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15.01.2021 Opinion

School reopening message from Informed Teachers Network (ITN)

By Moses Oppong Antwi || Member, Informed Teachers Network 
School reopening message from Informed Teachers Network (ITN)
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Good morning Headteachers and Assistants, Senior Teachers and Colleagues. Without cognitive dissonance, I am not assuming but fully cognizant that you are all doing well.

My post this morning is to share a personal preserved knowledge with you since school resumes today. To some, it may not be new, but in full reflection, I beseech all of us on this platform to go through to the last sentence and word. Notwithstanding, since knowledge is not a repository of one person, you can also share an idea that has bearing on this post to aid us all in our teaching.

As this term/semester marks the beginning of a new academic calendar, newly trained teachers, teachers on release and transfer, NABCO teachers, and service personnel from diverse places and backgrounds will join our individual schools as permanent teachers, and/or temporal teachers.

The onus, therefore, lies on us to initiate them as members of our school organization. Though many of them will have knowledge about the work. However, the environment and atmosphere surrounding their present school is/will be different from their former school.

The reason why I am interested in sharing this piece is that I have observed, and much aware that the idea of initiating new teachers into the culture of their new school is being relegated. This creates dissonance in the school system since ideas and philosophies become parallel due to differences in the background of training and environmental difference.

I therefore believe that, harmony in school system can be realised if school authorities appreciate the factors below and add up to their experience:

New teachers are mostly faced with difficulties in terms of adjusting to the predominant school culture, earning appreciation of colleagues, and winning the love of their learners. Some are even forced inwardly to compete the more experience teachers. These difficulties create in some new teachers, stress, feelings of low self efficacy. All these happen due to little understanding of how the new school operates. Therefore, headteachers are to ensure a systematic support system for newly posted teachers to help them fit into a school's culture.

There is the need for every head of a school, to educate newly posted teachers under his/her care about the norms and values of the society within which the school is situated. This will help inform the teacher on how to live his/her life to fit well into the society. Headteachers need to orient new teachers on aspects of varying school rules for both learners and facilitators, and the school's mission, and goals with respect to the school's education and teaching philosophy which is a subset of the national educational philosophy.

The old teachers should establish a social and cordial interaction with new teachers. This will ensure smooth socialization of the new teacher into the culture of the school. Old teachers should make it imperative to create a space for 'community practice'. There should be regular peer support mechanisms like: peer teaching, mentorship, relatable financial assistance, food, etc. This will help create lovely and mutual relationship amongst both new and old teachers and they can work under safe environment.

By doing all that, we will integrate new teachers into the whole culture of the school, to ensure realization of effective teaching and working atmosphere.

By Moses Oppong Antwi _ [email protected] Informed Teachers Network

Endorsed by Hon Jerry Akporhor - Founder and Lead Educator.

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