Teaching is a craft that calls for continual improvement and evaluation. Each new class differs from the last. New challenges arise and old techniques expire. It’s not easy to kick off old habits and take on a year with fresh eyes and energy. But teachers have to do it every year. Professional development -- workshops, seminars, etc. -- helps teachers gain the perspective, encouragement, and tools to ensure that their work continues to be effective.
I met Orlando when he was a literature teacher. For his many classes, he showed me the one book that he used for lesson preparation. It was a second-hand book written to teach literature to a different grade than the one he taught. Orlando had a lot of ideas for his school, but he had little support. He lacked both material resources, and the kind of continued professional education that would give him ways to implement changes at his school. We met hundreds of teachers like Orlando when we put on a teacher’s conference in El Salvador.
I’m a teacher, and I have benefited from extensive access to opportunities for professional development. It’s been a necessary part of my life as a teacher. In El Salvador these resources do not exist. Teachers need the kind of support that will help them to take on these challenges. Offering the opportunities I’ve benefitted from to those who often don’t have any at all seems like the basics of loving your neighbor as yourself.
In El Salvador, we are providing teachers with supplies and workshops that will help teachers teach in a more effective way. We believe in the heart of teachers. Teachers want to help, they want the best for their students, but teachers need help to realize these hopes. We want to give them a space to talk to each others, get fresh ideas, and find the motivation and encouragement they need to continue to push and grow and respond to the ever-changing needs of their students.
We believe in El Salvador’s teachers, and we want you to believe in them with us. Please help us support teachers. Help us offer to them venues for professional development, in turn affecting the lives of every student they teach.