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 Education  Kenya Project #16680

Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly

by Acres of Mercy, Kenya
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Support Teachers to Educate 200 Children Monthly
Growth through challenges is a journey
Growth through challenges is a journey

Dear friends and partners,

I hope that you have all been safe!

This is our first post COVID-19 Pandemic report. So much of the world has changed since our last report in March and so has the nature of our work. Thank you all for having us in your hearts and for working through this period with us even though things changed so much for everyone.

Your sacrifice is worth all the gratitude I could put in words! Thank you! Hats off for every one of you involved in the fight against COVID-19 in the many different ways you are.

They certainly shifted our work form the plans we had from the years start. As a reminder we wanted to accomplish the following goals, namely; -

  1. Pursue student mentorship to motivate students and support them during their time at school
  2. Improve the level of Parental Involvement in their children’s learning
  3. Improving students’ fluency in reading and comprehension
  4. Improve teacher capacity to improve curriculum delivery and raise achievement of students and close achievement gaps for students not meeting expectations.

When lockdown in Kenya was put in place on March 12th 2020, we had just reviewed our plans midway through the first term of the year and were ready to shift gears for improved delivery for the second half of term, but this wasn’t to be. Our plans were unraveled by the lockdown. But it wasn't all bad. 

First, teachers have been able to stay paid, thanks to selfless partners and friends and a caring and understanding Board.

Secondly, we were then able to cover over 1260 hours of Growth Mindset Coaching with our current staff via our organization’s Whatsapp Group. By the end of the three weeks between May 23 and June 30th 90% of staff were participating in the coaching sessions.

During these sessions we covered The Growth Mindset Coach- Annie Brock and Heather Hundley.

Here are some of the reflection responses from some of the staff after the sessions:-

''I will strive to create an environment of equity in my classroom.'' Tr. M

''I will use process praise to help motivate students to push on when they feel like giving up.'' Tr. A

It is also amazing to see our staff and board members offering one another psychosocial support during the crisis

We faced the challenge of zero face to face interactions since we could not use the Zoom application as data costs for Zoom meetings have been very prohibitive at 10 dollars per hour per person for Zoom meetings. This would have been USD 2310 (210 USD per person) for our coaching sessions. We thus opted to use Whatsapp channel which cost very staff only USD 2 for a week.

In the period of the lockdown, two of our parents passed on (COVID unrelated, but both from cancer) and though there was heartache it was heartwarming to see teachers who worked with these children and parents rise up to offer the much-needed psychosocial support to the families.

Despite the seemingly lost time, incomes and other lockdown related losses, I believe our organization has experienced the lost art of practicing care to the community without wanting anything for it. We have seen love, and mercy and care in the small community that is Acres of Mercy and this has in turn touched the larger community that we are a part of. I pray you are touched and encouraged by it too.

As we start the second week of July 2020, we are looking forward to working together, giving and sharing hope with each other in the little and big ways that providence would allow so we can be stronger as humanity after all this has settled.

Certainly, the world will never be the same again, but together we will sail over to the other side of what is has to bring to find ways to navigate that different new world. Thank you for being a partner in this journey together. . We now move into a new 6 months of a new phase in the way our organization will intervene in its work.

Thank you for your continuing support and may you be safe and strong and let’s keep rooting for each other…a win awaits on the other side…

Our Growth Mindset Resource
Our Growth Mindset Resource
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Teacher Working with Class on Reading
Teacher Working with Class on Reading

Dear friends and partners,

It’s my pleasure to report on the progress we made in pursuing our goals for 2019.

In April 2019, during staff training and coaching sessions, a way forward on improving teacher performance and improve students’ involvement in education was reached. A fourth goal was incorporated during our teacher in-house training in November and December 2019.

Teachers agreed that the following goals should be pursued: -

  1. Student mentorship to motivate students and support them during their time at school
  2. Improve the level of Parental Involvement in their children’s learning
  3. Improving students’ fluency in reading and comprehension
  4. Improve teacher capacity to improve curriculum delivery and raise achievement of students and close achievement gaps for students not meeting expectations.

The decision to have these priority goals was necessitated from attendance analysis, student achievement and parental involvement data throughout the year. This Attendance Data taken from all classes revealed that average school-wide attendance at Acres of Mercy Learning Centre was 79%, down from 85% from the previous year (2018). The team agreed on a goal to improve attendance for the following term. To enable attendance and improve learning outcomes, two other areas were identified as critical. These other goals are aimed at supporting students both at school and at home.

 

During the year we had staff training that covered the following topics: -

  1. Conflict management to equip teachers in de-escalation strategies
  2. Achieving Congruency in Pursuing the School Vision
  3. Personal Development Goals
  4. Student Engagement

We made a decision to have a full-time teacher mentor whose main job description is to support students in and out of class. The teacher also doubled as a social worker making home visits, mentoring the students to set achievement goals and stay on task with meeting their set goals.

A total of 11 teachers and a volunteer attended.

Our staff turnover rate measured for the same period last year increased from 23% in 2018/2019 to 34% in 2019/2020. The organization has a target to change 30-45% of staff who are not contributing to the goals of the school without too much disruption.

We still have plans to have a Day Care Centre that will allow for lactating female staff to resume teaching at the school after their maternity leave. The planning is underway and once completed will be posted as a project on GlobalGiving upon approval by the Board.

A better remuneration plan was developed and approved by the board. The bulk of the work now remains in raising revenues to meet these changes.

By the end of 2019 year, we still haven’t found an answer to the question on how to sustainably finance our teaching costs. This is the main question we are now grappling with, and invite you our partners to share from your experience how we can implement such a strategy. The organization is in negotiation with local farmers to engage in joint agribusiness to supply the school feeding program whilst also funding core costs.

I trust that with our continued partnership we will be able to keep our current crop of teachers. in the coming months we will need help in meeting our increased direct teaching costs in salaries, which has gone up and $400 in monthly recurrent giving would cover the shortfall.

Thank you for supporting the teaching and learning at Acres of Mercy by giving to the most important people in learning- our teachers.

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Dear friends,

As we draw nearer the end of the year, we begin to take stock of the past nine months and what we have achieved together. And it's been no doubt a great year and also a tough one! For the teachers and the students.

Let's go over the achievements and challenges of the year:-

1. The teachers saw the transition of 19 students, 6 girls and 13 boys.

2. We had an average school teacher to student ratio of 1:14

3. The teachers had a good annual attendance record of 93%

4. Teachers were able to achieve a content coverage of an average 82.7% school wide. Grades 4-8 achieved 100% completion on critical content areas  (examinable).

5. During the year we hard a turnover staff ratio of 28.57% (a total of 4 staff left during the year).

6. Teachers completed 3 in house training sessions and 3 teachers completed Competency Based Curriculum training organized by the Ministry of Education and the Kenya Private Schools Association.

7. In November teachers planned around 4 priority areas for the year 2020 around Curriculum Delivery, Parent Engagement, Student Engagement and School Safety & Environment.

8. Throughout the year, teachers had access to support in curriculum delivery and planning with the help of a full time Education Support Officer.

9. We capped the year this December by having a staff lunch out together.

As we head into Christmas, I'd like to thank you once again and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2020!

We celebrate you! 

Links:

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Dear friends,

We all would agree that teachers require support. Just like grape vines need trellises to bear the weight of the fruit produced during harvest, so do teachers who produce the fruit of education need support to ensure learning and teaching  do not succumb to the burdens of schooling, parental challenges, administrative expectations and student behaviour challenges.

This is why Acres of Mercy created the position of an Education Support Officer to coordinate school- wide teacher and student support.

The various kinds of support given to teachers during the last three months beginning June have included:-

1. Curriculum support- Teachers are supported to plan for lesson delivery, resource identification and mobilization and lesson reviews.

2. Supporting teachers to achieve the set school goals namely; student mentoring, parental involvement and supporting literacy achievement especially in reading and comprehension

3. Supporting teachers on linking home and school

4. Supporting teachers in alternative forms of discipline

With this support teachers are better able to focus on achieving overall school improvement goals as they feel supported.

By supporting collaborative work, the teaching staff are able to achieve congruency in delivering of agreed upon goals.

In the period from June 2019, this program received slightly over $36 to support its work. We believe with more support we can even do better and achieve more with regards to teacher support and professional development in ways that will have lasting impact in the achievement of students within the school.

Thank you for your continued support and will look forward to seeing many more partners come on board to support this work.

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Staff at a Past Coaching Session
Staff at a Past Coaching Session

Dear friends, partners and colleagues,

In April 2019 we had a three-day staff training that covered the following topics: -

  1. Conflict management
  2. Achieving Congruency in Pursuing the School Vision
  3. Personal Development Goals

During this period, teachers identified three major goals to improve student’s learning outcomes.

The goals included: -

  1. Student mentorship to motivate students and support them during their time at school
  2. Improved the level of Parental Involvement in their children’s learning
  3. Improving students’ fluency in reading and comprehension

We made a decision to have a full-time teacher mentor whose main job description is to support students in and out of class. The teacher makes home visits, mentors the students to set and stay on task with meeting their set goals. The role also involves ensuring that teachers are getting support in engaging with the students with the aim that all students in school are learning. This involves a lot of counselling and alternative discipline methods.

To equip teachers in de-escalation strategies, we conducted a Conflict management training where 11 teachers and a volunteer attended. This training continues this month of June.

Our staff turnover rate measured for the same period last year dropped from 43% in 2017/2018 to 23% in 2018/2019. This is a marked improvement from previous years and indicates that more and more the support the teachers are getting are allowing them to stay employed with us. The organization is looking to have a Day Care Centre that will allow for lactating female staff to resume teaching at the school after their maternity leave. The planning is underway and once completed will be posted as a project on GlobalGiving upon approval by the Board.

A better remuneration plan is also currently being developed so as to allow the organization retain its staff during government recruitment seasons. The government plans to recruit additional teachers and mostly get their teachers from the ones currently employed in the private sector giving them better terms.

How do we sustainably finance our teaching costs? This is the main question we are now grappling with, and invite you our partners to share from your experience how we can implement such a strategy.

I trust that with our continued partnership we will be able to keep our current crop of teachers. in the coming months we will need help in meeting our increased direct teaching costs in salaries, which has gone up and $400 in monthly recurrent giving would cover the shortfall.

Thank you for supporting the teaching and learning at Acres of Mercy by giving to the most important people in learning- our teachers.

Teachers at a past coaching session
Teachers at a past coaching session
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Organization Information

Acres of Mercy, Kenya

Location: Nairobi - Kenya
Website:
Project Leader:
Catherine Muteti
Project Leader
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya
$20,407 raised of $38,000 goal
 
171 donations
$17,593 to go
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