Principals Supporting Teachers as Learners

Author: Lumination

Date: 04th Aug 2023

Embracing Change: Introducing the ‘Guide on the Side’

We’re all learning all the time — and need to support teachers as learners too. When a teacher steps into the classroom, they are undergoing a process of personal growth, as well as helping their students to develop and thrive on their own pathways.

This is not something to shy away from, and yet many teachers find this idea a little scary. Shouldn’t teachers have all the answers? Shouldn’t they simply be able to tell their students what’s right and what’s wrong? Not necessarily — often, a guided approach is better, with mutual exploration that helps students reach learning outcomes.


Why should you, as school leaders and principals, create an environment that encourages teachers to be learners? How can you accomplish this?

At Lumination, we are here to support your school on this journey. It’s not just about providing the education technology required to make these changes. It’s also about delivering the right support and guidance along the way — for you and your staff.

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Change and Growth is an Intrinsic Part of Education

Teachers have always been learners. Change and growth have been a part of the classroom environment since the earliest days of formalised education, as teachers adopted new techniques and best practices in an effort to improve learning. In recent years, it might feel like this has accelerated, as school computers and interactive whiteboards were joined by tablet devices and now immersive solutions like virtual reality and augmented reality tech in the classroom.

Teachers have always needed to embrace change as they strive to achieve the very best for their students. Now, however, this is more important than ever, which means principals are tasked with creating a culture that empowers teachers and students alike.


1. Shifting Teaching Styles

The idea of teachers as straightforward deliverers of information has become somewhat old-fashioned. This is the model of the “sage on the stage” — someone who stands front and centre and reels off wisdom in the hope that students will absorb it. Increasingly, teachers are shifting towards a “guide on the side” role — a partner who progresses along the learning journey with students, showing rather than telling and shaping the educational experience. The approach leads to teachers as learners too.

To accomplish this, teachers can:

  • Introduce more immersive elements – By bringing video media or VR/AR education technology into the classroom, teachers can embrace new concepts and methodologies while enhancing the understanding of students.
  • Ask questions rather than simply deliver answers – This Socratic style of teaching, in which students confront topics critically rather than simply absorbing data, has been around for millennia. However, it’s still relevant in embracing change and helping teachers become effective learners.
  • Accept that they don’t always have all the answers – As classrooms change and as technology develops, the learning experience is becoming increasingly collaborative. In other words, students are encouraged to work together and support each other as they complete tasks and move towards learning objectives. The teacher then guides and shapes this collaboration.

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2. Using Problem-Solving Approaches

The future of education is likely to be about giving students more agency and helping them to become problem-solvers. These are the skills they will need to utilise as they progress along their academic and professional development paths. But teachers can benefit from this too, adopting a problem-solving attitude as they become more flexible, adapting to changes as and when required.

Embracing technology and integrating this into the classroom provides the support teachers need to achieve this approach. We have seen great results when we give students the opportunity to confront real-world problems via a VR or AR environment within the classroom. From here, students and teachers deploy the design thinking principles of inspiration, ideation, and implementation as they work towards a solution.

3. Practicing Agility and Responsiveness

The students of today are moving towards the jobs market of tomorrow, gaining the skills they need to fulfil these roles in a meaningful manner. But what will these roles look like? Right now, we’re not certain, which means teachers need to work with this uncertainty.

As principals, adopting a more agile and responsive view of education, staying aware of an evolving world and encouraging your teachers to modify teaching styles and content accordingly, provides two advantages. On one hand, it helps students gain the skills they need, while on the other, it also helps teachers continue along their own learning path.

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4. Taking Simple Learning Steps

Principals and teachers now that teaching can be stressful, and educators can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the whole experience. The pace of change and development in teaching best practices and technology in the classroom can amplify these feelings. This is why we advocate simple steps for teachers as they become learners, embracing change in a manageable and sustainable way.

  • Adopt technology on a project-specific basis, working with a defined framework as you get to grips with the new tech, and learn how to deploy this in your classroom in the future.
  • Encourage more discussion and collaboration in the classroom, creating a suitable environment for mutual exploration.
  • Introduce station-based learning, giving students and educators the chance to progress through multiple concepts and learning objectives on a way to broader understanding. This can be an effective way to implement technology like virtual and augmented reality in education without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Gain the support and assistance you need — no one should feel isolated or alone as they learn. Support is crucial for teachers embracing changing education technology and evolving best practices in the classroom.

Lumination: Supporting Teachers as Learners

At Lumination, we support your teachers as they take these important steps, becoming fellow learners and explorers of knowledge alongside their students. We offer a simple 10-step process to implementing our Lumination Learning Labs. These include our bespoke LeadMe software, empowering teachers to incorporate immersive learning into their lessons with ease, along with access to our Lumination Education Centre, which provides resources, lesson plans, and more to enable your school’s transition.

Read how this approach is leading to increases in student engagement in the classroom and get in touch with us to start the transition to a culture of empowerment within your school.

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