Learning Through Engagement

By Julia Rose Umbay

Conducting a teacher training at Umapad Elementary School was such a heart-pounding experience. I asked myself if I was really ready to present myself in front of the teachers who had far more experience than I did. But even though what we were about to teach them might be different from what they were used to, I knew that the techniques would help kids becoming better and more engaged learners.

Genevieve Bisson, our Country Director, led the training, while Teacher Mel and I helped facilitate the brain break activities that we prepared. I could see that the teachers were ready and very eager for the training. When the time came to present the activities, I could feel my heart beating fast. But I tried hard to relax because I really wanted to be an effective facilitator. I wanted the teachers to learn how to engage their students.

During the training, I noticed that the teachers listened attentively to the alternative ways on how to meet the needs and interests of their students.

The teachers were fully engaged when it was time to try out the games and activities. The room was filled with laughter and screams of excitement. It was like they were kids again – playing and having lots of fun! The teachers were experiencing for themselves how fun learning can be when activities cater to kids with different learning styles.

When I learned of the teachers’ comments and feedback, I was surprised and happy to know that they wanted another training with us. They had a great time and, with smiles on their faces, thanked us for sharing techniques on how to engage kids. They hoped to see us again in the future.

On our way back to the Pandoo Community Club, I thought about what a great experience it was for me to facilitate a training for teachers who were very willing to learn. I also realized how privileged I was to be in that teacher training and learn more about being an effective teacher.

I am looking forward to doing more teacher trainings with other schools. I wish to inspire more teachers to be resourceful and creative with their teaching techniques and materials. I hope that the lessons we imparted during our training will help teachers keep the passion alive for educating and engaging young minds.