“If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough but because they can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve”, says Dylan William. It is said that aligned professional development and coaching should be encouraged to support teacher growth which positively influence teaching and improve student achievement. With this vision the Principal Mrs Sanchita Verma envisaged a Professional Development Programme for the staff on 10th and 11th June, 2017 at Indian School Sohar. The programme turned out to be a fruitful and powerful professional support to change teaching and boost student learning. The resource person, former CBSE Academic Director Mr. G Balasubramanian, enriched the teachers with his vast and deep out looks about pedagogy.
He accentuated the truth that effective teaching is an activity that can be learned, and the notion that someone is born to teach is simply inaccurate. He inspired the teachers to walk energetically into the classroom as a teacher and enhancer, but not as a judge. While contrasting education in the past and in the present, he coerced that education is and should be a process of humanization.
Pedagogical novelty is the need of the hour. Experience does not lead directly to better instruction. Enhancing skills, knowing strategies, and understanding content and how to unpack that content in ways that students can understand are aspects of teaching that can be learned and improved upon. We should keep up with the changing times and technology. He reminded: change is difficult, but not changing can be fatal.
Verbal and non-verbal communication in classrooms was another topic of discussion. A good teacher should know why to teach and how to teach. Right from the moment a teacher enters the class he is observed and his very presence and gestures has an impact on the learner. The third session discussed brain based learning. It was an insight into how learning takes place. Learning is a continuous structuring of the brain and therefore a good teacher is a network engineer. The final message was to allow students to think the way they like and be supportive while inculcating knowledge and enhancing learning. The fourth session provided an in depth study of the designing and process of question paper setting.
There was a special session on Academic Leadership for Principal, Vice-Principal, Supervisors and HODs where various leadership styles and pragmatic leadership was discussed in detail. Leadership is an attitude and not a role, and a leader should have a shared vision: this idea formed the core. We can be leaders even without a title.
Teachers felt that the programme enhanced their sense of empowerment by increasing self-efficacy. It equipped the teachers to transact the curriculum effectively focusing on content and pedagogy. It acted like a catalyst accelerating the outcome of teaching –learning process and became an inspiration to work without thinking about the profit, as a teacher does not handle a profession, but a vocation.
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