Part 1 – Entitlement to professional development
Date July 31st, 2021
Sai Sudha Narayanan –Headmistress of the secondary section in Little Angel’s High School, Mumbai
Sneha Singh Shetty – Maths and Science educator in Little Angel’s High School, Mumbai
Kavita Dhumale – English educator in Little Angel’s High School, Mumbai
The session started with Jayshree welcoming some members- who have been associated with Adhyayan COP and have been active participants voluntarily- by appreciating their contribution towards this platform. As the topic chosen was relevant to the needs of educators today, a large number of them attended through Youtube medium besides through the Zoom link.
This time, a new side of community practice was revealed as they helped the teachers of Little Angel’s High School, Mumbai to self-review and change their pedagogy. Understandably, it sounds like extra work to most of the educators as honestly admitted by Sneha Singh and Kavita Dhumale, the champion teachers chosen for a summer workshop by her school to be trained by Adhyayan. They drew everyone’s attention to the significance of framing the learning outcomes as per the verbs mentioned in Bloom’s taxonomy in doable and measurable activities. Initially, the lesson planning along with identifying synchronous and asynchronous tasks seemed like a challenge but it helped them to clarify the thoughts as described by Kavita. The lesson plan is all about organizing one’s ideas and actions within the stipulated time and curricular requirements, prioritizing fewer learning outcomes at a time.
Sneha pointed out a very important part that the students must be made to understand the way the teaching would happen. While implementing the pre-decided plan, flexibility to change, use of interactive tools, feedback from students, and trying various methods and seeing what works best for them need to be focused upon. In response to Kavita’s search for a tech tool that can be handled by each child in her class, educators- in-attendance suggested a large number of tools in the chatbox that they found useful in their respective classrooms. Narrating their initial hiccups in engaging students as per plan, Sneha suggested asking explicit and then implicit questions to help build confidence to interact freely without the fear of being judged. Initially, assessment can start in the presence of the teacher, and later it can be done without her while maintaining records to measure the progress of the class as well as that of individual students. Both teachers admitted that such practices as developed under the gentle guidance of Ms. Neha Chedda and Ms. Jayshree Iyer of Adhyayan did bring change in their thought process as well as in the transaction of their classroom activities. Internalizing the process of reflective teaching and using it in all subjects without spoon-feeding became part of their teaching practice. Kavita summarized it beautifully, “ Learning during the process is very powerful”.
Sai Sudha discussed at length with the timeline, the role of Adhyayan in helping them to self-review and carrying out CPD for pre-primary and primary sections. As Corona started and classes went in online mode, the new needs to provide training to the in-service teachers for their professional growth were addressed accordingly. The story of their journey with Adhyayan Is quite impressive as to see how the finer detailing had been taken care of in terms of keeping the parents informed, checking the lesson plans, observation of classes, measuring the progress of students, and so on. Planning for all teachers who may not be able to take prolonged CPD was done with the help of Adhyayan by identifying one subject where they made lesson plans as per a template. It was ensured that the new program is working by implementing changes in timetable for teachers and students along with a tracking system in place to aid the school leaders. Such experiences train the school leaders to foresee the next requirement of professional development of the teachers and the ways to address it.
Throughout the session a few thoughts that never left my mind were that changes are part of life; adapting as per the change is the tendency of survivors and those who make an extra effort become the champions as was the case of these two teachers. The support of school leaders like Sai Sudha is exemplary. Adhyayan, like a caring mentor, observes, plans as per their requirements, provides a robust scaffolding to change towards a meaningful school experience!
Jayshree repeating Kavita’s final comment, “students have come out of the textbook and it’s time for the teachers to do the same”, stated two major takeaways from the story of professional development of teachers of this school -Taking one step at a time and systemic changes in the school only can make professional development of teachers a success story.
Eagerly waiting to attend the next part-How do you build a culture of trust and confidence in the Teacher Professional Development program of your school!