Teachers Teaching Teachers - Investing In Our Faculty and Staff 

 

Teachers Teaching Teachers - Investing In Our Faculty and Staff

As a school that cares, The International School of Kuala Lumpur continually invests in their most valuable asset - the faculty and staff.

‘Teachers Teaching Teachers’, or TTT as it is commonly known, is a time-honored, more than a decade long continuously hosted school event where faculty members offer knowledge through workshops, roundtable discussions, energizers, and the very popular "speed-geeking," a rotation of highly practical tips and strategies to improve practice in the classroom, to their fellow colleagues.

The aim of TTT Day is to clarify ISKL's vision for the future of learning, strengthening its connections and knowledge of each other as faculty & staff while enjoying a meaningful and balanced day of learning and celebration. 

Patricia Podorsek, the MS/HS Teaching & Learning Coordinator, provides us with her synopsis on what happened last February 24, where ISKL's staff and faculty took part in TTT workshops and energizers for Inservice Day.

“ISKL is a school that promotes a culture of learning for all members of our community. Often we bring experts from the outside to offer new insights on education, but sometimes it's enough to draw from the expertise we have within our own four walls,” Patricia comments.

More than enough. As one teacher put it, "This is my favorite professional learning of the year."

This year's TTT began with inspirational words from Rami and then a series of workshops led by faculty members. Participants selected from topics such as student inquiry, the redesign of learning spaces, translanguaging, and how to develop a curriculum using a broader cultural lens.

Formulating the ISKL Essentials, Together

Ika Muzamal, ISKL's Talent & Culture Development Lead, who also played a significant role in organizing the day, spearheaded a workshop along with the leadership team, eliciting elements to be incorporated into a dedicated knowledge base for the staff - now known as the 'ISKL Essentials.'

‘Our staff was involved in exchanging knowledge and providing input towards the overall direction of their learning and growth by seeking to nurture their personal growth and professional development,’ Ika explains.

The ISKL Essentials framework puts forth eight-core essentials, as seen in the diagram below.

‘Most importantly, the ISKL Essentials framework is crafted by the staff, for the staff, and serves as a guide in structuring our learning and professional development to be even more intentional for the future’ she concluded.

 

 

Speed-geeking, Workshops and Energizers

Faculty and staff presenters then participated in 60-minute workshops and round table discussions, which involved topics related to one of ISKL's three strategic priorities - advancing learning, nurturing wellness, and promoting partnerships.

They then proceeded to take part in the speed-geeking sessions, where volunteers facilitate a repeated eight-minute sharing on a topic that provides practical tips for classrooms.

Speed-geeking tables offered advice on warm-up activities, new educational apps for iPad, convenient Chrome extensions, and how to monitor oral participation in classes. The aim of this part of the day is practicality, as one teacher confirmed, "I've picked up several new tools that I can use in my classroom this week!"

Some of the speed-geeking sessions were topics such as:

  • Activating your Super Brain

  • Analyzing Performance with Mobile Devices

  • Easy ways to create groups in Google Contacts

  • Equity Maps' 'Gmail Tips and Tricks

  • Google Search tips & Tricks

  • High School Gratitude Based Brain Breaks

  • Integrating Social Justice into Any Classroom (or Playing Field)

  • iPad Screencasting

  • It Takes a Village

  • Look Who's Talking

  • Mastering the Spelling of Sight Words

  • Memory Enhancing Strategies and Activities

  • Sketch Notes

  • Touch Math

  • Zoom out of the Main Idea

  • Why Your Students are Begging You To Make A Gimkit

Teachers Teaching Teachers

Patricia explains that just as important as formal learning is the opportunity for teachers across divisions to build community. In addition to the shared experience of training sessions, teachers have time for dialogue and idea exchange, as well as time to engage in physical activity together.

One teacher commented, "I learned about some different ways to make kids feel like their culture is welcome and valued."

Another responded, "Innovative classroom design is fascinating." Learning about new educational technologies is always welcome as one teacher affirmed, and "I learned how to use screencast videos to flip my classroom...and ideas for how to set up my website."

‘The time set aside for "energizers" offers faculty and staff a chance to learn something new outside of their fields.

For one hour, teachers can try something like rock climbing or singing or gardening or tap dancing!

This 'brain-break' in the day fosters holistic creativity and community spirit among all of our employees,’ she comments.

As for the Energizer segment, volunteer faculty & staff ran fun sessions that were "hands-on/minds-on," with sessions aimed to have elements of movement, team building, wellbeing, and fun.

Some of the activities were:

  • A Spicy Perspective: Best Homemade Salsas

  • Brain and Body Realignment

  • Broadway Wannabes

  • Faculty and Staff Community Soccer Game

  • Gardening Gurus

  • ISKL 2020 Open Ping Pong

  • Rock Climbing

  • Smashball

  • Swim for Fitness! Swim for Fun!

  • Tap Dancing

  • Ultimate Frisbee

  • Water Aerobics

 

The day wrapped up with a faculty divisional debrief and integration time that ended with a celebration with food!

Thus is seen the dedication that ISKL puts towards uplifting its community, supporting the growth of the staff and faculty, and its relentless pursuit of continuing to build a culture of learning that is inclusive, intentional, and accessible to all.