The teacher training initiative has been completed and as Bentham Lewis, our lead director on the island said, “this is the best thing that’s happened on Barbuda in the last 20 years!!”
The teachers arrived on Monday morning and spent the first day with the teachers alone. As it was Easter vacation the children were not in school yet the teachers worked all day Monday thru Thursday. They discussed what they wanted to accomplish and what they wanted to do with the kids.
Although the students were on break, children came on Tuesday and Wednesday so that the trainers could spend time in a real setting showing them how to improve their teaching skills. The children were wonderful and often times entirely focused on the trainers. The trainers stressed the importance of ‘differentiated instruction’ which is a modern educational approach that treats each student as an individual learner – advancing at their own pace.
Much of the success was also due to the new environment, the newly furnished rooms, and the additional laptop and 5 tablets ( 1 for each classroom), along with other supplies that the trainers brought with them. The high tech equipment will be stored in a safe that will be installed this week.
As the week progressed each teacher worked to learn how to write and implement lesson plans, and then have an opportunity, the following day, to use them for instruction planning while receiving hands on constructive criticism by the trainers and the ability to adjust in the real life setting.
Wednesday afternoon the trainers met with a group of 20+ interested parents and talked about how they can help their children by continuing the learning at home. The parents were in awe of the support and direction and very appreciative!!
Ending their week, the trainers were able to visit Holy Trinity School, meeting with several teachers, and touring the facility. This was followed by a lovely send off lunch at the Barbuda Belle and a brief tour of the frigate birds.
From the trainers perspective, they shared it was the most rewarding trip they have ever done. They fell in love with the island and its people. The teachers are now more inspired than ever to teach and we hope that future training trips will be orchestrated to continue to make an impact!