January 21, 2020
God is providing a way for educators to transform Nigeria’s classrooms through Educational Care, a Resonate Global Mission initiative and curriculum of Raise Up Global Ministries.
Limited Training for Teachers
As Stella Pam Yak observed another teacher’s lesson on the types of rocks one day, she noticed the students fidgeting in their seats or staring blankly at the teacher while she talked. Very few of them would be able to walk outside the classroom door and identify the various rocks scattered throughout the school grounds.
This is not an uncommon problem in Nigeria, where teaching is often an undervalued profession and teachers are tossed into the classroom with little or no training.
“I knew as a Nigerian that something was wrong with the educational system—not because we don’t want to do the right thing, but because we don’t know what to do,” said Stella, head teacher (principal) of Westwood Park School in Jos, Nigeria.
A former teacher who is now in charge of running a school and managing teachers, Stella has witnessed how the brokenness of Nigeria’s educational system has ripple effects throughout society. It’s not just lessons on the types of rocks that students aren’t learning well. Without training, teachers struggle to know how to best teach math, reading, history and other subjects to students who each have unique learning styles—and without a good education, children can’t be challenged or stretched in ways that will benefit them, their families, or their communities.
But because of your support of Resonate, God is providing a way for leaders and educators like Stella to transform their classrooms and schools through the gospel!
When Resonate missionary Mark Wiersma invited Stella to participate in Educational Care training, she eagerly accepted the opportunity. She was excited for what the training could do for Nigeria’s teachers and students. Throughout the course of 18 months, she faithfully attended and completed all of the trainings.
Educational Care is all-encompassing, said Stella. She not only received the training she needed to better support her teachers in their classrooms, but Educational Care showed her how important the role of an educator is to God’s mission to renew all things.
“My greatest take away from Educational Care is opening my eyes to see the need to erase the dichotomy between things that are ‘spiritual’ and things that are ‘secular,’” said Stella. “For me to understand the created, I have to work with the Creator.”
The Gospel in the Classroom
Now, Stella is training other participants and implementing what she has learned through Educational Care in her school. One of the ways she said Educational Care has helped her is through her classroom observations of teachers. “I don’t just leave [teachers] with the problems,” said Stella. “We walk through the possible solutions too.”
After observing the teacher’s lesson on the types of rocks, Stella sat down with her and brainstormed how they could help students learn lessons better. Stella suggested that the next time the teacher taught her students about the types of rocks, the teacher could guide students outside to identify the many types of rocks scattered throughout the school grounds.
She recommended that the teacher ask her students, “Who made the rocks?” Stella wants more discussions about God in the classroom!
Thank you for equipping passionate leaders like Stella through Resonate! “The opportunity to be trained was a golden one—not just for me, but for the generations to come,” said Stella. “Educational Care is part of the good news that needs to be heard across the nation.”