Archive for the ‘Teacher Training’ Category

The Team Teaching Spirit!

RDF schools follow a unique system of evaluating the efficacy of its teaching and learning practices. Teachers from RDF schools visit another RDF school in order to observe, review and provide feedback, including sharing teaching challenges and better teaching methods. This method allows teachers from different schools to share their experiences, take advice and feedback from each other and in the process, empower themselves.

KS Senior School teacher being observed by MS team

In November, teachers from Matendla School in Siddipet district visited Kalleda School in Warangal Rural district. The Matendla team observed all classes in Primary and High School, Sports and Co-curricular activities. The observations gave them the opportunity to appreciate how the activities are being conducted in Kalleda and compare them to academic and non academic activities in Matendla School. There was also an open discussion about the gaps that were observed and how to go about mitigating them.

Primary class being observed

MS team observing a KS Computer class

This open and transparent system of internal visits and monitoring helps teachers take responsibility for their own work, share best practices and more importantly, work together towards the common goal of enriching the teaching and learning environment in all RDF schools, so that students receive the maximum benefits and impact of high quality teaching.

It also allows them to reflect together on the goals of teaching and the importance and role of the teacher in providing a rich and nurturing environment to children, such that they can learn to their best potential. We are very proud of this team spirit that exists between teachers of the 4 RDF schools and can see how this culture uplifts the teachers’ own experience and the students too!

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Schools of Care

An atmosphere of care and support can work wonders in a child’s life. When children face challenges and constraints in their personal lives, receiving encouragement from people who care about their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing really helps to build some self esteem and confidence in the children. We are very proud that the team at the Mandal Parishad Primary School and Zilla Parishad High School, Bahadurally is doing precisely that. A partnership between RDF and Tech Mahindra Foundation to improve the education quality in the school has led to teacher training for the staff to not only build academic quality, but also understand child behavior and inculcate an atmosphere of nurture and learning.

Sushmita, currently a Class 3 student in the Mandal Parishal Primary School, Bahadurapally, moved from Nepal to India in order to work and make a better life for themselves. Missing her life and friends in Nepal, Susmita felt lonely and cried a lot. She wouldn’t not participate in class or mingle with other children during extracurricular activities. She was unkempt and distressed.

The teachers took special interest in her, treating her with a lot of love, patience and kindness. They helped her mingle with her classmates, encouraged her to play sports and games and hand held her in her studies.

Slowly, everyone noticed a transformation in her. She started smiling, began taking interest in her classes, started to make friends, sharing her lunch with them and offered to help teachers and students. Susmita continues to need support and her teachers and classmates give a lot of attention and affection to her, thus helping her to develop herself.

Simhachalam, a student of Class 6 in ZPHS lost his parents as a child and was put in the care of the orphanage ‘Kutumbam’ in Bahadurapally village. He loves sports and has an innate athleticism. This ability was noticed by the Physical Education Teacher at ZPHS who took him under his wing to train him. He has been participating at the school level and is being groomed to participate in the Mandal level games. The orphanage also has a sports trainer, so Simhachalam is really enjoying all this time spent playing his favourite sports of Kabaddi and Kho-Kho. “I love to play and look forward to our sports period. When we play, everyone is treated equally and only our talent in playing the sport is considered by our PET”, he says. His ambition is to join the Army. “I workout daily to keep myself physically fit. I run, walk and do exercises everyday because I know that to be in the Army, I need to be fit and have mental and physical stamina.” The school provides special snacks to students who are training in sports and he feels that the snacks and meals provided by the school give him the required stamina and health as they are high in nutrition and healthy. We really hope that Simhachalam realizes his dream of becoming a good sportsperson and join the Army when he is older.

We are very proud of the efforts of all the teachers who understand students’ situations and are able to make a difference in their lives. Thank you to the MPPS and ZPHS team, for once again caring for all the children, allowing them to blossom in their own, unique way.

The Joy of Learning

Children crammed into a classroom for 7 to 8 hours a day, memorizing their lessons is not exactly a picture of fun filled and joyous learning, is it? Imagine active and exuberant 4 to 5 year olds being made to sit or stand for hours on end. Young children have a natural curiosity to explore, to play and to run around. Many schools cannot provide an environment conducive to the natural nature of young children. But the RDF environment is very different!

RDF recognizes the natural drive and ability of young children, so the teachers are trained to work with these natural abilities in order to help them learn. This method of ‘activity based learning’ or ‘playway’ method has created fun filled classrooms for RDF’s young learners.

In Redlawada School, kids learn English and rhymes through songs and stories. Toys and other playthings become characters in a short play or story; the teacher and children together weave a wonderful story, adding songs and rhymes to bring the story to life. Rhymes are learnt with actions, music or play and games too! When kids are having so much fun, time just flies!

These activity based methods have been proven to show that children can retain content easily. Instead of making them undergo the stress of memorizing, having fun and play makes them retain what they need to learn effortlessly! Parents too are happy to see their children learn new things and develop themselves in this manner. The teachers too feel creative and engaged with such teaching methods.

We are very proud of the efforts of our teachers who take the time to creative engaging and meaningful lessons for these young kids, keeping their needs in mind. We admire their own playfulness and patience! As always, it’s always lovely to see the smiling, happy faces of the little ones!

Making Time for Teachers

Investing time and effort into carefully thought out training and development programs for RDF teachers has been the bedrock of RDF’s education philosophy. Kalleda School teachers have been feeling really gratified with various programs to enhance their professional teaching skills.

Visitors from the Krishnamurty Foundation

Members of the Krishnamurthy Education Foundation Trust – Mr. Kishore Khairnadh, Mrs. Kalyani Kishore, Mr. Subhash and Mrs. Anjana recently visited the school. They teachers and students enthusiastically put up their Science work and these exhibits led to animated conversations between the children and the visitors! They also spent time in Primary and High School classes, interacting with children and observing classes. They spoke at length with Class 10 students about the Board examinations and preparations for their onward educational journey.

They conducted an orientation program for teachers, giving them advice and strategies to enhance their skills. A big thank you to the Krishnamurthy Trust members for encouraging our teachers!

A demo class in progress

In another program – as part of their in-school training and development, teachers conducted demo lessons for feedback and improvement. This kind of peer sharing has worked very well for the teachers, who feel that it brings immense value to their teaching practice.

For the RDF family, it is lovely to see how selflessly the teachers support each other!

The Science of Creativity!

Dr. Seuss, the famous children’s author said in one of his books – “Think left and think right, think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up, if only you try!”

Trying is definitely something that RDF children do a lot of! Coming from lives filled with difficulties and financial deprivation, RDF schools open up a rich learning ground in which they soak up everything they are exposed to – and the exposure is carefully curated by caring teachers who want the very best for these children.

Science and its wonderful world of experiments gets everyone excited! Students at Rollakal School have been blossoming under the guidance of their Science teachers. The teachers who come from similar background as the children understand the importance of quality and creative learning. They too are sent for several training programs in order to enhance teaching methods. This then allows them to think about creative ways of teaching. 

Science experiments have been a great way to understand Science concepts that would be too complex to understand theoretically. RDF has gone through a lot of effort to equip each school with a Science lab in order to expose children to learning visually and experientially.

The most recent experiments that the Rollakal children have been exploring are photosynthesis, understanding the root system, learning about the mechanism and biology of human breathing etc. Though the Science lab is equipped with a lot of material to aid conceptual understanding, the staff also ensures that students use recycled materials in order for the experiments to be as green and cost effective as possible!

We are very proud of the efforts of our staff to ensure that children learn in a fun environment. We are also proud of the children who keep their scientific enquiry alive through enthusiastically engaging with their own learning!

Empowering Primary Teachers

The dedication of RDF teachers is a singular cause for the development of RDF schools over its two decades in rural education. There exists a wonderful ecosystem within each school of providing personal and professional training to teachers, thus inspiring teachers to give their best to their classrooms and the children, along with their inherent determination to put in the work required to better the lives of rural children through engaging and innovative classroom practices.

Demo of inventive child centric activities

Having motivated teachers, who benefit from a caring and supportive school environment goes a very long way in providing a enriched environment in which children can thrive and learn. Therefore, ongoing teacher training remains a prime focus.

Interaction with IPPTA facilitators

With this focus, Primary teachers were sent of a training program organized by the Integrated Pre-school Training Academy in Hyderabad. This was conducted for pre-primary and Primary level teachers to understand pedagogical techniques.  4 teachers from Kalleda School, 2 teachers from Redlawada and two teachers from Rollakal attended this event in order to better their teaching practice.

The teachers learnt several methods such as using rhymes, stories, playway method and preparation of teaching and learning materials for English, Maths and EVS from IPPTA facilitators. This helped the teachers understand engaging and fun way to teach their classes, helping children learn in an active and fun environment. Such activities also build rapport between teachers and students, which also plays a crucial role in student responsiveness, helping them learn better.

The teachers came away brimming with new ideas on how to deepen their own learning and deepen student learning too!

Nurturing inborn talent

Nurturing innate talent in children is crucial to developing not just their unique talent and evolving that talent into a skill, but it also helps greatly in making a child feel nurtured. This allows them to believe in themselves and their abilities, a trait that is very necessary in life.

RDF teachers are provided ongoing in various classroom methodologies, one of them being ‘Multiple Intelligence’. Each child displays their own way of learning and also has varied interests. Therefore they learn differently too, based on the particular intelligence that is dominant in them. This could be musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. While it can be challenging to identify 1 particular intelligence or inborn ability, when teachers engage mindfully with children and observe them closely, it is easy to see their unique abilities.

The RDF Redlawada School has shared stories about some of their students, which we would like to share with our readers. These stories highlight how each student’s inborn intelligence is being nurtured and encouraged by their teachers.

  1. Motivated to learn writing numbers on his own!

    Motivated to learn writing numbers on his own!

    Sai is a very bright student in his class. He is an LKG student. He is a very self motivated learner, learning words and numbers very fast. He always wants to be at the top of the class and really pushes himself to learn more that what in taught in class in a given day. At this young age, he is also helpful and assists his classmates with their school activities! At this young age, Sai already shows interpersonal skills and intrapersonal skills. These natural gifts need to be encouraged as he is self directed and a natural leader.

  1. Rahul, firmly focused on his volleyball goals

    Rahul, firmly focused on his volleyball goals

    B. Rahul is in Class 6. He is passionate about volleyball. He comes to school early and leaves after regular school hours, because he wants to practice the sports to the best of his ability. He has set himself a goal of reaching the State and National levels and become a very good Volleyball player. Rahul also shows intrapersonal skills by having a clear focus on his future and what he needs to do in the present to achieve his goal. This kind of clarity is something that even adults can struggle with!

  1. Soujanya, the storyteller, in action!

    Soujanya, the storyteller, in action!

    D. Soujanya is in UKG. She has a unique gift of storytelling. Not content with just learning rhymes, Soujanya improvises her own actions with each rhyme! It is wonderful to see her interpretations of poems and engaging so enthusiastically with what is being taught! Soujanya has both verbal-linguistic and musical-rhythmic intelligence.

We believe if each child’s unique talent and skill is nurtured, that this will give them the assurance and confidence of being productive in whatever they choose to take up later in their lives.