It is a sad generality in Haiti that teachers are often not very highly valued. There is a Creole saying that goes, “Teachers and masons die poor.” Although there are some who take up teaching for the love of the job or because they want to make a difference, there are also many who see teaching as a stepping stone to something “better”….a way to make money to survive in the meantime.
Of course, at Lemuel we highly value our school staff. We recognize that they are they ones pouring into the next generation of children. We want them to feel and know that they have value and that what they are doing is a significant contribution. To this end, whenever possible, we seek to offer them opportunities for their own personal or professional development. We want to invest in them, so that they can make even better investments in others!
Last week, we welcomed Chris Jackson and his family to the Plateau. Chris has a doctorate in education, and is the principal of a large school in Texas. While he and his wife Mindi and daughter Mara were with us, he held some professional development sessions for our school staff.
Specifically, he prepared two concentrated sessions for Almaïs and Osselet. This was the first training that we have ever been able to offer specifically for the school administration, and it was a huge asset and encouragement to them. The essential premise of his training was that if we believe every child can learn, we must take the responsibility to make learning happen.
In addition, Chris spent a day doing a training with all of the teachers.
For one of their activities, they were split into groups to prepare and present a list of the top 5 qualities that a teacher needs to have.
These opportunities are invaluable for our school staff, who are eager to learn and grow. They leave such sessions feeling valued, better equipped, and re-energized.
The Jackson family also collected and brought in tons of school supplies, including creative classroom tools for teaching various subjects!
While Chris spent time with the school staff, his wife Mindi (above right) and daughter Mara (left) were also working in the educational domain…they spent two days schooling Ani, so that Judy could be free to translate for the school seminars. Mindi also happens to be Judy’s cousin! It was wonderful to welcome her and her family for their first visit to the Plateau!