There were a few things during last week’s new training sessions that brought a smile to my face: watching our READ for Life staff train local teachers in how to make play dough (over charcoal stoves in school kitchens); listening to teachers try to change their voice for different characters when practising reading aloud children’s storybooks to each other; and fielding a whole host of questions about behaviour management scenarios in the classroom (I particularly loved one teacher’s active question where he re-enacted the student clinging to the chair and door frame as he picked her up and carried her out of his classroom).
Last week’s training was part of a new set of training materials we developed to help READ for Life create a couple of local ‘model/example’ schools in three areas: what we’re calling group-based active learning (just another way for saying children have activities on their tables and work practically, rather than sitting on their desks and copying from the chalkboard all day long); teachers reading aloud storybooks to the class (this is new for our area and something we have broken down step-by-step); and also positive behaviour management strategies (as opposed to beating children – pretty revolutionary stuff here!)
It was exciting to partner with the Uganda Christian Lawyer’s Fraternity to cover the Child Protection part of the training and join forces for positive behaviour management. We are planning to work closely with these two schools (and possibly a couple more in the future) to raise up their teachers to become leaders and examples to schools and teachers around them.
We chose these two schools because they have already proved passionate in improving children’s reading and have a strong administration team which responds very positively to professional development. Looking forward to working with them more in the future and seeing the face of education change even more in our community!