Training of the first cohort of Master Mentor Trainers in the UK at Edinburgh College

22 teachers from Ankara were selected and sent to the UK to be trained as Master Mentor Trainers. Their two-week training programme was delivered by Edinburgh College and focused on developing the teachers' confidence in mentoring their peers in moving to a more communicative classroom approach.

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Mentor Teacher Training Programme in Ankara

The Master Mentor Trainers who received training in the UK worked together with teacher educators to design and deliver a two-week face-to-face training programme for 130 candidate Mentor Teachers (MTs). The content of this training was based on the British Council Teaching for Success modules. During this programme, teachers learned about designing extracurricular activities and how to host PLC meetings with their peers.

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What’s happening now?

Digital PLCs in Ankara 

Currently the Master Mentors Trainers and Mentor Teachers in Ankara are organising their Professional Learning Community meetings. In total 68 PLC groups are meeting on a regular basis and over 1,100 teachers are actively participating in monthly PLC meetings.

During their PLC meetings, teachers are exchanging ideas about developing extracurricular activities (ECA) to be used during both online and in face-to-face classes. The MMTs and MTs are using Web 2.0 tools to prepare suggestions for ECAs and presenting their work to teachers in their PLC groups. MMTs and MTs are also sharing their materials together and inspiring each other with new ideas for their upcoming PLC meetings.

Teachers fed back very positively after the first PLC meetings. They said that they used the materials introduced in PLCs in their online classes, gave their students assignments and encouraged them to join the activities. Some students even voluntarily created their own activities, which motivated both teachers and the MMTs and MTs.

What’s next?

Nationwide rollout

Following the Ankara pilot, the national rollout, engaging teachers from all 81 provinces, starts in April 2021 and is due to be completed by March 2023. Based on the geographical rollout plan, the project will be divided into different phases where MMT and MT training and support for formation of PLCs will be offered in all remaining 57 provinces throughout Turkey. 

Development of content for EBA

A resource bank of new, engaging and high quality CPD and extracurricular classroom materials will be created for EBA to support the PLC network and improved classroom practice.

Best practice examples from the classrooms of PLC participants will be identified, shared and promoted nationally through EBA and other channels. 

Action Planning Workshop in Kızılcahamam

The Master Mentor Trainers and Mentor Teachers participated in an Action Planning Workshop in Kızılcahamam for two days. They planned how to set up Professional Learning Communities (PLC) in the 19 districts where the Mentor Teachers are based. During this workshop tools such as the PLC Implementation Form, PLC Record Form and PLC Immediate Reflection Form were created. These tools enable teachers to ensure consistency across PLCs and capture work carried out as part of the PLC meetings.

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Professional Development (PD) Webinars for English Language Teachers 

COVID-19-related school closures have seriously disrupted the education system, affecting millions of learners, teachers, and families. Teachers faced big challenges, and the sudden shift to remote learning required a rapid response. English language teachers had to quickly familiarise themselves with technology and adapt to teaching in a virtual environment. In collaboration with the Ministry of National Education and experts from UK ELT publishers, 20 webinars on subjects such as creating extracurricular activities, development of digital teaching competencies and classroom management were made available. These webinars have been viewed over a quarter of a million times by teachers across Turkey.

English language teacher Münevver Çakır, who works as a Master Mentor Trainer in the English Together project, summarised the importance of the webinars:

 ‘English teachers, who were physically away from their schools due to the pandemic, had the opportunity to learn, use practical ideas and activities and renew their teaching techniques with webinars. Also, in such an age where online education and training has become so important, we teachers have had the opportunity to develop our practices on how to reach students and motivate them on online platforms’.

Professional Learning Community (PLC) Meetings in Ankara during summer 2020

Master Mentors Trainers and Mentor Teachers organised Professional Learning Community meetings in their schools and districts with other English language teachers. These PLCs are the core of the English Together project, creating a culture of collaboration and sharing best practice to develop students’ four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening in English.

Professional Learning Communities from nine different districts of Ankara were formed, where 150 English language teachers met on a weekly basis to share best practice in adapting to online and hybrid teaching models during the Covid-19 school closures.

Continuing Professional Development e-Book

The Master Mentor Trainers have created a Continuing Professional Development e-book, based on what the trainees internalised from the training they received. The book is the first of its kind designed and developed by English language teachers and is available through Ministry of National Education’s online platforms. It consists of ten chapters with scenarios and tasks specific to Turkey’s context. 

Online Mentor Teacher (MT) Training for 300 teachers by Edinburgh College

Edinburgh College provided a four-week online training course for 300 candidate Mentor Teachers from 23 new provinces. These teachers will be supported in creating their own PLCs in the near future.