In 2007, teacher Beth was invited by the district to be trained by Redearth. We spoke to her to learn more about her time with the organisation.
How was the training useful to you?
After the course, I learned so much about my profession, how to become a better teacher; how to use the local environment; how to manage behaviour ~ I don’t use corporal punishment; I use so many of the techniques you showed us; I motivate and praise them.
I learned how to manage bigger classes, how to use group work, the technique of pupil-talk and developing good teacher-pupil relationships.
How is it, training your colleagues?
It is easy, but it depends on the other staff. The staff response depends very much on the individuals. Some are fast learners, some are slow.
Generally, it was positive; even those who were negative in the beginning started changing slowly, as you said it would be.
Did you find any part of the course particularly challenging?
Displaying the learning objectives to the learners; the teachers did not try that ~they found it time consuming. I find it useful to do, but time is a problem.
What comments have the pupils made?
The children were really happy! They saw changes in their classes and it really motivated them. They wanted to come to school, it changed their attendance. They became more responsible. I trained them how to care for their class and keep it shining. I said that is was not for me only. They learned how to prepare their class.
The P1 children loved to play in the play-house and with the mobiles I had made. Many said that the environment had changed so much.
Timekeeping improved greatly in my class. The pupils were given responsibilities that they took seriously, for example, putting up displays, organising cleaning of the classroom, emptying the dust bin.
Do you believe that this course is useful for all Ugandan teachers?
Yes, very much; and refresher courses, what you call continuing professional development, are very important and VERY rare in our country.
And what do you wish to do in the future?
I want to go for further studies. I would like to be a tutor at the Teacher Training College.