In addition to offering teacher development courses, Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI) runs a Mentor Program to provide NTTI-trained teachers with the on-going support they need to move from an awareness of best teaching practices to being able to implement best teaching practice methodology with competence and confidence.
Khika Bahaur Bhandari is one of NTTI’s exceptional Mentor Teachers. We met with him at his school in Thumpikar Village Development Community (VDC) to discuss his experience as a Mentor Teacher.
Mr. Bhandari has been teaching all subjects at the primary level and Nepali language at the secondary level for the past seven years. He says his greatest pleasure in the world is interacting with his students. He was selected to become a Mentor Teacher because he is one of the most talented teachers in Thumpikhar VDC.
“The best thing about the NTTI Mentor Program, Mr. Bhandari told us, is that, teachers know they will be observed, so they feel pressure to do a good job.” “Some teachers only want to make an effort when they know they will be observed but once students know that their teacher is capable of teaching them in an engaging way, they get upset when their teacher tries to return to the traditional lecture method. So, to save face with their students, even the teachers who are not so committed keep making lesson plans and keep using the NTTI methodology“.
When asked how being a Mentor Teacher has impacted his own teaching, Mr. Bhandari told us:
Because I am a Mentor Teacher, I feel my class has to be a model all the time, so I spend a lot of time planning. Since the NTTI Training and then becoming a Mentor Teacher, my teaching is very different because I do a lot of collaborative work and the children have more of a voice. I talk less and encourage the children to talk more. Before being selected as a Mentor Teacher, I only thought of my own class while now I care about all the teachers and the entire school.
NTTI has trained more than 75 Mentor Teachers from 6 VDCs ( Thumpikhar, Tulipikhar, Hagam, Filpinkot, and Rayale) in3 districts (Sindupolchowk, Kavre and Gorkha) . Mentor Teachers observe teachers on their caseloads multiple times a year and send reports back to NTTI Master Trainers. Teachers report that being observed and getting feedback from their Mentor Teachers keeps them motivated and principals are pleased that, because they do not want to look bad with their students in comparison to their colleagues, teachers are working much harder to create engaging lessons. NTTI is the only teacher program in Nepal that utilizes Mentor Teachers and Mr. Bhandari thinks this makes our program “revolutionary”.
NTTI Empowers Women: Sumi's Story
"When I started my teaching career, I was not a trained teacher. I just joined the teaching profession to make a living, but then I discovered that I was very passionate about teaching and really wanted to make learning fun for my students. Being part of Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI) has been a great opportunity for me. Being with NTTI has helped me in my professional development by giving me lots of ideas and teaching methods and enabling me to feel more professional and confident as both a teacher and a person. Female students and teachers now tell me that I am a good role model for them because I am strong and independent.
Being part of NTTI has also improved the quality of my life for me and my family because my salary has enabled us to install electricity and running water in our house. Before, we had no electricity and we had to get all our water from the neighborhood well. Sometimes we had to wait in line for a long time and then the water might even run out. Now we even have a computer and I love learning new things from the Internet, like every day expressions in English from You Tube or how to feed my cat Panda her pill.
When I first joined NTTI I was a teacher. Then I became a trainer and now I am the Educational Coordinator for the Project. I never thought I would go so far in my life and that I would feel so proud of myself. NTTI has opened up my world and made me more confident than I ever thought was possible for me."
Sumi the Superstar
Sumati comes from a single parent family. Her father died when she was 13 and ever since then she has been the family’s sole breadwinner. Although her mother has only an eighth grade education, Sumi is getting her Masters in Arts from. Tibhuvan University. When we first met Sumi, she was working as a primary-level teacher making less than $56/month.
Sumi participated in the first NTTI training and we were immediately impressed by her ability to apply what she learned to her own teaching. As soon as NTTI received it’s first grant, we hired her to be our Assistant Trainer. Within a year she was promoted to Master Trainer and began conducting trainings and providing feedback to teachers, including male teachers, who sometime have more education and/or experience then she does and who are often from "higher " castes.
In May of 2013, Sumi became NTTI's Educational Coordinator and is now responsible for supervising all NTTI programs on ground in Nepal. She is our Superstar!
NTTI Empowers Women
Sumi's experience is one example of how NTTI empowers women. By being active participants in NTTI trainings and working as Mentor Teachers who provide on-going coaching to their peer teachers, NTTI-trained female teachers are challenging prevailing stereotypes of women as being intellectually inferior to men and are proving themselves to be catalysts for positive change in their schools. NTTI has trained more than 500 female teachers from 11 districts across Nepal. 45 of these female teaches are now working as Mentor Teachers coaching their peers, including male teachers, and working with school principals to uplevel the quality of instruction for students.
Supporting this project will enable us to train 100's of additional female teachers who, like Sumi, will serve as powerful role models and sources of hope for the women and girls in their communities. If you make a contribution today, March your donation will be match and NTTI will get twice the amount.
Thanks in advance for your support.
In the past months, NTTI trainers have been traveling to increasingly remote corners of Nepal including Manbu, Sirdibas, and Lapu in North Gorkha, where schools are typically a 3-6 days walk to the nearest road and paths are often steep and treacherous. In most villages, this is the first time teachers have received training and they are very open and excited to learn new techniques.
North Gorkha Training Report, Submitted by Master Trainer Sumati S.
"The trail was wet and slippery and the Gandaki River was raging far below us as we trekked up the mountain to the village where we were giving our 5-day training. Our guide told us that there had been many landslides this winter and that numerous people and mules had fallen over the path into the river loosing their limbs along the way. We were scared, but when we arrived in the village after it was already dark, all the teachers were waiting for us with eager, smiling faces and katas (ceremonial scarves) and mallas (garlands of flowers) and that made our treacherous trip worth it.
At the end of our training Rayendra Sir gave a speech about how useful the information was for him and for all the teachers. I could see from his eyes that he really meant it. The teachers promised us that they would use all the NTTI techniques and we are now excited to see their improvement when we return for our post-training classroom observations after a few months. We hope though that the mountain paths will be less dangerous on our next trip.
Here are some things the teachers said about our training:
“ The NTTI training taught me how to make my students think and not just memorize.” Anisha, Primary School, Teacher at Buddha Secondary School
“ Previously I gave lots of lectures but now I will try to let my students discover he answers for themselves in different ways. I feel much more confident and passionate about my teaching after the training.” Mukti, Lower Secondary Teacher at Bhuddah Secondary School, Sirdibas
"This training for us is a great asset from NTTI . We will keep it until our last breath. I particularly like the trainer's way of giving feed back in a very positive way. Now I am stealing their technique of giving feedback. We promise you NTTI that what you taught us will be always in our heart and we will apply it in our school. " Principal of Manbu Higher Secondary School.
Thanks to the generous contributions from our supporters, NTTI has trained more than 1,500 teachers from 11 Districts across the country. Because each teacher works with roughly 60 students, NTTI -trained teachers are having a positive impact on more than 90,000 children!!
With continued funding we will be able to train 1,500 additional teachers over the next three years.
Thank you so much for your support!
The NTTI teacher training team has recently conducted training in Sirdibas and Lupu in Gorkha regions.
All the teachers were observed teaching in their classes before the training which helped the team to design the training package. Following the training all the teachers have been observed and given personal feedback and a certificate of completion.
We received the following feedback from the teachers which took part:
“I am a recent high school graduate and began teaching Primary students 3 months ago. I feel very lucky to have received such comprehensive training at the beginning of my career. A lot of my queries and anxieties were addressed. I know more about how I should behave with the children, how to give them instructions and, importantly, how to make them think. I am planning to use pair learning and group learning with small children in Nursery and Grade one. I think every new teacher should be able to take this training before starting real teaching to raise awareness of best teaching practices in their classroom.”
“I am a lower secondary teacher in Bhuddha Secondary School, Sirdibas and have been a teacher for nearly 20 years. I am glad to have been given the chance to receive such an integrated and practical teacher training session. Previously I gave lots of lectures to the children, however these new methods allow the children to think and discover in different ways. I feel more confident and passionate about my teaching after the training and I am excited to use the teaching practices in my classrooms.”
“I work as a Primary School Teacher in Sringa Himalaya Primary School, Jagat. I have been teaching for about 7 years and am passionate about education and a child friendly way of teaching. This training showed the variety of activities I can use in the classroom and I now know how to make plans to include various activities and group work to cover all kinds of learners and make my teaching more effective. The use of child development plans is particularly useful to me.”
The past few months have been busy ones for Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI). We began working in North Gorkha, one of the most remote and impoverished parts of Nepal where many villages are a three to six days walk from the nearest road and literacy rates for women in some communities are below 2%. So far we have trained 55 teachers and 35 of these teachers have been selected to work as Mentor Teachers who will provide on-going support to the teachers at their schools and serve as role models and sources of inspiration.
Teachers love our trainings!
Munni is a teacher at Shree Chandredaya Lower Secondary School in Manbu, Gorkha district, where she has been teaching for five years. Before participating in NTTI training, Munni says, her confidence was low and she never spoke up or felt able to express her ideas. This changed during the training, however, as NTTI created an environment in which she was encouraged to participate. The opportunity to receive feedback about her teaching from NTTI Master Trainers has helped her to feel less nervous.In fact, Munni's passion and commitment to teaching has resulted in her being selected as a Mentor Teacher. She is proving courageous as well as effective in her ability to provide feedback to her male colleauges, many who come from “higher” castes and have more education and teaching experience than she has.
Munni tell us: “The students say they like our teaching better since we went to NTTI training because we do more work in groups, play more games, and ask them their opinion. Now the children are coming to school more often.” “
Students say our training makes a big difference in what happens in the classroom. Dolma Lama from Nawayug School tells us:
“Before there was a lot of cramming for the exam and teachers only taught us from the book. Now they ask us questions to make sure we understand and they ask us what we think.”
To date NTTI has trained 1300 teachers and is having an impact on more than 78,000 students from 11 districts across the country!
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