Many of us know how it feels to go to a conference and be inspired. Some of what we hear, we already know, but it’s a nice *reminder*. While other sessions are A-Ha moments, providing new information and perspective. Speakers motivate us to try something new and challenge us to think outside of our daily routines.
Last Friday was a BIG day at School of Hope. Teachers from all over the zone arrived to experience a day of learning. School of Hope director, Kathleen Schwartz, knows how important professional development is for teachers and is committed to this yearly gathering, not just for her teachers, but for teachers throughout the district. Unlike high cost conferences here in the states, schools were asked only to provide two reams of paper along with 250 Kwacha (about $25.00). Kathleen sees the value of teachers growing together and wants to make an impact on Zambian schools.
I was lucky to work with A to Z team members Betty Trummel, Vernon Caldwell (a new friend and professor from New York), along with Dave Keenan to provide workshop sessions throughout the day on topics like: nonfiction reading, conducting social surveys, expository writing, understanding rubrics, and asking higher level questions in the classroom. The teachers were receptive, open-minded, and happy to share when asked “What’s something new you are going to try with your students next week?”. And as always, having the opportunity to share a bit of knowledge with dedicated teachers is a true gift for me.