THE RIGHT FACULTY
At Podar, education is a top priority and we acknowledge that a school's faculty quality is crucial. Over 95 years, we've observed that students learn better when they're relaxed and engaged. Thus, we ensure proper staffing by using a dual strategy to secure the best teachers for our students.
At Podar Learn Schools, every candidate undergoes a rigorous selection process. We assess their attitudes, teaching approach, interaction with students, thinking style, and knowledge of child psychology. Additionally, we conduct both standard and custom background checks to ensure the teachers we hire meet our high standards.
OUR TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM
The Podar Education Network values continuous professional development for all employees, from school leaders to
teaching and non-teaching staff. Teachnique Trainings, a branch of the Podar Innovation Centre, serves as a one-stop training solution for the network.
During the pandemic, Teachnique quickly adapted and provided virtual training programs to support the network's goal of continuous professional development. The lockdown period was used to enhance the skills and systems of leaders and teachers through various virtual training programs.
Teachnique now offers training options including Classroom Programs, Virtual Training Programs, Coaching Programs, Project-Based Training, Video Modules, and Online Content for in-school training delivery.
Training programs designed to develop and enhance the classroom practice of teachers across all subjects.
Theatre in Education - Theatre in Education is a fun way of achieving learning objectives and curriculum through skills and techniques used in drama and theatre. The techniques involve the use Body-Voice and Imagination by the teacher, and subsequently by the students, to not only acquire knowledge but also its application in real life, thereby expanding curriculum into life with skills like empathy, confidence, public speaking and so much more. It equips the teachers with tools and techniques that make a classroom engaging and learning fun.
The training program aims at equipping the teachers with engaging activities and games based on conceptual goals, where a student seamlessly engages in learning and application of concepts in a fun and play-way environment.
Inquiry Based Learning 1.0 – an introductory program aimed at strategies to get students to ask more questions in class, develop their questioning skills and build their curiosity to discover and explore. Make students responsible for their own learning and make teachers responsible for students discovering.
Inquiry Based Learning 2.0 – an extension of the IBL 1.0 that takes inquiry based learning to the next level by using curiosity to engage learners in achieving learning outcomes through scientific and inquiry based methodologies.
Skills in Teaching - Teaching is a combination of different skills that a teacher uses in the class to facilitate learning. These skills too need to be upgraded with new developments in terms of teaching learning processes.'Skills in Teaching' module is to strengthen the core teaching skills of the teachers to make the learning interesting and joyful.
Understanding Assessment for Learning – a training module aimed at guiding teachers in identifying success criteria for desired learning outcomes of lessons and designing and using rubrics to assess the achievement of these criteria.
Subject Specific Training
1. ‘Enspire’ – training modules on innovative teaching strategies for English teachers.
2. Aarohan - training modules on innovative teaching strategies for Hindi teachers.
3. Mathadaology - training modules on innovative teaching strategies for Maths teachers.
4. SocioLogic - training modules on innovative teaching strategies for Social Studies teachers.
5. Scientifica - training modules on innovative teaching strategies for Science teachers.
School Support Training Programs
1. New School Training - In It to Win It is a combination of coaching and classroom training program conducted once every term for the leader and the staff of a school in the first year of its opening to orient and guide them into the systems and processes of the network.
2. Instructional Coaching - Coaching has emerged as one of the more effective professional development options for adult learners. A Principal’s most important role is instructional leadership. The instructional coaching program that aims at helping teachers reach their potential in terms of their planning and instructional practice, aims at building coaching skills amongst experienced teachers and helping leaders maximise their performance as instructional leaders.
3. Prevention of Sexual Harassment - Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) of women at the workplace is a top-priority for Podar Learn School. For the policy to be effective it is critical that every female in the organisation understands her rights and duties with regards to the prevention of any uncalled for event. It is also important that the male staff understand the unambiguity in terms of behaviour with female at the workplace. Education of the staff, therefore, is key to the effective implementation of the policy. The HR department along with the Podar Innovation Centre, conduct a training sessions to educate all employees on the law on POSH.
4. Open House Program – Learning trends across the world are changing and educationists are finding new ways to make virtual learning more joyful and meaningful for children. Although we connect to students on virtual platforms, we also need to connect with our parents and keep them updated on our plans and strategies. The Open Day/Open House is a great opportunity to connect with parents. This program is a visual training module that aims to bring parents and the school on the same page.
Training programs aimed at developing new leaders as much as enhancing the skills of experienced leaders in the network.
1. New Principal Induction Program – a 2-day training program for principals joining the network to induct them into the systems and process of the organisation.
2. Pedagogical Planning – A virtual training program to guide all school principals in the network to become Pedagogical Leaders, as defined by the CBSE and to help them design effective and sustainable Pedagogical Plans.
3. Learning Walkthroughs – A virtual training program to guide principals on the process of conducting learning walkthroughs that help principals become instructional leaders through strategic and effective interactions with teachers about their classroom practice. A strategy used by many principals to gather classroom information and frame that interaction is the Classroom Learning Walkthrough.
Skill Based Program
Coaching programs for staff and leaders, based on the development and enhancement of particular skills varying from communication, presentation, delegation, coaching, classroom practice etc.
1. Mindfulness - Life Skills Program for Students - We, at Podar Education Network believe in the holistic development of our students. Therefore, we focus not only on knowledge but also in the development of life skills among our students. “Happiness” is the meaning and purpose of life. The path towards true happiness is said to be through harmony with our inner-self, and self-discovery in the process of learning. The LS program has been designed in a ‘spiral’ approach, increasing in depth from class to class. The activities focus on mindfulness to the physical and emotional self; thereby leading to awareness on how to be happy. It aims to support students in their journey towards sustainable happiness through engaging exercises (mind and body), and reflective activities on the basis of the happiness triad of Momentary Happiness, Deeper Happiness and Sustainable Happiness.
2. SpeakEnglish – a foundational program for staff aimed at improving spoken English skills.
3. Anger and Stress Management - Podar Learn School has a zero tolerance policy towards corporal punishment of students. Happy teachers make happy classrooms and happy classrooms make a happy school. As a part of the zero tolerance policy, we train our teachers to be equipped and prepared to handle difficult situations in the classrooms and outside. In the year 2019-20 all teachers were trained on Anger Management and Stress Management, with special focus on contexts within the schools.
4. iLead – an Action Research Project based development program for the school principals. As a part of the project, every year, schools identify one problem area. The project is run across all schools in phases where data is collected on the identified area, customised action plans and decisions are made – based on the data, by the principals. These plans are then implemented, executed, monitored and thereby improvised in schools until targets are achieved. Principals research and prepare literature on the identified problem area and its solution. Best research projects are shared with the network principals.
5. EdSpeak – EdSpeak is a common platform created for the Podar school leaders. The platform provides the principals with the opportunity to share their ideas and views on changes achievements in education, skills, student development, and best practices carried out in their schools. These ideas are recorded in video format that is shared on the portal.
Handbooks and School Guides
Guidance in the form of written material is put together in the form of handbooks on particular topics to guide school staff.
1. Teachers’ Journal – a handbook that equips the teacher with short literature on pedagogical concepts, systems and tools for improved teaching practices and templates to record observations and learning from peer teachers and training sessions.
2. Grooming and Etiquette – a handbook that guides teachers to understand grooming and etiquette of the education field.
3. Learning Walkthrough – a handbook to guide leaders and teachers on the process of learning walkthroughs.
As the Podar Group of Schools grew, designing the curriculum alone was not sufficient to ensure quality education in all the schools. This need gave birth to the Podar Review System in the year 2015 with the mission to reach the pinnacle of academic success through quality assurance. This system is based on continuous strategic improvement, trust and respect, evaluation and innovation, professional competence with commitment to excellence, thus laying a platform for our students to become successful global citizens.
The Teachnique Review team ensures that all the Podar Learn School provide high quality education, leading to high standards and the best outcomes in a safe environment for all our students.
School Self Evaluation
The Review team engages the whole school in the development of their School Self Evaluation by defining their strengths and weaknesses. This is followed by the creation and formulation of a carefully thought-out School Development Plan. This plan details the improvements the school needs to make in six areas – namely Student Outcome, Student Behavior and Personal Development, Welfare, Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Leadership and Management, and Zero Tolerance to Corporal Punishment. Each of these areas are clearly defined in the Review Handbook that acts as the guiding document for all schools in the network.
School Development Plan
The School Development Plan outlines the goals and actions ensures that each school across the Podar Education Network reaches its potential and crosses the benchmark of being outstanding. The world is changing rapidly and is becoming more data driven. Schools now have access to more data than they had ever before. Leaders that leverage data to drive decision making, create a culture that encourages critical thinking and curiosity. It empowers them to make better decisions every day.
To ensure that data analysis becomes mainstream in formulating the School Development Along with the School Development Plan, the review team conducts training sessions on ‘Data Analysis - Making Data Driven Decisions', ‘Teaching Learning Analysis’ etc.
The Review department is gaining its foothold in the field of research as well. In order to better our efforts towards school development, a lot of data is collected through primary as well as secondary research and further analyzed in order to make more informed decisions. The data collected covers a number of topics like remedial teaching methodologies, how to do better lesson observations, etc. Further the research is used to build internal case studies on exemplary schools in order to help other schools in their development. A recent example is the “Mitigating the Challenges of COVID 19 on School Shutdown” case study which was based on one of our schools in Yavatmal, Maharashtra.
Virtual School Plan Support
To ensure that there is no interruption to the deployment and effective usage of the Virtual School Plan by the parents and students in the network, a support system has been created for all the schools. Each school is assigned a Single-Point-of-Contact (SPOC) to coordinate with in the case of any concerns or issues regarding the VSP. The SPOC proactively tracks and supports the school to overcome the challenges that may hamper the successful implementation of the VSP.
Virtual School Reviews
Keeping a step ahead in the current situation around the world, the review team continues to monitor and evaluate the network schools in the academic year 2020-21 via virtual school reviews. With the use of virtual lesson observations of online classes, the Teaching Learning Assessment is monitored and evaluated. Virtual interviews and conversations via platforms like Google meet and Hangout with the leaders of the school help in ensuring effective interaction. Virtual surveys and assessments are conducted with teachers and students and documentation and compliance are monitored through scanned documentation. This has ensured that the entire cycle does not stop during the global lockdown.