Oh where to begin. The teacher training exceeded any of my expectations. I am so blessed by the teachers that attended. They were interested, open, and reflective.
Program Directors Everest and Edwige have been conducting trainings for the past several weekends with a collective group of our two primary school teachers and others from neighboring schools. They have used a “circle process” of gathering these individuals to dialogue around their teaching practices and philosophies. They have encouraged one another and worked to develop strategies and techniques in their work.
I developed two sessions to share, the first being “Rituals and Routines”, and the second regarding the “Instruction of Reading.” I had the opportunity to gather photos and video clips from a French Immersion school in St. Paul to make the learning examples relevant to their work. The concepts and strategies that I shared are things that I believe in for all children, regardless of where they are being educated.
The conversations were rich and insightful. Teachers are ready to begin implementing ideas in their classroom. They shared struggles and burdens they face. Many are similar to those we all have (children that arrive unprepared, students that lack motivation, the amount of time it takes to plan, the varying levels of students’ skills in their classrooms) and many issues that are unique to this third world country (they have minimal materials-for example in a class of 35 students, only 5 have purchased the text books necessary for learning. What do you do with that? Chart paper and markers come at a great cost. Volunteers and teaching assistants are non-existent.) So we begin with what we have and we move forward.
As we ended our session today, the teachers went around the circle, each sharing at least one idea that they intend to implement. They shared their gratitude in our efforts to provide training. Their heartfelt thanks made me cry. I was incredibly touched by their words. As each one said farewell to me, they again expressed their appreciation, and many shared that they will pray for God to continue to bless me.
I AM blessed.