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11 Ways In Which You Can Achieve Excellence In Teacher Training

Keeping pace with the changing environment, many schools and other educational institutes have started offering various teacher training courses.

Abrupt school closure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in a particularly testing situation for the education sector. While students have been sequestered at home, the challenge for teachers has been to hit the ground running while delivering continuity of learning to their students virtually. Most teachers have had to undergo training so that they can adapt to virtual classrooms.

Keeping pace with the changing environment, many schools and other educational institutes have started offering various teacher training courses. These courses enable teachers to continue to provide quality learning through means other than classroom teaching.

Here are 11 ways of achieving excellence in teaching training.

1. Assessment of the needs is essential - Before planning the training program, it is imperative to understand the teachers' authentic requirements and challenges so that the course content can address their particular needs. 

2. A blended format works best - Finding a balance between synchronous and asynchronous teaching is important so that the participants can also learn in their own time through pre-reading, video tutorials, discussion prompts, assignments and resources. 

3. Synchronous time should be short - The teachers are already teaching online usually till 3 or 4 pm every day and have limited time. Shorter synchronous lessons provide them with flexibility in time management. Ideally, synchronous time should be a maximum of 1.5 to 2 hours a day. 

4. Shorter courses are more popular - The teachers know that with shorter courses they do not have to invest a lot of precious time but they can acquire takeaways on what they should explore further. 

5. Simplicity aids faster learning - It is best to use simple vocabulary to address the authentic needs of the teachers and ensure the content is relevant, engaging, and informative. 

6. Practicums make more sense - Teachers need practical strategies to improve their own practice of teaching specific to their classroom context. They appreciate practical, hands-on learning during sessions – they want to know how it's done -- leaving them to explore the theory (the why and what) during their own time. 

7. 24X7 support is appreciated. An asynchronous platform with round-the-clock support and help, where they can find instant answers to their queries and questions, finds popularity with teachers.

8. Demonstrating through examples goes a long way. It is important to emphasize demonstrated pedagogical practices and harvesting of strategies used during the sessions at the end. One of the most popular sections of the teacher training program is a demonstration of how teachers can convert their classroom lesson plans into virtual lesson plans.

9. Facilitators must be experienced practitioners.  It is important to have expert educators who are experienced in the virtual classroom tools and practices themselves and can provide effective mentoring and support to participants. 

10. Course content should include assessment models.  Incorporate tools into the course content that allow participants to assess their pace of learning and knowledge against rubrics; polls and quizzes are appreciated. 

11. Use feedback to constantly improve. Participant feedback is a great way to understand what the course delivers well and areas that need improvement. Constantly use feedback to make adjustments and align with participant needs.

In the wake of COVID-19, the response to the Certificate Program in Virtual Teaching has been universally positive and it is gaining traction through word-of-mouth appreciation. The programs offered by the leading schools have added value to the participants and can be attributed to the fact that it is interactive and finely balances between synchronous and asynchronous formats as well as research and hands-on practicum.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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