I get regular coaching from teachers who watch my lessons

5 October 2019

To mark United Nations World Teachers Day, teachers around the world are sharing their stories of growth and transformation, despite working in challenging environments. Teacher Madhavi shares her story of professional development in India, as part of the campaign #TeachersTransformLives.

Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world, but often teachers working where they are most needed have little help, training or support. In countries, like India, teachers can often be left isolated and unsupported in impoverished communities. Often they have few teaching resources and may struggle to understand the content they teach. Despite this they are expected to improve learning outcomes and lay the foundation for the prosperity of both their communities and their nation It doesn’t have to be like this, with the right training, materials and support all teachers – like Madhavi – can be empowered to succeed no matter where they live.

Here is Madhavi’s story

I’ve been working as a teacher in many places and always I want the best for my pupils. For four years, I have been teaching in the Telaprolu Academy and it has been a different experience. I believe that I have been able to help pupils improve academically and socially more than anywhere else I’ve taught. A large part of this is due to the ongoing support I have had from my academy manager and all school staff. They all want to help me be a better teacher and improve; when i am better the children are better – you can see it.

Teaching has always been a passion of mine, ever since I was a child. When I was a young pupil in school, I could see the hard work that some of my teachers put in all because they wanted me to succeed. I am happy that I can now have a similar impact on my pupils. I hope that can see what I saw as a child.

The help and support from my school leader, as well as other teachers in the school has improved my teaching a lot. Previously, I had nobody to give me feedback on my lessons, to tell me if they are good or not and I had no one to show me how to improve my teaching. I want to be a good teacher and get better and better; it is not interesting to stay the same. But, before I had to rely on my own feelings and the test scores to know if my teaching was really working and if the children were learning. I was always guessing. 

Now it is all very different.  Through feedback from my academy manager on my lessons, and from other people, I’m learning new things every single week. I think its exciting.

It’s not so difficult but other schools I was teaching in everyone was trying to find a lesson to teach, there was no time. Now, my academy manager comes into my lessons for morning and evening classes. I find this very helpful because if there’s anything that I’m struggling to teach or don’t fully understand, he is happy to go through this with me after the lesson. He cares deeply about education, providing support for all teachers in the school. It inspires me knowing he feels this way. 

The thing that my academy manager is looking for when observing my lessons is that I know how to deliver the lessons. If a teacher can’t effectively deliver lessons, then they will struggle to properly engage with their pupils. He also wants to make sure that I’m on the lookout for pupils who cannot keep up with the lessons, so that I don’t let any of my pupils fall behind. 

The way he gives feedback is through writing down notes throughout the lesson and talking me through his notes after the class has finished. In this process, my academy manager explains areas that he believes I can improve in, and areas where I have done well. This is completely new to me, as I hadn’t received regular feedback from any other staff at my previous school. 

I think, as a result of support and feedback, I have become a stronger teacher. For example, an area of improvement that I was given from my academy manager is time management. He told me that sometimes I might spend a little too long on one topic, leaving less time for others. This is something that I have changed, and have improved in. Its an important part of managing the school day. I was also told that an area that I have excelled in is explaining topics step-by-step in a clear and concise way, so that all pupils in the class can understand.  

Not only do I feel that support and feedback has helped me, but it has also helped my pupils. I can see positive results in my pupils, who seem a lot more intent to learn and excited to be in the classroom. Feedback has allowed me to engage more effectively with all of my pupils, building a more positive relationship.

Overall, I believe that training and feedback from other teachers as well as my school leader has strengthened me but also motivated me to help my pupils to the best of my ability. All feedback helps me as I always know exactly how I can improve in my next lesson and it makes me feel like part of a big family.

To see more teacher testimonies like Madhavi’s and to learn more about the #TeachersTransformLives campaign, to mark UN world Teachers Day please visit: http://bit.ly/34ITkwJ 

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