Regional Teacher Training

Posted on November 21, 2011 by

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As TLG volunteers already know, the Ministry of Education and Science has just begun a new initiative to provide additional teacher training to the Georgian teachers who work with TLG Volunteers. I have additional details about the program that were not in the email, as well as a few clarifications, and, of course, some opinions.

First, the workshops are being run by the Teacher Professional Development Center – that’s the group with the shiny new office in Gldani – but they will be held in the regions so that teachers do not have to travel to Gldani (because even for me, traveling to Gldani is a haul, and I live in Tbilisi). The workshops will consist of two separate four-hour lessons – one on Lesson Planning, and one on Classroom Management. Instruction will take place in Georgian. The intention is for every Georgian teacher who works with a TLG Volunteer outside of Tbilisi to attend these workshops within the next month.

So, here’s some background information for this story: Basically, as stated in TLG’s first Annual Report, TLG has been collecting data about several different aspects of the educational system as seen through the eyes of a TLG volunteer. Among these aspects are “Lesson Planning” and “Classroom Management” and based on the collective opinions of the Volunteers throughout the last school year, these two fields were deemed most in need of attention.

Teacher training in Georgia often focuses on those who stand out as exceptional. Various Ministry initiatives and NGO-run programs aim to train Georgia’s best and brightest teachers – the top 1%, to use the parlance of the times – with the stated goal that these teachers will become leader and mentors in their fields. And of course, teachers in Tbilisi have several advantages – access to more education, proximity to the Teachers Professional Development Center, more affluent students and parents (making classroom management easier), etc.

This Teacher Training workshop is different in that it will aim to reach all of the teachers who work with TLG Volunteers, which is a somewhat random distribution, and if my completely unofficial guestimate of 700 volunteers currently in Georgia is correct, and if we assume that 500+ are in the regions, that means that at least 1500 teachers will get trained in Lesson Planning and Classroom Management.

The program has several interrelated goals. One goal is to improve the working environment for TLG Volunteers. Well-managed classrooms and well-planned lessons make the coteacher relationship run more smoothly and enable the students and teachers to make the most out of the time that the TLG Volunteer is in Georgia. Another goal is to spread modern professional practices to a wide selection of teachers throughout Georgia. And, if this project succeeds, it could pave the way for future workshops and more comprehensive and far-reaching teacher training in the Georgian educational system.

So that’s the dish on the new Teacher Training Workshops. If you have any questions, fire away in the comments section!

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