Sheryl Lee Rogers
Senior Manager – Digital Professional Learning & Development
Sheryl is responsible for the design, development and deployment of digital resources and environments that are at the heart of TELLAL’s methodologies.
As the party-popper sprinkle dust settles after the festive period, peoples’ minds inevitably turn to the upcoming year and what the next 12 months might have in store.
Every year obviously holds the opportunity for immense change and evolution, especially here in the UAE and that potential is also true for the educational sector as well. It is essential that we as teachers, leaders and educators consistently look to find better ways to operate and innovate, in order to provide our children with the best possible opportunities for growth and development. Here at TELLAL we aim to provide even more courses to meet the needs of new and existing teachers who wish to focus on self-improvement and expanding their own skill set for the betterment of their classrooms and their educational institutions as a whole.
So as you may be considering your own resolutions to adopt, from your career to losing some unwanted Turkey pounds, we thought we would take a look at what New Year’s Resolutions teachers could be considering and what the industry might be facing as a whole. To that end, we sat down with TELLAL’s Vice President of UAE Operations Christine Nasserghodsi to get her take on 2019 and all things school-related…
I think the biggest change we are, and will be, seeing more and more is around the type of qualifications available. The qualifications sought by schools today are different from the qualifications schools even 5 years ago, with an increasing emphasis on STEM and STEAM education, future fluencies, and using multiple data sources to shape instruction. First Point School, which my children attend, is even offering a course on Cryptology in the upcoming year!
There are five key elements I think teachers should be focusing on in 2019 if they want to excel and expand their development, and that of their students. They are:
At the TELLAL Institute, we focus on High Leverage Teaching Practices from the University of Michigan, such as recognising and sparking student thinking, developing routines, and questioning. These practices maintain their relevance over time and are application across curriculum. We have been in the process of building a series of digital courses on High Leverage Teaching Practices, enabling teachers to see experts at work in planning and leading effective instruction.
It’s not possible to become an expert on everything, so teachers and school leaders should focus on building expertise in contemporary practices that excite them or speak to their values – and then seek the best sources for learning. The good news is that accessing learning has never been easier. I’ve just started a free eight-hour leadership course on Coursera offered by the University of Pennsylvania focused on leading change. The University of California in Irvine offers a course of emerging technology trends in education as well. For a nominal fee, these courses come with certificates for one’s portfolio.
When I first began teaching, networking was primarily with my colleagues as we quickly ate lunch between yard duty and parent phone calls. Conferences and occasional visits to other schools offered a window into new and different practices. Today, I can pop a question onto Twitter or LinkedIn and get responses and suggestions within minutes. If you build a LinkedIn profile, be sure to connect with us at TELLAL.
We’re a little obsessed with Nora Bateson who created the term symmathesy, or the idea of learning within systems. In this sense, we understand that we will never learn the exact same thing as someone else, but that we can be engaged productively in the same learning context with one another. One way in which schools can build this mutual learning context is through engaging in projects like Creating Communities of Innovation by Harvard’s Project Zero in Partnership with TELLAL. Creating Communities of Innovation engages diverse teams across a network in generating design-based, inquiry-driven solutions to school-based challenges.
Today, skills for multi-lateral leadership in education are critical and required by future-ready teachers, middle, senior, and executive leaders, as well as multi-school system leaders. We equip teacher leaders to develop a leadership approach and to be able to effect pedagogical change within their area of influence, whereas we prepare system leaders to positively impact schools at the network level.
Let us know what you think of Christine’s suggestions and share with us your predictions for 2019 and your resolutions that you are hoping to achieve! We’re always around to discuss!
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