Three months ago I asked many of you to pray for Teacher Bonny, a teacher who I have been working with who was diagnosed with TB and very sick. He lost a lot of weight, was out of school and in and out of hospital for the first term of school, but now he seems to be well on the road to recovery. He is still on treatment, but doing well. Bonny was able to help out with a small team of facilitators to lead two days of teacher training at El Shaddai Primary School in Gulu this week (the last week of the school holidays here). El Shaddai is a private school and has the best reputation for results in Gulu. It was a tough crowd but a brilliant two days for many reasons. Here are a few:
- It was brilliant because… it was the first training Teacher Bonny was able to help out with. This was a huge encouragement and motivating factor for him. And it was lovely for us to have him to help (there were 55 teachers present, so we needed a lot of help!)
- It was the last training for Tara-Lee Duffy, an intern with CEED (Community, Empowerment, Education, and Development) Concordia, (a Canadian-based charity) who has been helping with training and giving feedback to schools. She has been an incredible help. It will be sad to see her go, and teachers will miss her here, but it is lovely for her to end on a high!
- Teacher Caroline really stepped up to the mark! She was awesome! Caroline is a teacher employed by the parent community at a local government school (that means her salary is about one quarter of her government-employed colleagues). She is a brilliant reading teacher for P1 (reception/kindergarten) and I have slowly been including her in some of my trainings when needed. I also love how this was an incredible boost for her. For her to be teaching the best teachers in Gulu, that’s pretty awesome!
- The teachers were amazing! It was such a high-energy training. I had grown men singing ‘the wheels on the bus’ at the top of their lungs; upper primary teachers actively participating in games for nursery children; was regularly ambushed with questions which told me teachers were thinking; and there was an applause after our first few phonics songs were played.
- Many teachers had asked about how to pronounce different words. After attempting to answer about 40 on the spot at one stage (and deferring a few until lunch when I had time to ‘google’ them); I then asked teachers to write any words they wanted help with on the chalkboard at lunch and we would discuss them after lunch. I returned to an absolutely full chalkboard!
A truly motivating and engaging two days. Thanks El Shaddai Primary School! Don’t think this is the last we will see of you 🙂