Ready steady move… The pandemic has brought the entire teaching world to an edge where they had to evolve and survive. They have to learn, unlearn many ways in teaching and learning. The trend for online teaching is here to stay as it is flexible and adaptable for the learner as well as the facilitator. It optimises the process of teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation. New teacher and the mentor teacher both need to be technology-driven and focused on solution-oriented teaching and learning.
21st Century Teacher is ready to facilitate and inspire students towards learning and creativity. They are co-creating new learning opportunities for student learning and improvements. It is progressing from the outdated “transmission” model to the “21st-century” model which will involve the entire educational systems to progressive experience.
The teacher is a critical component of the induction of new teachers into the profession. It makes necessary connections between theory and practice, supports the professional and personal growth of beginning for the teachers and provides professional development opportunities for the mentor teacher. This supports in the curriculum transaction from one grade to the next grade. It helps them develop better classroom management skills, stay focused on the teaching profession longer and maintain their initial enthusiasm longer. It improves their personal development and the “know-how” skills. It helps the novice to focus attention on students’ thinking and sense-making and to use information about students’ thinking as a source of feedback on teaching, a way to keep track of children’s learning, and a source of ideas for curriculum development. They help the teacher develop their educational voice and hone their academic blade.
As a Principal, I have observed many teachers experience physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion, especially those who are working in primary classes (where the demands are high, and the challenges are immense). But even in secondary grades, some teachers experience burnout or are simply not satisfied with the way things are going. This is why it is important to mentor new teachers. The hand holding assists new teachers to adapt to the school climate and culture. They also guide the new teachers with curriculum, teaching strategies, and communication skills. The teacher gets guidance on supervision and suggestions for areas of improvements. But sometimes the new teacher undergoes too much pressure and loses interest too. So we need to ensure that mentor gives the new teacher support on methodological and professional expertise. The mentor should be able to diagnose the situation and come up with a potential solution.
A new teacher should accept orientation, instruction, guidance, personal support, and feedback. Peer observation provides them with innovative practices that had been successful with long experience. The exposure breeds new ideas and enthusiasm for the new teacher. Respect is to be earned and they have to mutually accept constructive and reassuring ways to excel at the profession. The teacher needs to skill themselves with patience, collaboration, empathy and challenges.
I see a new promising future for the teacher community if they are willing to support each other and evolve with their knowledge and skills.
Mrs Richa Kumar: Mrs Richa Kumar is the Principal of Rahul International School, Boisar, Maharashtra. As a learner and an educator from past 20 plus years in training, teaching, curriculum designing, content development, administration, counselling, workshops for parents, students and teachers. She has set up and designed academic sessions for student development program and promoting inclusive education in schools. She has designed curriculum for multiple publication hoses and even has a Copyright for her design on ‘Perpetual Motor Skill Development Program for Preschool students.’ Mrs Kumar has many accolades with her name ranging from Education World to Edustar (THT Platform)