Professional development of teachers has been advocated by the government and academia over the past few years, and a number of programs have been introduced. But is your teacher training program giving REAL results? Let us help you understand how you can derive the maximum benefits out of your school’s teacher training program. And consequently, develop an active mentor-network in your school.
Is your teacher training program ‘Dead’?
Any comprehensive teacher training program worth its name is usually expensive and stretches over a stipulated duration. While the training is on, a teacher is exposed to multiple concepts, from improving teaching practices to counselling students. The catch is that this requires implementation in real time classrooms and thus, it is essential to have guidance and opportunities within the school. The reason is that as soon as the training is over, teachers are pushed back into the same classrooms without any effective handholding or guidance or even a peer network to discuss and monitor progress.
A typical teacher training program has the following elements:
- Lecture style of delivery – Conveying theoretical concepts over a platform
- Practical exercises – Providing a hands-on experience for teachers
But what they miss out on are:
- Effective reinforcements to track actual progress
- Guidance from senior teachers
- Recognition from the school’s leadership and peers
For a teacher training program to be successful, it is essential to have positive reinforcements introduced within the school. Adult learning takes place more efficiently when it is interspersed with reinforcements.
How Oakridge International builds mentors
One of the leading schools of the country has implemented the Global Career Catalyst Program by UCLA Extension to develop its teachers as effective mentors. Under this program, teachers are made aware of the cutting-edge practices in the domains of career counselling for students.
A follow-up program like its ‘Mentor of the Month’ is essential since a teacher needs to be hands-on with career discussions in the classroom. Through this program, the school leadership selects teachers who have been able to provide clear guidance to their students in terms of courses and careers.
CLICK HERE to have a detailed discussion regarding Oakridge’s Mentor Program
How do these programs help?
As per Vroom’s Expectancy Theory, teachers are more motivated to excel and work harder if they know about the rewards and recognitions that lay ahead of them. By having a school principal felicitate teachers for their outstanding contribution of being an able mentor for students, it helps in bringing in a positive effect on the school’s learning environment.
The benefits of this would develop along the following lines:
Development of new mentors for students
This can be done by having senior teachers handhold their junior teachers in becoming better mentors. In this way, new teachers would get an opportunity to implement the learnings from their training in the classroom. This would also help in building rapport and credibility on campus. A new line of able student mentors would be built at the end of the process, thus contributing to your school’s learning environment.
For additional reading, refer to Why Teachers Require Mentors.
From the classroom to the staff room
By having teacher felicitation ceremonies on campus, your school’s staffroom would be a place buzzing with activity. By having teacher success stories being discussed in the classroom, teachers would become more aware about what a certain teacher is doing to up her practice, and they would be inspired to work towards improving their own skills.
Development of a Feedback system
By having senior teachers mentor other teachers on various facets of teaching from tips to increase classroom engagement to building rapport with students, this would help put in place a periodic review system. This would help teachers to engage and discuss improved techniques on campus which would ultimately benefit the students learning. A positive reinforcement technique when implemented at the ground level, would transform the learning environment of your school.
By adopting training programs with positive reinforcement systems in place, your teachers will not only be able to mentor your students better but also contribute to the overall learning community on campus.
To learn more about how you can make a positive change in your Teacher Training program