We're training the teachers to staff our expanding programs.
Qualified teachers are another scarce resource in the highlands of Madagascar.
There is little 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 teacher 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 providing them with food and a small stipend 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 daily meal 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 Vivianne, Clarisse, Fenozara and Thierry 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 three years.
These groups have sent trainers to us for two weeks at a time, twice a year. They have been able to train our own teachers, as well as many from other schools in creative pedagogy. When possible we invite teachers from other schools to participate for a week at a time. They live at the school and sleep on mattresses on the floors of the classrooms while receiving this life-giving pedagogical training from committed Waldorf teachers from all over Europe.