Training Rural Teachers
Skilled teachers are the cornerstone of effective education. In Guatemala teachers enter the profession with almost no specific training in how to teach children to read. These young educators begin their careers with minimal classroom management skills, little knowledge of curriculum development and few opportunities for improving their skills. This results in poor student performance and high dropout rates, especially among girls and indigenous Guatemalans. By investing in training, a lasting impact on student performance is made.
Quality Ongoing Training
Each year in both group and one-on-one settings, we provide dynamic, interactive training for teachers in rural schools throughout Guatemala’s Central Highlands. Each teacher in our program receives six intensive training sessions per year. In partnership with the Paiz Foundation, we are also piloting a student teacher training program for young indigenous men and women from remote villages, students who grew up in extreme poverty and are now studying to become teachers when they return to their communities.
Practical Effective Training for Teachers
Our training sessions are conducted by Guatemalan literacy staff who live in the areas where they work, and know them intimately. In group and classrooms-based sessions, we focus on giving teachers specific instructional techniques that engage children in books. We work closely with all teachers in our program to help them create and implement effective reading and writing activities that improve comprehension, retention and critical thinking skills for their students. This training and support increases the teachers’ confidence, makes their teaching more enjoyable and helps them become more successful educators. For most of the teachers in our program, these approaches are not only new, they are revolutionary. The impact in the classroom is seen immediately.
Backing Training with Resources
As part of our training program, we provide each teacher with storybooks, textbooks, an extensive Child Aid teaching manual and instructional materials for use in the classroom. For nearly all of the teachers, these are the first such resources they have had. We supply teachers in the most isolated schools with monthly rotating stores of books provided by our partner libraries. In addition, we support local libraries and librarians with books, training and whatever else they may need to create a literacy hub for the community and significantly increased circulation.