Keeping students motivated and focused is probably one of the most difficult challenges of teachers. But education is more than just learning how to read and write. It’s about gaining the skills and knowledge of the world around us and it helps us to grow personally, professionally, and socially.
One fundamental piece that is missing in the Guatemalan school system is the quality education of teachers. Teachers often lack familiarity with basic teaching skills, variety of innovative subjects, techniques, and methodologies that would leave behind traditional teaching and could positively transform the education system of the country.
At CasaSito, education is a tool for breaking the cycle of poverty. The association is a small grassroots organization whose mission is to transform the future of Guatemalan youth, so they can reach their academic, personal, and professional potential, and thereby generate change in themselves and their communities.
In order to attack the roots of the low quality of education and create more impact on the Guatemalan society, CasaSito is currently working on a pilot program for teachers. The project to be launched in January 2020, will offer scholarships to teachers of private and public schools. Through this new program, selected teachers will receive a partial scholarship and participate in activities that aim to awaken their spirit of critical thinking and leadership, supporting them to become successful change-makers within their schools.
In Q3 2019, CasaSito started the pre-selection process of the teachers in the department of Sacatepéquez. The Project Coordinator will work closely with the principles of public and private schools, to make sure their buy-in for the project.
Due to some budget constraints the pilot project will be launched with only 8 teachers in 2020. Through a formal evaluation process that includes a pre-selection, written application and an interview, the participating teachers will be selected in Q4 2019.
As part of the program, from Q2 2020 on, teachers will be taught in public speaking, research and critical thinking. Through very practical and interactive exercises, the participants practice debating techniques on different Guatemalan issues like violence, banning alcohol, and the role of women in the government. The participants will be enabled to learn new, innovative teaching techniques and methodologies that can be implemented in daily teaching and that way improve the quality of education within their classrooms. In return in Q3 2020, the teachers will organize and sponsor a debate club to a group of 10-12 of their students.
That in turn will have a positive influence not only on the students of the teachers participating in the program but also on other students of the school and cultivate basic skills and critical thinking that would make young people more motivated, influential and active in creating positive change.