Ramnagar High School is a private school run by Mr. Sreedhar. Established in 1996, the school is located in a semi-urban region of Telangana. The total strength is about 351 students with 15 teachers. Majority of the students are first-generation learners. Mr Sreedhar has been the Principal of this school for the past 26 years apart from teaching Mathematics to tenth grade students during the same time.
Challenge faced by the school leader
The school leader, Mr Sreedhar is an experienced, skilled teacher. Despite being able to teach his students in an effective manner, he needed support in passing that skill to his teachers. Especially when it came to subjects such as English and Social, he was not comfortable observing the classes since these were not the subjects that he had taught. He was not able to train and support teachers’ development.
Intervention by the ISLI Program Manger to support the school leader
After the workshop on ‘creating lesson objectives’, the school leader learnt that English as a subject is divided into different skills and each of these skills needs to be taught in a particular manner for students to master those skills. For instance, for building reading comprehension skill in children, the ISLI Program Manager (Priya Srinivasan) and the school leader discussed a teaching strategy with few steps in a sequence –
- First, independent reading time was given to children.
- This was followed by peer reading and peer discussion.
- After this, the teacher would explain the lesson and ask questions.
By counting the number of students who are able to identify answers from the passage at the end of the class, they could measure the comprehension levels of students.
The school leader practiced the strategy in Class V and noticed that the number of students raising hands to answer at the end of the lesson was increasing. Once he mastered the nuances of the strategy, he trained his teachers and suggested them to demonstrate what they had learnt by teaching a trial class. The teachers shared the feedback that there was a marked increase in participation and students who used to be reluctant participants, were now eager to participate.
The school leader also incorporated the student trackers in his class where students were awarded points for participation and correct answers.
Impact on teachers and students
- All the teachers in his school are now following this teaching strategy. The focus of teachers in the school is now moving from rote learning and syllabus completion to developing requisite skills in students such as developing reading comprehension, independent writing skills, etc.
- There is a visible improvement in student participation.
The school leader has now set a goal for each grade level to work on improving their reading fluency and writing skills. He will be working on students’ reading with expression and voice modulation.