Bruno Andrade – Brazil
Bruno Andrade is an edtech consultant, a teacher and an explorer. He currently lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He’s passionate about learning, curiosity, imagination and technology. He’s also a sunset worshiper.
What are you passionate about, Bruno?
My biggest passion is, in a way, my biggest problem. I don’t have a single passion in life. Never had. Instead, I feel an ardent need to understand everything that comes along my way. I have to understand anything that attracts my attention. However, I am no genius. Ergo I cannot possibly understand every single thing there is in the world. (Or can anyone tell me why yawning is contagious?). This kind of behavior makes me believe that never will I be bored. In my most honest opinion: knowledge is irresistible.
How and why did you become a teacher?
When people asked what I wanted to do for a living, teaching was the last thing that came to my mind. I grew in a family of teachers. I used to give extra lessons to my mother’s students who came to our house in search of knowledge – mostly in search of a better grade, but that’s ok, anyways – I used to help my mother correct her thousands of multiple choice tests. I was taken to the schools she taught at when there was nobody else to look after me. And I loved it. I had fun. I found pleasure in that. But prejudice and fear blinded my soul and I searched for other options. I was not wholeheartedly happy. One day I decided to give myself a chance: A chance to change, and I did. I accidently and happily entered a classroom with a teacher’s guide in my hands. Being thanked for helping other people to understand anything is the best feeling the world. Nothing compares to it.
What are you most interested in right now?
As a teacher my main interest is to share and learn from other people. I believe that sharing is caring. Teaching has long been considered a lonely profession. I have always been equally against it. There is much more to learn from the exchanging of experiences than we can ever imagine. Dealing with people can be quite demanding. We all know that, but that is also the beauty of it. Different points of view can only enrich our lives and broaden our horizons.
What things do you do to help you get better at being a teacher, Bruno?
I connect. I ask. I debate. I create. I exchange. I agree. I disagree. I read. I try to understand. I study. I reflect.
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a teacher at this moment?
Some time ago my challenge was to get teachers onboard to use technology in their classes. Nowadays I aim for a more humanized pedagogy when it comes to the integration of technology in education. If teachers use technology with the intention of wowing students, they are missing the point of it.
Technology should only be used as a tool if:
· there is a contextualized pedagogy behind it.
· it empowers students, not the other way round.
· allows students to create, be creative and collaborate.
· opens up the doors and breaks downs the walls.
What advice would you give to a teacher just starting out on a journey of professional development?
Are you ready to jump? But I will tell you what: once you go there is no coming back. Find your community. Build your personal learning network (PLN). Go out there and look for people who share the same passion as you. There are a lot of teachers who are willing to welcome you into their own communities. Use Social Media at your favor. Use it to share and learn, connect and help, create and spread. That will make you a better teacher. Always.
Bruno, is there any blog or online link you’d like to recommend?
Learning should always be personalized. Therefore each teacher has to find the best professional development online tool for them. I confess, however, that Twitter changed the way I see my professional and the way I relate to my fellow educators. I cannot say that Twitter will be always around for future generations of teachers, but there will always be a way for us to get connected. Everyone should try it.
What’s your favorite quotation about being a teacher, Bruno?
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid” – Albert Einstein