Whenever we think of exchange programs, the picture that comes to mind is of a group of students going to another school or country to engage in an exchange of ideas.
But what if you are thinking of dipping your toes into the world of teachers’ exchange? Teachers from our partner schools at Mantra4Change are showing the way.
On 30 August 2018, Mrs. Shaheena Firoz, School Leader of Shams High School with her two teachers, Ms. Belzia and Mrs. Jasmine visited Sujana Convent. The school leader was looking for ideas to set up a new library for the last couple of months and was feeling constrained because of the paucity of space in her school. As soon as she heard about the success story of the library in Sujana Convent, she approached Mantra’s School Transformation Lead (STL) to plan a visit.
When the STL approached Sujana Convent with the request, School Leader Ms. Divya Lokesh readily accepted and welcomed the teachers from Shams. She took the visitors to the newly set up library and explained the process that they had followed in setting it up.
The visit was a great exposure for teachers from both schools. It was heartening to see everyone willing to share resources and ideas with each other. While Ms. Divya from Sujana Convent shared her experience of setting up a library from scratch, teachers from Shams shared some of their successful classroom practices, such as getting students to write the essence of the stories they read, to understand them better.
Furthermore, Ms. Shaheena also interacted with the teachers of Convent to find out how they use student trackers to track behaviors of students.
“To build capacity, it is important for us to provide our teachers with opportunities like teachers’ exchange trips and visits. This will help them in developing new pedagogy and bringing new perspectives to their classrooms and schools,” said Mrs. Jasmine.
Following the school leadership forum, we have been able to see an increasing trend in these collaborations among teachers across most of our partner schools!
When teachers take their profession outside the confines of their schools and collaborate, it leads to the building of communities of practice. It’s indeed a milestone in our collective mission and we are proud that these teachers took an extra step to provide quality education for their students.