How to upskill your teaching skills while you earn?

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Would you go to a doctor who is using age-old techniques to do surgery? Or to a lawyer who has not bothered to learn the new amendments in law. Then why should a teacher use the same age-old methods of teaching when they teach students who are 21st century citizens requiring 21st century skills to succeed? We are preparing our children, who are digital natives, for a future which does not exist and this cannot be done with outdated pedagogies and teaching techniques.

Yes, teachers usually have a full workload. So, yes, you will never have enough time. But like a wise man once said, ‘If it is important, you will find the time, else you just find an excuse!’ The importance of upskilling amongst teachers cannot be over emphasized. The world is moving at a supersonic speed and keeping pace with it is not only important, it is non-negotiable!

During the lockdown, the teachers have struggled to move from a brick to a click school, unlearn what they have been doing for decades and relearn new skills to create classrooms. The importance of teacher training has come to the forefront in the last two years. The NEP 2020 also lays stress on continuous professional development for in service teachers up to 50 hours every year.
So how can we upskill while we have a full time job? Here are some suggestions-
  1. Identify the areas where you want to upskill. Once you yourself have recognized the areas of improvement, you will find that you are most vested in completing the training. Don’t look at these as gaps but as opportunities to empower yourself with the latest knowhow in your field.
  2. Look for facilitators who you admire- with most of the training moving online, it is now possible to attend workshops from that particular professor from the University of Pennsylvania for example. It will help learn global best practices and widen your horizon. This will also give you an opportunity to collaborate with educators around the world.
  3. Consider doing asynchronous courses- this helps to learn at your own pace and your own time. The world is moving towards self-paced, pre-recorded lessons. This will help juggle work and at the same time allow you to upskill yourself. These courses are usually reasonably priced and affordable.
Why is an educators upskill program important? Find the best online seminar for teachers.
  1. Speak to your leadership team about the courses you would be doing and how it would make you become more competent in different areas. Knowing that you may get a promotion will motivate you to invest the resources both time and money to upskill.
  2. Request for a short term loan or ask the organization to sponsor expensive programs. The school leadership and management has to understand that investment in upskilling leads to employee satisfaction and increased morale.
  3. Ask your family to support your journey. Finding time to upskill would require adjustment and understanding at the home front. Once you have the support of your family, it would be easier to succeed in completing the program you set out to do.
 
Someone who has 20 years of experience has essentially got their degree 20 years ago. 20 years ago, there was no internet and now even a 2-year-old can navigate apps on a tablet. With new age internet edtech companies mushrooming everywhere, the children have alternate means of getting knowledge. Teachers will have to learn to keep pace. The teachers will have to adopt a global perspective and have basic competencies in technology (such as school management systems) and data analytics.

In the words of Peter Drucker- “The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.”

Also read,
Tips for educators to upskill/reskill. Attend the best online workshops for teachers.
10 reasons why online seminars offered by ABEA are beneficial for teachers.
What to expect from an online teacher training workshop?
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Surabhi Goel
CEO - Aditya Birla World Academy, The Aditya Birla Integrated School & Aditya Birla Education Academy

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