Over the past year, we have provided ongoing training and mentoring for our schools to implement a new e-learning program. They have been teaching math lessons to the 1st to 3rd grade students using interactive tablets. Through weekly mentoring sessions, the teachers developed skills to operate the technology, facilitate multiple lesson activities, and equip students to work independently to understand the content. This month, 8 teachers graduated from the Teaching with iSchool Program having mastered all of the required skills!
Our core priority is training teachers with new skills, but that doesn't mean we are always the trainers! In our network of 9 schools, our teachers and directors are gifted with a variety of skills. One of our roles at Impact One is to give them a platform to share those skills with each other. One of those platforms is the Teacher Group Meetings, which are organized by our School Directors to encourage and equip their own teachers.
This year, our School Directors have chosen to use the Teacher Group Meetings as an opportunity to build skills in Creative and Technology Studies.
This year, we introduced an exciting new e-learning program in our schools. Grade 1 to 3 teachers are now using interactive tablets to teach their math classes. The students and teachers are absolutely loving it! Lessons are fun and interactive. Attendance and participation is sky rocketing. And most importantly, students are gaining a better understanding of how to do math! We asked one of our teachers, Wilfred, to tell us how the new e-learning program (iSchool) has made an impact.
2018 began with a wild start. With a devastating cholera outbreak in Lusaka, our schools were closed for an extended period and all of our training programs were cancelled. During this chaotic time, our School Directors were hard at work sourcing funds and supplies to help improve their sanitation and hygiene standards. The cholera outbreak has now been contained and our schools opened again last week… cleaner than ever!
Today marks four years since we began our work in Zambia. Take a look at just how far we've come...
FLASHBACK TO APRIL 2014
In our second training ever, I began to teach the School Directors how to manage their finances. We were all learning so many things (especially me). I covered a multitude of topics, but the one thing that truly stuck with them was the cashbook. Prior to this training, the schools had very few financial records and rarely knew how much money they had at any given time. But the concept of a simple cashbook that showed their current balance mesmerized them and they immediately began to use it. Equipped with this one simple tool, our schools began to see a change in their financial status.
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.
One of our core goals at Impact One is to equip our schools. Through every training, meeting, and school visit, we seek to impart both skills and confidence in to our school leaders and teachers, because we believe they can! We believe they can do so many things, and we want them to believe that too. We also know that empowered teachers will raise up empowered students.
At last week's Network Meeting, I saw the beautiful results of equipping our school leaders with such confidence.