Published: 27th November 2019
Teachers need to be open to change and be adaptable to anything that is new: Bidisha Banerjee, XSEED Education
Bidisha Banerjee, General Manager of XSEED speaks about why teachers must upskill themselves every year
There is certainly a need for children to improve their skills, but how can that happen if teachers don’t upskill themselves first? Bidisha Banerjee, General Manager, XSEED Education, wondered the same thing, "We all know that being a teacher is a thankless job. Nobody will truly value it until you adopt the principles that are applied in other professions and upskilling oneself is an essential tool in the field of teaching. Teachers must upskill themselves every year and implement the same methods in the classroom as well. Only then can one be a successful and model teacher."
Excerpts from the interview:
1. Why is there a need for teachers to upskill themselves?
While there is a set of teachers who have completed their degree in BEd, there is another set who enter the teaching field with different qualifications and pursue BEd through distance education. Both these categories of teachers need to upskill themselves. Having said that, in today's age, it is not the knowledge that matters but the 21st-century skills required to teach today's children. It basically means that one should be able to impart skills like critical thinking, collaborative work, problem-solving and communication among children. These are some of the core reasons why teachers need to upskill themselves.
2. How does XSEED upskill teachers?
Like in other professions where doctors, engineers or lawyers are learning constantly, teachers must also be involved in constant learning. Hence, we provide them with preparatory material which has lesson plans from kindergarten to class VIII. Then, we train the teachers, both offline and online, on the methods of using this material. After teachers are trained, they need to go back to the class and implement it. Apart from this, we train the management to look out for five signs of improvement in teachers after the training and based on this, they can provide them with constructive feedback. Teachers must learn from master trainers and look at experts to pick up the nuances of teaching any subject.
3. What are the five things that teachers must practise in the classroom?
Teachers need to be open to change and be adaptable to anything that is new. They must help children understand the need to learn particular concepts or theories and help them apply those theories practically through experiments. Aspects like giving children time to answer when you throw questions at them, an assessment of each child as to whether they have understood the concepts, learning and implementing time management and classroom management skills, and planning and preparing for the next day's lessons ahead of time are also important.
4. What is the role of a digital platform in upskilling teachers?
Technology has several benefits because it can reach everyone. It can help quality trainers reach out to teachers at all times. It can facilitate high-frequency assessment and feedback. Parents can assess the productivity of the child and give feedback to teachers. This will, in turn, help with finding and addressing flaws. When we learn about such flaws, we can correct them immediately rather than taking action after a year when the results are out. Technology should be made simple and easy to use in the classroom for implementation in the curriculum otherwise teachers might give up using them.