Framing Teacher Development for Student Well-Being
In crisis and post-crisis contexts, teachers‘ lives are often difficult. How can teachers best be supported when they have pressing, economic survival needs? How can they be encouraged to teach well when they may have conflicting desires and motivations? These are important questions to be considered and answered.
In crisis situations, the community often chooses teachers without those selected individuals ever having had formal teacher training, experience teaching or working with children and youth or even a desire to teach. These teachers may be far from most people‘s idea of who a teacher is. They may not even match the teacher‘s own idea of who a teacher should be! Likewise, some of the best vocational and skills training teachers may be practicing artisans. Many may be illiterate but talented professionals. Other teachers within child and youth protection and development programs may not be much older than their youth beneficiaries. It may not have occurred to the individuals in these examples that they would have much to offer to young people as teachers.
Teacher training and support must relate to teachers‘ experiences, priorities and aspirations in order to be effective. Training that does not take this into account results in poor teaching, which impacts negatively on students‘ learning experiences and well-being.
Within Healing Classrooms, IRC defines student as any individual receiving instruction or training in a range of learning environments such as formal and non-formal schools, literacy and numeracy classes, vocational training and even apprenticeships.
Children are defined as all boys and girls up to the age of 18, while youth refers to young women and men between the ages of 15 to 24.