The list of “mission critical items” to complete before we open the new school included a lot of tasks. Finished the building was pretty high on that list.
But it wasn’t on top. Having the best and most trained teachers was #1. We do not intend to offer the best education in Dang; we feel we have missed the mark if we are not the best place to send your children on the first day. It is easy to hire someone to build a table or paint a building. Equipping teachers with internationally acknowledged methods that work is a skill few possess.
What could be more important than teaching the teachers? In Nepal, traditional teaching pedagogy includes exactly one method. Rote learning. Memorize, regurgitate, repeat. In order to break that, we needed to hire some crackerjack teacher trainers.
We decided that bringing these people to the Dang Valley for a week of training was a better use of funds and more important than finishing the construction of the school. If Darth Vadar can use the death star to destroy planets before he finished it, we can use our school to educate Dang residents before it is finished!
Here are a few excerpts from the teachers’ evaluations at the end. I have permission to use their names.
Binita Sharma. ” The five days training was very effective for me as it first of all boosted my confidence as a teacher and secondly but most importantly, it gave me the techniques to make the environment of the classroom child friendly being always there for the children. I came to know that rot learning hinders the overall development of the children and to develop the children in all the areas we need to create the opportunities to play on daily basis. I also came to know that as a teacher, we need to prepare different aids of teaching to make our teaching more fun and effective.”
Shanti Oli. ” The five days training of ECEC has been very effective for me to grow as a teacher. I have taken different trainings before also but this training is very impressive and I got to learn many things. I learnt how to understand child and deal with them. I also got to have many ideas on song teaching, games which is very necessary to make the classroom engaging.”
We are ready to go….almost. We need the kids and perhaps some running water and electricity…
And school #4 will be in motion.