February 18, 2021
A teacher stands before a blackboard scribbled with chalk sentences while a chorus of diligent voices recites the words. But most of the students aren’t really reading—not all of them have actually learned how to work out the sounds of letters and words.
They’re just memorizing and repeating the words back to the teacher.
It’s a challenge that Mr. Roy faces everyday in the school he leads, but he’s witnessing transformation in classrooms after sending his teachers to train at the Teacher’s Garden, a new resource and training center for educators that you helped make possible.
“Teachers here (in West Africa) just have so little in terms of resources to use for teaching, and not only that, but just so little training and education as teachers,” said Resonate Global Mission missionary Erin.
Erin and her husband, James, first met Mr. Roy through their work with Educational Care, a training curriculum for educators that your Resonate missionaries use to equip teachers. Mr. Roy was trained in agriculture but had a heart for Christian education when he was asked to start a Christian school in his community. Like many teachers in West Africa, he had gifts and skills that were important for education, but no formal training. Educational Care helped equip him to lead a school. In fact, he found Educational Care so helpful that he’s even in the process of becoming a trainer so he can train more teachers!
But Christian education is booming in West Africa, and there are a lot of educators being forced to “learn on the job.” Your Resonate missionaries saw a need for continued training. So, with help from you, they established the Teacher’s Garden, a brick-and-mortar building where teachers could continue to collaborate, learn, and find resources for their classrooms.
“It was something God put on our hearts, and it’s been really encouraging to see how he’s been using it,” said Erin.
When the resource center opened its doors in the fall of 2019, Mr. Roy was eager to send his faculty for training. Erin, James, and their team started by training a small group of teachers from Mr. Roy’s school with new strategies on teaching reading. When teachers went back to their classrooms and implemented what they learned, they saw results. Students no longer just memorized sentences; they learned how to sound out letters and words for themselves.
Mr. Roy was so excited about the effectiveness of these new strategies, he came to your Resonate missionaries and their team with an eager request: “Would your team at the Teacher’s Garden train my entire school faculty in the same approach? I don’t want you to stop with this small group of teachers.”
“Our team found it honoring to see that initiative from the school wanting more,” said James. “We received with grace his request.”
Since then, the Teacher’s Garden has trained not just Mr. Roy’s school, but also 50 educators from many schools throughout the community. Mr. Roy created visual aids that the teachers found helpful, and the Teacher’s Garden has been able to provide visual aids for many schools in the community.
Thank you for helping to make this work in Christian education possible! Teachers can make a big difference in the lives of students, and through your support of Resonate, you help train and equip teachers for the classroom—not just to effectively teach students their lessons, but to show students the love of Christ through the way they teach.
“Unless students are taught how to read on their own, how will they be in the best position to read and understand the Word of God?” said James.
It’s a question Christian educators in West Africa are asking—and passionate about solving. Thank you for being part of the solution!
Names have been changed for security.