#TELLALTravels – HLTP in Egypt

As part of our on-going #TELLALTravels series we are taking a closer look at the work our staff has been doing with international schools. Not only do these excursions allow us to offer vital training programmes to a wider audience and promote educational excellence, they also provide an opportunity for us to broaden our understanding of international teaching practices and grow our diverse network of resources.  When we are able to partner with and collaborate with teachers from all walks of life, it allows everyone to develop their individual skills and share crucial knowledge that could expand our potential for training excellence. 

So far we have seen Jade Peter-Swain share her experience and training with Early Years Teachers and Abdelfatah Ghozlan’s work on Arabic Teacher Training; this week we chatted to Sheryl Rogers about her experience with exporting High Leverage Teaching Practices to schools in Egypt. 

Conducted over two days, Sheryl’s workshops were delivered to over 30 teachers from two different schools across Egypt.  Given the value of this programme, this select group was curated specifically to include more experienced teachers who have the potential to, or currently are, mentoring others.  This way, those who attended could play an active role in not only sharing the benefits of the programme, but help to shape the way in which it is delivered and take into account the nuances of their own educational system and institutions.  By delivering the workshop in a face-to-face manner, Sheryl points out how “we are able to unpack the content in more detail, gauge reactions and tailor the programme and online modules to best suit their needs.”

You may have read our recent article about piloting High Leverage Teaching Practices in the region, but if you haven’t here is a little insight into what this pivotal endeavour entails.  High leverage teaching practices are designed to foster fundamental capabilities critical to enhanced teaching.  Able to be used across all subject areas and grade levels, these high leverage practices will not only advance teacher skills, they will transform the way in which teachers support students’ social and emotional development.   

The course Sheryl outlined in Egypt first allowed participants to explore their own notioons of practices they considered to be ‘high leverage’. They then mapped those ideas to the 19 identified HLPs that have been distilled from the ‘measures of effective practice’ research conducted in the USA.  From this stand point the group was able to identify areas in which high leverage teaching practices could be extremely effective in their schools and classrooms.   The key set of competencies covered was centred on ‘meeting student needs’; a crucial learning tool in advancing the effectiveness of our teaching methodologies. The first competency related to ‘leveraging student backgrounds’ and how students’ cultural, religious, family and personal experiences will shape the way they learn and therefore how these traits should be utilised to improve instruction.  They then looked at how teachers must strive to provide differentiated and inclusive lessons that accommodate the needs and skills of their diverse classrooms.  The third competency looked at how powerful ‘giving responsive feedback’ can be to effective learning and subject retention. Finally they looked at how versatility is vital for teachers to improve their performance and the importance of ‘adjusting instruction to respond to student needs’; not all lessons go to plan and the teacher who can respond and adjust in those situations will always offer a greater level of support to their students. 

Altogether the feedback on the sessions was incredibly positive with many participants commenting on how the information had changed their perspective on teaching methodologies and provided useful roadmaps on how to enhance the educational quality of their lessons and their schools.  Since professional learning is a process not an event, the joint practice development used in the HLPs is ideal for promoting self development from within the school system.  The mentoring of the practices removes the stigma that another person is an expert and instead builds communities of learning that encourage trainees to gather insight into ‘next practice’ rather than ‘best practice’. The experienced audience relished the opportunity to share their experiences and insights, as well as the chance to tailor a more bespoke programme for those they would mentor. We look forward to seeing the results of their hard work in the months to come!

You can read more about how more TELLAL staff got on in Egypt in our #TELLALTravels series.  If you would like to find out more about the high leverage teaching practices programme you can contact Sheryl Rogers at sheryl.rogers@tellalinstitute.com.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin to get updates and read the next instalment. 

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