In our journey to re-think the entire education system, our biggest challenge was teacher training. We came upon two specific stumbling blocks –
- How do we get teachers (and curriculum designers) to focus on skill building, rather than content
- How do we train effectively – and scale?
You may have already read our earlier posts that explain our methodology that allows us to focus on skills. This one addresses the second problem – Training, and training in large scale.
After two years of trial and error, we’ve finally arrived at a simple construct that allows us to scale training effectively.
Interest ==> Awareness ==> Application ==> Feedback
As simplistic as it seems, this works very well for us. Its how we execute these simple steps that make the difference.
Interest – Group Interventions like Induction programmes, classroom sessions, and one on one interventions are used to generate interest. One of our key objectives when we induct any teacher into the organization is to get them to buy into our philosophy. We’ve realized that teachers are far more proactive about learning and application if they are excited about the vision of the company. The second key objective is to get them to understand that even at their level – we train to build skills, not to disseminate content.
Awareness – At Wunderbar Kids, awareness (or what we see as content dissemination), happens in a variety of ways. We distribute learning material, handbooks and guides, videos, emailers. We aim to move most of this content online to build efficiencies in distribution.
Application – This happens in the classroom, and our unique methodology (read skill stations) help us really monitor the application of concepts
Feedback – Our development diaries, collection of learning data centrally and a bunch of mentoring procedures provide holistic feedback to all our teachers on a continuous basis.
While this series of steps is quite effective in itself, we’ve found that to train, maintain quality of teaching standards and overall quality of delivery, we needed to institute a series of other organizational initiatives to round it off. We’ve recently launched a structured mentorship program for teachers, one that promotes organic growth within the organization, providing teachers with a proper growth path. We’ve also instituted a co-ownership program called the ‘Mantri’ program. Within the scope of this program, an appointed Shikshan Mantri works hand-in-hand with a Palak Mantri to deliver product quality for a specific region. The Mantri Program derives from the principles of lean organizations and seeks to get a combination of operational and academic personnel to take ownership for overall quality in a region.
Our new initiatives are exactly that – new- and we’re yet to measure the results of them. We’re hopeful though, and if initial reactions from within the organization are anything to go by, we’re sure they’ll be a resounding success. Watch this space to learn more about where we’re going from here.