Helping Every Teacher Be Their Best


This page in:

Ecoles Oued Eddahab school in Kenitra, Morocco. Photo: World Bank

In every country, there are dedicated and enthusiastic teachers who enrich and transform the lives of millions of children. Silent heroes who often lack proper training, teaching materials and are not recognized for their work. Heroes who defy the odds and make learning happen with passion, creativity and determination.

I met one such heroe in the Ecoles Oued Eddahab school in Kenitra, Morocco. In a colorful classroom that she painted herself, she used creative learning tools from YouTube to make sure that every kid learned, participated, and had fun. Each letter in the alphabet was associated with the sound of an animal and a hand movement; for instance, the “S” was “Monsieur Serpent” and generated a wiggly hand movement. The teacher would say a word and spell it out loud using the sounds and the movement. Students would write the word and show it to her. She could then easily identify students who were struggling with the material and adjust the pace of the lesson to help them get on track. Children were engaged and attentive – all of them, I looked carefully. Most importantly, they participated and were not afraid of making mistakes. Each student in that classroom was taught in a manner they understood. This was a teacher that clearly understood that her role was to make sure that all children learned.

But we cannot solely rely on heroes to tackle the global learning crisis. The future of our children and our countries depends on ensuring that each and every teacher is effective so that joyful, rigorous, and focused learning happens everywhere. To contribute to these efforts, the World Bank will soon launch “Successful Teachers, Successful Students,” its new strategic approach to the way we work with countries to support teachers. It builds on the WDR 2018 to address the following challenges:

  1. Making all teachers effective
  2. Making teaching a respectable and attractive profession
  3. Implementing effective personnel policies
  4. Equipping teachers with the right skills and knowledge before entering the classroom
  5. Implementing policies that can best support teachers through their careers
Our new approach to teachers closes the gap between what we know that works, and what most education practitioners and policymakers are currently doing (more on this, in Teacher Professional Development around the World: The Gap between Evidence and Practice). For example, teacher training requires a shift from the current overly theoretical, one-size-fits-all professional development (where high performers and struggling teachers receive the same guidance). It needs to move to school-based coaching programs that are customized to the individual needs of each teacher and where principals play a key role in crafting the support for teachers in their schools. Our approach recognizes that to build an effective teaching workforce, teaching must be a profession of high social prestige. Further, it recognizes that we need interventions that impact the performance of teachers in the classroom, particularly in their interactions with students.

As opposed to what happens in successful systems, most education systems in low-and middle-income countries do not regularly monitor teacher’s performance to provide feedback and improve their effectiveness. Either because they do not recognize the importance of such practices, or because they do not have the tools or expertise to do it adequately. Even when teacher practices are monitored, the instruments used to capture them fall short on several accounts, as they: (i) measure either the occurrence or quality of a given practice; (ii) do not explicitly focus on teachers’ efforts to develop students’ socioemotional skills; (iii) use tools designed for other contexts, which can be culturally irrelevant, costly, and difficult to implement; or (iv) use tools that are neither evidence-based nor meet basic reliability criteria. Without a reliable instrument, even experienced education professionals struggle to distinguish between effective and ineffective teachers.

Given this reality, what can be done?

To start addressing these challenges, we are also launching Teach, a new, easily-available classroom observation tool. Aside from the classroom observation instrument, the Teach toolkit includes training materials, such as a manual and a detailed script to train users of the tool. It also includes resources for data collection, such as a field manual and a data collection app. Finally, it contains resources for analyzing and presenting the data which generate an “At a Glance” table with key descriptive statistics, and a series of graphs and tables for additional analysis. The outputs are complemented by a template report and slides to help users communicate the Teach’s results.

Teach has multiple advantages. First, it is the first tool to holistically measure what happens in the classroom by considering not just the time spent on learning but, more importantly, the quality of teacher practices. Second, Teach captures instructional practices that nurture children’s cognitive and — for the first time — socioemotional skills. Third, it was developed with low- and middle-income countries and countries with high internal variance in school performance in mind.

Teach underwent a rigorous development and validation process over a two-year timeframe. A Technical Advisory Panel provided extensive feedback and inputs on the tool’s design. It piloted in more than 1,000 classrooms across Mozambique, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Uruguay, and tested with global video footage from 12 low- and middle-income countries.

Teach is intended to be used as a tool for individual professional development and for system diagnostic. As a system diagnostic tool, Teach allows governments to monitor the effectiveness of their policies to improve teacher practices. As an individual professional development tool, Teach can be used to identify individual teachers’ strengths and weaknesses.

These efforts are part of our support to bring countries closer to ensuring that every child has a skilled, supported, and motivated teacher. Because skilled, supported, and motivated teachers are the key to having all children learn with rigor, joy and purpose. 


Jaime Saavedra

Jaime Saavedra, Senior Director, Education Global Practice

Join the Conversation

October 05, 2018

Very interesting indeed. I would like to thank the stake holders for adopting a very structured approach to encourage workable teaching practice and improve standards of instruction in the developing world. Way to go!

Harriet Sakira
October 06, 2018

It's great to know that there's consideration for teachers CPD in order to improve students learning outcomes. However, improvement of pedagogy in third world countries should start from teaching colleges where delivery has slackened due to few or lack lack of qualified teaching staff as well as teaching materials. If we do this together with the strategies being adopted for in service teachers, probably this could bring about a desired long-term change.

October 07, 2018

Bravo, that is also my experience in all the countries I work in Africa. Teachers teach (stand and deliver method) and students learn or not....and head teachers/ school leaders do not often know that they are the instructional leaders, and they do not have the tools to do this part of their jobs. corinne

Michael Mambo
October 08, 2018

This sound like an interesting initiative which has been long missed in the development and support of teachers both in the classroom and professionally. I am interested in this development and hope to get all the information that will be made available.

Michael Mambo
October 08, 2018

This is a welcome development that will see improvement among teachers and the teaching process as a whole.

Kapemba lumumba Emery
October 11, 2018

Avis tout à fait partagé. Tous les points épinglés sur l'importance du capital humain dans la vie d'un État sont ceux qui manquent aujourd'hui dans les États qui stagnent qui n'avancent du fait qu'ils ne favorisent pas les secteurs de la santé, de l'éducation, et de la recherche qui considèrent le métier de l'enseignant moins prestigieux et par conséquent moins attrayant, rendant le capital humain moins bénéfique...les personnes ayant du talent dans ces pays sans emploi, sont obligées de le vendre ailleurs d'où l'exportation du savoir qui constitue un manque à gagner pour le pays d'origine... Avoir du savoir et le manquer d'emploi dans son pays d'origine est aussi d'une part la cause des mouvements migratoires de pays pauvres vers les pays riches... d'où le problème qui préoccupe l'OIM aujourd'hui. Ainsi, valoriser le capital humain c'est prévenir aussi la migration et les mobilités sur la planète...

Alpha Mamadou Gamby
October 15, 2018

Les Enseignants et leurs élèves ont aussi besoin de l'alimentation. Merci pour les Cantines Scolaires

Adriana Faela
October 19, 2018

Me encantó este comunicado sobre la ayuda al docente a su desempeño en el Aula!! Soy directora de una organización civil en Tapalpa, Jal. México, donde nos dedicamos a impulsar el desarrollo integral de los niños por medio de talleres educativos interdisciplinarios. Como parte medular del desarrollo de cada clase, se busca impulsar las habilidades cognitivas, creativas, emocionales, de autoestima y los valores. Para nosotros es imposible separar un proceso cognitivo de un proceso emocional; el desarrollo cognitivo de un nin@, va tomado de la mando y depende directamente de su desarrollo emocional y fortalecimiento del autoestima. Por este motivo es que las experiencias que buscamos brindar a cada niñ@ participante, son experiencias de aprendizaje significativo, donde pueden contactar con sus emociones y fortalecer su autoestima y la apropiación de valores; no solo por un aprendizaje como tal, sino por la experiencia que el maestro les brinda.. Por lo anterior expuesto, es que me gustaría saber donde podemos encontrar la herramienta de observación "TEACH", que nos ayude a fortalecer los procesos educativos que nuestros maestros imparten y nuestros niños reciben.
Agradecida, les envío mis felicitaciones y quedo en espera de su respuesta.
Atte. Mtra. Adriana Favela Mtz
Centro de Integracion Tapalpa, A.C. /

Victor Nieto Bonilla
October 19, 2018

Interesante el aporte de Dr Jaime Saavedra, sobre realidad,docente e innovación elementos que debe primar en la formación del docente.Realidad similar es visible en las comunidades andinas de Huánuco y en verdad los profesores heroicos en la transmisión del saber.Po otro lado las décadas de capacitaciones propiciados por MINEDU, no se percibe resultados y una prueba de ello es la realidad peruana,la falta de educación como base social . Percibimos y observamos la ignorancia o crisis de valores. Felicitarle Dr.Jaime Saavedra. Abrazos desde Huánuco-Perú.

Jorge Perozo
October 20, 2018

Saludos, gracias. Como puedo adquirir la herramienta "teach".

Giohanna Solis Camacho
October 22, 2018

La educación es la clave para el cambio cultural y para modificar hábitos nocivos que no nos permiten lograr respeto entre las sociedades. Me pongo a disposición y espero aportar en esta gran labor que realizan.

October 27, 2018

Je pense que c'est la seule façon de sortir les pays appauvris de leurs faussés. Je suis haitien, mon pays a une éducation à double vitesse où l'accès à l'éducation de qualité est offert uniquement au plus capable. Ce serait vraiment un grand pas vers la construction d'un capital humain mondial égalitaire et révolutionnaire. Pour moi c'est encore très utopique mais le fait d'y penser est déjà bien. Le capital humain est l'endroit où il faut investir définitivement.

Mamoudou Mamadou Maiga
October 29, 2018

Le métier d'enseignant esr difficile lorsque certaines conditions ne sont pas réunies.
Teach, au-délà de son ossature axiale, doit s'adapter au cadre existant pour évoluer.
Aujourd'hui le niveau est très bas chez les élèves commes chez les encadreurs. La performance supposerait que tout soit repris à zéro en projettant l'évaluation à moyen et long terme.
Aussi, Teach doit permettre de panser les programmes qui soient adaptés aux différents pays en lien avec leurs revenus.
Question: comment évaluer directement avec Teach?
Quel est la différence entre Teach et les anciennes méthodes d'évaluation?

November 04, 2018

Cordial saludo,
Tuve la oportunidad de participar en el evento del TALLER DE INNOVACIÓN PEDAGÓGICA desarrollado en la ciudad de BOGOTÁ y allí el presidente del BANCO mundial me habla de este instrumento, quiero expresar que es de mi interés participar del lanzamiento del TEACH , agradezco mayor informacion respecto al evento y quisiera saber que posibilidades hay de adquirir una beca o patrocinio para asistir al evento, pues no cuento con los recursos económicos para los viáticos a los EU o si me pueden orientan ante quien puedo hacer gestión para tal fin.
Son ustedes muy amables por su atención en espera de una pronta y positiva respuesta.
email: [email protected]

November 10, 2018

Congratulations to the team on such an innovative method in order to teach students. The developing nations do require effective teaching methods so that students could be taught efficiently. Hope education takes a front seat and smart teaching methods are incorporated in school education. Thanks for an informative post. Good Luck!

Rosin Salava
November 11, 2018

Je pense que la grande réforme du système éducatif de chaque pays doit s'articuler sur "comment former les enseignants et les recycler pour être performant à l'école". Non seulement, ils ne reçoivent pas des formations initiales adéquates avant d'enseigner, mais il n'y a aucune forme de motivation pour leur permettre de s'améliorer pour perfectionner davantage leurs acquis.
En tout, c'est la faillite de l'éducation, et ce phénomène est devenu généralisé un peu partout.
Bref, la tâche est difficile mais c'est faisable

December 05, 2018

Qué buen artículo! cuanta verdad invisible aún a algunos. Sobre todo la necesidad de capacitaciones diferenciadas según la necesidad de los docentes (por modalidad, nivel en el que se desempeña, nivel de desempeño alcanzado, característica de la IE, etc).

Yanet Soberanes Cespedes
December 06, 2018

"Ayudar a cada docente a dar lo mejor de sí", se dice fácil, pero muchas veces las acciones no son las adecuadas o mejor dicho no son diferenciadas. Muy de acuerdo que el docente es quien hace el cambio, pero también se requiere que algunos se lo crean y esten motivados para desempeñar su profesión y lograr que todos los niños aprendan. "Dar lo mejor de sí" tiene que ver con cuestiones intrínsecas que tienen que ver con la autoeficacia docente y que las políticas educativas deberían realizar accciones encaminadas a fortalecer la profesión docente.
Muy buen artículo.
Y estoy interesada en participar en el evento y poder compartir mi experiencia como docente y directora de escuela primaria.
Así mismo en saber donde puedo saber más de la herramienta “Teach”.
Yanet Soberanes Cespedes
Cuernavaca, Morelos
[email protected]