If you are familiar with some of the work we do here at TELLAL, you might well have noticed that we place a lot of emphasis on collaboration and innovation. Our network of partners and trainees spans many countries in the world and a big part of our work lies in being able to support, teach and learn from people with different backgrounds and experiences. In an effort to improve standards and practices for all of our students, you can never pass up the opportunity to find out more about new methodologies and share successful pedagogies. As we have said previously, by working together we can help our students discover their best selves.
As part of this on-going ethos, our very own Jade Peter-Swain, the Executive Principal at Little GEMS International, recently headed out to Egypt to deliver a highly successful Early Years training programme. She presented a series of workshops that were designed to act as a foundation for Early Years knowledge and understanding. This extremely interactive and immersive programme was provided to over 70 teachers from four different schools, a mix of British, French and Arabic language institutions.
The initiative is part of a wider learning opportunity that TELLAL is offering to this selection of schools keen to enhance their training and knowledge for the benefit of their students. Key TELLAL trainers and mentors are taking time out to lend their expertise to an enthusiastic band of teachers, at various stages of their career, to give them the tools with which to expand their skill set and face real-life scenarios with the appropriate knowledge. As with each of the TELLAL team heading out, Jade’s first task was to evaluate the levels of her participants so that she could adapt the programme to best suit their needs. She was able to discover where specific gaps were and make sure to cover those throughout the comprehensive workshops and agenda. During the week-long trip, she conducted workshops on the following areas:
- Child development
- Methods and Approaches in the Early Years
- Health and Safety
- Child Protection and Safeguarding
- Positive Interactions in the Early Years
- Enabling Environments in the Early Years
One of the most common themes that developed was around how to develop and adopt Early Years best practice techniques and how to ‘enable environments’ in every sense; encompassing physical environment, expectations, common values and pedagogical approaches. To help address these concerns, Jade used interactive role plays and discussions based on actual case studies, so that participants could practice specific skills and gain useful feedback that could directly assist them in real life scenarios. The use of games and role play was also a direct reflection of many of the most effective techniques that should be utilised in Early Years teaching. It allowed Jade to demonstrate the value of engaging Early Years students in creativity, discovery and adventure, as well as how crucial this method is to helping them face future learning.
Jade’s focus was very much on the people she was working with and how to inspire them as teachers to develop their own voice to steer development, rather than relying on an ‘expert’. She worked hard to help participants identify their inner potential and build their responsiveness, attentiveness and reciprocity in relations. This was meant to be a series that would become ingrained instead of being recalled and give the teachers room to make the skills their own, not be confined to rigid structures.
Ultimately this trip, which will be followed by a second later this year to offer a more advanced training programme, was an opportunity to provide concrete tools and purposeful methods that these teachers could take back to their classrooms. Jade was able to share with them the benefits of being able to build their own Early Years network, much like the TELLAL Early Years Educators, and the importance of researching literary activities. By instilling these teachers with much needed knowledge and examples, Jade was able to help them grow their Continued Professional & Learning Development, find their own unique voice and the associated strength to rise to the occasion required by their students.
You can read more about how more TELLAL staff got on in Egypt in our #TELLALTravels series. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin to get updates and read the next instalment.