Rama Mavuri has 18+ years of experience in early childhood education. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education, a Diploma in Montessori Teaching, a Post Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Business Administration and English. Her research interests include the relation between teaching–learning, assessment processes and curriculum practices with special emphasis on early childhood education.
Education is one of the key factors in ensuring that the youth acquires the knowledge, capacities and skills to be future-ready. In imparting education and shaping the future of a student, a teacher plays the most vital role. It is believed that a good teacher has the potential to make a positive difference in a child’s life. While we emphasise the role of teachers in imparting quality education, most often we overlook the contributions made by principals. Without a doubt, principals have a lot of influence on the beliefs and practices of their teachers. They set the direction and expectations for developing a better learning environment in the school. Principals put their knowledge and experience into practice to create, support and improve the learning environment for everyone in their schools.
However, there are several obstacles that prevent teachers and principals from realising their true potential. Lack of training is one of the major obstacles. As a result of this, teachers and principals are unable to contribute to systemic educational reform and school improvement focused on enhancing the learning outcomes of students. For teachers to develop a deeper understanding of their work and the best teaching-learning practices, it is essential to provide them with training. Teachers and principals provided with proper training supported by up-to-date information and new research on classroom management, emerging technology tools for the classroom and new curriculum resources will be better equipped to foster a 21st-century learning environment.
The major areas where teacher-principal training creates a substantial impact are the learning environment, curriculum planning and assessment of outcomes.
The following are a few advantages of teacher-principal training:
Promotes innovative pedagogy: Efficient training facilitates consistent planning of curriculum across multiple courses. It also helps in monitoring the progress that a teacher makes in completing the curriculum. Training also empowers principals to guide teachers on improving lesson plans and instructional designs by incorporating 21st-century skills. They become equipped to support teachers in implementing the curriculum and transforming the teaching-learning process by continually improving the quality of education being delivered.
Enables effective management of teachers and support staff: Training enables principals to efficiently manage the staff, guide them on various operations and encourage parent-teacher engagement. It prepares principals by exposing them to the challenges in the education sector.
Ensures regular monitoring of students’ performance: Trained teachers and principals are better equipped to track the progress of students on learning goals/outcomes and implement competency-based education.
Facilitates the holistic development of teachers: Training not only focuses on improving the education system but also enhances teachers’ skills and ability to manage students of varied capabilities. It helps teachers get acquainted with the latest technology and attain robust competencies and skills like classroom management, time management, expertise in pedagogy and context, etc. to perform efficiently. Regular training, certifications and academic achievements motivate teachers to learn and grow professionally. This, in turn, is beneficial for building a better learning environment and fostering 21st-century pedagogy.
Guides and supports effective counselling of students: For our education system to be effective, teachers and principals need to focus on the overall development of students. It is important that they motivate and support students with the required guidance. Effective training expands educators’ horizons and they become well equipped to answer all the queries raised by students and guide them in all aspects.
Streamlines formulation and implementation policies: Principals play a vital role in deciding and implementing various policies, rules and regulations, which in turn accelerates school operations. The training sessions educate principals on various educational policies and latest developments so that they become an active participant in formulating and implementing them.
The World Development Report On Education (2018) states that educator skills and motivation both matter and that equipping teachers and principals with regular and individually-targeted training is one of the most important steps in achieving learning improvements. Training can thus be seen as an enhancement that upgrades the skills, knowledge and overall turnaround of teachers and principals. Therefore, training should be a continuous activity rather than an annual event to keep teachers and principals up to date on the most current concepts, thinking and research in their field. It should also promote professional growth among teachers and principals in order to promote excellent and effective learning environments for students. The positive effects of training have led many schools to conduct regular training sessions for teachers. The CBSE’s decision to make teacher training mandatory for registration and affiliation has also contributed to this. The teaching-learning process is a collaborative effort and as the pillars of this process, teachers and principals need to grow consistently to make it successful.