Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Classroom : Real Problems and REAL PROBLEMS

I went to WorldFund on Monday and met with their whole office when they took me to lunch and talked to me about their mission creating opportunities for students all over Latin America. They have several programs focusing on English proficiency, teacher and principal training, and just building links with schools in Latin America.

We talked a little bit about their teacher training program and how no matter how 'trained' you are, and what you focus on, the problems in classrooms - especially in poor areas of Latin America - are rarely what you expected and prepared for. I've worked teaching and teacher training in Guatemala and parts of Mexico and here are 3 examples from my experience in development :

Problems and REAL PROBLEMS

Training :
  • Setting up a cohesive school-wide behavior/reward program to improve conduct and help rookie teachers with discipline.
  • Scheduling a Monday morning meeting so teachers can work on the curriculum together, share ideas, integrate lessons and cooperate thematically.
  • Showing the teachers how to use the computer lab and integrate technology into their lessons and curriculum.
Real Problems:
  • Chicken population per classroom.
  • Mysterious whole student bodies disappearing for days, coming back and explaining they all had to go "Protect the Forest" -- What? Protect the Forest?? From elves???
  • Teacher-Student Marriages

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