As part of our partnership with Gyetighi Primary School, we aim to equip teachers with the best available knowledge and resources to ensure that the 465 students that attend Gyetighi are receiving the education they deserve. Despite being ranked the top school in the Ward, we are always looking to improve and adjust our methods to achieve greater success.
Our latest effort came as a professional development day for all Gyetighi teachers. The session was led by our Education Director, Timothy Kerr, and focused on activating students’ prior knowledge, maximizing student thinking and learning time through “think-peer-share,” and how to meet the needs of a diverse range of learners.
We sat down with Teacher Rozi to hear more about the session, what she learned, and how she hopes to use these new tips and techniques in her classroom.
Ali: When did you start teaching at Gyetighi Primary School? What have you enjoyed most about your experience there?
Rozi: I started teaching at Gyetighi in 2014 at the start of the school year. I have enjoyed it very much. Teaching is my profession, but it is also my hobby. It brings me great joy. I have loved working with the other teachers as well as getting to know the students.
Ali: Recently, all of the teachers met for a professional development day led by Education Director, Timothy Kerr. What did you think about the seminar? Did it meet your expectations?
Rozi: The seminar was excellent. I learned so many things! Tim taught us different approaches, styles, techniques and planning tools to use in the classroom. The day went far beyond what I expected. It wasn’t a day of just lectures, it was so interactive! It was wonderful to be able to learn with my fellow teachers and participate in a big and small group discussion.
Ali: That sounds awesome! Tell me about some of the things you learned.
Rozi: Oh, so many things! I learned how to teach using games, how to better manage time within the classroom, different ways of motivating students, how to teach to different types of learners and how to work as a team with teacher assistants and colleagues – both in and outside of the classroom.
Ali: What are your biggest challenges inside the classroom? Did you learn anything that may help you overcome them?
Rozi: I learned how to work with students who need extra help or those who are constantly misbehaving. When you have many students in your class, it can be very hard to give some individual students the attention they need in the moment. Tim taught us some ways to plan ahead to help either motivate or help those that need extra attention. He taught us how to tailor lesson plans and various methods for motivating students.
Ali: What part of the seminar are you most excited about bringing to your classroom?
Rozi: Tim spent a lot of time working with us on how to approach topics from different angles. I loved brainstorming ways of making my lessons more interactive. On the following Monday I already had kids working together in teams – Team Zebra and Team Lion – on mastering past, present and future tenses for words. By making the lesson a competition between the two teams, kids were not only more engaged, but they were so supportive of each other when they were learning.
Ali: Anything else you would like to share about the training?
Rozi: It is easy as a teacher to stick with lesson plans and approaches that are working. But it is so important that as a teacher I keep learning. It was so wonderful to learn about ways I can improve lesson introduction, time management, and class participation. I was so appreciative of the new approaches. I can’t wait for the next one, I want more!