Why Teacher Academy?
The development of globalism and information technologies brought many changes with it as well. It imposed many things in people’s daily lives, undermined national cultures, and created a standardized education. Topics such as the continuity of identities and cultures and their passing on to generations have started to cause anxiety and become topics of conversation.
Under these circumstances, thought have turned towards education, and eyes towards the educator. Just as religious and cultural values’ “presentation according to the exigencies of our time” has become a necessity, the inculcation of competence in learning to learn, problem-solving, teamwork, the ability to see things from different perspectives, and using information and communication technologies in students have risen to prominence.
In the matter of the inculcation of these skills and values in students, teachers have been ascribed with new duties. Leadership skills, such as the ability to interpret change, self-development, the ability to empathize, the ability to communicate effectively, problem-solving, cultivation of clout, and gaining social acceptance through an exemplary and competent personality, have become absolute musts for the occupation of teaching.
Furthermore, educators must be aided in attaining the competence to know about mental health of children and child and teenager psychology as well as a pedagogue, rather than with a merely nominal pedagogical formation. If teachers do not possess sufficient knowledge regarding child and teenager psychology, irreparable damage is done through mistakes made in education and relationships, causing students to develop a dislike towards education and school.
In the face of these circumstances, we, as the SLA Board, formed the Teacher Academy, aimed towards the occupational development and motivation of teachers, transforming the teacher-student-parent trio into a dynamic relationship, and towards finding a common ground, in order to improve education. During the improvement and creation of this education, many of our partners were consulted, and it is open to all new ideas.
Two important topics will be elaborated on at the Teacher Academy.
1- The Education of the Educator:
A teacher’s practice of their work with the knowledge and application of matters, such as;
- Cognizance of their own personality structure, outlook on life, and ability to communicate,
- Ability to teach with awareness of their student’s personality structure and potential,
- The inculcation of 21st century competencies to the student and ability to apply teaching techniques, are important for both their own occupational development and for the education of the child.
In addition, the knowledge of and ability to practice different alternative teaching techniques, such as the abilities to use educational tools and equipment, engage the feeling of curiosity within the student, and to transform that curiosity into a desire and eagerness to learn, are significant occupational skills that need to be developed in teachers.
This occupational development will be in the format of seminars and workshops in the company of experts, during the academic year.
Some Topics from the Seminars:
- The Definition, Content, Goal, and Expected Results of Model.
- Understanding the Child. Positive Life and Positive Thinking.
- Preschool & Elementary Age (ages 3-10) Children Developmental Characteristics.
- Students’ Middle & High School Age (Puberty, ages 11-17) Developmental Characteristics.
- Classroom Management and motivating students.
- The personality structure of the teacher and the characteristics of a good teacher.
- Teacher-parent cooperation in education, effective parent-teacher conferences, and parent visits.
- Effective teaching methods and education technologies.
- Affection, praise, rewards, competition, punishment, I Language, and sense of responsibility in education.
- Differentiated teaching and Effective Communication Techniques.
- Curriculum Preparation and Its Criteria.
- Teacher Evaluation Forms and Books to Read for Personal Development of Teachers.
- Deliberation and Sensitiveness in Education.
2- Preparation of a Realistic “Educational Curriculum.”
What types of skills would the market want in their prospective employees? In other words, what are “the characteristics of a person equipped with the skills of the 21st century” and of “a good person?” These must be used as a basis and education of people must be constructed around them. Thus, the following matters must be considered in the preparation of a curriculum:
- The inculcation of both knowledge and skills in students can be achieved through the active participation of all personnel, primarily teachers and administrators, and parents.
The goal of a Primary and Secondary Educational institution (K-12) must be to prepare its students for university and for life. Imposing information on children, that is not applicable in modern life and which they will never come across throughout their lives, both damages the child’s personality and dull their abilities. If the material being taught does not interest the student, they will question why they need to learn this information and take on an unenthusiastic approach towards learning. Therefore, an important aspect to be considered in curriculum preparation is for the teachers themselves to first believe that;
- The material to consist of information that the student will utilize later on in life,
- The teacher will be able to convince the students as to “why they need to learn this material,” then for the teachers to be able to describe this to the students before the lesson and ensure their motivation to learn.
- The development of skills in a student are directly associated with a longer period of hands-on education and lots of practice. For example, for students to develop their research skills, they must do research on many different topics. To develop their teamwork skills, they must repeatedly take part in different teams. To develop their communication skills, they must write lots of reports and give presentations. In conclusion, repeated application is necessary to develop skills, and for this, time is needed. This can only be done through a double-objective preparation of the curriculum, consisting of content and competence acquisition, while preparing “Curricula” all through primary and secondary education. In other words, competence acquisition must be integrated into the content program. Starting from kindergarten, activities that develop the skills of students, such as teamwork, problem-solving, coordination, project management, planning, presenting, communication skills, writing, listening, and time management, must absolutely be included in the lessons and topics. What we are trying to say is, while teaching each lesson, every teacher must teach them in ways that develop the students in both aspects. While measuring the contents of knowledge with tests, development of skills must also be measured and have an impact on grades. A student can compensate for knowledge in many ways, but the acquisition of these skills in early periods are done at school, under the guidance of their teachers. Therefore, an extreme level of value should be attributed to writing, reading, and speaking (presenting).
Topics to consider in curriculum preparation and “social competencies” needed to be ingrained in the child:
- Setting goals.
- Time management.
- Planning, critical thinking, and problem solving.
- Literacy in finance, economy, business management, and entrepreneurship.
- Literacy in allegiance, environment, health, media, information, and communication technologies.
- Competence in communication (reading, writing, listening, speaking).
- Presentation methods.
- Teamwork, communication, and cooperation.
- Competence in analysis and synthesis.
- Competence in problem-solving.
- Focusing on long-term goals.
- Familiarity with information technologies.
- Productivity and accountability.
- Competence in research.
- Attributing value to knowledge and learning.
- Respect towards friends, flexibility and adaptability.
- Extraordinary and innovative thinking.
- Ethical values (theft of intellectual property and cheating).
- Social and environmental consciousness.
- Real-life experience and awareness (internships, working in the marketplace half-time, even if for a short time).
- Tolerance (differences in opinions, capacity for constructive debate).
- International awareness, social and intercultural competencies (other countries, perception of culture, bias, prejudice).
- Sense of leadership and responsibility.
- Entrepreneurship, taking initiative, and self-direction.
- Global awareness.