What being a leader means

Being a leader requires commitment and great qualities from an individual. Besides, for a person to be termed a good leader, he should be able to establish a motivating vision of the future and ensures that the people his leading are interested and inspired. Leadership in school involves guiding students, teachers, and parents in the aim of achieving a common educational goal. In this case, the activity that required me to show leadership of my associates is the introduction of leadership training activity meant for the interns in the college I work as a primary school teacher and as a year leader for my peers in college. 

Leadership training ideas

Leadership training provides the necessary skills for people to be great leaders in future. A person becomes an inspiration through the development of an efficient leadership style. Being a leader entails more than using the position to threaten coworkers to do what is expected. Therefore, more effective leadership requires qualities and training activities. They include trust, facilitating, exploration, establishing and organization. These leadership training accomplishments positively impact an individual’s leadership qualities. In my experience as a team leader, I particularly draw upon concepts and models of professional learning and development. However, I also find a place for formal and informal learning to be quite influential in the development of my professional practice. According to Webster-Wright (2009, p. 730), education is a continuous process, and teachers are no exception to learning despite being educators. As such, I find myself developing knowledge throughout my career despite having been bestowed the responsibility of imparting knowledge to students. Training for me has been the channel through which knowledge is developed and enhanced throughout time. Sentiments by Darling-Hammond and McLaughlin (1995, p. 600) suggest that there exists a need for the development of policies in the education sector in support of professional development in the skills and knowledge of educators. The challenge that exists is, however, that professional development practices through proper training have focused on the delivery of content rather than the enhancement of learning (Webster-Wright, 2009, p. 704). Consequently, the training process fails on the premise that it does not result in the acquisition of new knowledge and skills that can enhance understanding and application of professional development (Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995, p. 597). 

As a year leader, I have found myself in situations of advisor and counselor to my peers where they seek my advice and wisdom as regards to how to conduct professional practice. Although training takes a formal approach towards imparting skills and knowledge to teachers. I also find it necessary that outside the professional context of training, teachers can be given tips and advice on how to develop their professional practice. That brings me to the second theory that had had impactful influence in my professional practice, and that is formal and informal learning as aspects of knowledge and skills development that are complimentary.  Sentiments by Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin (1995, p. 597) suggest that although traditional notions of in-service training provide opportunities for development of knowledge in real life situations, it does not offer a chance for teachers to share their knowledge, discuss what was learned and relate their experiences to the application of concepts. To that end, informal learning fills the gap by allowing teachers to critically discuss their engagement with the training and eventually develop skills and expertise that they can then apply professionally. Social media platforms, as well as self-regulated learning, are but a few of the means through which people can connect with each other beyond the professional context of the training environment. As such, the informal connection provides an opportunity for growth and development of skills through experience sharing and application in various contexts (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2011, p. 3). 

Essay for leadership training

Consequently, training provides the knowledge that is necessary for ensuring that educators are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to deliver on their mandate as teachers effectively. However, in recognition of the fact that education and learning is an endless and continuous undertaking. It is imperative that educators gradually improve their knowledge and skills in the profession. In my experience as a primary school teacher, I have found it quite intriguing that the current crop of primary school students is widely enlightened on matters technology. As such, incorporating technology in the learning environment such as the use of computers has a significant implication in improving learning outcomes. Hence, the necessity for training teachers like myself on computer literacy. Nonetheless, training in isolation does not prove to be effective enough to ensure that the teachers effectively apply knowledge and skills achieved during training sessions in the learning environment. In that esteem, informal and formal learning concepts step in to fill this gap. As such, when teachers engage with peers in an informal setting, they are able to share and exchange knowledge that they would otherwise not in a professional training session. 

Sentiments by Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin (1995, p. 599) are such that, the informal learning environment proves critical in the development of teacher’s ability to learn collaboratively. Hence, through sharing of knowledge in the execution of strategies such as planning and evaluation, the teachers can engage in cross-role development outcomes where the sharing of teaching experiences becomes a point of comparison and contrast. It is through, formal and informal learning that teachers can be engaged as both student and educator. The central goal in this view is to evaluate how effective knowledge and skills developed or obtained during training can be applied in the context that would best suit the interests of the student fraternity (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2011, p. 4). Integrating formal and informal learning has the implication of allowing individuals to assess and reflect on their practice. Moreover, through informal engagement, the development of inquiry and experimentation will have the implication of enhancing collaborativeness and sustainability of teacher’s and student’s knowledge through the ongoing intensive educational process of knowledge and skill advancement. Therefore, I find that professional learning should be supported by informal learning where three main things must take center stage. First, is the creation of opportunities for teacher inquiry and collaboration while the second is for the development of an environment of self-reflection. Finally, the third attribute concerns the successful application of formal lessons based on the informal analysis of the context in an effort to adequately suit the context of the learning engagement. 

In conclusion, as a teacher and a leader, I have come to experience the duality of my responsibilities to the students and to peers in providing leadership. Notably, to serve the interests of both groups effectively, I acknowledge that learning is a continuous process for both students and educators. I draw upon theoretical concepts of that are basically models of professional learning as well as formal and informal learning concepts. I believe that through formal training educators can be imparted with the knowledge and skills necessary for the development of students knowledge. However, proper application of such training requires informal learning processes that allow the educator to evaluate their students as well as their learning outcomes to effectively apply strategies. To that effect, it is my hope that by combining formal and informal learning opportunities, teachers can place themselves in a position of relevant knowledge development that proves effective in the teaching practice. 

Staff development needs

A growing staff development needs in my area of knowledge and expertise regarding education, and teacher knowledge pertains to the development of technological skills and knowledge. As such, the 21st-century teacher is faced with the challenge of teaching highly technologically savvy students. However, the generation of teachers my age did not grow up with the smartphones, tablets, and computers that students nowadays are highly exposed to. Notably, technologies present a promising avenue for knowledge development that can enhance learning in the classroom. As such, through the incorporation of technology in the learning environment, teachers can be in a position to better present lessons in a manner that is best understood by the students. However, teachers of an older generation obviously are lacking in knowledge and expertise as pertains to the application of various technologies in the classroom environment. As such, it is imperative that through training and development, the teacher’s skills can be improved to enhance their capacity and capabilities as pertains to their application of technologies in the learning environment. Hence, the need to develop skills and knowledge of the teaching fraternity in technological integration in learning is necessitated. 

As a leader in the execution of the teacher training program on technology knowledge and skills, I would play a central role in the development of knowledge regarding the importance of technological integration in teaching. As such, I would design the program in such a way that the training sessions incorporate both formal and informal learning. For instance, after teaching teachers on how to use computers and tablets to enhance pupil’s mathematical knowledge, I would then proceed to accommodate a discourse around the learning outcomes based on the training sessions. Drawing on knowledge and experiences of various teachers, I will create a Facebook group where teachers can post their experiences with the use of technology. The platform will act as an avenue for the development of a conversation that leads to the improvement of knowledge and skills of the teaching fraternity towards incorporation of technology use in the classroom. Moreover, the platform will provide members with an opportunity to share advice, seek knowledge, and discuss tips on how to improve. Eventually, formal and informal learning on technological integration in teaching will serve to enhance the knowledge and skills of the teaching fraternity in the profession. 

Modern methodology of teaching

Theoretically, teaching and learning are intertwined meaning that teachers as educators cannot escape the fact that they themselves are students in an ever-changing environment of education delivery. According to Webster-Wright (2009, p. 704), there is a need for the government to establish programs that will ensure that educators progress their knowledge in line with the dynamic needs of the education sector. In my experience teaching, I have come across students with varied intellectual capabilities. As such, the students, therefore, require differentiated approaches towards teaching them the same lessons. In the same way, the approach that was traditionally effective in teaching where the classical classroom environment of teacher and students is no longer proving effective. In practice, the realities that face students in this century are different from the one that faced the generation of teachers who are deliberating lessons. Sentiments by Dabagh and Kitsantas (2011, p. 5) argue that the advent of the internet has brought learning to the fingertips of the learner. Within the context of higher education, students can conduct research from online libraries and engage with their lecturers in real-time through online based classroom environments such as telecasting. As such, the education environment keeps transforming, and the dynamism keeps moving down from higher education carders to lower ones. It is but a matter of time before the primary school level of education where I teach is affected. In fact, I can already attest to the influence that technology has had on my students. For instance, teaching mathematical concepts through a computer game has a more successful impact in creating understanding than the conventional blackboard practice of teaching. Hence, the realization that the current crop of students ought to incorporate technology in their lessons to enhance their awareness and understanding of concepts taught in class is inescapable. 

To that extent, it is my opinion that teachers as educators especially at the primary level must, therefore, develop their technological savviness if they are to achieve better results in teaching students. The application of technology in the classroom provides an effective and productive approach towards developing an appeal to the current generation of primary school students. Sentiments by Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin (1995, p. 600) provide the best approach that will facilitate an assurance that the practical skills and knowledge developed through training processes are applied effectively in practice. Hence, theory meets practice when formal training is applied in informal situations in such a manner that it suits or fits the occasion adequately. What that means is that teacher training in the technological application of teaching is not sufficient if they cannot effectively apply the knowledge that they have gained to varied contexts in the classroom environment. For instance, a mathematical lesson differs starkly from an English language lesson. In the same line, it is expected that an application of technology that will result in the effective delivery of a mathematics lesson will also differ marginally from one that applies to the English lesson. Take, for instance, the use of visuals such as numbers and figures, for example, apples in groups to teach pupils addition. The same context would not be appropriate for teaching language skills. Instead, an audio pronouncing the words apples as well as other English words would prove more appropriate. In that regard, the application of technology in the classroom environment will require that the skills taught or applied in teaching are relevant and effective in the context. Further, understanding the current generation of students will require an informal approach where teachers share their knowledge and experiences on their application of different technologies to teach pupils. For instance, I doubt that the same technological applications that appeal to lower primary school children would achieve the same success with higher primary kids. 

References

Dabbagh, N. & Kitsantas, A., 2011. Personal Learning Environments, Social Media, and Self-regulated Learning: A Natural Formula for Connecting Formal and Informal Learning. Internet and Higher Education, XX(XXX), pp. 1-6.

Darling-Hammond, L. & McLaughlin, M. W., 1995. Policies that Support Professional Development in an Era of Reform. Phi Delta Kappan, 76(8), pp. 597-604.

Webster-Wright, A., 2009. Reframing professional development through understanding authentic professional learning. Review of Educational Research, 79(2), pp. 702-739.