Learning From Each Other
“Who has their supplies today?” asks Teacher Anselme at the start of the math lesson. Nearly every child shoots their hand in the air, a sea of waving notebooks and pens. Teacher Anselme smiles and draws a checkmark next to a happy face on the chalkboard. The kids clap their hands. They know that if they end the lesson with more checkmarks next to the smile than the frown, they’ll get to play a game as a reward.
A simple chart with a happy face and sad face might not look like much, but it’s actually an effective tool that helps build respect and encourages students to follow class rules. Instead of punishing bad behaviours with a physical beating that breeds fear, rewarding good behaviours with encouragement helps develop trust and care between the teacher and students. When kids are relaxed and aren’t afraid of their teachers, their minds and hearts are far more open to learning. This is a key component in Wellspring’s quality education training and one of the reasons Teacher Anselme is leading the class at Jali Primary today.
You see, Teacher Anselme isn’t the regular instructor of this math class. In fact, he doesn’t even work at Jali Primary. He’s actually a Wellspring-trained educator from Cyuga Primary, a neighbouring school, who is visiting to pass along his skills and knowledge on how to make a math class fun, informative, and effective for students. A row of teachers sits at the back of the classroom, taking notes on how to use these techniques in their own classes. They’ve seen the success of Cyuga Primary and are eager to see their own students flourish in the same way.
As the lesson progresses, Teacher Anselme gets every child to fold a piece of paper multiple times and then count the sections, demonstrating a hands-on way to learn about fractions. The kids are excited and invested, eager to participate in a lesson that is more than just a lecture or equations at a chalkboard. The observing teachers all chatter with each other as they see how the kids are answering more questions correctly and paying deeper attention as they get more involved. After the lesson wraps up and Teacher Anselme plays a game with the kids—one they earned by acting respectfully and following the class rules for the whole lesson—the educators gather together for a discussion. They break down the important elements of the lesson, positive behavioural management, use of teaching aids, encouragement of active participation, and more. Then, they brainstorm ways to incorporate these techniques into their own teaching. Teacher Anselme watches with pride, knowing that he’s playing a role in seeing quality education become sustainable across the Gasabo District.
As Wellspring continues to expand our work in a second district, Rubavu, we remain committed to seeing continued progress in Gasabo. This is why we’ve developed a sustainability plan that will help schools continue to thrive. A crucial part of this sustainability plan includes teachers like Anselme, who have excelled in Wellspring’s quality education teachings and are able to pass their skills along to others. When teachers learn from each other, the impact of quality education grows far beyond anything that we could achieve by ourselves.
You can be part of building this sustainability too! By supporting Wellspring, you come alongside teachers like Anselme and students like those at Jali Primary to spark transformation. With your help, we believe that a future where every child has a quality education is possible.