B.L.C.), an internationally recognized conference for public and private innovative educators in July 2018. We are incredibly proud of them.