Education Talks: Teachers transforming lives

Education Talks: Teachers transforming lives

September 9, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


How are teachers agents of change? Teachers as agents of change
is changing and developing and growing, so that when children leave school,
they have met their full potential. So it is not about
making them into things but it is about
helping them achieve their life ambition. If that means that they want to be
a plumber and the best plumber in the world, there is an agent of change contribution there. A teacher as an agent of change
helping a child become literate gives them access to the world. A teacher as an agent of change helping
with numeracy and whatever curriculum area, it means that they can have a job,
fill in a form and have a full life. Teachers can be agents of change
in terms of policy direction, helping inform political thinking
that meets the needs of young people. Teachers know children and actually
need to meet the needs of children so hearing the professional voice of teachers to make sure that
the policy direction is really strong. Teachers as agents of change in their community
by working with parents and families to make sure that children are
healthy and strong and they are part of that. They transform lives
in terms of educational experience, they transform lives in terms of
including them in education and society, they transform and change lives
in terms of what their life chances are going to be like. It really does take a village
to bring up a child and actually it is
the village of Education. What peer support practice should be
introduced as part of teacher induction? Some very good practice is
when a new teacher comes into the school, and that relationship is built
straight away both formally and informally. And there is a very good
mentoring programme in the Teacher Induction Scheme, where a probationer is aligned to a mentor and there is a programme through the year
of conversations, of check points, of observations and advice and support,
in a very structured and organised way with regular feedback and
building up the skills of the teacher. What are Scotland’s flexible routes into teaching? The new flexible routes
are those which look at what is teaching going to look like in the future
and bringing diversity to the profession. And that means bringing those who are
in engineering and have those life skills and bringing them into teaching
by building up new programmes through the university. So they have the life skills,
they actually have the academic skills and getting a teaching qualification and then bringing life experience
into the teaching education workforce which I think is one way of doing it. What is Scotland’s curriculum of excellence? At the heart of a curriculum for excellence,
you have the four capacities. It is those skills that will take children
into the 21st century as citizens and as learners. So they have to be
effective contributors, they have to
be responsible citizens and they have to
be successful learners and they have
finally to be confident individuals. At the basis of curriculum for excellence
are three key things: skills for learning,
skills for work and skills for life. Starting at primary and
going all the way through to secondary. Every secondary teacher,
every primary teacher having a responsibility
for literacy, numeracy, health and well-being, digital literacy
and data literacy for the 21st century. So it is a very alive curriculum,
it is a contemporary curriculum. Teachers also had to understand that they too were having to refresh themselves
as learners and learn on behalf of their children. So they too maintain the relevance and they provide
a contemporary cohesive curriculum. I meet those children every day
with those four capacities. When you walk into school and you see a young person
effectively contributing to a debate, confidently answering, successfully learning
and being responsible in their own community, curriculum for excellence
is breathing in Scotland.