A Professional Development Day!

Written by the A to Z team here in Zambia…Mal Keenan, Alia Hammerstone, and Betty Trummel

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From Mal…

What a GREAT day!  The teachers who attended the Shalubala Inset today inspired me as they traveled to School of Hope from all over the zone.  The men and women arrived ready to participate in a day of professional learning with workshops presented by both Zambian and American teachers.  I truly feel honored to have been included in this opportunity to gather, share ideas, and collaborate on how best to serve our Zambian students.  As for me, I hold literacy close to my heart, so to share strategies on reading and writing was fulfilling and heartwarming.

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From Alia…

Today afforded me another phenomenal opportunity to grow professionally while here in Zambia.  The teacher inset hosted by School of Hope brought together hundreds of teachers from all over the zone.  I was truly honored by the educators who participated in discussions with me that centered around social/emotional learning and students engagement.  Not only was I able to share suggestions on the two topics I hold near and dear to me as an educator, I was also able to continue to learning from the brilliant teachers seeking to strengthen education in Zambia.  They do so with the mindset that these students will build the future of the country.  I am continuously amazed at the hospitality and warm-welcomes, and forever thankful for the new friends and colleagues.

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From Betty…

As I looked out at the sea of teachers attending today’s inset (another word for workshop) it reminded me of all of the times I attended professional development sessions throughout my career. Opportunities like this don’t come along often enough for these educators, who are dedicated to bringing the very best to their students, despite sometimes very tough odds. Many of the students and teachers in this zone walk long distances to go to/from school each day, and the teachers are often asked to do their job with large class sizes and very few materials.  But, I saw positive faces in this crowd, a hunger for learning, the desire to bring new ideas and methods into classrooms, and a wonderful sense of commeraderie.

I thoroughly enjoyed presenting my three sessions and interacting with the teachers.  As always, it was such a joy to be at School of Hope, and I only wish it had been for longer.  Back in Lusaka now and gearing up for week 2 at Shine Zambia.

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