Student success starts with the professional development, passion, and care expressed by their teachers
Our Teacher Training & Certification Program
We cannot place enough emphasis on the extraordinary role each teacher plays in making the QUESTion Class a success – from creating the right environment to setting the groundwork for dynamic, open dialogue. In order to support teachers, Open Future Institute has a unique Teacher Training & Certification Program to prepare teachers and acknowledge their readiness to deliver the QUESTion Class in their schools.
The 3 steps of our Teacher Training & Certification Program – Initial Training, Applied Learning, and Ongoing Professional Development – give teachers the space to become familiar with the QUESTion Curriculum and the best practices for facilitating students’ unique journeys into big life questions.
Before the QUESTion Class starts
||The journey to become a QUESTion Teacher begins with an Initial intensive training of 10 sessions, 2 hours each. The training includes instructions, group discussions, and creative activities that introduce teachers to program content and teaching strategies.
During the Class
||Teachers continue to learn throughout the semester as they teach, hands-on, in the classroom. They do so with the support of a dedicated OFI Trainer who periodically co-facilitates the class alongside them. During this time, the teacher and the OFI Trainer meet regularly to evaluate the success of the class, identify areas of growth, address challenges and opportunities, and prepare for lessons that lie ahead.
Throughout the year
|Individual and Group Professional Development (PD)
||Teachers from different schools take part in 3 Professional Development Days a year. Together, they explore challenges, share wisdom, and co-create new additions to the program. They also receive ongoing support from our trainers to address specific issues and challenges they may face.
A Certificate of Excellence is issued to those teachers who not only deliver the program well but are also well-received by their students. The combination of our assessment alongside their students’ assessment of quality delivered, allows each school to continue to offer the QUESTIon Class to students year after year – with confidence that their teachers are performing well.
Teachers who complete our training gain access to a vibrant and inspiring network of QUESTion Teachers who are committed to expanding the role of education.
Qualities of a QUESTion Teacher
The success of the QUESTion Class is founded on teachers’ skills and ability to create a safe environment where deep inquiry and openness can flourish.
Each QUESTion Teacher creates a culture in his/her classroom that empowers students to be themselves and authentically explore their most important life questions. Rather than imparting knowledge (as is common in traditional education environments), QUESTion teachers encourage the wisdom that is within each student to surface and flourish as they learn from one another in a peer-to-peer learning environment.
The ideal teacher demonstrates, or is capable of, developing these qualities. He or she:
- Is creative and brings her/his own life experience to the classroom, taking an innovate approach to teaching while maintaining the integrity of the program;
- Empowers students to think for themselves, shape their own values and draw their own conclusions about life;
- Implicates himself or herself in the exploration together with students, while at the same time exerting the authority to lead and guide students with openness;
- Understands that big questions do not have final answers, and is able to create space to go deeper into the process of questioning;
- Creates a safe space by expressing respect for each student, no matter where they are coming from;
- Is able to deal with disciplinary issues while maintaining an approach that centers on openness and respect;
- Believes in the importance of supporting students in their social and emotional growth, as well as in their critical thinking skills.
With our extensive and inspiring Teacher Training and Certification Program, we support teachers to develop these qualities. Through all 3 steps, we create the foundation for teachers to step into co-creative roles as content designers, authors, and facilitators of their students’ quest to shape their lives with meaning, purpose and infinite possibilities.