Education is part and parcel of our life. It enables us to explore new horizons of knowledge that exists in the world. When we hear the word culture, the image of schools, colleges, or universities pops up. We have institutions providing education in different fields. We all grew up studying in classrooms with face to face interactions with our teachers and peers. Our teachers were training new teachers by holding a meeting and conferences. The conventional way of teaching was face to face daily interaction. Parents were getting updates about their child’s progress and were in coordination with school management.
Although the world is undergoing a tremendous change and is experiencing it for the first time, the necessary activities are still running. It took months to accept this new norm as no one has imagined a change in such a novel way. Every organization had to sit back and review their strategies to make them adaptable in the current situation. Businesses started to work from home, but it was a significant challenge for educational institutes to adapt to this work from the home strategy. No one has imagined teaching in such a way where there was no interaction but screens.
Initially, it was not a workable idea as the primary task was to get students to concentrate on what the teacher is teaching on the screen. Parents were also having issues in arranging a distraction-free learning environment for their kids, and the teacher was new to distance teaching. Flexible and robust education policy is not less than an asset for any country.
To design a marvelous education policy, the government offers job opportunities to people who have studied education policy in a masters program to execute the task. Are you are a mentor and have teachers to train? Follow these tips to train teachers for distance teaching.
Whether you are training face to face in a school set up or teaching online to your novice teachers, the most important thing is regular communication. New teachers often have low self-esteem, which affects their self-efficacy to perform better. Ever since the world is facing a new norm of social distancing, the teaching and teacher’s training is now revolving around videoconferencing. As a mentor, you can schedule weekly online and real-time meetings with your mentees, answer their queries, refer to resource material, and take feedback on teaching practices.
Have planned interactions
Thanks to technology and accessible communication, you can talk to your colleagues and teachers at any time of day. In school set up, there are weekly coordination meetings for every subject. You can do the same in the present scenario, but on a digital platform. Do not leave your session to one-time interaction only. Plan them every week and be consistent. The day and time might differ based on your location and time zone, but always try to keep up with the weekly sessions. These interactions allow you to provide timely support, give reflective feedback, and meaningful advice.
Even if you do not have face-to-face interactions with your mentees, you can still teach and guide them. You can plan virtual lessons to utilize the opportunity to model lessons for your mentees, teach them skills, and join their experiences to observe their way of teaching. You can have a question and answers session online where you can ask about problems faced by them during the lesson, or what were the outcomes of their planned strategies.
Speed up your mentees
The day to day teaching and learning practices are different now; you cannot utilize those 45 minutes of a lesson on a secluded building. With online education, there are multiple distractions around, both for students and teachers. Guide your teachers about digital resources that are applicable in their district. Allow them to run the virtual classroom with you as students before reaching out to students. Provide them a clear picture of what assessments and assignments will look digitally. You can also refer them to some online communities that share useful tips and techniques for distance learning.
Since you are shouldering the responsibility of training your teachers, you need to plan proactively and ahead. Do not burden yourself and use helping hands. You can reach out to your experienced teachers who have years of experience to guide new teachers. Schedule training sessions with librarians, math, reading, and science teachers to share tips with the young teachers to assist them in distance teaching.
Be open to help
Many young teachers are often scared or confused to ask a question about what is bothering them. They often expect a senior to guide them. If you give them the impression that you are not willing to help as a mentor, they will instead make more mistakes than working as per your requirements. Leave your door open for them and ensure that you are always available to guide them whenever they need it. Offering help will build their self-esteem and improve their work performance.
Do not let young teachers depend on you all the time; empower them by having enough trust in their strategies. Let them be the masters of their domain and keep guiding them. Once a teacher feels that he or she has the confidence of their leaders, they are more likely to perform enthusiastically and will adopt new techniques.
We cannot stop teaching our kids, but we can surely find ways to cope with changing times. Distance teaching and learning is a new practice. In the beginning, we will face issues, but with time we will overcome barriers by training our teachers and being there to guide them simultaneously and appreciating their efforts.