Serving as the perfect launchpad for CAS, our CAS induction workshops are designed to help students develop their CAS portfolios, enhance their motivation to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, and feel empowered to grasp this vital element of the IBDP.
Students and educators alike have been confronted with a host of new challenges over the last 18 months, including CAS project disruptions, a lack of community contact, canceled clubs, shifting expectations and deadlines, and the necessity of reconsidering what it means to provide meaningful service. At CAS Trips, we have collaborated with industry leaders to develop a formula to address these very issues.
To shed some more light on the benefits our CAS Induction Workshops have to offer, we are sharing the experience of a recent participant. Angela DeLuca, Assistant Head of Student Progress at Taipei European School, is an enthusiastic new voice in the world of IB education. She loves the program and the foundations of the learner profile, which she appreciates because it places emphasis not just on academics but on developing a holistic person who is a positive world citizen. We spoke with her about overcoming the challenges presented by the pandemic and how the CAS Induction Workshop served as a tool in helping her and her students find renewed CAS inspiration.
How has the format of your teaching (more generally) or CAS (specifically) changed over the past year?
Teaching pedagogy constantly changes, but we have not seen the type of rapid change that occurred during the Covid pandemic. As an educator, I had to honestly evaluate how I teach, where I teach, and how to support my students to continue to be resilient and flourish no matter what situation is thrown at them. CAS continues to be impacted for us in Taiwan due to our level 2 restrictions. Still, our students are working with their CAS coordinator to develop innovative ways to serve their community, despite the tight restrictions.
How did the CAS Induction Workshop support your mission as a teacher?
As a longstanding IB school, we understand the importance of CAS to the program and wanted to ensure that our Induction Days highlighted the dynamic nature of this aspect of the course. We strive as IB educators to develop communication and collaboration about the issues that impact our world. This workshop definitely highlighted the international-mindedness needed as an IB student and the foundation we are building for our graduates to become positive world citizens.
What did you find most helpful about the workshop? How did students respond?
Learning about the way the CAS project is set up and having the opportunity to collaborate with peers was very helpful for our students. Our students responded really well to the Induction Day, and many completed the day feeling energized about their ideas for a future project.
What do you think are the most challenging and the most rewarding elements of CAS, and do you feel they were addressed in the workshop?
It is difficult to balance a busy workload as well as incorporate meaningful community-minded service. So often, students can put CAS projects as last on their list of things to do. That is why it is crucial that our students learn to plan their projects well so that they benefit from the rewarding nature of an action project that they are passionate about and has a meaningful impact on the community.
A big thank you to Angela for taking the time to share her thoughts on our workshop. We wish her and all her students at Taipei European School the very best going forward. You can learn more and sign up for our CAS Induction Workshops here.