First launched in 2012, the Techniques for Effective Teaching (TFET) Program supports schools participating in the IDP Rising Schools Program (IDPRSP).

It was born out of a partnership between the IDP Foundation, Inc. and Sesame Workshop in order to provide child-friendly, easily accessible teacher training techniques to teachers that often experience a lack of professional development resources. The TFET program is comprised of 14 modules with varying topics, including “Practical Ways to Make the Classroom Creative and Fun” and “Early Education and Child Development”.

An integral portion of the TFET program is the in-person trainings that consist of a two-tier “train the trainer” model in which a group of “master teachers” completes the first tier of training and then replicates the experience to their fellow teachers at their schools. In 2018, teachers, proprietors and head teachers gathered to complete the master teacher training in which participants learned from Sesame Workshop’s child development experts while experiencing the hands-on learning activities introduced through the modules.

Once the master teachers had some time to implement the lessons in their schools, our team conducted a refresher training earlier this month for each proprietor, head teacher, and one early-education teacher from all of the 45 schools participating in the TFET program. In response to feedback from proprietors and observations from school monitoring visits, our team decided to incorporate a new component to the trainings by facilitating a one day leadership workshop specifically for the proprietors and head teachers.

The workshop offered tools for leading an effective school that seeks to improve teaching and learning. It gave the school leaders a chance to have group conversations about challenges they have been facing in successfully supervising and supporting their teachers and ways to overcome those challenges. The proprietors and head teachers were engaged and interested throughout the workshop and felt prepared to take what they had learned back to their schools.

The second part of the training included two action-packed days full of discussions and activities meant to refresh and reiterate all of the concepts from the TFET modules. Many of the teachers were excited to share their improved appreciation of the important role they have as educators and the newly-found sense of fun that has been incorporated in their work through the child-centered techniques. Challenges were shared as well, including the delay in lessons sometimes experienced when a teacher must frequently set-up the class for various activities. Participants and facilitators provided helpful solutions to these challenges, such as using break times to change your classroom setup.

Participants practicing a play-based learning lesson with Legos
Participants practicing a play-based learning lesson with Legos

The participants also had a chance to carry out some of the play-based learning activities, including utilizing the LEGO bricks generously donated by the Lego Foundation.

Overall, the atmosphere at the training was engaging and fun and included lots of interest and active participation. One proprietor even gave an appreciation message to the TFET team for exposing them to new and wonderful ways of teaching that are already improving the lives of their students. At the end of the event, the participants were excited to receive certificates of completion for attending the trainings. We are so thankful for the proprietors’ and teachers’ continued engagement and commitment to utilizing all they have learned throughout the TFET program!

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