My last day in Rotifunk. I told the teachers that today’s session will be short, as there are a number of different things we need to accomplish. In addition to the session I’ve promised I’ll give them a shot quiz to help solidify some of the new information, we’ll have a brief Q & A session wherein they can ask me about topics discussed in case there are lingering questions or ideas, we’ll take some time to do an anonymous questionnaire, and finally give each of the teachers a certificate and stipend for participating.
I’m very interested about the anonymous questionnaire, and what it might render. I’ve asked the teachers to be as honest as possible in evaluating the trainings as well as us facilitators. I’m hoping the questionnaire will provide me the golden goose in evaluating how helpful and valuable the trainings really were, and how much true potential there is for the idea to spread and grow.
The final session went well, talking about collaboration and cooperation inside and outside of school. Teachers loved the idea of the community partnership. I drew a big box on the board, and wrote “school” in the middle. Following on the idea of “it takes a village to raise a child” I told them that it wasn’t a school’s job alone to educate youth.
I then asked them what other important institutions were in Rotifunk. People shouted out church, mosque, bank, market, hospital, police station, other schools, etc. Each one I wrote in the big box. Next I asked what a community partnership was. Confused looks. Nobody yet knew where I was going with the idea. Then I asked the teachers what subjects they taught. Economics, religion, agriculture, biology…. Slowly, they grasped what I was introducing.
I drew arrows between each institution and the school, explaining the value of bringing in guest speakers/instructors/teachers to help illustrate the real-world applications of economics, religion, agriculture, biology, by inviting in the banker, imam, trader, doctor, etc. As secondary school teachers, their job is not just to deliver the curriculum, but tie it to the real world, as the students’ age puts an increased focus on developing skills and understanding applications rather than just intake of curriculum.
As always, the idea was structured in a way where I made it very clear what value it had for the teachers in addition to the students. I told them that not only did it give them the chance to build their professional network, help the school, provide real-world motivations for the students, but also meant one less period they’d have to teach if they invited in a guest speaker!
The questionnaire at the end was very interesting. More than anything, it exposed how poor many teachers’ literacy was. That in itself made me realize that they’d need future trainings on certain single topics- like concept checking questions- rather than the idea presented as a part of a seminar.
Many of them failed to understand or accurately answer the questions. But those that did provided illuminating info on their desire for future trainings on growth mindset, more behavior management, and more tips on use of spacing and resources in the classroom.
After the training Daniel and I presented each teacher with their certificate and stipend, and took a photo for each. To finish off the trainings, Daniel presented each teacher with their stipend and certificate as I took photos.
It’s been a fantastic project running our trainings over the past two weeks. Rashid, Daniel and I have plenty of information to fine-tune our development and material if we are to run similar projects in the future. Just as important, we’ve planted the desire in a lot of teachers to ask for information on how to further different parts of their craft.
Many of them now see the value in self-empowerment and Daniel and Rashid told me that they’ll both be canvassing teachers for future training needs. With them both now gaining experience as trainers, I’ll collect necessary resources for future seminars, and pass it along to the both of them to conduct the trainings.