5 Stages Of The Teacher Training Cycle
According to Ann Gravels, there are 5 stages of the teacher training cycle. These include identifying needs, planning and designing, delivering, assessing and evaluating. These stages will be further explained below.
The teacher training cycle starts with identifying needs. This stage is about identifying three basic needs; needs of the organization, identifying your own needs as a teacher and identifying the needs of your learners.
The needs of the organization would mean the curriculum requirement, awarding body preference and/or other qualification needs.
The needs of the teacher would include the understanding the qualification requirements, find out how you would deliver, the resources that are available to you and even the room that you will be delivering the session in.
The third need is that of the learner. It is important to identify the needs of the learner so that you can address it throughout the course. Hopefully, you will be able to find these out at the interview stage or the admission stage. The learner needs at this stage could range from very basic questions like how to get to the venue, how to reach the classroom, where do I park the car etc. Initial assessment starts at the beginning as the name suggests. This is usually at the beginning of the programme so that you can find out all about your learner. Diagnostic assessment is about diagnosing the special needs of your learner, learning styles of your learner and any prior learning that the learner may have. You can do this through an initial interview or a learning preference questionnaire. This stage should be essential if a student may want financial assistance and you could guide them to an agency organization that would help them with the funding.
However, to identify the needs correctly, the teacher ought to plan and design her lesson carefully.
Plan and design
After identifying needs, it’s important to plan and design the lectures’ delivery and the content as well. This is to make every lectures outcome meet the SMART criteria. This will eventually make the teachers efficient and the learning process effective.
What do you mean by planning learning? You need to plan how you will deliver the learning, how they will learn and how you will assess your students.
A scheme of work is a document that has a logical flow of what you will cover in the sessions, the activities, the delivery methods, the assessment methods, learning outcomes, aims and objectives of the session and who your learners are.
A scheme of work can further be divided into individual lesson plans for each session. Each lesson plan will outline details of learners, the resources you will need, the outcomes, the assessments and timings of the session. The lesson plan is a more detailed version of the scheme of work.
It is important to note that when planning the teacher needs to plan each activity, resources, delivery method and assessment in order to meet the needs of the students that were identified during the first stage of the teacher training cycle.
Delivering the lesson requires adhering to the lesson plan that contains details of learning styles for all the individuals. In order to keep the learning process effective, the teacher must refer back to the lesson planned, refer to examples, provide guidance, use teaching assistants and should timely check the understanding of the students by asking questions in the middle of the lesson.
However, in order to make delivering of the lesson effective, the classroom environment should be sympathetic, welcoming and helpful. Delivery methods may include lectures, presentations, verbal lectures and/or demonstrations, icebreakers etc. It is important that the delivery methods keep the learners active, engaged and motivated and the delivery methods cater to the individual needs of the students.
Assessing ensures that the lesson taught to students have been delivered effectively and whether there is gap between the explanation and the understanding of the lesson. Assessment can be done through 3 ways, which are initial, formative and summative. Formative assessments include quizzes, assignments, and projects. Summative assessments include an exam, project, case study at the end of the term that must be completed in order to achieve the qualification or passing mark.
The teacher needs to ensure that the assessments are valid, authentic, current, sufficient and reliable. Valid; the work should only assess what is meant to assess, authentic; produced by the learner, current; the student should have current knowledge and skills to complete the assessment, sufficient; is there enough evidence provided that the learner can complete the assessment, reliable; is the assessment reliable (if you do the same assessment with a different group of learners, would you get similar results?).
The teacher should not be biased towards any student during the checking of the assessment as the planning and designing part of the cycle should include the learning methods that cater to the individual needs of the students.
Evaluate means evaluating learning and teaching. In the evaluating phase, the teacher/school management should ask for feedback from the students about the lesson which will be helpful for the teacher to plan the future lesson and to eliminate the explanation gaps, teaching methodologies, the delivery, and all the other stages of the training cycle. Moreover, the feedback will not only help the teachers in professional development but will also help the students to improve their critical thinking skills and learn to give constructive feedback. The feedback process can be done through making the students fill an evaluation form with close-ended questions and a feedback box at the end of the form.
Adding more, the teachers will be able to judge the effectiveness of their planned lesson and its content.
An essential component of this stage is self-evaluation by the teacher. Reflecting upon your own teaching will help you improve further your teaching style. This is also known as Continuing Professional Development (CPD). CPD helps in maintaining, improving and broadening your knowledge and skills for developing personal qualities required in your professional lives. This can be done through attending a workshop and/or taking short courses.
Feedback should also be given to the students so that they are aware of where they lacked and how they can further improve themselves. This can be done through handing out monthly progress reports to students and for their parents to see in which area their child is lacking in.
The teacher training cycle consists of 6 major components that are important and unique in their own ways for planning the classroom discussions, pattern of the lesson, the sequence of the topics to be delivered and the types of assessments. It is essential for every teacher to follow the stages in order to deliver the lesson successfully without any understanding gaps keeping in mind the needs of the organization, needs of the teacher and the learner. Moreover, it helps the teacher to become professionally developed and to have feedback directly from the students so that he/she can plan and design the lesson according to the understanding of the students. The teacher will also be able to evaluate themselves to improve their teaching style to meet their professional requirements.