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2013 TESSA-Togo 42 teachers discover TESSA

Page history last edited by Michele 7 years, 8 months ago

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42 teachers in 7 school groups in Lomé discover TESSA

Amivi-Cra KOMLAN, TESSA Coordinator, Direction des Formations, Lomé Togo



“Thank you for TESSA; it has brought me so much! Even examples of “fiches de leçon” (= lesson plans) are made available. No teacher using TESSA will ever again say that they do not know how to plan a lesson.”


Members of the TESSA-TOGO team and I were dazzled by these words because Mr Kpodor, the teacher from whose mouth they came, was one of those who, a few days earlier when we first arrived at his school did not even answer our greetings. His attitudes suggested his thoughts: “What new things are you bringing us? Whatever you are bringing cannot be interesting! We are tired and hungry at this time of day. Make haste and let’s go” He later admitted: “This is what we were thinking when you arrived but we did like every bit of the session and we did forget our hunger.”


Mr Kpodor’s concern when we arrived was legitimate. We had chosen to visit schools between 11.30 a.m. (when school is over) to 2.00 p.m. on Wednesdays - a half school day for teachers - to avoid eating into the teaching hours. And almost always, the teachers’ faces on our arrival reflect the same message as Mr Kpodor, and yet almost always as the session goes on their faces relax and disinterest changes to curiosity and then clear interest.


When we arrive at a school, the first thing we do is to change the arrangement of the classroom so as to facilitate group work and to use the ‘Think – Pair – Share’ (TPS) technique. These active teaching techniques (group work and TPS) are new for most teachers, yet most are willing to try them in their classes, particularly the TPS as neither the layout of the classroom nor the large number of students are a challenge to using it.


During the 2 - 2.5 hour session, the visiting TESSA team familiarizes teachers with the TESSA objectives, the TESSA website and how to access it, the structure of TESSA and the types of resources offered. Through the TPS technique, teachers discover and share examples of resources. They get an insight in what a TESSA section is. Where electricity is available in the school, we show projections of TESSA resources. Our work with teachers consists mostly of showing them different parts of the TESSA resources.  At these sessions we give them CDs with the resources on so they can browse them for themselves without the internet.


Learning about TESSA from the DF TESSA team in Togo


One of the evaluation questions we ask at the end of the sessions is: Tell us one TESSA technique, strategy or activity that you will use with your pupils. Amongst their answers are often: group work; questioning; and research work to enhance students’ active participation.


Sessions almost always end in discussions, and from these we have collected some of the concerns of the teachers:


  • The session was too short for them to really understand TESSA. In response to this, we promise to come back after they have had time to explore the TESSA website themselves and have selected an activity to use in class, so we can discuss it, and we assure them that we will be available to come back and see what they are putting to use and to assist where necessary.


  • Another concern teachers raised was the lack of computers, computer knowledge and internet research skills. As we are almost at the end of this academic year, we plan to be better equipped in the next academic year to address this problem and to enable these teachers to draw the best out of TESSA for their professional development and a better success of their learners.


The TESSA team at Direction des Formations (DF) is thinking of sharing TESSA on a larger scale with teachers on the field next year.


Planning includes providing teachers with:

  • handouts and updated CDs of TESSA materials

  • some computer and internet research skills necessary to explore and interact on TESSA site.

  • ways of getting teachers to use TESSA activities effectively in their classroom

  • TESSA audio resources translated in French to be performed by active teachers and their class

  • the introduction of different curriculum areas in dif- ferent schools


DF TESSA team is looking forward to the thrilling TESSA experience next year. 



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