Sunday, January 14, 2018

Haiti - Jan 14-20, 2018 - Teacher Training

January 15, 2018

At LaHatte 4th and 5th grade class

Slip sliding while driving in the truck down the dry river bed. 

What an adventure on our first full day here!  :-)

We arrived Sunday afternoon and going through the airport and customs was the easiest ever. We organized our supplies for each school and unpacked at the compound. That night we went to St. Marc for church and thoroughly loved worshipping with our Haitian brothers and sisters. We are one in the spirit and Carter translated the message for us to follow along. 

Today was an early morning departure and a bumpy cargo truck ride on "River Bed Road" to LaHatte school. We were able to observe six (preK-6th grade) classes in the morning and enjoyed passing out some new school supplies to each teacher, helping to teach a few French songs with the instruments we also brought there. This is the most remote and poorest of all Mission Possible schools with approximately 90 students.  

Our afternoon focus was at the Mission Possible teacher institute where teachers in training and current Mission Possible teachers are attending each afternoon.  Members of our team have each prepared a 5-day unit intended to increase their knowledge in a content area and/or improve their teaching skills.  Today we found our "students" to be attentive and interested in what we had to share, and we look forward to our remaining days.

Sharon Newlove, Judy Shick, Patti Spiegel and Mary Jo Williams

January 16, 2018

At Chardène school, Mary Jo and the elementary principal are discussing the schools yearly goals while Herve translates for them. 

Judy is presenting one of the preschool teachers some new school supplies we brought with us. 

Two of the cuties at the Chardѐne school.

Today's ride to our two school visits along with our translators and the school nurse. 

Sharon teaching Math concepts at the teachers' institute.

We started our morning at 6 a.m. and are still going strong at 8 p.m.  It was a good day!  Traveling by truck(see photo), we visited Chardène and Saint Marc schools, enjoying the children and observing the teaching.  After returning for lunch at noon, we regrouped for the afternoon teaching at the institute.  By 5:30, we were very hot and tired and ready to return to the mission center to feel the sea breeze, hear the calming waves and taste the Haitian cuisine.  We are now preparing for tomorrow, ready for devotions and a good night's sleep (without the noise of mangoes dropping on the roof) :-) 

January 17, 2018

Lunch is served at Dupin school.  
The students line up to get their plate and take it back to their classroom to eat. 

This was this boy's first day at the school in the youngest preschool class. 

He ate every bite and then licked the plate clean. 

Judy loved singing with the preschool classes and they loved it too. 

Mary Jo and Reginald (her translator) finishing her lesson today. 

     We began the day at Dupin, a school up in the hills north of our center.  We had the opportunity to visit classrooms again, and distribute materials to some of the classrooms.  It is always interesting to be at one of our schools at lunchtime.  The children basically have the same lunch daily which consists of beans and rice, usually with some gravy.  This day each serving had a pasta noodle on top.  The children are very grateful for this food, and they begin their meal with prayer.

     Following our lunch and some time to brush up our lesson plans, we again went to the Teacher's Institute.  Our attendance was a little low today because there was rain in the forecast.  Rain creates transportation problems for the Haitians in this area, as many live in the hills to the east of us.  We had an enjoyable day of teaching, and find that we are strengthening connections with our teachers daily.

     The trip back to the mission center afforded an opportunity to get to know our interpreters better.  They are very interested in learning about our lives and some of the English phrases we use.  We all joke around together and are having so much fun getting to know each other! 

January 18, 2018

A Kindergarten group at Lanzac school singing with Miss Judy. 

Patti was thrilled to be in a 7th grade Spanish class and actually help teach Spanish at MPCA!!

She taught a song about the days of the week and had fun with these kids. 

Our translators for the week! Carter, Evans, Reginald and LaFortune

We started our day eating breakfast, sharing a devotion, gazing at the beautiful sunrise over the ocean, and rejoicing that we only had one mango "boom" on the roof during the night.  We walked up the road to our school at Lanzac.  We were encouraged to see active teaching techniques that we have been emphasizing at the teachers' institute being done in the classrooms.  

MPCA was our next stop.  With over 600 students at this school, many of the classrooms were very crowded.  The lower grades were lively and active, which we love to see.  Patti taught a fun song to a crowded room of 7th grade Spanish students.  During the morning we were able to observe some improvements that could be made to the MPCA classrooms that would make them more inviting.  We came back to the Mission center to have lunch and regroup for our afternoon teaching sessions. 

Here are some of the lessons we are able to teach throughout the week. Judy taught techniques for teaching French vocabulary with poetry and music. Today she taught a lesson on Zaccheus including storytelling, tongue twisters, writing, songs and instruments. Sharon taught various ideas this week for teaching mathematical concepts. Today she demonstrated a method for very young students to practice counting and doing physical exercise at the same time. Patti explained TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) this week for teachers to increase longterm reading comprehension.  She has been using Creole books to show them how they can incorporate them with their students. Mary Jo has been focusing on the psychology of learning and how they can use these principles to improve student learning.  Today she focused on using higher level questioning to encourage students to think more deeply.  

Tomorrow is our last full day, and we will be putting finishing touches on our plans this evening.  We are thinking of all our loved ones at home and appreciate all the prayers and support we are receiving from you.  God is good!

January 19, 2018

At Dégeance we started with a school assembly.  We prayed and sang with musical instruments. 

We then enjoyed visiting individual classes. 
Take note of the woven leaf walls in this classroom.
There is not much protection from the rain,
 a demonstration of the need for a new building.

After we left the current school, we walked down to the new building site. 
Here is the foundation for the new church inside the new property wall. 

They had to dig down (by hand!) 60 feet to find water for the well!

Missing home, we had to show our love for our lovely (but cold) state of Ohio!

And of course, we were in training mode, so we just had to teach our interpreters
the O-H-I-O chant and pose.  They are now Buckeye fans!

Tonight we are enjoying one another's company, thinking about packing, and reviewing the happenings of the day.  We are so grateful to see the progress being made on the new building site for the Dégeance church and school, in addition to the banana, mango and papaya trees already planted along the inside of the fence.  Our last day of teaching training was also very rewarding, and we feel as if we have made many friendships with our Haitian teachers and principals.