The Summer Institute, part of “A New Way to Teaching”, is going to be online for the first time in the history of the organization
The 10th class of participants in Teach For Bulgaria’s program “A New Way to Teaching” started their intensive summer training on Monday, July 6. For the first time in the history of the organization the first part of the Summer Institute is going to be entirely online because of COVID-19. A record number of nearly 120 participants are starting their summer training this year.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE OPENING
“Seeing so many of you here today gives me hope. It gives me hope that there are so many people who can clearly see that our education system does not serve all children and who are willing to invest time and effort to make it better. I’d like to congratulate you for the decision to do so as teachers. And that you’ve made this choice in the midst of these unusual times. Thank you for trusting Teach For Bulgaria to help you find your way into the system.”
This was how Trayan Trayanov, CEO of Teach For Bulgaria, addressed and welcomed the new class of “A New Way to Teaching” participants during the live video conference opening session of the Summer Institute.
“I believe that your summer institute is going to be truly special because it won’t be perfect. You’ll probably have many internet problems and technical difficulties. Embrace them because you’ll have the same problems at school and you’ll already be prepared.
You won’t be at the same place and that’s why I believe that you’ll be the most united class of Teach For Bulgaria teachers because when you go on to teach in different schools across the country in September, distance won’t be a problem for you to stay connected and keep supporting each other along the way,” Maria Sendova, Teach For Bulgaria alumna from the first class of participants, welcomed the new teachers. She encouraged the new teachers to learn from their students and not to forget to seek support not only from Teach For Bulgaria’s alumni community, but also from the other teachers at school.”
Lazar Dodev, “Organization and Control” Senior Expert at the Ministry of Education and Science, also welcomed the new participants with a special video message.
First graders from the school in the village of Hristo Danovo and high school students from Zlatitsa also welcomed the new participants. They all had Teach For Bulgaria teachers from different classes of the program “A New Way to Teaching”. The students challenged the new participants to never lose faith in their future students, to support them, and to have fun along the way.
WHAT DOES THE SUMMER TRAINING INCLUDE
Teach For Bulgaria’s Summer Institute is a six-and-a-half-week training program with theoretical and practical modules, including teaching and working with children during Teach For Bulgaria’s Summer Academy. The institute is part of the preliminary training that every participant in the program “A New to Teaching” has to go through in order to start teaching in September. Before the start of the summer training the participants shadow current teachers, attend a series of workshops, meet Teach For Bulgaria alumni, visit different schools and observe classes, and read education-related scientific literature.
“A great part of the preliminary training for this class of participants had to be done online. This is why we are hopeful that their strong motivation and self-awareness are going to help them go through the online institute. This is also an opportunity for our team to test the advantages and disadvantages of distance teacher training which will help us become even more effective in the support we offer to teachers not only in the summer, but also during the school year,” commented Marian Rankov, Head of Teacher Development at Teach For Bulgaria.
During the first three weeks of the Summer Institute the participants in the program “A New Way to Teaching” are going to create a vision for their work, learn how to plan lessons, set high goals for their students, engage parents in the learning process, work with the school administration and the national standards of education, and collaborate with other teachers. This part of the summer training involves many practical activities, research, learning by doing and exploration.
After that the participants are going to teach during Teach For Bulgaria’s three-week Summer Academy at three schools in Sofia (June 28 – August 13). The academy is not going to be online, Teach For Bulgaria has taken all recommended measures to keep everyone safe. The participants in the program are going to teach while a team of coordinators observe the classes and give feedback. A typical day involves teaching, meeting with the coordinator, planning, grading student work, and analyzing data.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE SUMMER
During the school year the participants in the program have access to ongoing training and a variety of resources based on their individual needs. Each teacher works with a coordinator from Teach For Bulgaria, a specialist with teaching experience, who provides support by observing classes, giving feedback, holding monthly meetings for guidance, so that teachers can improve their performance in the classroom.
The participants in the program who do not have any prior teaching certification, go through a teacher training university program at Teach For Bulgaria’s partner universities.
Watch this video to find out more about the teachers’ summer training: