A Day in His Shoes: Elevate Supports Pedagogical Advisors to Find Innovative Ways to Support Schools and Teachers

The Challenge:

I am assigned to support 17 government schools, 47 private schools and over 600 teachers. While I would like to support each school at least twice each term, with these numbers it is impossible. Therefore, I have innovated a solution to reach more schools and teachers, called Teacher-to-Teacher Peer Support.

The Solution:

Teacher-to-Teacher Peer Support allows paired teachers to support each other to improve their teaching experience and the classroom environment. Paired teachers would work together to identify a challenge that is affecting their teaching. For example, challenges might include classroom management, lesson planning, or positive discipline issues, among others. The teachers would then collaboratively develop a plan to address the identified challenge, and implement the solution.

The Program in Action:

At the beginning of Term 3, when I was conducting a CPD for Head Teachers and Head of Departments at my centre, I introduced my Teacher-to-Teacher Peer Support idea to the Head Teachers at Kitare Community and Kibuye Mapeera as my pilot schools. I explained the program, particularly emphasizing the importance of giving high quality feedback (based on hand out received from Elevate at the beginning of Term 3).

The Head Teachers have since formed teacher pairs, and begun to implement Teacher-to-Teacher Peer Support. When I visit these schools, I seek feedback on how the process is going, and support on challenges being faced.

Impact:

Kitare Community and Kibuye Mapeera teachers have been engaging in collaboration on lesson planning and scheming. Teachers feel free to share knowledge and are encouraged to support one another. This has also increased trust amongst teachers. Classroom processes—such as classroom management and pupil-centred methodologies—are also improving.

When I go to these schools, I find it easier to support teachers since we hold a conference to share experiences and give general support. In the long run, this will improve my efficiency at each school, meaning I can increase on the number of schools I can support. What’s more, even when I am not around, I know the work is ongoing.