Sharestart Asia Conference is an annual conference co-organized by The Alliance Cultural Foundation (ACF) and Chengzhi Education Foundation since 2016, 8th to 9th December 2018 marks its third year running. Themed Connect & Extend, it aimed to connect people and organizations of different specialties as well as extend the Sharestart method to peers worldwide.
Differ from former years, the 2018 conference structured its first day for advanced Sharestart teachers. It hosted seminars and lectures with over 300 participants. On its second day, 20-some workshops were organized for beginner Sharestart teachers covering wide-ranging academic subjects and levels; over 400 joined. Participants in the conference included overseas educators from Mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia. Other notable proceedings included a panel discussion on world trends and industry change featuring ACF Chair Stanley Yen and Chengzhi Education Foundation Chair Fang Shinjou, as well as a speech given by Taiwan’s former Minister of Education, Yeh Jiunn-rong.
In year 2018, Sharestart lead teachers across Taiwan has expanded to 70 which is 1.5 times as many as 2017. The Sharestart method is now in its fifth year of promoting. In Co-founder Chang Huicheng’s goal, he hopes that in its tenth year, Sharestart will have 16,000 practicing teachers – one-tenth of Taiwan’s 1st to 12th grade teachers, adopting the method to their classrooms; and to have 625 open observation classrooms.
Sharestart’s growth is due to its community of teachers who had the courage to overcome their fears to change and endure the challenges from peers and parents. It is a community of teachers who continue to help other teachers in hopes that current generation of youths will be better than its prior. This article aims to highlight the story of three lead teachers’ who uses three methods to connect and extend the Sharestart method.
1) Teacher Huang Tsaihsia: School-wide Popularization Teacher, Taipei Municipal Kuangfu Elementary School Inspired by her student who continued to apply the Sharestart method as a learning tool after graduating from her class, Huang initiated the train the trainer Sharestart program at the Taipei Municipal Kuangfu Elementary School where she teaches. After just two years of introducing the method school-wide, one-fourth of teachers adopted it into their classrooms. The on-campus community co-preps teaching modules and curricula. Currently, five teachers have opened their classrooms for observations – a core mission of the Sharestart community; and six teachers have become qualified trainers. The Sharestart method has also won praise by the Principal, a rare occurrence. From the beginning, Huang understood the challenges in changing a teacher’s existing teaching method and continues to persevere to achieve her mission.
2) Teacher Kuo Chincheng: Community Popularization Teacher, Kaohsiung Municipal Ying-Ming Junior High School As co-founder of the Sharestart method, Kuo has organized Sharestart workshops and book clubs since 2014. He conducts train the trainerprograms in schools nationwide, cross-subjects. In Kuo’s many encounters, he witnesses teachers having the will to change, but not the knowhow or courage – the courage to endure scrutiny, doubt and criticism. In implementing a new method, it not only involves the student, but parents and peers. Sharestart’s growing community means teachers today have more the support and encouragement to go forward. Kuo believes that although change is challenging, with a growing community and collaborative effort, change will happen.
3) Teacher Hsu Futang: One-on-one Coaching Retired mathematics teacher Hsu connects and extends with schools in the city and the rural as well as Taiwan’s offshore islands demonstrating and supporting teachers through one-on-one coaching. To date, he has worked with over 100 schools. Even with over 30 years of teaching experience, Hsu recognizes that what teaching method succeeded in the past may not succeed today. He witnessed the cultural differences in the city and rural, how as an educator, besides having a passion for education, one must have the tool and understanding that every school has different needs and challenges. Hsu’s mission will continue so as long as the teacher, near or far, has the will to learn and change. He guides teachers step-by-step when needed rather than command, solves problems with them, and together watch students thrive. What is Sharestart? 學：Learn (Self-learn) 思：Think 達：Express