No teacher is an Island

Reading Time: 7 minutes


When we step into the head-teacher’s office in one of our project schools, Foday, the facilitator comes in and greets us. He asks us to be patient while they sort out lunch for the children and get the teachers together. We sit back and relax, and watch the hundreds of learners receive their rice and plasas under the supervision of their teachers. We are there to observe a TGM: a Teacher Group Meeting. Teacher Group Meetings are meetings where teachers come together to share challenges and advice. Their aim is to facilitate an environment wherein teachers share knowledge and skills, and improve their practice through peer-learning. The facilitators are teachers who were chosen by their school leader to run these meetings and attended a one-day workshop in preparation for that. During the workshop, they learned about facilitation: how to create a safe environment during the TGMs and to encourage interaction between teachers. Facilitators were also offered materials and a structure for facilitating a TGM, which they altered to fit their own unique school contexts and their colleagues’ needs.

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