In August 2010, inspired by speakers at the Global Leadership Summit, a think-tank of ten educators explored the possibility of developing effective training for Haitian teachers. As a group of elementary school teachers, special needs teachers, and school administrators, we simply could not imagine a day in front of a classroom without any formal training on how to teach.
A few months later, in October 2010, a team went to Haiti to interview school leaders and inquire about the need for teacher training. Their shoulders brushed between blue tarps as they walked through a tent city, birthed from a catastrophic earthquake. Their eyes observed preschoolers under a tent, fearful to enter their building because of the earthquake ten months earlier. And, their ears overheard a father and son discussing an odd sickness along the Arbonite River, which was cholera. Each of these experiences, and others, offered the team a sense of the obstacles and challenges one endures to live in Haiti.
We were overwhelmed by the physical, material, and emotional needs. With a focus on education, we learned that there was absolutely no shortage of schools in Haiti. Also, we learned that less than 25% of teachers had any type of teacher training. Our response was to freely share our knowledge and expertise with underserved teachers. We imagined teachers trained in the basics of how to teach at professional seminars and wondered if training could affect the learning environment of a school. And if the culture of education could improve, trained teachers might bring about systemic change.
Our journey began in April 2011, when a team of five volunteer teachers brought the first seminar to Nehemiah Vision Academy in Chambrun, Haiti, with two school leaders and 25 teachers. For three years, content was written, presented and revised for this group of educators. Then, with what we had learned, we expanded to multiple locations throughout Haiti through several incredible relationships with Haitian organizations. Today, TTT trains hundreds of teachers and school leaders in various locations throughout Haiti. Our hope is to promote professional growth and development with the dream that teaching will become a noble profession in Haiti. We believe the potential for student achievement is more possible with trained teachers. We echo Nelson Mandela as we consider the problems in our world and commit to be a part of the solution – Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Teaching Training Together is a 501c3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible.