This week, I stood in the back of a 2nd grade classroom and observed the Literacy lesson. Using handmade flashcards, the students reviewed all of the letter sounds they've learned complete with fun actions. Then one by one, the students came up to a handmade letter board and created their own 3 letter words with the sounds. Together, the class sounded out each 3 letter word. Tears filled my eyes as I watched these children reading! Just last year, if I had stood in the back of this same classroom, not a single child would have been able to identify letters or their sounds, much less make any words from them. Our Teacher Training and Mentoring is making an incredible impact in the classrooms.
During the last school holiday, we facilitated 3 different training events for our community school teachers and directors. Our trainings are packed with hands on practice so that the teachers are empowered to implement what they've learned. But one of the most critical components of our work that sets us apart is our follow up mentoring! After each training event, we visit our schools to see how they are using the skills, what challenges they are facing, and where we can provide support.
This follow up mentoring is making a huge impact in our reading initiatives! Anna (our awesome Education Coordinator) and Lulu (a volunteer Teacher Mentor) spend time in the classrooms each week observing lessons, modeling good practices, and helping the teachers set targets for the next lessons. As the teachers and students master one level, our Mentors are there to help present them with the next step. This step-by-step process is empowering our teachers with the skills and confidence they need to teach reading well.
As the teachers see their children improve, their own excitement grows. With this new confidence that they can teach reading effectively, we are seeing more books out and about in the classroom, more walls decorated with letter boards and reading tools, and more time dedicated to literacy. We know that improved reading levels will result in improved performance across all areas of our schools.
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Impact One Founder