Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Mary and I make sure that we communicate with each one of our teachers at least once a day. We want to know what is happening in the classrooms as well as our teacher’s lives. For example, Mr. O’Pare owns and operates a farm. He walks an hour to school and an hour home from school each day. When he returns home he spends the rest of the day tending to his farm. We love that our teachers are comfortable enough to tell us these personal things about their lives. We have also talked with our teachers about their formal education. Some of our teachers have studied education to some capacity, some have traveled to weeklong training seminars, and some of our teachers just graduated senior high school. We have teachers at all different professional levels in our school. This means some are more comfortable in a classroom setting and some of them are still trying to figure out their place in the classroom. Besides seminars we make sure that teacher are constantly asking questions about material or teaching practices that they do not understand because we want what is best for our teachers not just our students.
We will be returning to the United States to spend the holidays with our families. This means that school will be in session for about a week where we will not be here before our students also break for the holidays. We spent the last couple of day’s conferencing with each of our teachers to make sure they have everything they need to be successful for the week during our absence. This also gives the teacher time to ask any individual questions they have for us. We made sure that each teacher would have his or her everyday classroom supplies (white board markers, chalk, counters, etc).
We also used this time for the teachers to assess how effective Mary and I have been in assisting them inside and outside of the classroom. One thing I love about working in this school is everyone, the students and the staff, are very blunt. If you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing someone will call you out. This being said all of there teachers had very helpful feedback. They let us know the things that they liked and want us to continue to do. Some examples are teaching when a teacher is sick, teaching individual lessons for teacher, modeling teaching practices in the classroom, providing the students and teachers with supplies.
Mary and I know that there is always room for improvement. Our teachers gave us very specific feedback about where they would like us to focus on helping them next. ICT, Information Communication Technology, is a big area of improvement for the KCC school staff. A lot of our teachers do not feel comfortable teaching this subject because they do not have the proper training and we are lacking the textbooks to support the teaching. Each one of our teachers also expressed the need for more technological support in their classroom. They want things like laptops and projectors for each classroom. We are working on securing a few more laptops to be shared through out the classrooms and teachers. Right now we have one laptop that we share in all ten of our classrooms.
Taking the time to communicate with our teachers is very important to us. We want to teachers to feel like we are all on the same team. This means that we have to take the time to hear their suggestions for the school. Although Mary and I both have degrees in education we are not experts. Especially when it comes to the Ghanaian education system. Each one of our teachers and us brings something different to the table. This being said we are so thankful for our teachers being so welcoming and inviting us into their classrooms and culture. I feel like we have taught our students and teachers a lot over these past four months, but they have taught Mary and I plenty as well. We all share the bond of being lifetime learners.
We will keep you updated on how the KCC school is doing. Mary and I will both be independently posting about the first half of our experience and things we are looking forward to when we return in January. We are always more than willing to answer questions or give more information. If you feel compelled to make a donation or support the school in some other capacity please either email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://acts2collective.cloverdonations.com/donation/
Peace and Blessings,
| Anna |