When asked what kinds of professional learning was needed prior to our arrival in Zambia, School of Hope director, Kathleen Schwartz, responded with her top priorities of guided reading, writing, rubrics, and grading. Just the kind of school stuff we love to talk about! Eagerly, we launched A to Z’s After School Session on Monday with primary teachers learning more about guided reading lesson planning and the secondary teachers beginning to better understand how rubrics work to assist in grading and meet the needs of their students.
While we absolutely enjoy this work, it’s always hard that first day – nerves, anxiety, and doubt creep into our minds as we stand in front of the group and begin to talk. Those uneasy feelings magnify when teachers, like our students back home, don’t always respond or offer ideas when asked. Yes, “crickets” happen here in Zambian classrooms as well.
Tomorrow we will continue staff development when students head for home. As with years past, most teachers eventually warm up (and speak up) as we earn their trust during the school day by being in their classes and teaching side by side with them. What an amazing opportunity to grow for ALL of us.