We're training the teachers to staff our expanding programs.
Qualified teachers are another scarce resource in the highlands of Madagascar.
There is no formal training available for teachers in Madagascar except for those who will work for the state, and only a few candidates are accepted each year.
We've started our own two-year teaching training program for local people. Our teachers in training are often young people just out of high school with no formal teacher training, and minimal experience in leading children. They make a two-year commitment to work alongside our teachers in our schools, and we commit to mentoring them and monitoring their progress, and to providing them with food while they're in training with us. When their training is complete they're eligible to work in local schools.
As well as learning pedagogy, our teachers have to learn two new languages, French and English, and become proficient in the use of computers to seek out resources. Our teachers in training spend time working with excellent mentors in all divisions of the school and share in a meal a day and all training opportunities, thus allowing us to get to know their strengths and weaknesses, and the gifts they may bring to their colleagues and our school.
The teachers at our school welcome the opportunity to learn strategies to help their teaching, and have always been willing to do additional training during their holidays and after school, when our executive director and volunteers run training programs for them.
This year we welcome Seheno, Prisca, Tokiniaina and Smith to our staff as teachers in training.
Help with Teacher Training from Europe
We have had the good fortune of receiving help in teacher training from the IASWECE (International Association of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education) and stART International, Emergency Aid for Children over the past year and a half.
These groups have sent trainers to us on three separate occasions for two weeks at a time. They have been able to train our own teachers, as well as many from other schools in creative pedagogy. In September 2017 at our recent training we had 86 teachers participate, living at the school and sleeping on mattresses on the floors of the classrooms.