Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Building Teacher Capacity in Zambia

Many of you know my love and commitment to building teacher capacity for the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) community schools’ teachers in Zambia.  I have been working with the CCAP since 2011 (along with Bob and some other teacher friends) providing training, coaching, and consulting.  I have often expressed my desire to go for an extended amount of time and make a significant difference in the teaching practices of the CCAP teachers and ultimately for the neediest children the CCAP serves. Happily, that opportunity is now!  

How is this possible? 

  • After many conversations with family and friends, and prayerful consideration I am taking the year off from school to work on this project knowing that this might be the best time in my life to do so.
  • The CCAP has accepted my proposal to spend up to 6 weeks at a time in the fall, winter, and spring during the next 9 months consulting, coaching, training, and building partnerships for the community school teachers and education leaders of the CCAP.  I am writing a manual that teachers can use in helping them plan and execute lessons, reflect on their practice, and develop professional learning communities as a way to build their teaching capacity.
  • African Leadership Partners, a non-denominational Christian non-profit organization, has agreed to facilitate the collection and distribution of funds so donors can receive tax-deductible receipts. I will not receive any salary as I will be donating all of my time, but receiving donations for travel and some expenses.
  • I also plan to visit African Leadership Partners' New Life Homes and School in Swaziland and provide consulting as needed.

When are the trips?

  • The fall trip is October 1 - November 12.
  • The actual dates of the second and third trips are not yet scheduled.  
  • A winter trip will take place in January/February or February/March depending on weather. 
  • A spring trip will take place during April and May.

What will I be doing?

The fall trip

  • Begin in Swaziland and visit the New Life Homes Primary School from October 1 - 8.
  • Arrive in Lusaka October 8 and remain in Zambia until November 12.
  • Visit classrooms in Lusaka, Eastern, Copperbelt and Southern Provinces where I will observe teachers, provide feedback, model lessons, and provide training as needed.
  • Check in on the progress of the Strengthening Children and Caring for Hurt Children trauma and grief programs.
  • Work with the CCAP leaders to continue building partnerships with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and NGOs that can assist the CCAP build teacher capacity and improve community schools.
  • Collect Zambian curriculum to be used in writing model lessons.
  • Based on the work in October and November the CCAP Synod and I will decide when I should return for subsequent trips for approximately 4 – 6 weeks in February- March and again in April – May 2016.  
  • While home in Doha I will write a manual for teachers to reinforce the training and coaching I provide.

The winter trip

  • Continue working with teachers in the CCAP schools using the lessons from the manual. Model, coach, train, record lessons and provide feedback as needed to teachers. Focus on teaching quality multi-grade lessons.
  • Continue to build partnerships with MOE, NGOs and the CCAP education leaders.
  • Consult with education leaders and Strengthening Children coordinator as needed.

The spring trip

  • Using the manual as a guide, train teachers individually and in school or grade level groups to develop their reflective practices to improve lesson planning, assessment, and instruction. 
  • Provide consultation, and feedback as requested.

Other Initiatives

  • Find ways to provide access to books (either hard copies or electronic) for students and teachers.
  • Develop additional partnerships with the Ministry of Education, and various NGOs to support the community schools.
  • Find sustainable funding sources to pay and retain teachers.

I would love for you to come along side me on this journey; supporting me in whatever way you wish

  • Join my Facebook group page - (Not yet set up)
  • Follow me on this blog   
  • Contribute financially by donating to Machelle Beilke - Zambia Education Project through the "US Donation" button (See Donate link)  
  • View the budget for this project (See link)
  • Participate in one of the "other initiatives" above
  • Contact me through email –
  • Keep me and this project in your thoughts and prayers