Why invest in teacher training?
The key to bringing about positive change in rural Himalayan schools is
improved teaching standards.
First Steps Himalaya invests in training local teachers in modern professional teaching methods, appropriate to the children and their culture.
Our effective, hands on teacher training courses support the long term professional development of teachers. Over time, they become trained in innovative and contemporary pedagogical methodologies. They are able to deliver effective learning outcomes for primary children under their care. A great teacher can encourage a love of learning in children.
The First Steps training programme has been carefully designed by a specialist education team to ensure it is culturally appropriate for success in rural village schools. Training aims to improve teachers’ skills, motivation, enthusiasm and creativity and to foster positive teacher- student relationships,
A school is only four walls until there is quality teaching inside.
Teachers return to their schools with a range of ideas and activities that can easily be implemented in the classroom. Following initial training, a series of five-day follow on workshops are held at six monthly intervals. These are designed to build on teachers skills and support long term success.
The Contemporary practice in teaching and learning training is a practical course for teachers divided into a series of eight multi-day training workshops. Workshops introduce teachers to basic concepts, then provide practical activities which can bring these concepts to life in the teachers' own classrooms. It is intended that teachers progress through the increasingly complex training over a number of years.
Each multi-day training workshop is divided into themes that run throughout the entire training course. Each theme is presented as a basket or doko (the Nepali word for basket) of knowledge.
The robust curriculum covers key areas of contemporary practices in early years education. Before a teacher can successful teach numeracy or literacy, they need a good grasp of behaviour management techniques, the importance of building strong relationships with the children and how to create a nurturing classroom.
The curriculum areas covered are:
creating a child-friendly classroom positive behaviour management teaching literacy
active movement in the classroom celebrating creativity and culture
First Steps Himalaya trainers take the teachers through the key concepts of each doko using a presentation in Nepali illustrated with photographs of what can be achieved in a Nepali classroom.
Teachers participate in practical activities relating to each doko and create resources they can use in their own classrooms. There is plenty of time for
questions and reflection. As trainees move from one stage to the next, revision of what was learnt previously is incorporated.
Conclusions & Recommendations
The training was a huge success. Jugal School sent 7 participants who were all actively engaged. There were also two teachers each from Siddharta and Sundaradevi schools and one from Singha Devi School. Five other teachers from schools nearby to Siddharta school also participated with great enthusiasm. The remaining slots were filled by teachers at First Steps Nepal project schools in Sindhupalchok.
This was the first time that the trainees had followed the new 'doko' style training which has been developed over the last two years. The training style was well received by the trainees as the photographic illustrations in the presentations make it easier to understand concepts in a Nepal setting. Presentations on doko themes were supplemented by numerous hands on activities which were fun and greatly enjoyed by the participants.
Director, Durga Aran will make monitoring visits to the In Your Hands schools in December/ January and will also visit the new schools that sent trainees at the last minute. It will be interesting to see if they have adopted the new methods and whether there is potential for future support.
The In Your Hands Team U.K. would like to offer our sincere thanks to the team from First Steps Himalaya. We genuinely believe in using local training solutions but we could not have dreamed of having such a professional, ethical and genuine bunch of people building a training centre where they are needed most. Thank you.
Thanks also to the teachers who choose to take this opportunity. It is not obligatory. They leave their families for the week and have put in so much effort. We are proud to support such enthusiasm for education children.
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