I wanted to let you all know that I will be in Uganda from December 6- December 18. I will not be available to answer any questions during this time.
You may be asking yourself, so why in the world are you going to Africa!? Over the past few months, I have begun writing curriculum for the schools in Uganda and South Sudan.
None of this would even be possible if it were not for Teachers pay Teachers. Because of TpT, I was able to stay home this year and focus on my family. Little did I know at the time that God had bigger plans for me. I never dreamed I would be going to Africa!!
Teachers pay Teachers got the ball rolling. And here is how the rest of events happened that led me to the other side of the world…
Major Events that Have Led to Me Writing Curriculum for Africa:
1. My family moved from WI to AL this summer
2. Within the first month of being in AL our pastor announced to the church that we would be supporting a missionary couple in Uganda. He said that if anyone was an educational author, teacher, or knew publishers to contact the church. I felt like he was talking right to me!
3. I contacted the church and began talking with Lisa, the missionary in Uganda.
4. The mission of her and her husband was to create a curriculum for the children of Uganda and South Sudan.
5. After just a few weeks of communication, Lisa felt strongly that she should come to America and work on beginning to write the curriculum with me.
6. Lisa arrived in the United States at the beginning of October.
7. We have been working together almost daily since then. So far, we have created a framework for the curriculum and have written some early year lessons.
8. We began discussing the importance of training the teachers on the new curriculum. We knew that if the teachers were not on board, the education would never reach the millions of children we are trying to teach.
9. So, we decided I would travel to Uganda and host a week-long training session for teachers on the new curriculum. Most teachers in Uganda have the equivalent cognitive levels of a freshman in high school. So, the curriculum needs to be very scripted. They do not know how to comprehend text or think critically. These are of course major skills that will be included in the curriculum. So, in order for teachers to be able to teach reading comprehension and critical thinking, they need to learn it themselves.
10. The training will take place the week of December 6-13, with approximately 60 teachers present and some government officials.
The Major Challenges With Writing Curriculum for Uganda and South Sudan:
1. It needs to be bilingual. English is the national language in both South Sudan and Uganda. But, in both countries there are over 50 different mother tongue languages spoken at home. So, kids come to school with no English.
2. It needs to be taught with little to no resources. In most schools, the only available resources are pencils
and thin paper. That's it. No crayons, markers, posters, math manipulatives, scissors, glue, etc, etc, etc. There is no ability to make copies or purchase workbooks.
3. Teachers with a 9th grade educational level need to be able to understand and effectively teach the lessons.
4. All the curriculum needs to maintain and African perspective. Our goal is not to ‘Americanize' the next generation of Ugandan children. We want to build a generation of critical thinkers, who value the written word, are able to reason, and can develop morals and beliefs that will positively affect every aspect of their lives.
If you would like to know more about the work we are doing, you can view this informational video featuring my friend Lisa and her school in Uganda.
Again, thank you all for your patience while I am out of the country. I will be sure to update you with pictures, video, and all the amazing adventures when I return to the United States.
Best wishes to you all!