I am a teacher at heart and have been in the education space for more than 3 decades now and the teaching methodology and classroom dynamics have seen a 360 degrees shift.
By Lina Ashar | Co-Founder, Korroboree International Online School| Founder Emeritus: Kangaroo Kids & Billabong High International Schools | Happiness Advocate | Ted X Speaker
When I started teaching in India it was all about a teacher teaching a concept in isolation and there was one-way communication where information was only shared and what we tested children for is whether the child remembers what is being taught or not. Not many looked into the aspect of actual learning and can the child apply the concept in real life.
This was precisely what inspired me to start my own preschool and K-12 chain. I was inspired to change how we teach children and create a space where a child actually learns and understands a concept. I believe each child is different and if they are taught using their learning style, they understand the concept better and retain it for longer. experiential learning also helps children apply their learnings in real-life situations.
With the advancement of technology, the learning space is an exciting space to be in and there are many opportunities available to the young population looking at a career in education. you can choose to be a teacher, counsellor, operations manager of a school, admin head, curriculum planner and more. As per a research done by The Indian brand equity foundation: India has the largest population in the world in the age bracket of 5-24 years with 580 million people, presenting a huge opportunity in the education sector. We have over 250 million school-going students, more than any other country. Applications for the ‘Study In India’ programme increased by 146% in 2021. This data certainly indicates that the education space has a lot of demand for good quality teachers. Provided teachers work on upgrading their skills as the role of a teacher is slowly changing and moving towards becoming a facilitator, a life coach, an instructional designer, and an entrepreneur. Just as we encourage students to be lifelong learners we must encourage teachers to do the same. As we see more teachers upgrade their professional skills, capability and earning capacity, we will encourage more talent in the area of teaching and education.
Become a facilitator, a life coach, an instructional designer, an entrepreneur:
A big change that I have seen happening is that teachers have moved from being just teachers to many more roles like becoming facilitators of learning, a life coach, an instructional designer, and an entrepreneur. However, this move-over is slow and still limited to only the metros. It is the need of the hour to encourage our education system across the country to adopt this upskill, uplearn, updevelop, and upearn capability. Today aspirational teachers have the capability and capacity to learn new skills online. They only need a development coach for guidance with direction.
Training of teachers:
Today things are very different, technology has changed how we teach children, in fact, it has helped us personalise education for each child according to their learning style and their interests. however, what is not changed is how we train teachers to teach in this age of technology and that needs to change. The future is all about technology and teachers need to become comfortable using technology as a medium to impart education. hence the teacher training curriculum should include technology as a subject and teachers should be well versed with the softwares they need to use. Teachers have to be equally comfortable to use technology to empower their own learning.
Look at creative ways of teaching concepts:
Research on how you can integrate subjects to teach a concept. You can teach math using cricket or using the clock so on and so forth. Look at interesting videos and audios or worksheets that make the learning experience fun.
When I look at hiring someone in any position, other than the basic qualifications required, I look at the following:
- Does the candidate understand my vision for learning? Can he/ she embrace this vision?
- Is the candidate a good cultural fit for us?
- Is this candidate creative and is he/she capable of questioning the status quo?
- Is the candidate technology savvy or willing to learn?
- Is the candidate willing to learn whatever is needed to get the work done?
If I see these qualities in a candidate, I hire the person, because I believe in human potential and if the candidate has the correct mindset and heartset, everything else and anything else is learnable.