Thursday, April 1, 2010

Teacher Tools

The typical Liberian teacher's toolkit is basically limited to chalk and blackboard. Classroom supplies and instructional materials are in very short supply in Liberia. Teachers have very few posters, books, maps or art materials and no instructional games or AV equipment to enhance their their teaching. Teachers struggle to engage children in learning, mainly through lecture and blackboard notes.

LOEP teacher training introduces some teaching tools but we are always mindful that materials are not readily available in Liberia - either too expensive or simply not available at all. Over the years we have worked with LOEP teachers in discovering ways to use basic supplies that we can provide for them. For example, LOEP teachers now make their own flash cards using index cards and/or construction paper and markers. Here in the U.S. most of us grew up with flash cards (purchased, pre-printed ones)as an instructional tool in the classroom. Now that familiar tool is becoming a regular teaching aid in classrooms where LOEP teachers work. Thanks to the generosity of LOEP supporters who shop back-to-school sales, LOEP includes large quantities of index cards and markers in all school supply shipments to teachers in Liberia. When those simple materials are inexpensively and readily available in Liberia, teachers will know exactly how to make best use and can go beyond chalk and blackboard.

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