Existence of an online collaborative platform for teachers in rural areas, which will develop leadership skills for them and their students.
The life opportunities available to a young person in Romania today depend highly on their background and the quality of education received before turning 15. Children from poor, rural and/or Roma backgrounds have a far lower chance of reaching secondary/tertiary education and are confined to a life of limited professional options, low-skilled employment and continued poverty for them and their families. At national level, studies show that 30% of 8th grade graduates earn grades below 5, 40% of high school graduates do not pass the Baccalaureate exam, 40% of 15 year-old students have difficulties reading and understanding a basic text. Only 1 in 10 children from rural areas reaches university.
In rural areas, demotivated or under-trained teachers have to respond to complex needs; without access to quality training, they are not able to promptly respond to these needs. Meanwhile, generation after generation of children become adults that are not prepared for adult life and its challenges.
Also, the technological advances increase, and this can create a huge gap between those with access to what technology can offer in terms of education and those without.
From its launch, our organization is recruiting top graduates and preparing them to become inspirational teachers in disadvantaged schools. The“Teaching as Leadership” philosophy, built on proven premises (all children can learn if adequate learning contexts are created, and the effective teacher can thus resolve the delays which children in vulnerable communities face) has given results and is now ready to reach more teachers. The training and support that Teach for Romania is giving its teachers can be offered on a larger scale, by creating a collaborative platform aiming the teachers in rural areas, which will contain a learning experience based on Teaching as Leadership model, offering information and methods necessary for teachers in order to develop leadership skills to their students.
The challenge is at a national level. In the pilot version we want to focus on the south-eastern area of Romania: with the help of the collaborative platform, the schools where our organization supports teachers from Teach for Romania program will have access to training and resources.
We want to expand our program knowledge to other teachers and give access to all the teachers in the schools where TfR has placed teachers in its 4 years of existence. Accessibility of these resources in a blended learning system represents the training that teachers need in order to change the educational paradigm - from transmitting knowledge to encouraging and building on each child’s potential.
We are addressing schools from disadvantaged communities, facing a lot of challenges, from under-trained and demotivated teachers to poverty, lack of resources, access to quality information or challenging students. The target group is formed by all teachers that activate in the partner schools.
Many schools are coming to us with the wish to have access to Teach for Romania philosophy and training; due to lack of human and financial resources, we failed to provide training and support to them. We want to scale TfR program and train more teachers, so the collaborative online training platform is essential.
In its 3 years of existence, TfR team has refined the curriculum offered to our teachers, so that we now would be able to concentrate it in an innovative method of blended learning, but we need proper technical support in developing it. We want to organize our contents into an online curriculum, webinars, live stream sessions, coaching 1:1, online mentoring, study groups, demonstrative lessons, along with a database of resources.
The Training and Support team from our organization will ensure the development of the contents that will exist on the platform. We will build on the experience of training the 4 generations of teachers we have by now.
Our previous work consisted in classic training sessions, which mean high costs, dissemination of materials on e-mail, onedrive or Facebook groups, travels for tutoring support, all these available only for teachers in TfR program.
We wish for a solution that reaches more teachers, thus being able to accept more teachers in the program and not only in the SE of Romania (the farther the teacher, the greater the costs of support without the support of a platform), that will have full access and training on the platform; so the solution will ensure less costs for coaching, training, tutoring or support interventions.
We also hope to open TfR resources to all teachers in the schools where TfR teachers are activating, and for whom we weren’t able to share knowledge so far in an organized way.
Our desire is to expand and make available our philosophy and the knowledge built so far to more teachers, regardless if they are part of TfR program or not.
In order to achieve our goals, we commit to working in close collaboration and respectfully with the selected solution provider towards:
• Sharing our expertise, data and information with the selected SP, on the issue we are adressing
• We will be able to provide connections to partners and promotion among our social network adn school partners
• Throughout the challenge and beyond, our Training and Support team, together with external trainers, will help develop the content on the platform and cooperate with the SP to make the solution sustainable in the long run. We will also appoint a person to act as project manager, and that will devote at least 25% of time to this project.
• We have an Operational team that ensures our organization logistic support and that can contribute with logistic support (technical support, resources)
• ensuring the resources that our organization has (hosting in our co-working space, logistic resources, access to relevant events)
The volume of work will be estalished together with the solution provider, according to the technology readiness level.
This challenge complies 100% with the ethical standards of the project agreement.