A couple of weeks back, Young 1ove premises were set abuzz with a new group of energetic youth for Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) facilitator training. From more than one thousand applicants, we selected thirty-five amazing young people to implement TaRL, a remedial education program developed by Pratham Education Foundation in India to support students falling behind in basic literacy and numeracy. To ensure the facilitators were adequately prepared to lead this program and target their students’ learning needs, they participated in a rigorous two week training at the Young 1ove offices in Gaborone. Our facilitators showed up and brought energy to each and every activity from working in small groups, role playing and jumping around and singing along to various ice breakers. Below are some of their reflections on the training experience.
Though I am a math major, I had to go way way back to the basics to unlearn complex problem solving in order to simplify concepts for kids. I learnt that I needed to unlearn a lot of the things I thought I knew about education and maths. I realized that unfortunately, we adults really like complicating things. Making concepts simple was mind blowing! We were taught a variety of icebreakers to use with the children during sessions and really enjoyed them. They gave me an opportunity to be a child again!
The Young 1ove staff gave us the space to tap into our inner child and Thato-- the Young 1ove Training Manager-- was absolutely on point with every single activity and lesson. She knew what we were going to ask before we even asked it. I really appreciated her insight and experience. We were in capable hands during the training period.
I have previously trained as a teacher and obviously I thought that I knew it all, this training, however, was really eye opening for me. I did not know that there were new ways of teaching that can be so fun and interactive with the children. I have learnt so many ways to improve my classroom environment that are valuable in promoting learning. I also didn’t know any of these fun icebreakers that we were taught. All that I knew are the really boring introductions whereby everyone just says their name, thats it. Now, when I go into the classroom I am more equipped and knowledgeable on how to engage and encourage the students. I did not realize that I was lacking the classroom organization and behavioural management skills that are critical for improving student engagement in lessons. This training has really been life changing for me, I am happy that I was selected to be part this program.
Informative, educational and rigorous. Those are the three words that I can use to summarise the TaRL training experience! Everyday we learned something completely new. Just when we thought we couldn’t be exposed to something we didn’t know, we were proven wrong. I have seen that if kids are taught at the right level, education is much more fun and effective. When the children are divided into ability levels rather than age groups, students grasp concepts quicker and easier. In a class, there is always that one student who gets a concept slowly and another who understands quickly, if attention is not paid, this is how we lose them in the system. If we use methods such as TaRL that allow students to progress and grasp concepts at their level, there is a better flow of learning.
After successfully completing the training, the facilitators are now in the field implementing at Tsholofelo, Kgatheng, Thebe and Otse Primary Schools in the South East Region using these lessons and more to ensure every child has the opportunity to reach their potential.
See the facilitators in action by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter and Instagram. Support us in ensuring that every child has access to quality education in the country. Check out the video below to watch the training in action!