Role of Teachers & Professional Development
At Brilliant Stars School, we believe that knowledge is most useful to the learner when it is constructed through their own cognitive efforts so that it can be related to prior knowledge, while also allowing for future learning to be built on it. This calls for the role of the teacher to be that of a mentor stimulating student initiative and investigation, assisting students in activating their meaning-making competencies. Teachers are responsible for setting up an environment (classroom, images/books and learning resources, educational experiences, etc.) that creates opportunities for students to make their own discoveries and understandings. Also, the teacher should act as a facilitator, stimulating and encouraging productive interactions between students during study. Furthermore, teachers are expected to assume the role of researchers, observing and documenting the practices of their peers and themselves with a view towards critically analyzing and improving one another's performance.
Teachers as Facilitators
Professional DevelopmentSkilled and highly motivated teachers are our most valuable asset, and we realize that our faculty is an important instigator of change and inspiration in students. Hence, BSEMS teachers undergo intensive pre-service and in-service training sessions in order to enhance their language skills, stay updated with progressive pedagogy and educational tools, and constantly assess and evaluate their attitudes and relationships with their students.
Since March 2007, Brilliant Stars School teachers have participated in several workshops, totaling up to 300 hours of training! These workshops and intensive training sessions are conducted by a support team of education consultants from India and around the world. Some of the topics that have been covered in these knowledge-sharing sessions include child psychology, the importance and inclusion of arts in the school curriculum, popular theories of teaching/ learning, introductions to innovative curricula, curriculum design and implementation, classroom management practices, establishing and maintaining a professional learning community, and designing innovative and alternative assessment approaches and tools. In addition to receiving on-site training, BSEMS also sends its key resources for trainings held in India and abroad.
Support Team of Education Consultants
Mrs. Khanum Thampi (Bangkok, Thailand)Mrs. Thampi is Founder and Principal of Magic Years International Kindergarten in Bangkok, Thailand. She is also a member of the Santitham Foundation of Bangkok which oversees several socio-economic projects in Thailand. Mrs. Thampi conducts training and consultations in early childhood education to schools both in Thailand and throughout the region, including projects initiated by Princess Srirasmi of Thailand.
Mrs. Thampi has been serving Brilliant Stars English Medium School since June 2007. She has conducted several teacher training sessions at the school till date, and has primarily been involved with designing its Pre-Primary section programs and classrooms.
Siamack Zahedi (Mumbai, India)Mr. Zahedi currently serves as Head of School of The Gateway School of Mumbai, a non-profit special education needs institution in Mumbai. He has earned his Master’s of Education Degree from Columbia University, New York (USA), in December 2009.
Mr. Zahedi was a part of the conceptualization of the school model of Brilliant Stars English Medium School and initiated its set-up in December 2006. He has been working closely with the school’s teaching and administrative staff ever since, and his areas of responsibility span from teacher training and curriculum development to school management and fundraising.
Radhika Zahedi (Mumbai, India)Mrs. Zahedi currently teaches high school mathematics and science at Hill Spring International School – one of the most renowned international schools in Mumbai (India). She holds a Masters degree in Mathematics Education from Columbia University, New York (USA).
Mrs. Zahedi has been deeply involved with the professional development of primary school teachers at Brilliant Stars English Medium School, since December 2008. She is also consulted with on matters related to curriculum development and assessments.
Anuj Iyer (Mumbai, India)Mr. Iyer currently serves as Administrator of the Gateway School of Mumbai, a non-profit special education needs institution in Mumbai. He graduated with a degree in Banking and Insurance, but spent a few years serving as a teacher/ teacher-trainer/ admin-support/ School Coach at a rural school in Uttarakhand and Brilliant Stars English Medium School (BSEMS) respectively.Mr. Iyer was involved with Brilliant Stars English Medium School as a full-time Resource Person/ School Coach for a year (2012-13). During this time, he worked closely with the school’s leaders, administrative and teaching staff to build professional structures and increase the effectiveness of various aspects of the school’s functioning ranging from Service Learning Projects to the efficiency of the Academic Coordinators. He continues to be consulted on academic, administrative and management-related matters for BSEMS regularly.
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