Originally there were two ex-teachers amongst the Trustees of UKHF – Elaine Baldry and Jean Stern.
Jean, a recently retired teacher, interviewed all the staff in 2010. The school had 9 teachers, including a new Teacher, who was an ex-pupil of Healing Focus. She was taken in as an orphan, progressed through secondary education and then returned to work for the school. A heart warming success story.
Jean was able to get specific information about each of their qualifications, as well as an overview of what sort of support they needed to improve the teaching. Not all the teachers were fully qualified but they all expressed a desire for more information, especially around planning of lessons. There were no teacher’s manuals on lesson-planning. This lead directly to her researching the question of further education for the teachers.
Consequently it was arranged that our visit the following year would be time-tabled to include Elaine and Jean leading a 5-day teacher’s workshop.
Elaine and Jean to do classroom observations
Open discussion with HFOC teachers
- Teaching Methods
- How to use instructional materials
- Professional Ethics
- Teacher’s code of conduct
- Guardians/Teachers Relationship
Day 2 WORKSHOP 1
- Micro-teaching and feedback to include aspects of classroom management and lesson delivery.
- How to conduct lessons
Day 3 WORKSHOP 2
- Schemes of Work
- Lesson Plans
- Records of Classwork
- Assessment Records
- Head of Departments (Responsibilities)
- Micro-teaching and Feedback
DAY 4 WORKSHOP 3
- Environment – How to enhance the classroom (wall charts, show and tell table, displaying children’s works)
- Promoting a Reading Culture: Guided Reading and Storytelling and Reading
- Micro-teaching and Feedback
DAY 5 Discussions
Reflections on the workshop program
Small Group Discussions
The Next Steps
Micro-teaching – Training method involving role-play
UKHF managed to secure a donation of large wall charts, and these, along with the latest donation of library books and textbooks, played a key role in the workshop. Teachers were able to explore and discuss how to use the new materials.
UKHF also provided diaries for each participant and, at the end of the workshop, a certificate of completion.
Owing to the success of the school, we had to face an unforeseen challenge on the 2011 trip. It became apparent that there were far more than 250 children attending. Parents and Guardians had been manoeuvering for places for children who were not entitled to be there because they were not orphaned.
The staff, who have been consistently loyal and hard-working, were further burdened with breaking the news to members of the community they lived in that a lot of the children would have to leave the school.
We knew this was going to be a difficult time for them and, in return, promised to do our best to answer their request for more pay. They earn, on average, 11% less than the equivalent government teacher but are paid on time, which is not always the case in government schools. In December 2014, we were delighted to at last be able to make a significant increase in their wages.