I had an amazing opportunity to go to Kathmandu, Nepal a few weeks ago to work with the teachers at Gloria School. I went with two other co-workers, and a Korean team of 34 adults from the Salt & Light Church in Seoul. While we worked with the teachers from Monday to Friday from 9am-4:30pm and the Korean team held a fun camp for the students of the school.
There were 18 teachers in total, who taught from Kindergarten to 10th grade. The school went up to 10th grade, then the students go to college for 2 years, and then university in Nepal. Missionary Grace who started the school about 10 years ago, said one of her prayer requests was to get training for the teachers. She has a hard time finding qualified, English speaking, Christian teachers for the school. Therefore, she ended up hiring many young teachers who don’t have proper teacher training. There are a few teachers that are in college, and teaching in order to make money. They are going to college not to be a teacher, but to pursue other careers as of now.
Before the week started, we were not sure what to expect. Were they going to be excited to work with us for the week? Or was it something they were being forced to do? I’ve had plenty of professional development experiences, where I’ve just looked at the clock and counted down until it was time to go. I didn’t want our team to bore them nor waste their time.
Throughout the week we focused on an essential question: “What makes a good teacher?” Then, we thought about what were the components of being a good teacher and what good teaching looks like in the classroom. We focused our main sessions on:
- Unit planning (Using understanding by design’s backward planning model)
- Assessment (Formative & summative assessment)
- Strategies for working with English Language Learners
Part 2: Breakthrough with the teachers