An education tech startup has been launched in Bermuda providing customised support to teachers in the school system.
EduCoach Ltd is an online platform that matches teachers with instructional coaches, to get the support they need in any aspect of their teaching practice.
EduCoach founder and CEO, Dr Gina Tucker said, “EduCoach.online is a professional development tool with a one-to-one focus so that educators can be more empowered in the classroom, and in turn, their students will learn more and be more successful.
” She said, “This low-cost resource for educators is an additional tool for teachers to use at will, and it fills a gap in the current system where there are not enough coaches available to meet the demand within schools. Now, with EduCoach, every teacher can be supported online.”
Dr. Tucker, who has devoted her life to education in Bermuda, had the idea during the pandemic shutdown after working with the government’s FinTech team. She spent months developing the platform, which is now being used by schools internationally.
North American Martyrs Catholic School Principal, Sister Janelle Buettner who embraced EduCoach in her school said, “Just being able to give my teachers a chance to talk to someone about their teaching practices; without having an evaluator or someone who could potentially have them lose their job if they don’t fix things; having a confidante who they can talk to on how to make their teaching better, I think will be invaluable.”
She said it’s valuable for Principals; “As a principal we have so many duties that our time with teachers for evaluations and time in the classroom gets cut shorter and shorter every year, particularly with COVID. We’ve been challenged to do additional duties that we didn’t have before, and I don’t see that going away anytime soon. For my teachers to have an instructional coach to go to whenever they need it, and when I’m not available, that’s important to me.”
Premier David Burt praised the initiative at the EduCoach launch event, in a congratulatory video message. He said, “EduCoach will help us in our education reform journey to ensure that there are more teachers in this country that are trained, upgrading their skills so they can raise and teach and empower the next generation of leaders in Bermuda. Education is the key to our success as a country in the future, and having more trained teachers is vital for that success.” The Premier called on “all teachers in Bermuda to take advantage to upgrade your skills as we reform public education in Bermuda to make it the first choice for Bermuda’s parents.”
Schools already signed on to use the platform include Bermuda Institute in a pilot programme involving approximately 10 educators. Departing Head of School, Mr. Edwards said, “This resource and opportunity is good for Bermuda Institute and our students will benefit.”
Locally, EduCoach is endorsed by the Bermuda Union of Teachers and the Bermuda Education Council and is supported by the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education.
Teachers and other educators can register to use the platform at www.educoach.online and schools can access packages of coaching sessions to distribute to multiple teachers at one time. PTAs and private entities interested in purchasing coaching packages for a school or a teacher can ‘adopt a school or teacher’ by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Qualified individuals can apply to be a coach on the platform at www.educoach.online.
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