Teacher Development Programme by IAAT
With an undertaking which envisions education as a holistic process and that all domains of learning have equal importance in the learning process, a rigorous and intensive programme focusing on building capacities of reflective thinking and collaborative learning was organised exclusively for the teachers of Jain International Residential School (JIRS) by the non-profit organisation called I Am A Teacher (IAAT). I Am A Teacher (IAAT) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in the year 2014 with the purpose of building a relevant and rigorous practice-based model for teacher education in the country. The three-day teacher development programme took place on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of November 2022 and all the teachers teaching grades 5 to 10 attended the event.
After brainstorming the expectations from the programme teachers were engaged in a teambuilding activity called Blind Rope. Here, the teachers were divided into two groups. The teachers were blindfolded and were assigned a team task of forming a square out of the given rope. The teachers had to complete the task within the allotted time. Later the teachers reflected on their task involvement, level of satisfaction, and learning from it. The group discussion opened new dimensions of applying learning in their day-to-day activities as well as personal and professional space. The programme helped teachers increase their self-awareness, appreciate their strengths, and identify their weaknesses to work on them.
On day 2, in addition to other activities, teachers had to create a tower using Jenga blocks. Teachers were grouped into small teams of 3-4 members each. They were instructed to estimate the most blocks they might possibly utilise to construct the tower in a single attempt. They were also asked to write a cumulative estimated number for their group. A teacher from each group was then given the same task while being blindfolded. In the end, everyone on the team took part and a record of the blocks used was kept. The estimated scores and the actual scores were contrasted. The teachers then discussed the elements that aided task completion, their feelings during the process, and their personal learning.
A wonderful activity focused on dreams of the past, present, and future was in store for the day. A teacher sketched the outline of the other on a chart as part of a pair activity. Following that, each teacher expressed their dreams in the profile. The teachers were then divided into groups to discuss their goals, hopes, and dreams. Later, they all worked together as a single unit and reflected in accordance with the resource persons' advice. This casting back activity removed numerous coverings, revealing deeper layers of awareness.