How Does Teacher Training Influence Students’ Sense of Belonging?

Fiona Watson
Published on
September 21, 2021

At OWIS, we welcome so many diverse students and families into our community. Our teachers play one of the most vital roles in teaching each student to respect others and foster an atmosphere of kindness throughout the day. 

Our diversity and atmosphere of respect and kindness arise naturally from our faculty's own diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our teachers have professional work experience from different international educational environments. In addition, we also provide professional development programmes for their continuous self-improvement. These help them to create a learning-conducive environment for students.

Teacher Training Benefits Students Immensely

In some school environments (not OWIS), a significant number of students report that they don't feel like they belong. For example, about one in five students surveyed by an Australian educational research council said they did not feel accepted or belonged in their school. This result would be absolutely unacceptable at OWIS. OWIS teachers and staff devote their efforts to ensuring that all students feel supported, respected and accepted by their peers and the teachers themselves.

OWIS students feel a sense of belonging in the school
OWIS students feel respected by their friends and teachers

Ample amounts of research have indicated that when students feel that they belong at a school, they actively engage in academic and other pursuits and form strong friendships and bonds with teachers and other students. Other important benefits of schools and teachers making an effort to engage and involve all students include:

  • Increased self-esteem and self-actualisation
  • Increased social initiations, relationships and networks
  • Peer role modelling for academic, social and behavioural skills
  • Increased appreciation and acceptance of differences among people
  • Respect for all people
  • Preparation for life in an inclusive society
  • Improved academic outcomes

As a multicultural international school, OWIS is committed to ensuring that all staff have adequate and relevant training to make a meaningful contribution to our school community. This benefits the students and their sense of belonging at school in the following ways: 

  • Teachers understand their students and therefore, have the knowledge and ability to plan lessons that reflect their classrooms' diversity. 
  • They are able to ensure that students have equal access to opportunities to participate and that they can access all parts of the curriculum successfully. 
  • At OWIS, our instructors ensure that our learning materials are non-discriminatory and unbiased in content. 
  • Teachers are also able to differentiate instruction to suit different learning styles of children.
  • They are able to provide additional support to students as part of our pastoral care programme.
  • They are able to encourage positive student behaviour based on our kindness-driven value system.
IB Professional Development Opportunities
OWIS teachers collaborate with each other and participate in teacher training workshops
OWIS teachers collaborate with each other and participate in teacher training workshops

Our participation in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme comes with benefits for teachers as well as learners. OWIS teachers may choose IB professional development workshops in many categories that can strengthen their classroom and interpersonal skills. Many of the workshops help build student engagement and consequently, their sense of belonging in the classroom and on campus. Here are a few examples of IB Teacher Training workshops at OWIS:

  • Implementing Agency: The IB Implementing Agency workshop assists teachers at all levels to inquire into their own teaching practices. They are then able to connect how their voice, word choice and ownership of their teaching can support learning in an interdisciplinary and concept-driven curriculum. The workshop also assists them in designing curriculum and developing classroom strategies that include and support all learners.
  • Local and Global Inquirers: This IB Workshop assists teachers in developing lessons that help learners draw upon both local and global contexts to think, reflect and conduct inquiries about important topics that affect them and their fellow learners and families. The resulting lessons support student initiation and engagement with important inquiries as part of a holistic and supportive learning community.
  • Engaging Collaborative Communities: This Workshop offers ways for instructors to prioritise the people and relationships in the school community. Teachers complete the workshop with a toolkit of methods for collaborating in learning and teaching throughout their classrooms and the greater school community.
Supporting Teachers Strengthens OWIS

We believe that professional development is an essential part of teacher training and skills. Further, OWIS is a collaborative workplace and our teachers and senior leadership team provide support and advice to each other in any situations that arise. 

When students are happy to come to school, it reflects well on our school curricula, our environment, our philosophy and importantly, our teacher community. Happy, engaged learners is the goal we all are working towards at OWIS every single day.

To know more about the convivial school environment at OWIS, please contact us or schedule a virtual tour


About Author

Fiona Watson

Grade 2 Teacher

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