This summer we were very fortunate to receive training from a group of Montessori teachers from Washington D.C. Laura Fleming and her colleagues, Yasmin, and Alison visited classrooms to determine the needs of the teachers to develop the training. The teachers were given fresh ideas, activities, and techniques using the educational materials in their current learning centers. The emphasis of the training was to use the centers to teach and reinforce basic concepts such as numbers, colors and shapes. The training also stressed the importance of effective daily planning and offered helpful strategies for the teachers.I am happy to say that I see teachers applying the teachings of the training in both planning and instruction.
I believe one of our main achievements this year is the new way we are including parents. We developed a program where parents were involved in setting goals and objectives for their children. Teachers shared various activities and methods with parents creating a team approach to insure student success.
Teachers reported many successes in their individual programs. One area of success was using the body and the hands to develop vocabulary. They developed new approaches to counting, playing outdoors, dancing, which supported learning. Teachers used the block area to teach shapes, colors, sequencing, and patterns. Teachers saw the value of using circles rather than traditional lines. Meeting in small groups and daily circle sharing groups is a large departure from traditional public school in Guatemala.
- We have provided early child education in 23 small rural communities to small rural communities, where there was no access.
- We have involved parents in supporting the individual needs of their children.