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Her Excellency Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Director General at ADEC and His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, ADEC’s School Operations Executive Director observe teachers during a tour of one of the professional development workshops.

Professional development programs provide teachers with new strategies, tools, hands-on-experiences, opportunities to collaborate with colleagues, and the opportunity to learn more about a particular topic of interest. For that reason, and for the first time, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has invited all teachers from across public schools in the Emirate, to attend one week professional development training.

The “Tanmia Professional Development week”, which takes place January 4th to January 8th 2014 across 48 different school locations (Training Center), has attracted 11,000 teachers from 256 public schools, who each had the choice to pick out a training that appeals to them the most.

“Our teachers are not beginners they are professionals. For that reason, we offer them opportunities that help challenge their minds, and allow them to select programs that they feel will help benefit them the best during their day to day interaction in the classroom with their students,” said Her Excellency Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Director General at ADEC during her tour visit to a professional development workshop held at the Al Mawaheb School.

Teachers had the choice to choose from seven different topic areas, namely: differentiation, making assessment for learning work, supporting high achievement for all students (including students with special needs and gifted students), planning for high quality instruction and literacy strategies across the curriculum, strategies for English language learners, 21st century learning, and 21st century learning for kindergarten students. Training providers will deliver direct instruction to teachers in plenary sessions, and over 720 break-out rooms will be facilitated by ADEC school leaders, Heads of Faculty, and teachers who have received training to facilitate practical hands-on activities, which are designed to foster classroom application of learning.

“These programs are being offered to teachers based on 21st century skills and their desire to learn more about a particular topic. Our aim is to help equip our teachers with some of the best skills to graduate a strong generation of youth as per ADEC’s strategy plan and the Abu Dhabi Economic 2030 vision,” said Her Excellency.

The training is provided by six international professional development provider companies (Centre for British Teachers, Cognition Education, GEMS Education, Nord Anglia Education, and SSAT) and one international university (University of Florida).

“These particular topics were chosen based on Abu Dhabi Education Council’s priorities, the Irtiqa’a inspection findings and school improvement goals. Our goal is to help create a challenging, well prepared, determined generation of youth, and that can only happen through providing ongoing training for our teachers, who already have a strong and experienced background in teaching,” said His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, ADEC’s School Operations Executive Director.

During the workshop, teachers are expected to cover 20 professional development hours over the course of four days, five hours each. Teachers will receive the training in one of the schools from January 4th to January 7th and on January 8th they are expected to return back to their own schools and document their learning journey as well as share what they’ve learnt with the rest of their co-workers.

“This training not only provides teachers with top notch professional development training in an area they are most comfortable pursuing, but also offers an opportunity for people to collaborate and share best teaching practices. The networking opportunities helps teachers brainstorm and share their learning journey with each other,” added Mr. Al Dhaheri.

Five provider companies and one internationally renowned university will take part in the training session and school leaders and facilitators will lead the activity sessions within the workshop.

“This first event of its kind offers a structured learning environment and in-depth exploration on a single topic of interest to teachers,. In order to help expose our students to 21st century learning skills, ongoing professional development is vital, since it helps keep a teacher up-to-date on new research on ADEC’s strategy plan and on different subject matters,” concluded Mr. Al Dhaheri.

This training is an extension of a planned series of training courses, provided specific educational providers, where teacher was receiving 1.5 hours a week in his school, according to the training plan, which was signed at the beginning of the school year. With the end of the school year, each teacher will complete more than 30 hours of training.

“These training sessions have proven to not only familiarise teachers with some of the best teaching methods in a particular subject, but has also helped enhance communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. Today is the first day, and I can already see a lot of brainstorming and team work spirit. Teachers are enthusiastic about learning and bringing best practices to the classroom,” concluded Dr. Al Qubaisi.