Reflect and Prepare: Time to Upskill

It’s June, and almost the end of yet another school year in some parts of the world! In addition, many teachers are heading into yet another Covid-19 lockdown. So how can we use this time to reflect on this academic year or what we have achieved despite school closures, and consider how to prepare for when schools open again.

  1. Reflecting over the 2020-2021 academic year.

Over the past 18 months, worldwide, we have been united in our battle against Covid-19, with schools regularly opening and closing as a result of the pandemic. It was in November – over 7 months ago – that in our blog ‘Closing the Covid Gap’, we discussed the complexities and impact of the pandemic on our education systems. It is hard to believe we are still dealing with the same situation today.

Despite this intense pressure and challenge, our Teach2030 teachers have continued to grow. In fact, as part of every course, we encourage keeping a learning portfolio – a record of ongoing professional development.

But, how often do you look back over your entries, including your action plans?

Natukunda Phionah from Uganda shares his action plan below, having completed our ‘Fresh Thinking’ course.

What would I like to improve?  Why?How will I do it?When will I review my action plan?
Ensuring that  21st century skills are emphasised in my practice (the 4cs)  It is important for learners to attain these skills because I have learnt that once students attain them, they are able to thrive in a world, where change is constant and learning never stops.     I will encourage student collaboration by creating study groups for students to do group projects. Nurture students’ communication skills through encouraging ‘presentation making,’ in order to build student confidence. I will also encourage creativity through encouraging new skills; fostering a question-friendly environment, practising generating more ideas; as well as modelling creativity in the classroom. I will teach and emphasise metacognition, as well as using extensive and detailed questions, in order to help students develop into critical thinkers.        Monthly
Thank you to Natukunda Phionah

Teachers have worked hard to upskill themselves this academic year but unless we reflect today, we risk forgetting some of our professional development progress by September.

Now is the perfect time to reward your progress by considering exactly what you have learnt.

  • 2. Preparing for the 2021-2022 academic year or schools opening again post lockdown

Looking back over your learning portfolio, what skills would you still like to develop in your classroom?

Josette Christie, a teacher in Jamaica, outlines her three major targets:

  • Make my classroom more child-centred
  • Allow students to initiate their learning
  • Give quality feedback

So, how do you achieve those goals?

When we return to school, many of us must plan new topics and subjects never taught before, whilst some will teach content from lesson plans already designed. No matter the situation, our reflections (that we have just completed based on our portfolios) have highlighted teaching targets that now need meeting. As teachers, we are always short of time. Whole schools are closed for holidays or pandemic lockdowns, use this time effectively and learn new skills by taking our low cost, personalised Teach2030 courses and attending our free, short, snappy monthly workshops.

This month’s interactive 15 minute session is on Saturday 26th June at 3pm BST, where we will build on ideas about giving feedback effectively by exploring how to praise meaningfully. Attendees of our workshops feel ‘actively involved in the learning process,’ (Tasnim, Somalia), so why not join the conversation with our community today? To sign up, click here.

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