Written Saturday, October 8, 2011
Last Saturday, I started my main project: training teachers on teaching methodology and incorporating technology into the education process. After spending time with another volunteer, who has the same main project, I got really excited about beginning. Fourteen teachers from the daytime staff signed up. I didn’t think all 14 would show up, but prepared just in case they all did. Five came, and we had a really great first class. Each one discussed why they became a teacher, we developed group norms, and discussed challenges in the Dominican education system. Finally I took the 10 challenges that the teachers mentioned in my diagnostic interviews and wrote them on note cards. I gave each teacher two note cards and had them tape them on the board in one of two categories: (1) challenges that the teachers in the liceo (high school) can directly affect/change; (2) those that they cannot directly affect/change. The group had to agree on where it should go. I was really encouraged by the outcome: Out of the 10 challenges they stated, the teachers decided that six of them were things that they could direct affect; three they could not, and one could go either way. I made a point to point this out to them and encourage them.
Usually when I come to the liceo in the morning, there are kids spilling out of the classrooms, doing nothing but walking about making noise. When I came on Monday morning, one of the teachers was rounding up kids, getting them in order, and all week there were fewer kids outside of their classrooms. I don’t know for a fact that it was because of the discussion in our workshop, but I like to think it was. 🙂
Today however, my participation dwindled terribly, and one showed up. One. So, I’m going to push really hard this week to get the teachers to commit for real. I really believe that the school in my site has the potential to be one of the best in the country, so I’m trying to keep believing and coming and committing even when it seems the others don’t, won’t or can’t. Your prayers are much appreciated.