It was in the summer of 2018 that we heard a fifteen-year-old say, “My mom is just a teacher.” This statement prompted us to question and understand the role of teachers in the society and their perception in the minds of people, especially children. Despite the skills and efforts that teaching requires, why has the profession lost the respect it once held? Is it because of the teaching that students experience in the classrooms? Is this the reason for fewer students select teaching as their preferred course of study? And finally, could this be the primary reason for teacher shortage in India?
At Tomorrowsmith Foundation, we aim to restore the status of teachers in India so that the smartest and the finest enter the teaching profession with the right skills, practices, and mindset.
OUR ENTRY POINT
When the best, brightest, and motivated teachers enter the teaching profession, they create a safe, inclusive, and dynamic learning environment for students. They enable pupils to construct their own ideas, concepts, hypotheses and theories. This way, students gain skills that let them critically analyze the information, gain insights, solve problems, be innovative, and have a better understanding of their world. Through our interventions with pre-service teachers, we strive to create a cadre of highly skilled and motivated teachers.
THE THEORY OF CHANGE
Our change model is based on the theory that an integrated program that builds skills, motivation, and social capital of pre-service teachers will cause an increase in the volume, quality, and value of teaching profession in India. This will address teacher shortage, thus improving learning outcomes for children in India.
The model strengthens four elements that are necessary for improved quality of teaching. They are: pre-service training, school leadership support and engagement, new teacher skills, motivation and mindsets, and parental demand for quality teaching. By improving the supply of quality teachers and increasing the demand for quality teaching, our approach will make a larger impact on the education system.
Align skills of pre-service teachers to prepare a cadre of highly competent teachers with right technical, digital, and productive skills.
Enhance teacher motivation by leveraging their intrinsic motivation and give them opportunities to gain rewards and recognition.
BUILDING SOCIAL CAPITAL
Build social capital of the teachers by helping them form authentic connections and networks with school leaders, experienced teachers, and students.