The first of this year’s TELLAL Teach Best Conferences, held on the last Saturday in January, was an opportunity for all of our pre-service teachers to experience the power of collaborative and peer-led learning in action.
63 of our Teach Best teaching trainees were welcomed by Dr Linda Rush, and our teacher training team, and participated in a full-day conference featuring guest speakers from a range of GEMS schools. Some of the conference attendees were well underway to becoming qualified teachers, having started their teacher training journeys in September of last year, while others, who started in January 2018, were just two weeks into their 10 month teacher training programme.
Although many attendees were relatively new to the field of education, the conference was designed to introduce participants to new ideas in teaching, and set an expectation of constant questioning, improvement and innovation in the classroom, in line with TELLAL’s approach of continual and collaborative learning.
The conference theme, ‘The Language of Learning’ was chosen to emphasis how everything in teaching can be connected to learning. Having all of the conference sessions run by teachers from GEMS schools, illustrated this message beautifully and provided valuable professional learning opportunities for all of the presenters.
Each attendee took part in four conference sessions including a workshop on cultural competence, one focusing on the tools of student engagement, another which explored technologies which enhance teaching and learning, and finally, one which looked at methodologies to activate students’ thinking patterns. A special session on sequential lesson planning was delivered to our Arabic-speaking trainees
Dr LéJon Payne, our Educational Technologies and Pre-service Partnership Manager, was delighted with the conference outcome. “I really enjoyed how the pre-service teachers engaged in their workshops. The teachers were attentive and gave great feedback regarding their learning experience,” she said.
‘The Language of Learning’ was the first instalment of our three annual Teach Best Conferences for pre-service teachers. Collaborative learning and the sharing of new and best practice is the driving force behind this initiative. The next conference, scheduled for March 17th, will focus on Innovation in the 21st Century.