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ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ನೋಡಿ

Reading for pleasure ... (and for our professional development)

Teaching needs consistent high energy

Teaching is physically and mentally a tiring job. Day after day, week after week, month after month, every academic year, teachers need to make their lesson plans considering their learner contexts, identify relevant/useful pedagogies, transact and assess. If a teacher has a class of 25-30 students this can be exhausting and many teachers have 50+ students!

Given our gender unjust society, women teachers tend to have a 'double duty', working full time at school and at home.

This can make it difficult for a teacher to focus on her continuing professional development. Any professional, needs a regular, even continuous 'recharge', to work effectively. For a teacher, such recharge is necessary towards identifying newer content and pedagogical ideas that can help make teaching more effective and meaningful for the learner.

On-site teacher development

While teacher workshops are useful, on-site development is seen as essential by research. On-site development has several benefits:

  • Exploring how the development processes can address 'OUR issues' and identify 'OUR needs'.
  • Being able to apply ideas and share experiences for further learning and refining (setting up a virtuous 'action research' cycle)
  • Developing a sense of collective.
  • Less expensive in terms of time and money, since all action is local

Renewal, rather than repair

While staff meetings may allow for common thinking on school challenges, these are usually the 'first quadrant' - urgent + important activities. Conscious school development needs to be in the 'second quadrant' - important but not urgent. This process can be less hierarchical, as it does not have any short term outcome expectations. This can make this process collaborative, facilitate mutual support and learning on issues of context, content, pedagogy. This can support trust building and a sense of togetherness.

Reading for pleasure

The simplest of such processes can be reading together. There is an inherent Joy in reading, that teachers may have experienced as children, and then dropped in their busy adult lives. Reading for pleasure is identified as a very important tool for student learning and no reason why teachers cannot benefit from it as well.

Reading together can support thinking together, provide a simple joy of being together and learning together.

If the content identified (book) deals with our professional lives, it can make it interesting.

With this thinking, we began reading the Kannada version of the story book 'Divasvapna', written by Gijubhai Badheka.

In the first session of an hour, we read the first chapter and four sections of the second.

Reading for pleasure can be a useful 'circle time' for teachers to read, reflect and learn together, and can be planned as one of the 'staff meetings' component.

Divaswapna by Gijubhai Badheka

Book can be downloaded from here