"Fan blades" in the teacher training system
24 September, 2021
Each teacher is an important link in the daily, sustainable development of students. At Olympia, each participant is given the best opportunity to develop both professionally and personally. With the orientation to developing a school of the future, teachers are the ones who play the role of coordinators, inspirer and companion instead of leading all learning activities as traditional. This requires teachers and the organization to show significant development and effort in cultivating competence.
After more than 10 years of establishment, we would like to share the FAN TRAINING MODELin the development and organization of the school’s training program.
Olympia’s fan has 4 main blades, equivalent to 4 school levels: preschool, primary school, middle school, and high school. The training content is distributed in many levels: Academic team level, school level, and inter-school level. We highly appreciate the values of connection and cooperation like fan blades which are closely lined up next to each other, complementing and completing each other to create a sustainable system.
Based on the focused mission of the school year, the survey results, and reports on teacher quality and teaching quality, we determine the overall training objectives and content for inter-school training programs. The participants are all teachers, teaching assistants, and staff members working at The Olympia Schools. At school level and academic team level, the procedures are maintained.
However, at school level and team level, some forms of training are supplemented to promote teachers’ development of personal capabilities, such as: self-study, sharing experiences, or academic team meetings, 1:1 training, participating in professional development courses (online or offline) from external organizations. Each training activity has a clearly layered development goal, closely linked to each other, to the problems which need solving, and to the needs of ongoing development of the team.
At Olympia, both teachers and students clearly define learning as the focus, and learning is understood as the process of receiving and creating changes in perception and behavior. Each person is the subject of his own learning process. To realize this, each teacher is aware that in each lesson plan, interactions with learners both inside and outside the classroom play an important role in this process: active participation, knowledge building based on prior knowledge, and real social contexts. Clearly understanding that, the training and team development prioritize the development of professional capacity and pedagogical and educational skills. The continuing training program focuses on fostering teaching activities in the direction of developing competence in order to achieve complex requirements in the constantly changing educational and social contexts.
Olympian teachers in the training session: “Effective teachers” (T.E.T)
Why did we choose the fan model to share 10 years of “growing people” experience with our teachers? Because at the 3rd level, which is academic team level (team/individuals), we highly value Connection and Cooperation. The training results are continuously reflected in three levels, supporting each other like the training scale with three clear development goals: ensuring, checking and verifying the quality of the team, continuously supporting development. The assignment of roles to achieve these goals is not only the responsibility of Board of Management but also the teachers’ responsibility for connecting, cooperating with colleagues to develop lesson plans, learning materials, conduct observations and give constructive feedbacks. Through each school year, thanks to regular reports, we continuously immerse ourselves in the goals and advanced educational models to research for supporting tools for teachers. As a result, each teacher is reflected and supported in the personal and professional development paths.
For many years, Thomas Hobbes’s words have always been present in the professional development notebook of each teacher, each school manager and leader: “Learning is intellect ownership”. This notebook carries the teachers’ notes, questions, problems, and imprints on their self-development journey. We believe that Learning and Intellect bring about freedom and new horizons of thinking.
The training activities will still be carried out in accordance with our plans. There is a question which we always ponder:”Quo vadis?”. It is in our thought that creating a school of the future is a quest which requires strong will, braveness and pioneer.
 Quo Vadis?is a Latin phrase meaning "Where are you going?” This phrase originated from a Christian story regarding Saint Peter. While fleeing from crucifixion in Rome, Peter met Jesus. Peter asked Jesus, "Quō vādis?" (“Where are you going”), and Jesus replied, "Rōmam eō iterum crucifīgī" ("I am going to Rome to be crucified again"), which reminded Peter to continue his ministry in a courageous way. Finally, he returned to Rome and was martyred by being crucified.