By Melissa Queyquep, TFFT’s Teacher Training Program Director
This year’s first teacher training was held recently at Star High School. The theme for the training was “Managing Classrooms Effectively to Maximize Student Learning,” and we covered Classroom Management, Assessment, and Grading. Held at Star High School last January 4th to 6th, fourteen teachers attended the training.
Apart from inputs from the facilitator about classroom management and what it covers, the training became a venue for the teachers to share their own strategies on establishing and maintaining classroom conditions that facilitate teaching and learning. As expected, the session on addressing misbehaviors in class was the most heated. TFFT advocates for positive behavior modification approaches where corporal punishment does not have a place. We spent the session distinguishing between punishment and discipline. as quite often in Tanzania (and in most developing countries) these two are used interchangeably and even thought to be the same. There were exercises that involved the teachers in drawing up natural consequences or disciplinary measures for common misbehaviors they encounter in class. I believe the session opened their eyes, but honestly I am not expecting that it would change the discipline system overnight. The teachers even said the parents expect them to cane the students!
A lot of interest was also generated regarding different types of assessment, and the teachers requested another training that would further discuss this topic. The school manager, Father Mike Mushi, requested that we create a training schedule for the whole year so that the teachers can plan their activities accordingly. “The teachers do not want to miss out on these opportunities,” he said. Father Edward Urassa, school headmaster, and I are working on the 2012 Star High Teacher Training Program.
Denise McFadden and Fratern Tarimo, TFFT board member and Managing Director respectively, attended the closing ceremony and helped in awarding the certificates to the teachers who completed the 3-day training.
2012 promises to be a busy year for the teacher training program, as the number of training beneficiaries has increased to four, with the lifting of the service suspension for Usa River Academy and the addition of Matonyok Primary School, a newly-opened non-profit school managed by a long time TFFT partner, Matonyok Parents Trust.