GTI Orientation Week: A Blended Approach

During the week of 18 – 22 January, Global Teachers Institute hosted the Future Leaders Orientation Week. The orientation is typically a cheerful event with new and returning interns filled excitement and nervous anticipation for what lies ahead. This year, as one would imagine, we did things differently!

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to follow all necessary protocols and work on creating a blended orientation experience to welcome interns into the 2021 academic year. The blended approach saw us hosting interns both virtually and on-site in our 5 regions  – Johannesburg, Cape Town, Jane-Furse, Ehlanzeni and our new district in Mpumalanga, Bohlabela.

The Regional Schools Coordinators worked hard to create an interactive process that would allow interns who could not physically attend the orientation to feel engaged throughout each day. We set up Zoom rooms in all 5 education hubs and designed a programme that would make every participant feel involved in every session.

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The purpose of the orientation is to familiarise incoming students with the Global Teachers Institute and to afford them the opportunity to meet fellow interns in the programme well as to prepare them as they embark on their journey. This year, our programme has expanded from 79 interns to a total of 100 interns with the introduction of a new teacher education hub in Bohlabela, Mpumalanga.
We are excited to welcome all new and returning interns back. We understand that this is a challenging and unexpected time; however, 2020 has prepared us to deal with whatever lies ahead by striving to be adaptive, anticipatory, agile, and action-oriented! It is not the year that needs to be better. It is each one of us that needs to be better this year and the years ahead.