DIY

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The main aim of this course is to improve the Team Leaders' facilitation and mentoring skills, in order to create a more positive and productive environment for professional development in their schools. In the mornings we have workshops to explore training skills and approaches. In the afternoons they have to practise - do it for themselves. They each have a practical session that they have to organise and facilitate themselves, in pairs. In this picture I am facilitating 3 TLTs organising a 'trouble-shooting' session for the rest of the teachers. It was a brave attempt that went fairly well and gave us lots of food for thought. An interesting issue came up in the feedback discussion - just what is the role of the Team Leader-Trainer. The traditional approach in China is to manage, direct, and tell! Tell teachers what to do, how to do it, how to improve, what to aim for etc. The job of a leader is to lead. We are offering them some alternative ways - to encourage teachers to discuss, to ask questions, to problem-solve together, to exchange ideas. As one participant said, "This way is very new to us. We have never done this before." I am learning that there are many things I do quite 'naturally', I thought, that it's easy to take for granted -discussing, questionning, sharing - that don't come easily to everyone. For some of the TLTs, being put in this new 'facilitator' role is torture. These approaches and skills aren't 'natural' but are learned, and represent a very different approach to learning, to working, to training.




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