Looking at the teachers these days, one feels that they are handling multifarious jobs at various levels. A teacher is seen as a mentor, administrator, a friend, a leader, and a counsellor. While performing all these tasks, they also have to ensure that the students generate results for the schools. After all, the general concept is that the teacher is ‘good’ if her students score well in exams! As a result, all of us expect school teachers to be in the race where they are trying to finish the course, making test papers, checking them and making results. This whole cycle has become so mechanical that one often feels ‘Are we as teachers doing anything to make our learning interesting?’ ‘Are our children actually learning what we have taught them?’ ‘Have we as teachers made any difference in the lives of our students?’ and most importantly “Are we enjoying what we are doing?”
If the answer to any one of the questions is ‘NO’ then it’s time to rethink and evaluate ourselves as a teacher. Keeping this process as the base, I was given an opportunity to conduct teachers’ training in a few schools in Delhi. It was a sincere attempt to polish the inherent knowledge-imparting qualities in the teachers that get suppressed under the loads of work that they are shouldering.
The initial reaction was “Teaching the teachers? I don’t think that is required!” I too agree…one cannot teach the teachers – or anyone for that matter – anything! But these workshops were conducted with the overall objective of improving the learning outcomes for the students by teachers being more impactful in their class. On the day of the training, for the first ten minutes of the session, the teachers were a little restricted and contained. Maybe that was due to the mental block – that they were attending these classes because they were lacking in some way! But as soon as the activities began, the tempo of the class got so high that it was unbelievable, and their energy touched the sky! Each one wanted to outperform the other while trying to deliver the best. What was interesting was that teachers working in groups cooperated with each other, shared responsibility and produced solutions and innovative ideas for all situations. These sessions helped teachers unwind and connect with colleagues and also focus on implementing the learnings in their classrooms. They were able to align their existing knowledge to innovative methods of teaching.
Not only this, but they also learnt how to communicate effectively, how to listen deeply and developed their verbal & non-verbal skills as communicators. They took away techniques to share feedback with students in a meaningful and impactful way. Classroom management techniques were taught where they could have better control over their students while ensuring better learning deliveries. These were conducted through role plays, group activities, extempore, speech deliveries story telling and poetry sessions. Creative teaching techniques were also shared so that they could get better in their work and most importantly ‘enjoy’ their work too!
All in all the teachers felt that these were very engaging sessions that helped them to improve the performance and experiences of the learners.