Empowering Teachers: An Overview Steer’s World Teachers’ Day in Niger State in 2022
Quite recently, there was an uphill climb of excitement for teachers as the UK government made an update that gives teachers in several countries, including Nigeria, the opportunity to migrate to work in the UK. While some might criticise this as another contributing factor to the brain-drain syndrome already affecting the country, conversely, this again shows teachers' relevance to any nation's development.
Education is indubitably a fundamental necessity on which a nation functions effectively. Its growth and development depend solely on the investment in human resources, which significantly includes delivering quality education to its citizens. Therefore, it is essential that those with the direct responsibility to deliver this task (quality education), which builds national impact, are adequately equipped and motivated. Studies, such as the World Bank’s teachers’ report, have shown a direct relationship between the welfare of educators and students’ performance, improvement and transformation. Teachers are the central actors in learning and agents of educational transformation.
Educators constantly have to navigate many responsibilities and challenges, which involve dealing with sudden schedule shifts, managing students’ behaviours, and developing and reviewing personalised and general curricula whilst keeping up with their personal needs. They are also tasked with personal learning activities to challenge themselves as teachers, improve their teaching techniques and create exciting and innovative activities to enchant young minds and boost classroom productivity. Juggling through these activities can be overwhelming, yet many teachers do this without appreciation or recognition; nonetheless, a support system or program.
To recognise the inadequately rewarded efforts of teachers, Steer Initiative organized a day dialogue and training activity program on ‘World Teachers’ Day’ with teachers at Theola International School Minna, Niger State.
The program was an interactive program to understand the peculiar needs of teachers in the community and provide training on how educators can become more productive in the classroom, enhance their self-development and take care of their physical and mental health needs to prevent burnout.
The activity was in tune with the theme of the year, “The transformation of education begins with teachers”, to ensure these teachers were equipped with the support, knowledge and skills to develop their vocation as transformational leaders transforming their learners. Some of the teachers shared their learning experiences at the end of the program, and these include
- Understanding the need to update their skill sets by attending webinars, enrolling for certification courses around skill-based teaching/pedagogical skills, and learning something new to avoid stagnancy and stay up-to-date.
- Evaluating their teaching to help in self-assessing the quality and the value of their teaching. Some of the tools for evaluation include setting up anonymous feedback surveys for students and joining an interdisciplinary group to engage and interact with people from within and outside your professional circle. This can help educators with communication, collaboration and conflict management skills and open them up to a knowledge of other disciplines.
- Recognising the need and practising habits that maintain a healthy mental state. These habits include drinking enough water, eating balanced meals, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising. These practices help to keep the regulated, stable, and strong.
- Setting and maintaining boundaries to schedule the day’s activities and prioritise tasks in the classroom or at home.
Outside this training, Steer Initiative continues to organise monthly teachers' training programs to support teachers in achieving professional competence and seeking growth opportunities. In the last year, the free training Steer offers has impacted over 100 teachers across public-owned and privately-owned schools in Nigeria.
In addition, by default, participants from the training can become part of the Steer Initiative’s Teachers' community.
The community is a virtual-interactive space where educators can access innovative ideas, learn new teaching skills and re-establish their commitment and conscious efforts in the classroom to improve the quality of education for students while making classroom activities fun, interactive and practical — to join the community send an email or direct message via Steer’s social media platforms.
Created by Angela Omale, Content Analyst Steer Initiative and Reviewed by Olufunmilayo Obadofin, Ex: Project Manager, Steer Initiative.
About Steer Initiative
Steer is a continent-wide initiative actively identifying marginalized communities and providing them with tailored solutions through collaboration, volunteerism, and participatory partnerships. The initiative focuses on steering access to education, digital training for teachers, skills acquisition for women and young people, and social outreaches to address community challenges and support disaster relief. Steer leverages the support of like-minded individuals and civil society organizations who want to stand up for, reach, and empower communities to strengthen societal engagement, to drive equality and social change.
Information about what we do as an organisation and our ‘Training for Teachers’ can be seen on our website, medium page and social media platform, which can be accessed through the links below.