It’s the old adage of failing to plan and planning to fail that came into my mind when Covid-19 struck. In 2016 when I first visited Qatar to teach, my school enrolled a group of teachers in a Google Certification course. We took a two-day course including the examinations. This was very important because this school was running on the Google platform beside an Integrated School Administration and Management Software (iSAMS) platform.
The training came in handy because we ran teachers and faculty email communications on the Google platform. The homework for our students was also on the Google Classroom. On the other side, the students’ management and parents’ communication was run on the iSAMS. This was beautiful. Everything ran seamless and all the teachers and assistants were well acquainted with both platforms. Up until 2016, I had taught for six years internationally but never had I appreciated technology that much.
Teachers’ Continuous Professional Development courses, popularly known to teachers and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) as CPDs should be needs-based. My SLT identified the need and recommended the training. In cases where the SLT ignored data or deliberately overrides data-driven decision making, then such CPDs won’t be effective to the school, students, and teachers themselves.
Because of the strict government directives that students had to learn online, the schools that never embraced technology were left with a splash of egg on the face of the SLT. I could only imagine how hard it was to come up with a new way to reach the learners at the last minute. What a chaotic occurrence? The teachers had to learn the new online platform introduced so did parents. Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that in this 21st century, nothing is to be ignored, especially the things that make learning seamless in school and with extension at home.