Monday, July 23, 2012

3rd Annual Teacher's Conference begins!

The 3rd Annual Teacher's Conference is off to a great start! We had 88 teachers and administrators registered...but 102 show up! They came from surrounding villages and mountains. Some walked 3-4 hours to be here. We gave them a bag of teacher supplies and a neck tie at the registration desk. The conference opened with prayer and a song ("How Great Thou Art"). Tammy spoke about why she teaches and asked the teachers and administrators to write down three reasons why they teach. Next, we had a break-out session with approximately 25 per class, where they were trained in: 1) Classroom Management, 2) Special Needs, 3) Lesson Mastery, 4) Lesson Planning. During this time, the administrators (approximately 15) were trained on the moral imperative of leadership, building relationships, and respect. They also discussed the basic needs for their school. The last session was an opportunity for them to ask questions. It was interesting that they experience some of the same issues that we do in the USA (i.e. fighting parents, not enough classroom time, slower learners, etc.) We concluded the session with singing the hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," and prayer.They received lunch before they left, probably the only meal of the day for most of them. The teachers were so interested in learning how to be better teachers and they were very appreciative of what they learned.
Some basic general observations about today:
1) They did not complain about anything (heat, bugs, supplies, etc.)
2) They asked great questions and are truly interested in helping their students.
3) While language, culture, and lifestyles may be different, educators can likely agree--kids are kids, wherever you go!