The importance of PLAY!
Wow. What an update from Samuel Yonah, the director of EPI (Education Progress Initiatives)! He shared the progress of our teacher training program and was absolutely thrilled at the evolution he is seeing in our staff, teachers and leadership.
Check out the full testimonials from our teachers and staff below! (You are welcome to download the pdf.)
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY
It was so exciting to hear.
After just a few months of working with our school, one of our lead trainers showed up one day and saw something he had never seen before: Enock - our dedicated, sometimes serious, very results-driven teacher who has taken Kisimani School to new academic heights - was PLAYING with students in the yard. He had never seen Enock play with students before. In fact, he was teaching them a game that the teacher trainers had taught to the staff a few weeks earlier.
So, what's the big deal?
Culturally, especially in Maasai culture (our school has representation from many different tribes and religions with in Tanzania, but we do have a large Maasai demographic), play can be seen as unproductive and sometimes a waste of time. You don't go to school to play, you go to school to work and learn. The teacher trainers have been spending a lot of time and care on addressing this perspective to support our teachers in embracing more student-centered methodologies.
Samwel (director of EPI) described our teachers as "very very positive, hungry to learn. They want to learn something every time the mentors come to school."
When he was talking with students, the kids are also reflecting that the teachers are playing with them more and teaching them in a new way that is a lot more FUN!
Everyone is starting to feel that learning is fun and that PLAY is invaluable as a learning tool. As one of our teachers put it, "it's not just teaching the kids at Kisimani, it is affecting my family and how I am treating my kids at home."
What incredible feedback and how exciting to have our school be a hub for not just academic excellence but a new way of thinking about teaching. Thank you Education Progress Initiatives for all that you are doing to support Kisimani School! And thank you to all of you who are Friends of Kisimani, for supporting this initiative.
What a seismic shift that will have a ripple effect for years to come.
Leave a Reply.
This blog is updated by Leah Leonard, President of Friends of Kisimani with guest posts by our wonderful teachers and staff at school.