“We got inspired and filled with lots of new ideas:” teachers of Araratian Baccalaureate candidate schools at Ayb Teacher Conference

From March 31 to April 1, Aghveran, a mountain resort in Armenia, played a host the 3rd Ayb Teacher Conference – a rare educational event in Armenia. For the first time ever the conference hosted not only teachers from Ayb School and Dilijan Central School but also over 20 teachers from 11 Araratian Baccalaureate candidate schools located in Armenian regions. 

“The goal behind inviting the teachers of the Araratian Baccalaureate candidate schools was to promote exchange and practice and communication between them and the Ayb schools, introduce them to the community of teachers that have taken part in the AB professional teacher development program as well as to their research works,” said Hasmik Kyureghyan, the conference coordinator and head of AB professional teacher development and certification department. According to her, they are planning to hold an Araratian Baccalaureate teacher conference in the future.

The first day of the two-day conference focused on a number of relevant educational topics, while the second day mostly focused on community-building issues related to Ayb. The teachers of the AB candidate schools participated in the first day of the conference and were highly impressed by the speech of Dr. Jacek Brant, the special guest of the conference. Dr. Brant spoke about quite an important topic: “What is Education?” The interactive discussion engaged almost everyone in it.

Besides discussion, the teachers of the AB candidate schools also took part in working meetings, poster presentations, project presentations, and a panel session. They were highly inspired and motivated by the two-hour panel session the speakers of which were: Fr. Mesrop Aramian, NPEE director, Chairman of the Ayb School Board of Trustees; Davit Pakhchanian, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ayb Educational Foundation, Deputy Defense Minister; David Sahakyan, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Armenia; and Aram Mehrabyan, Head of Dilijan Central School. The session was hosted by Head of Ayb School Aram Pakhchanian. The panel session gave them a reason to ponder over on the education schools and teachers should provide to ensure students’ all-round development and not turn it into a prison, thus restricting and impeding their development.

At the end of the first day of the conference we also talked to the teachers of the AB candidate schools to see their impressions of the conference, considering it was the first time they were participating in such a large-scale educational event promoting exchange of practice and knowledge and skill acquirement among teachers. The answers we got from them simply spoke of the great faith they had towards Ayb’s mission and the Araratian Baccalaureate program. 

I am excited to participate in this conference where education is in the spotlight. I am excited to know that bold approaches to education and discussions on education are being held. And most importantly, I realized that our country has taken a new approach to education — the students striving for learning will get all they need and the teachers longing for delivering such education will get the chance of a free and unconstrained teaching activity.

I especially loved the student assessment system the Araratian Baccalaureate offers. I was long dreaming of a day when I would not be forced to use grades in teaching. I believe there is only one thing that should be mandatory – the end result.I also loved the bright and smiling faces of the Ayb School teachers and their attitude to their work. I would love to see all teachers as much happy and contented with their work as they are.Elmira AmiraghyanNoyemberyan High School 

The Ayb Teacher conference served as a platform for interesting talks and discussions. We had meetings thanks to which we found answers to questions that long had the question marks hanging on them. We particularly enjoyed the panel session, which generated countless ideas. 

Thanks to the conference we came to know a number of likeminded persons, got motivated by Ayb’s example, and received positive emotions and a great energy for future.

Taro Hakobyan Vayk High School 

The conference reinforced my inspiration and wish to join the Ayb family through the Araratian Baccalaureate program. The topics discussed have always been in the focus of my attention but it was highly interesting to see a different approach and analysis of them.The bright faces of those present that radiated optimism, their loyalty to their dreams, their confidence in what they are striving for, the diversity of opinions, friendly relations, freedom of speech, expression of their opinions, etc., were highly inspiring, and we are overly thankful for that.Naira Tadevosyan Gyumri High School 

I was most interested in the panel sessions and the approaches to the vision of education the speakers of these sessions exhibited. Ayb movement and environment simply inspire.Alla SahakyanAyntap Secondary School No. 2 After Byuzand Margaryan 

It was very interesting to get to know the teachers of the schools that have also advanced to the candidacy phase of the Araratian Baccalaureate program. The conference gave answers to many of our questions. And most importantly, we got inspired; we believed in fairy tales and we will do our best to bring our own fairy tales into the Araratian Baccalaureate program.Seda Tunyan Stepanavan High School 

The freshness and vigor I saw today were more than inspiring. People ask me, “Why did you decide to join the Araratian Baccalaureate?” Being here today I simply got convinced that I had made the right decision. If you are devoted to your vocation, you should always make a step forward for your work to blossom and for you to leave the best after you. The work with generations is the most grateful of the missions.Gayane SafaryanVagharshapat High School No. 5 

I particularly loved your practice of student assessment. It would be great to introduce it in other general education institutions in Armenia as well. I loved the relations between the members of your teacher community, the fact that your teachers are happy and proud to be teachers – they were smiling and obviously, all that was genuine. 

Not only the market demands competition, but also the education sector. The employment of different teaching methods while using the same standard will lead to the overall progress of the system.Hasmik HayrapetyanHrazdan High School No.