Self-development, digital technologies and city support: Moscow teachers — about their work

September 12

Last week, one and a half million children went to Moscow schools and kindergartens. They will be trained by 56 thousand teachers and almost 31 thousand educators. Apparently, this is no easy task, so the Moscow Government is creating all the conditions for children to receive relevant knowledge and skills, and teachers have good working conditions and decent remuneration for their work.

The life of a schoolteacher has considerably changed over the past 10 years: a decent salary, grants, competitions and, of course, the MES (Moscow Electronic School). Read the article about how the city helps teachers of the capital and what opportunities they have for professional development.

From blackboard to interactive panels

A modern teacher is a specialist who shall combine traditional approaches to learning and innovation, as well as find a perfect balance between them, says Andrey Yezhkov, a biology teacher at school No. 1529 named after A.S. Griboyedov. At the same time, it is important that the teacher does not force children to study, but instills interest in them and desire to achieve success on their own.

Andrey Ezhkov, teacher of biology at school No. 1529 named after A.S. Griboyedov

“The teacher helps children navigate in the variety of professions and subjects, identify the most interesting moments for them and move on in the chosen direction,” Andrei Yezhkov says.

Manana Zakharenkova, a primary school teacher at school No. 1520 named after the Kaptsovs, also speaks of the need to combine the best traditions of education and modern technologies in work. She notes that for this purpose, Moscow teachers have the required tools — from ordinary chalk and blackboard to interactive panels, tablets, laptops, high-speed Wi-Fi and other technologies.

Manana Zakharenkova, primary school teacher at school No. 1520 named after the Kaptsovs

Digital assistant to modern teacher

The largest innovation of this kind is the project ”Moscow Electronic School”  (”MES”). It was launched in pilot mode in September 2016, and in 2017 all schools in Moscow joined the single information space of the online platform. The project became a real digital teacher’s assistant and integral part of the education system in the capital.

MES enables teachers to use a wide range of materials and tools during the lesson. The MES library contains more than two million digital educational materials: lesson scripts,  electronic study guides, textbooks, works of fiction, unique virtual laboratories, test assignments and interactive applications. Self-study materials are also available for children, including practice tests and exam preparation programs.

“Certainly, all this is a good support to teachers. I do not need to waste time drawing diagrams on the board or thinking of how to depict something. And children have an opportunity to work in detail using various tools,” Manana Zakharenkova explains.

Using technologies, modern teachers become truly mobile and can get ready for lessons anywhere they like.

“The educational materials can be created not only at school, but also when going on the subway, sitting at a table in a cafe or relaxing in a park. For example, this summer, while in another region, I visited the electronic platform, selected materials for using in the upcoming academic year,” Manana Zakharenkova adds.

By the way, one of the undeniable advantages of the Moscow Electronic School is that it makes teachers free from time-consuming paperwork: no need to manually rewrite the class list, lesson plan and homework. The curriculum is automatically uploaded from the previous calendar-thematic plan, and grades are put in the electronic journal with just a couple of clicks using any gadget.

The MES capabilities were especially in demand in the  coronavirus pandemic. The online platform became the main resource for arranging distance learning. It helped make the study of Moscow schoolchildren uninterrupted.

Using MES, teachers not only conducted lessons, but also monitored pupils’ progress, the way they study and have rest, and also communicated with the parents.

“Without such a digital platform, no movement in this direction would probably have been possible. I cannot imagine how children would learn in the pandemic without electronic resources and options for online learning,” — Andrey Yezhkov notes.

Substitute Teacher

At the height of the pandemic last October, the Substitute Teacher service resumed its work. Then it was very appropriate. The service helps school principals quickly find temporary replacements for sick teachers. By the way, many of the participants are students of pedagogical universities, who work as teachers' assistants. This is a great chance for them not only to gain practical experience, but to find a job too.

“I took part in the project after teaching practice, and the school then offered me a full-time job.  The “substitute teacher” gave me not only great experience, but also a job opportunity, "— says Maria Smirnova, a teacher of Russian language and literature at school No.1375.

Maria Smirnova, teacher of Russian language and literature at school No.1375

Growth points for a teacher

Maria Smirnova, a recent graduate of the Moscow City Pedagogical University, is convinced that digital technologies, for all their importance, cannot completely replace the work of teachers. But at the same time teachers must maintain a high professional level.

To this end, Moscow is constantly developing training programs. Teachers can resume taking classes at the Corporate University of Moscow Education and the City Methodological Center. 

They also have an opportunity to join courses on the Moscow portal of additional professional education for pedagogical workers. Modern solutions for arranging pedagogical work are collected on the Classroom Teacher Online portal.

Besides additional education, another   growth opportunity for a teacher as a specialist includes contests. “If we do not develop, we will be very far behind our children and will speak different languages”, — notes Manana Zakharenkova, a winner of the Teachers of the Year of Moscow - 2021 competition.

According to her, the tasks of intellectual contests are sometimes varied and unexpected. In order to successfully complete them, one need to have knowledge not only in the academic subject, but also in other disciplines. All this broadens the teacher's horizons and helps professionally, Manana Zakharenkova is sure.

Educators and young teachers of the capital also have an opportunity to prove themselves in professional competitions. For specialists who have recently started their work in this area, there is an annual competition “Young teachers for Moscow education.” Its participants can share their ideas on what needs to be developed in the modern school. And for employees of the preschool education sector, a competition of pedagogical skills and public recognition —” Educator of the Year of Moscow” is held. 

Honored teacher's badge and financial support

According to Moscow Department of Education and Science, the average salary of a Moscow teacher is 117,000 rubles. During the school year, teachers can also count on additional incentive payments.

“The growth of salaries, certainly, depends on the workload, classroom teaching, additional statuses and the teacher’s position at school. For example, classroom teachers are well paid now. There are a lot of additional payments for it, and it seems to me that currently efforts of the classroom teacher are definitely justifying themselves materially,” Andrei Yezhkov says.

In addition, Moscow teachers can receive a grant for their contribution to the MES development.

Over 4.5 thousand grants was already paid. Almost two thousand teachers from more than 460 Moscow schools received them. By the end of 2020, the most active developers of materials were teachers of the English language, primary school, the Russian language and literature.

The highest form of encouragement for teachers in the city is the honorary badge “Honored Teacher of the City of Moscow”. It is awarded to teachers with the highest qualification category and were working in the city education system for at least 15 years. Teachers having the badge receive a monetary prize in the amount of 300 thousand rubles.


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