The afternoon of the third day at Agano Junior Academy was spent with the teachers as a Professional Development. The Canadian teachers presented an overview of the three big ideas that governed our teaching. Following on from that we talked about what we were trying to achieve in our lessons, using those concepts.Throughout the visit we had asked the Kenyan teachers to remain in the classroom and take notes as they observed us. We did the same. Now was the time to bring our impressions to light.
A simple matrix with Strengths and Weaknesses across the top and B.C. Teachers and Kenyan Teachers down the side gave us a format to work with. We asked the teachers to write down two or three observations in each square. We did the same. We then asked the Kenyan teachers to discuss in pairs and then fours, what they had written and each select a comment to share with the whole group which was then written onto a big matrix on the blackboard. We did the same. We now had something to talk about.
We felt that this is the beginning of a much larger conversation between international colleagues. It will take many more meetings amongst the three of us, back in B.C., to unpack the meaning of this experience and we hope our Kenyan colleagues will do something similar.
We spent the next day in Nairobi at bookstores looking for teaching materials to purchase with money from the generous donors back home. These teaching resources plus more, brought over from Canada, will go to Male Primary School and Agano Junior Academy. In the afternoon we met with a representative from a young Nairobi company that has developed an innovative use of cellphone technology to assist Class 8 students prepare for the state examinations at the end of the eight year Primary School program.