In September, Child Aid added five new literacy trainers to our team, bringing the total Guatemalan staff to 20 people. The additional staffers mean we are on target to help 20,000 students learn to read in 2018.
“Our five new employees blew us away with their poise and presence in the interview process,” says Angus Fredenburg, Child Aid’s director nacional for Guatemala. “We were really impressed with the level of classroom experience and language skills of our applicants.”
These new hires represent the largest expansion of our program since 2015. Now, they begin an intensive nine-week orientation in preparation for the beginning of the school year in January. During orientation, new staff will study literacy best practices and work with current literacy trainers.
“It’s a very hands-on orientation where we may teach the theory of learning on Monday, demonstrate that same theory on Tuesday and ask the literacy trainers to model that theory on Wednesday,” explains Fredenburg.
In order to integrate well into Child Aid’s experienced and skillful staff, the hiring committee sought candidates who are fluent in the local Mayan languages, including Kaqchikel, and who demonstrate competence in leading a classroom. All of the new-hires hold a Profesorado de Enseñanza Media (PEM) certification, which is a two-year, university-level teaching credential.
“As part of the vetting process, we had the interviewees prepare a lesson plan and present that to the interview committee. That experience can be pretty intimidating, but our five hires had great presence and were able to have meaningful conversation in a group,” recalls Fredenburg.
When school doors open, each new literacy trainer will be assigned to a seasoned staffer for training workshops and one-on-one classroom coaching. For the first several months, our new hires will fine-tune teaching methods and become more comfortable in their roles.
“We are thrilled to add these new literacy trainers to our Child Aid team, and we know their work in the classroom will only make our program stronger,” says Fredenburg.