Dear friends of Matènwa,
Just as our students are always thrilled to add new plants into the school garden, we always take great pleasure in updating you on these activities each month.
One of the first steps to growing new vegetables is for students to prepare the seedlings. They recycle discarded materials and equipment such as old wheelbarrows to use as planters. With the assistance of the garden technicians, they planted tomato, cabbage, bean, and beet seedlings. Afterwards, they created beds to transplant the seedlings. Each of these students will be responsible for caring for a seedling and monitoring its growth. They will draw, write about, and reflect on the entire process.
Training World Vision Teachers
Over the years, MCLC has developed a good relationship with the PACODES schools, a group of schools supported by World Vision’s Area Development Program in Lagonav. Every year, World Vision sends a new cohort of teachers and school directors to MCLC for a week-long training. The latest group was recently trained on classroom management, class preparation, school gardening, and the use of Creole as the language of instruction. We were especially happy that World Vision wanted us to emphasize this last component. Their priority was for all teachers to teach first through third graders in their mother tongue, in all subjects, and expose students to French oral communication, as recommended by the Ministry of Education.
As usual, we started the training reading a chapter of Yves Dejean’s book Yon lekòl tèt anba nan yon peyi tèt anba (in English, An Upside Down School in an Upside Down Country). This book always generates great discussions and reflections. It highlights the challenges that students face when being taught in a second language that they are not fluent in.
Training Follow-Up at Other Partner Schools
To ensure that the partner schools in our network are applying the principles learned at the trainings effectively, a MCLC specialist visits each school at least twice a month. In addition, a group of 70 teachers and directors, representatives from each school, meet at MCLC once a month for additional training and to discuss strategies on how to address difficulties they are encountering in their classrooms. At the last meeting, some teachers felt that they needed more instruction on the process of how to create mother tongue books with their students. Others wanted to learn more about how to display their students’ work. Together, we came up with some strategies to resolve these issues. We are making great progress!
Chris W. Low, Executive Director FOM
Ezner Angervil, Director MCLC