The role of a teacher is not always teaching. But the role of a teacher is in two ways. One is to teach and another is to learn constantly. Being a teacher and at the same time, a learner is interrelated as the activities in which educators engage to document, analyze, discuss and share their learning serve the purpose of professional development.
If one has to answer the question, “who is a learner?”, the answer will be that both educators and pupils are teachers and learners. The students teach their teachers through their responses and queries.
Educators are professional learners. To further enhance their skills, knowledge, add innovative techniques in the teaching and learning process, educators have to invest time in learning for themselves. If teachers do not engage themselves in the process of learning, then their knowledge might be stagnant. Teaching to the students and the learning outcome of the students might not be effective enough.
To engage students effectively and innovatively, to make learning interesting and fun in the classroom, the teachers have to hone their teaching skills by learning various methods. CMRNPS believes in the principle of lifelong learning for educators. To aid and add this significant step in teaching and learning, CMRNPS provides and guides the educators with multiple sessions on professional development throughout the academic year.
The PDI sessions, as it is called in abbreviated form profess the process in which the teaching can be introduced, engaged, organized, and reflected. The sessions are held regularly to equip, engage and empower the teaching community. The Educator’s Toolkit is based on six pillars that are, curriculum, culture, instruction, assessment, environment, the professional practice. It provides extensive knowledge on various strategies to introduce, engage, and reflect by the students on any new concept that they are learning.
To give an overview of the way various tools are introduced, we can have a look at the given description.
For activities to introduce a concept or idea we have an Entry ticket, Do now, Put on your thinking cap. ‘Do now’ is the tool that I use regularly in my classes. I prepare a quiz on quiziz or word wall on the topics that were taught previously. It consists of 5 to10 questions. The first 10 minutes are dedicated to Do Now. It helps me to connect or bridge the gap between what the students already know and what is going to be taught on that particular day.
For the activities to Engage the students and Explore the concepts that they are going to learn we have Reading Jigsaw, Think-Pair-Share, Turn and Talk. Roundtable Discussion, and Put on your thinking cap. To engage students on the topic, I use the Tool put on your thinking cap. Students will be asked a question, given 3 to 5 minutes to think about it. Students will be asked to share their responses through a discussion forum or sometimes orally. This tool helps in developing curiosity in students and looks forward to knowing more about the concept or topic.
Several Tools are available for organizing and reflecting on what the students have gained knowledge which includes 3-2-1, I used to think but now I think/know, Parking lot, Exit Ticket, See-Think-wonder, KWL, Gallery Walk and, Concept map. I use a 3-2-1 summarizer as it helps the students to think and reflect on what they understood about the topic and I also can understand what is not clear to the students.
Apart from the learning area PDI sessions, there are a lot of sessions held for the benefit of the teachers on their professional development. It includes the Power of Questioning, Note making, Time Management to name a few.
Each session is well planned and executed innovatively. The sessions have brainstorming activities triggering curiosity in teachers. Towards the end of each session, a task is given to accomplish. This helps the teachers to engage, think and reflect on their learnings.
The teachers of CMRNPS are motivated to use the skills not only in classrooms but also in their day-to-day professional life.
As the saying goes, Life Never Stops Teaching, Teachers never stop learning.