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Dec 19, 2018

Teachers in the Trenches 2018

In School Teachers
In School Teachers

Dear Friends and Partners,

The year has come to an end and in the words of one of our teachers, "It's been a good year!" I trust you would agree. Teachers started with the main goal of doing and becoming better that they had been in 2017.

From the teachers' perspective the following were highlights of their work in the classrooms.

The discipline level of the school improved to 75% from 60% last year. This is due to better engagement with the students and increased involvement at the school, which can be attributed to teacher trainings completed in April 2018 and July 2018. 

Throughout the year staff morale increased and teamwork grew. Demotivation as a result of delayed salaries was at the lowest as staff were paid on time. 

There were a few lows. Teaching resources were always not sufficient, especially reference books such as dictionaries, atlases, and maps. Teachers also had to deal with negative feedback from colleagues within the school zone who looked down upon the vision and mission of the school. 

Thank you for making the year a godd one!

in 2019, the main focus of teacher development will be around the following areas: -

1. Rich Teaching for Poor Students (Engaging All Students)

2. Incorporating technlogy in teaching

3. Using Makerspaces to teach

4. Improve on Timely Remuneration for our teaching staff

5. Have Better Teacher Support in and out of class 

Let's join hands together again in 2019 to make it a better year,  together.

On behalf of the teachers, Board and children- Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year

Science Class
Science Class
Teaching Time
Teaching Time
Sep 21, 2018

Supporting a New Generation of Teachers

Teacher with students
Teacher with students

Dear friends and partners,

This September I would like to share real teacher stories about their experiences at Acres of Mercy Learning Centre.  I do this as a way of preparing to celebrate our teachers and teachers in general in the next two weeks when we celebrate World Teachers Day on October 5th.

Reflective Teachers, Growing Teachers, Growing Students

Teacher M "In the past three years, i have been with Pre-school children. In my first year, I had  a challenge. I was expecting to deliver the perfect lesson as I planned it. As the days went by I learnt the importance of accepting and learning from my own mistakes...It made me create room for mistakes where learners amke mistakes and learn from their mistakes rather than let the mistakes demoralize them... Through being honest about my mistakes and imperfections, I can noow form a stronger connection with the learners and form strong strong relationships with mystudents in order to create a better learning environment"

Teacher E "Many are the times I feel so encouraged...I look at the way the students do their work independently, compared to the times I used to push them...Teachers , [sic] colleagues,  also encourage me through their support, correction and words of encouragement...Whatever I do, I do because I believe that all learners can learn no matter what through all support.."

Teacher L "I have learnt a lot through the learning meetings we have been having...The new Competency Based Curriculumn has made learning and teaching in Pre-School so enjoyable.."

These and more are stories being told through committed practice of our teachers. They are not without challenges, but through consistent practice and teamwork they are being overcome. Below is one such story re-told.

We admitted him in the middle of last term. He was a troubled teenage boy, bearing the scars of a brutal period in the Kenyan public schools. Our public schools are violent places for differently abled children. This boy had a chip on his shoulder and soon after joining the school he was out to prove himself...he wanted so much to be respected, to be valued, to be loved.

His first infraction was to declare that he could beat all the teachers (female) within the school. We called in the parent, thankfully the father came. What emerged was a student disrepectful to women, in constant conflict with the mother as he sought to be loved, to be respected. Perhaps he had been projecting and needed a little careful intervention.

There has been marked change in the boys' level of discipline, thanks to the efforts of a caring and understanding teacher.

Friends, your investment in these teachers are yielding results one day at a time. Thank you for your continued support. Acres of Mercy has an 11 team teaching team, three volunteers.

Our goal in the next 12 months is to retain 12 teachers at an average monthly salary of $220 a month per teacher. We are  also working on different ways to motivate our staff, in the words we speak, in the trainings, in finding ways they can progress in their careers as mentioned by facilitating increments in remuneration and other teacher benefits so they can continue to invest in our children for a better society whilst living too. To this end our Board is aconsidering a strategy to provide these in a sustainable way.

Your ideas on how to do this in sustainable ways are needed and are welcome.

Get in touch via email- acresofmercy@gmail.com 

Visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/acresofmercy

Consider increasing recurrent giving for this project through involving friends, colleagues and families.

Once again, I celebrate your partnership, friendship and trust. Thank you!

Students Collaborative Work
Students Collaborative Work
Sep 20, 2018

Birthing a Reading Culture: Passports into the Future

Children Learning the Alphabet
Children Learning the Alphabet

Dear friends,

September is here...

Here in Nguluni, Kenya it is hot and dusty though the peace felt as you gaze at the cerulean blue skies trumps the heat. The hope of our mission keeps us focused. We must deliver to these dear children their passports into the future, on time.

It is four weeks now since we re-opened school to a new term, and three months since we last touched base. Since then a lot has happened. Before I delve into the report find some time to read the words from the poem September, The First Day of School.

I think this poem speaks of us, of you and I and the parents and guardians as we work, live and give hope to the children we serve so faithfully every day. I hope it resonates with you and trust that you will be encouraged to continue making a difference.

And making a difference we are! Recall, in our last report where I reported that we had started a 10 minute story book reading time for children between Pre-Primary One (PP1) to Grade 3. At the end of the second term in July we gave the children an Oral Fluency test which showed an average improvement in reading fluency rates by 28%. (Correct Words Per Minute).

When we started the term we set a target with the Pre-school teachers to read 60 books to the children by end of term. So far we are at 41 books read, we have reached the 68% mark with one month to go. This means the children will be hearing more vocabulary through the stories they will be hearing than ever before experienced. Our goal is to continue growing their contact with English and build their love for reading.

The total books borrowed for 2nd Term (3 months) was 217 Books

The total books borrowed in the last one month stands at 291 books. At this rate the students would be reading over 500 books at the end of this term, even with our CupBoard Library as we have. (Picture)

This shows a big growth in the Students Reading Culture.

The impact is being evidenced in students' confidence in speaking in English. 

Our teachers are also teaching more in English rather than in Kiswahili. Observations show students' responses show an improving level in listening comprehension as they respond to their teachers.

Before school closes on October 26th for the December break we trust to have in place an AfterSchool Program to help children get their hands on a good foundation...Together we are making the above impact possible.

Our Future Plan is to complete the space needed for a Literacy Centre within the school.

We have an ongoing building project and would request you as our partner to consider increasing the coming months either individually or by inviting friends and family to take part in any way possible including sharing ideas, best practices and web resources.

Thank you for making it happen, again!

I celebrate you all...

 



 

Cupboard Library-AoMLC
Cupboard Library-AoMLC
Current Building Project
Current Building Project
Birthing a Reading Culture
Birthing a Reading Culture
 
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