“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”
– John F. Kennedy
Every week for the past one month, different school teams from the Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Education Institutions Society (APSWREIS) have been coming together to share reflections and highlights from the week. Together, they explore a space where each of them have a voice and agency irrespective of their experience or position in the school. These learning circles have been a great source of inspiration and motivation for many teachers and school leaders.
The Learning Circle series started as an attempt to build continuity in actionable leadership post training programs conducted by Mantra4Change. The team envisioned this to be a space where every member of the school team came together consistently to build a community of support. As added skill sets, teachers are also being equipped with the knowledge of planning and facilitation.
The objective behind piloting this structure was also to check for its sustainability and impact on the regular planning activities in the schools.
Here is a peek into the process :
Designing processes like Learning Circles to enable professional learning communities to form have many underlying factors that determine their sustainability and effectiveness.
Leadership development process like this learning circle series has many underlying factors that determine its sustainability and effectiveness. They can broadly, be broken down into two main categories:
Skill : These are specific capacities that drive actions in any development process.
For example – Planning, Facilitation, Evaluation, etc.
Will : This aspect is more often a readiness to learn, unlearn and take action.
For example – Inclusivity, Collaboration, and Holistic Approach.
Based on various monitoring and evaluation structures, it is quite evident that almost 100% of the schools that participated in this pilot journey have shown consistency with the structure.
“It is very useful to gather all staff and to know their mindset, interest and their nature in a fun manner and healthy atmosphere. I like this program”
– Ruth Ramola, School Leader- Racherla School
In addition, over 90% of teachers found this space to be a source of support and innovative ideas to make learning more rigorous and relevant.
In a world that is learning to function using technology amidst a pandemic, such spaces are our hope for genuine human interactions full of empathy, rigour and commitment.
“The LC space energises the teachers for their upcoming classes and helps them to voice their challenges and wins. They also have started exploring their strengths and areas of improvement through this space. Irrespective of cadres, all teachers mingle together in this space and strengthen as a team. We hope to see positive changes in their classroom teaching through this experience.”
-T Jayashree, School Leader-Vepada School
With this pace, the hope is, to one day witness school leaders creating their own learning circle plans, operationally managing the logistics and making each voice of their team heard and acknowledged.