Teachers As Learners

Written by: Ms. Melissa Shaw Primary Curriculum / Professional Development Coordinator & Ms. Sissy Shen, Primary Head of Chinese Department / Professional Development Coordinator

“Who dares to teach, must never cease to learn.”  John C Dana

Teachers throughout ECE and Primary at YCIS couldn’t agree more with this quote. We recognise the importance for all educators to keep up-to-date with current research and trends in teaching and learning, seeking continual improvement in their own teaching practices to benefit the learning for all students.

2Your child may come home one afternoon and inform you that their class teacher was not at school for the day because they had to go ‘back to school for training!’ It is important to remember that we want to instill in our children the love of learning and there is no better way than to model this behaviour ourselves, showing children that no matter what age, we should always be learners!

3This year at YCIS, the school has appointed Ms Melissa Shaw, who is also our Primary Curriculum Coordinator and Ms Sissy Shen, our Primary Head of Chinese to lead Staff Professional Development. Their role as Professional Development (PD) Coordinators is to work collaboratively with Campus Leaders in providing and supporting teachers with opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills related to their personal and professional goals, as well as whole school initiatives.

In recent years, the opportunity for professional development has grown dramatically within China and the Asia Pacific region. Teachers have many opportunities to attend training on a variety of topics and learn from experts on current, research-based best practices in education.

4We place great importance on affording our teams the opportunity and the time to engage and collaborate in professional dialogue and activities within the school.  The School’s aim is to create a professional learning community where teachers participate in purposeful dialogue between each other and with their teams that focuses on both teaching and learning.

5A great example of this was the initiation of afternoon PD Sessions. Last year the school successfully organised a series of Monday PD Sessions, which invited teachers to present smaller workshops for all teaching and non-teaching staff. This year, the first semester is already scheduled with a variety of sessions on offer. This ‘forum’ encourages teachers having attended specific training, the opportunity to share key ideas and concepts learned and how they have implemented this into their own practice. It also encourages teaching staff with specialised skills to offer training.

Developing a culture of continued professional learning allows us to support student learning, which is at the heart of everything we do at YCIS.

“A great teacher is someone who can learn from their students, who can learn with them, and learns for them.” – John Meehan