Rwanda Trip 2017 – Day 5

Friday, June 16
We left before the sunrise again, today. The teacher conference is being held in Kayonza, the city we visited on Wednesday. It’s being held in a hotel on the main road. We had a bit of miscommunication regarding the site, but eventually got there. We had a good chance to fellowship and talk with some of the teachers before things got started. 
Johnson gave the keynote address about the importance of Christian education. Then we broke for tea and a group discussion. Because things were running late, they combined the tea and the discussion. This discussion was not an easy one for anyone and it was hard to get a good conversation going. Near the end of time, my fellow teachers eventually opened up a little more and we kept talking past the time we were supposed to leave, so, I gulped down what was left of my African Tea and rushed back into the conference room. The rushing was probably a good idea since I would be leading off our team’s presentation. 
We presented on Active Participation with the idea of planning for active participation in the classroom. After our presentation, we broke for lunch. After lunch, we broke into subject area groups. I got to work with some amazing secondary science teachers. We began by breaking into groups based on what area of science they worked with most. We had three groups: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. We talked about the expectations of developing a lesson plan for an upcoming unit that would use at least one of the active participation methods that we had talked about. 
Then I got to model a couple of other techniques by stopping them 5 minutes into the writing to ask how it was going and what they were looking at doing. If they were having problems, I questioned them to bring out some ideas. After about 10 more minutes, I stopped them again to check on their progress and suggest they consider including group work in their plans. That’s when I talked to them about the two informal assessments I had just done. This group worked hard. The country is moving towards competency based standards instead of knowledge based standards. These teachers seemed eager to gain whatever they could from the conference. 
The next group took over and did a fantastic job of getting the teachers involved in some of the participation methods. Janet dancing will be forever remembered. The Rwandan teachers showed a lot of creativity as they worked through these participation methods. Then it was on to tea, again, and group discussion. We were supposed to leave at 5:00. Many of the groups went into overtime – including mine. This time, we didn’t get focused on the work that we were supposed to be doing, but had a great Q & A session about assessment. The idea of informal assessment seems to be a tough concept for them in part because their national assessment is so important, that they have trouble getting a grasp on any other form of assessment.
So, we piled into the van and headed back to the Guest House. We ran into traffic again, but finally made it home to a surprise: Carolyn Davidson. She was part of the team we were on when we first came to Rwanda in 2014. We had a good time catching up with her. She has moved to Rwanda now and is teaching English. All in all, it was a good day. 

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About rockyfort

I am a retired Middle School Teacher. I share each day what God is teaching me from reading His word hoping that people can benefit from reading what God has taught me.
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