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Jul 3, 2018

A Teacher's Perspective

Teacher Steve
Teacher Steve

Dear friends and partners,

Hear from one of our teachers.

"My name is Teacher Steve. I have been part of the teaching team at Acres of Mercy Learning Centre for the past one year. I started my teaching profession here and this has presented me with various opportunities to practice my teaching professionally.

 I believe that teaching is not just about doing well academically but also involves growth in other areas. Doing this has seen his classes improve holistically over the last one year. The fruits I am seeing today have come about through teacher trainings, research over the internet as well as seeking help from colleagues to come up with solutions.

Being a teacher at Acres of Mercy has changed my view on  discipline and learning. I have come to believe that a student does not have to be disciplined using the cane in order to learn. I have also come to embrace the importance of involving students in decision making (student engagement).

I have seen that settling issues of discipline by dialoguing with the students to come up with solutions is a good opportunity for teaching them life skills such as critical thinking. I have to model right character for them to grow. I also ensure that at the end of every lesson i encourage the students.

By doing this we see the students believing in themselves and stop seeing teachers as deities in the education world. Instead, it has made them open up and become more willing to ask for help in areas where they face challenges."

The support we are receiving is evidently yielding results and impacting the people who have the the power to impact our children positively, the teacher. In Acres of Mercy,a teacher like Steve on average earns $110 a month. Thank you.

Still this is way below what Public School teachers earn at an average $280 a month.

We would like to keep teachers like Steve by offering a better working environment, better training, and better wages so they do not have to leave when the Government's employment window opens. I would like to encourage you to invite frriends, other family to support our teachers so we d not lose them.

Thank you.

Teacher Training Session
Teacher Training Session
Jul 3, 2018

The Gift of Different Teaching

Students Working on Their Own
Students Working on Their Own

Dear friends,

April, May and June have been months of gifting students in a unique way- mentoring and ttraining their teachers.

We started in April with coaching teachers to read to their students every morning for 10 minutes. hrough this we aim to improve the listening and communicating vocabulary as well as fluency of the students. This initiative is being carried out from Pre-School level to Grade 3 level.

The older students from Grade 4 are being given opportunities to borrow at least 1 book at their reading level at from the library daily to aid with the same goal- improving fluency and comprehension.

In May and June the teachers were trained by volunteer teachers from the U.S. on how to identify special needs students and plan for lessons that would accomodate their needs. The training also touched on how to plan for lessons that would ensure minimal student indiscipline and maximise their engagement.

The training also involved other 4 schools from within the school zone.

We are already seeing the impact. "My students are now able to have more agency in their learning," remarks a teacher after incorporating some of the strategies learnt during the training.

We are hopeful that the same impact will be experienced school-wide iin the coming months.

Thank you for your continued support.

Apr 2, 2018

Teacher Leadership and Coaching Initiatives Report

Teacher @ Work
Teacher @ Work

Dear friend and partner,

Happy Easter!

It has been an awesome first term! Our teachers are doing their best. We have been exploring some interesting approaches through our coaching sessions. Through February, we took videos to capture key elements in the delivery of quality teaching that captured teaching methods, classroom management strategies, teacher planning practices among other elements that we have been addressing during our coaching meetings. However, we are still on course to tie it with a professional development workshop in this coming month of April.

Between January and March, we focused on two things: -

  1. How do we teach Mathematics combining the Five Strands that would make math teaching more effective? We started by encouraging the use of manipulatives teaching Mathematics from Pre-school level. We also began teaching students problem solving heuristics at middle school level. We trust these gains will bring in a change in math performance outcomes.
  2. How do we continue to assess students where it matters when it comes to reading and comprehension? We are currently focusing on measuring the right thing to determine at what level can the students read and comprehend.

As we continue with these initiatives, our challenge remains to attract the best teaching talent. Teachers who are able to learn and able to balance between maintaining certain structures but also accepting change and moving it forward.

What sort of teacher leadership both at individual level and at school level do we need? How can we train current willing teachers to embrace change?

The challenge for the school leadership is to move teaching/instructional transformations that will have the greatest impact on student achievement.

Once again, we ask for ideas and advice to push results and have greater lasting impact.

On behalf of the teaching staff, leadership and board at Acres of Mercy, I would like to thank you dear friend for getting us onto this journey. Thank you.

Easter Blessings

P.S. Could you make the call for us on our behalf for other friends to check out our other Project page and join us? Thank you

Teacher In Action
Teacher In Action
 
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