Improving The Quality of Elementary Education - in developing countries and India (especially post-RTE); equal learning opportunities for the poor and marginalized; insights gained from processes in India and South Asia. All this adds up to CHANGE - and the material here is meant for those sharing the adventure...
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Five Ideas for Teachers' Day
Teachers' Day is round the corner. Once again, we'll have the same old speeches, boring comments and everyone showing so-called 'respect' for teachers for one day - then it will all be forgotten till the next year comes around again!
For those of us who feel we need to go beyond the usual platitudes, here are a few straightforward suggestions. As always, your responses and further suggestions would be very welcome indeed!
1. Prepare a 'Teacher Strength Chart'
On a chart, put a photo of the teacher (could even be children's drawing) and write down 5 things that you like about the teacher or 5 good qualities the teacher has. (Every teacher has these, just that some of them may not know they have them.) Who should do this? Students / SMC or parents / CRCC or fellow teachers. Keep the chart up for as long as you want.
2. Invite the teachers' families and honour them
Host a function where teachers' parents / spouses / children are invited and honour them along with the teacher. Why? Firstly because if a teacher teaches well, gives a lot of time, and lives up to professional standards, the family has to support the teacher and sometimes even make sacrifices. On the other hand if a teacher doesn't live up to professional standards, the family will... you get the picture! The SMC or the CRCC would obviously have to take the lead in organizing this, with students' help.
3. A special 'sports' session for teachers
Teachers have to be so responsible that they sometimes forget what it is to be a teacher. So how about something that helps them recall the time when they themselves were young. So you could organise a kabaddi or cricket match for teachers, or even races. Other possibilities include a Talent Show (whether teachers get to display their skills such as singing or mimicry) or even a picnic. Once again, the SMC with the students' help and the CRCC's support can easily organize this.
4. Stock the school library with books bought especially for teachers
Ask the teachers what they would like to read - and buy as many of those books for your school library as the budget permits. The CRCC would need to take active lead in this, with guidance from BRC and DIETs/
5. Launch a year-long 'Search for Greatness'
This is a difficult idea, so read carefully! Every teacher and every school can improve and reach a level far better than what it is today. In honour of teachers on Teachers' Day, the SMC and students as well as the CRCC can get together, promise their support and work out how they will improve the school in the year ahead. Together they will discuss what it means for their school to be 'great' (and will not focus on infrastructure but learning processes), identify concrete steps to attain this greatness (see suggestions separately in my blog), and work out a phased implementation plan (see ADEPTS). Teachers will naturally be part of this discussion.
You can build on the School Development Plan and dedicate the effort to teachers (of course, they too would take active part in implementing the plan). Inform the teachers that the successes will be because of them, and shortcomings because they would not have got enough support from us (that is our Teachers' Day gift to teachers). So this would be a year long effort to show our respect to teachers while also working with them to bring about actual improvement. Neat, no?
With some days to go, you can still plan and implement some of these ideas. In the meantime, let me have more suggestions please!