ACCOMPANYING SCHOOLS - Jindřich Monček
Sometimes it is not easy to name the values of a school. What does the school see as its most important mission? How would you the school to look like in five years? How to connect what we consider important for us personally with what the school receives as a state contract? How to unite all people from the school community around a common vision? How to formally incorporate all this into the school curriculum so that it has the appropriate professional level and at the same time it is understandable for people with no pedagogical background? Together, we can look for the answer to all these questions.
As a part of the Institute’s services, we offer long-term and short-term support to schools in the following areas:
- Creating a school vision
- School development concept
- School curriculum
- School day-to-day plan (in practical and formal level)
What does our cooperation usually look like?
We usually accompany the school for a longer period of time. We need to get to know each other, tune in, get to know the school, the people in it, its strengths, its calls for improvement. We meet with school management and look for areas and topics where our support is most useful.
We can help the school management and its teachers to go through the whole process of creation from the vision of the school to how to shape specific lessons. With the school management and subsequently with all school staff, we will help to formulate the vision of the school and the related educational strategies at the school level – the various guidelines, principles and procedures that support the vision. Together with teachers of various subjects, we plan what character will their work with the pupils have in connection with the vision and strategy of the school. We will help to plan events, activities, school projects, which will again support the goals that the school has set. We will help to describe or update all this in the school curriculum or in the school’s annual work plan.
Planning, implementation and evaluation educational activities supporting the concept of the school, including innovative approaches to teaching
It happens that we are into the concept of school, we know where we would like to go with our students, we know their expectations and needs, but it is not easy to plan a specific lesson that would lead to the fulfillment of our intentions. We ask, what kind of goal do you choose so it is meaningful for us and for our students? How to make it challenging but achievable enough? How do we know that the students fulfilled the goal at the end of the lesson and to what to extent? What evidence do we have for this? Are we interested in whether our students have somehow shifted in their knowledge, skills, attitude to the subject because of the lesson? We ask how to build the teaching so that it is interesting for the pupils, develops various skills and the pupils discover and create something. Are we researching how to improve our teaching?
When working together, we can practically plan, implement in tandem and then reflect together. All this across a variety of subjects. It is often interesting to connect activities in school and out of school such as trips, expeditions that contain a challenge and cooperation, connected for example with some intuitive games. At the same time, they lead to the fulfillment of educational goals.
Personal and professional development of school management, teachers and individuals and teams, especially in the form of mentoring or video training
The teacher has to show to his students that learning never ends. We can always move on somewhere in our work, improve it. We offer mentoring in a variety of topics according to the needs of teams or individuals. Mentoring offers guidance in finding answers, especially in the broad area of methodology and organization of teaching. Video training of interactions help the teacher or principal to look into the principles of effective communication, into communication strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, filming short parts of a lesson is nothing threatening. On his/her strengths, the client builds up the the next steps in solving various communication problems within the school community. In both the mentoring and the video training, we first arrange the order of the topics to be discussed and solved. We dive into the process according to clients´ depth and pace needs. A mentor or video coach helps to guide the process. We always pay attention to the client’s sense of security and complete discretion.
Questions we might address: How to improve the educational impact of your teaching performance in the classroom? How to involve all students to learn as much as possible? How to plan and implement teaching using active learning and cooperative methods? How to better organize teaching? How to make contact with all students in the class? How to increase pupils’ attention and involvement in the lesson? How to think and clarify the assignment of educational activities more? How to resolve conflicts between students in the classroom?
Educational courses focused on active learning methods, formative assessment, integrated thematic teaching and project teaching
When planning teacher training, it is often advantageous to find a “common theme” for the school staff – together to complete a training course based on the school’s priorities and the needs of teachers. After completing the course teachers apply the skills acquired. They can plan, evaluate or teach together. This mutual support of teachers is a very effective tool for development. We offer educational courses where participants become students for a while and experience the specific benefits of learnt methods and procedures. The content and scope of the course is agreed upon with the school management.