Reaching out to future partners

April 17, 2018

Teachers First is on a continuous journey to expand till we reach all 27 modereyas. Till this happens, the program is carrying out several initiatives that aim to bring it closer with teachers who have not participated yet. In light of this, we have held several "reach out" events in the modereyas that held the highest numbers of applications (less than those who were accepted). We have visited Qena, Sohag, the Red Sea and Ismailia, with the latter being extra special as it brought together other modereyas which are Port Said, Suez and South Sinai (North Sinai was keen on attending but could not due to logistical reasons). We were joined by the highest officials of the modereyas in every governorate as well as Dr. Ahmed Hashish, Head of the Central Department for Educational Leaders Development. In Ismailia specifically, we were joined by Governor Yaseen Taher himself, along with other modereya of Ismailia officials and esteemed high officials of the other attending modereyas. Details on the program were shared with the attendees, who were comprised of officials and teachers. Questions were answered and expectations were shared. With Teachers First on its path to develop professional behaviours inside classrooms and schools, Egypt guarantees founding a unqiue and innovative learning society that is able to make a difference.

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Workshop two, the journey continues

April 10, 2018

After a month of applying their new learnings, participating teachers returned for more knowledge and experience in workshop two of Teachers First. This workshop is very important as it allows teachers to reflect on their journey so far, as well as learn more of the behavioural framework that the program relies on. The three main themes of the framework – Learning, Teaching and Assessment, were shared in workshop two. Teachers learned the behaviours that belong to each theme, along with descriptors that make understanding and applying these behaviours easier. They then came up with activity plans to apply them in the classroom and the school. Another crucial point of focus in this workshop is encouraging communities of practice to continue expanding. A wider community that includes teachers from all subjects and backgrounds allows a diverse flow of ideas and experiences that enriches the journey. In addition to continuously reflecting on the results of their new learnings, approaches and applications, teachers are also encouraged to keep on sharing their experiences with their peers. This way, they both provide and receive the necessary support that sustains the professional development journey. “I think starting with Lengo and building the community of practice really helped us prepare ourselves for the second workshop. I consider everything I have learned to be foundation stones, ones that make creative and informative teaching possible – I am very excited about the results this will yield”, said Mr. Atef Mohamed, an Arabic teacher from the modereya of Sharkia.

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30,000 teachers are now part of the teachers first journey

April 5, 2018

30,000 teachers are now part of the teachers first journey Teachers First passed a new milestone with Ms. Rehab Hassan, the 30,000 member of the highly innovative program.   Ms. Hassan comes from Al Minya governorate, one of the newest modereyas to join Teachers First. She is a member of the extended community of practice of Guweid School for Basic Education in the Idara of Abu Qurqas.   In a celebration held at the school and attended by high-ranking representatives from the modereya of Al Minya and the idara of Abu Qurqas, as well as Dr. Ahmed Hashish, Head of the Central Department for Educational Leaders Development, Ms. Hassan was presented with a certificate of appreciation and thanks for joining the program. She now begins her journey as an ambassador of change within and beyond her community of practice.   “Teachers First would not have reached this milestone without the trust and hard work of Egyptian teachers. Your efforts are what feeds the continuous development of Egyptian education and are going to rise up with the Egyptian learning society,” said Dr. Hashish.   “I have the most supportive community and headmaster. Doing what we do is only possible by both believing in our message and through the support of those who believe in it as much as we do. I am thankful for all my colleagues, for programs like Teachers First and for all my students who are willing to open up to new ways of learning,” said Ms. Hassan.    

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Workshop one, the start of the journey

March 13, 2018

The journey through Teachers First starts with workshop one.  At this workshop we bring teachers together from across the moderyas to educate them about the fundamentals of the program.  The workshop gives teachers the opportunity to take time away from their schools, learn new ways to manage their classrooms, and gives them the space to think and share. Workshop one is also where communities of practice are formed for the first time. These communities provide a supportive environment where experiences are exchanged and peer-to-peer support is counted on. Mentors also introduce themselves to the teachers as companions during their workshop journey. Through the mentorship program, support is provided as teachers begin using new approaches in the classrooms. Lengo® cards are also presented in workshop one. The behavioural platform is a tool that helps teachers track their professional performance. This is done by awarding themselves and their peers points for achieved behaviours. Lengo® allows them to take ownership of their journeys, and look at their learning as a constantly developing process. “Sharing my experience inside the classroom with my colleagues has become vital to me. I constantly review my work and see myself through their feedback, which allows me to develop. I can see the improvement reflected in how my students react to each lesson, and this makes me continue applying the new methods,” remarked Ms. Mona Mohammed, one of the Cairo workshop attendees, when we followed up with her after the workshop. By embracing the idea of continuous development, teachers become life-long learners. It becomes easier for them to pass the message to their students, creating an ever-evolving Egyptian learning society.

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The Greater Cairo Pilot – Widening communities of practice to provide better communication opportunities

January 30, 2018

The Teachers First program is about the professional development of teachers.  Unlike other programmes it focuses on behaviours and combines formal workshops with ongoing mentoring and an online platform.  The program enables teachers to spread good practice and bring other teachers on the journey to improving the life chances of millions of children across Egypt. A core element of the program is the development of communities of practice (CoPs).  The Greater Cairo pilot built on the foundations of the development of CoPs by extending the community to include officials and supervisors within Idaras and Modereyas.  Engaging more of the educational hierarchy in the program encourages open lines of communication, and feedback between teachers and their Idaras and Modereyas, which in turn supports the sustainable growth of communities of practice within schools. This also enables schools to become centres of excellence that assist in building the Egyptian learning society. The pilot focuses on developing professional development of officials in Modereyas and Idaras in four key areas Mentoring and follow-up Quality assurance Active learning Supporting teachers practices Cairo, Giza and Qalyoubeia were the three Modereyas selected for the pilot program, all of which have demonstrated incredible success. Participants implemented their learnings, and school support has notably increased. All participants have also been introduced to the behavioural platform Lengo®, and have been active members on it since. The resulting efforts encouraged the consideration of expanding the pilot project to include more Modereyas, and see the same positive results reverberating through a wider range of schools across Egypt. So, while the Greater Cairo Pilot was born as an experiment to bring teachers and education officials closer, it has now become a full program with the aim of raising the level of understanding and support for teachers across more Egyptian Modereyas, and eventually all of them.

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Terms & Conditions for behavioural video casting call

January 16, 2018

The Teachers First program is crafted to benefit all teachers in the Egyptian learning society. Our vision is to gradually expand to reach every one of you. In the meantime and till we get there, we have decided to craft a course, accessible to all, that trains and prepares you till Teachers First reaches your school. This course, called the Associates course, is a comprehensive summary of the behaviours taught in Teachers First workshops. The course contains explanatory videos to illustrate every segment, and is your first step on the way to continuous professional development.   We are currently looking for teachers and students to help us in filming videos for the course. If you are interested in applying, please read the terms and conditions below. And remember, your participation is helping your fellow teachers, fellow students and the development of the entire learning community.   Terms & Conditions for behavioural video casting call:   Criteria based on which participants will be chosen: 1. Teachers must be currently employed in a public school, ages between 21 and 40 2. Students must be currently enrolled in a public school, ages between 9 and 16 3. Must be from Greater Cairo Area due to mobility and transportation issues 4. Looks to the camera, doesn't shy away 5. Outspoken, enunciates well   Audition video criteria: - Video to be submitted in the comment section on the Facebook post (no videos sent in private messages will be accepted) - The script provided must be followed. - Only one video to be submitted per person - Video not to exceed 30 seconds - Setting must be clear, shot in the morning - Sound must be clear - Video must be in Arabic *Deadline for submission is Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 15:00* Notes for participants: 1. Shooting will take place within 3-4 days in January/February. If you are selected, you must attend all production functions during that time. 2. There will be no monetary payment for participating in this project 3. Transportation expenses and meals will be provided     Scripts:   Teacher video: During Socratic questioning, the teacher is a model of critical thinking who respects students' viewpoints, probes their understanding, and shows genuine interest in their thinking. The teacher poses questions so that a student might develop a deeper understanding. 1. Why do you say that? 2. How does this relate to our discussion? 3. What could we assume instead? 4. What do you think causes this to happen? Student video: “‘The teacher’ never tells us the answer straight out. ‘He / She’ will teach us the basics, but then for the rest of the lesson they are encouraging us think aloud about the different learning outcomes. Along the way ‘teacher’ will always ask us nudging, prodding or probing questions. These are not meant to scare you, but to get you on the right path. When you don't get the right answer, she / he will ask scaffolding questions or ask others in the class, so that as a team, we feel like we're getting the right answer in the end.”  

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Teachers First begins its third phase seminars with Al Minya Governorate

December 14, 2017

Before the Teachers First workshops begin, a seminar is held in every participating governorate to acquaint heads of schools and Idara representatives with the program and its goals, strategies of execution and workshops. This phase, the first seminar was held in Al Minya governorate, a first-time participant in the Teachers First program. The event began with engaging participants in brainstorms that were eventually used to highlight the importance of forward thinking, and the necessity of genuine willingness to participate in a longer-run cycle of change.  Using this, Teachers First was illustrated as a starting point on a journey towards professional and personal development for educators, that will eventually be mirrored for other esteemed professions across Egypt. The team then proceeded to explain the need for the creation and implementation of sustainable behavioural development plans. They stressed that beginning with professional behaviour can pave the way for the development of all approaches and tools used by teachers. They also insisted that learnings that begin with one participating member can be propagated across the learning communities till it one day reaches every single Egyptian teacher. They then proceeded to explain the four pillars of the program – professional development, communities of practice, mentoring and Lengo©, the behavioural platform.  After the team introduced Teachers First, they proceeded to introduce themselves to the attendees, particularly the Minya venue team delivering and supporting the workshops there. Also mentioned was the importance of the support provided to the teachers by the heads of their schools and the Idara mentors, both morally and in facilitating holding the communities of practice meetings. One of the many purposes of the program is to eventually create a sustainable environment where all supports all. The questions and answers portion of the seminar covered topics such as educational reform beginning with teachers, as teachers are the most important educational asset we possess and with their willpower, anything can be executed. Becoming an agent of change for positive development in Egyptian education was one of the most highlighted themes of this highly successful, encouraging event.

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Teachers first Celebrates its 15,000 member

December 7, 2017

Today the Ministry of Education recognized and thanked Ms. Hoda Ibrahim Youssef, the 15,000 member of the highly innovative and successful Teachers First program.   Ms. Youssef, an Arabic language teacher from Al-Yarmook Primary School is one of the 15,000 teachers who are inspiring not only the next generation of learners but other teachers as well through their communities of practice. Ms. Youssef was presented with a certificate of thanks as well as the 15,000th Lengo© card.   The ceremony took place during a Lighthouse School workshop in Gamal Abd El Nasser Preparatory School for boys, in the Idara of Al-Zawia Al Hamra in Cairo. Attendees at the event included Ms. Kawthar Mohamed El-Shafei, General Manager of the Al Zawya Idara.   Ms. Youssef said, “My very first job was that of a teacher. My journey started 27 years ago and I cannot imagine a point in my life where I would even consider doing something different. This is not just my school, it’s my home, my family, my heart. The Teachers First program has not just been about my journey but that of my students. The program has made my teaching more engaging and you can see this in the smiles of the children in my class. I was honored to be teacher number 15,000 and I feel privileged to have a job that allows me to change the lives of not just this generation but future generations as well”   Dr Tarek Shawki, Minister of Education said “Reaching 15,000 teachers across Egypt truly is an amazing milestone. The pace of the program and the speed of change has exceeded my expectations. Teachers are changing the lives and prospects of students every single day. I look forward to the day when we can say that every teacher across has benefited from this inspiring program”   About the Lighthouse Program The Lighthouse Program was implemented to ensure that the core values of the Teachers First Program continue and that teachers don’t stop developing themselves and their students when the workshops come to an end. This critical component of the project is pivotal in building the capacity of the program, spreading the values of the program to schools in the wider community.

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Teachers first goes from strength to strength

December 4, 2017

The Ministry of Education is pleased to announce that the Teachers First Program continues to go from strength to strength.  On the 1st December, the number of teachers surpassed 15,000, meaning even more teachers are benefiting from the program and using the behaviors they have developed to inspire the next generation of learners.   A fundamental part of the program is Lengo ©, the behavioral change platform which is being used across mobiles and computers.  Figures released today show an astonishing amount of progress, with the number of uploads and comments by teachers trebling from 30,000 to 90,000 in the last month.   The Lighthouse School Program has become a catalyst for change and schools are starting to mentor and support each other, building the capacity of Teachers First and allowing for rapid expansion of the program.   Dr Tarek Shawki, Minister of Education said:   “The Teachers First Program is a core element of the Egyptian Learning Society which aims to make every Egyptian citizen into an active learner.   The news today that we are continuing to reach more teachers is a great testament to the success of the program.  We must engage teachers and support their development, they are the agents of change and have the power to transform the lives of students and the economy of Egypt”   About the Lighthouse Program The Lighthouse Program was implemented to ensure that the core values of the Teachers First Program continue and that teachers don’t stop developing themselves and their students when the workshops come to an end.   This critical component of the project is pivotal in building the capacity of the program, spreading the values of the program to schools in the wider community.

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LENGO Reporting tool Tutorial

November 16, 2017

LENGO Reporting tool Tutorial  

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