I met a founder of start-up developing physical and technology products to enable the concept understanding of children and increase joy of reading to children and their outreach to students happens via the school and teacher. The teacher gets trained on the product and the teacher uses the product to help the student understand or read better. I like their idea as they were trying to provide teacher with a tool. One of their challenge is to engage teachers to leverage the product through year and across calendar year. Here are reason that caused the challenge.
- At times of purchase of the product by school, teachers started using the same. When holidays or examinations come in between, the teachers discontinue to use technology product and after completion of holidays, they did not restart. May be they forgot to use the product in their busy schedule.
- Some time the trained teacher left the job and the new teacher needs to be trained on the product. The academic year in already running and a transition occurs, new teacher has very little breathing space.
- The teachers cannot be easily asked to come early or go late around school hours. They need to travel far and some time go a guardian for children safety in school bus.
- If the whole training is done at one shot, teacher forget as year passes by. We all know in 8 hour training, our attention span might not be for more than 3 to 4 hours. Hence the training module needs to be sliced for effective delivery.
Some of the solution we discussed to have continuous training at regular intervals and analyzed are the following
- Ask teacher to come to school on holiday for the training. The teacher already come one Saturday or two Saturday for additional school work. My wife, a teacher has training’s one or two Saturday in month for 4 to 5 hours( half day). My daughter school works for one or two Saturday of the month.
- Ask School management to provide some time during school hours for teacher. Can we influence management once the school calendar has started? Thinks of the scenario where the teacher has time scheduled for training. Another teacher has gone on sudden leave and the class students are without teacher. Which get more priority of teacher and management? Attending to student of class without teacher or teacher own training.
- Can schools have additional staff who work as backup? Yes schools already have few of them to second across sudden leaves and maternity leaves. They can have limited teacher to manage salaries. Some times teacher leave mid year and additional teacher becomes permanent. Also remember that more teachers, the salary expense of school increase and student fees need to increase. Most of schools cannot increase school fees mid year.
The company had worked with a set of schools and has arranged the teacher training on their holiday. I personally do not like some one to mandate me to attend training on holiday. Here the management made this approach to be followed and start-up needs to follow.
- Should training be planned at single school? Ask all teachers of various schools to come to single school location? This would reduce training cost of start-up. This might not be favorable to teacher due to the distance between chosen school and school/ house of teacher.
- Should training be scheduled in individual school?. That would increase training cost of start-up. The teacher might be comfortable with a faculty and less distance to travel. The start-up also had new challenge to get faculty for training over holiday.
- Should teacher training be recorded as as video and teacher asked to view? This enables viewing anywhere and anytime. Will teachers be ready to spend internet charges or will management reimburse charges? The start-up also needs to spend money to pre-record video.
How do education companies organize training’s for teacher in schools where their product is used? When ? Where? Let us say they have no training, how do they engage with teachers to use the product? How do they handle training in scenarios of leaving and joining teachers? Look forward for your comments.