Monday, March 3, 2014

In honor of International Women's Day, we introduce...

March 8 is International Women’s Day and as the world celebrates women and girls we are reminded of the amazing women and girls in Liberia. Their remarkable dedication, tenacity, and leadership has been an inspiration to LOEP volunteers. In honor of International Women's Day, LOEP will feature just a few of those amazing LOEP colleagues.

Over the next few weeks, LOEP co-founder, Emmalee Hackshaw will share the stories of the extraordinary Liberian women who have inspired LOEP volunteers since 2008 when plans for the first teacher training team began. Emmalee travelled to Liberia as a trainer with the first LOEP teacher training team and has returned to Liberia with four teacher training teams since 2009.

Muriel Craigwell
I first met Muriel in early 2009 when LOEP traveled to Liberia to deliver the first training workshop at Lott Carey Mission School (LCMS) in Brewerville. Muriel had just graduated from Lott Carey Mission School a few months earlier and was working as an intern in the school office, shadowing and assisting the administrative and faculty team. She was enrolled in a program at Stella Maris Polytechnic in downtown Monrovia to study education. Muriel lives in Brewerville, an outer suburb of Monrovia, with her mother and brother and is now a senior at the Bishop John Collins Teacher College at Stella Maris Polytechnic where she is completing her academic work in education.

In addition to her full-time studies, Muriel continued her association with Lott Carey where she showed great aptitude for teaching. She has progressed from her internship at Lott Carey to become a full-time teacher. Miss Craigwell teaches 3rd grade at Lott Carey, and is a major asset to the elementary team. With her obvious natural gift for teaching and her quick and thorough grasp of modern instructional techniques and methods, Miss Craigwell was identified by the LOEP training team and Lott Carey administration to serve as a LOEP-trained ToT (Trainer-of-Teachers). With her ToT colleagues, Miss Craigwell leads professional development trainings at Lott Carey and will also be conducting LOEP trainings with her colleagues around the country.

I have had the pleasure of visiting Miss Craigwell's classroom and the pure excitement to learn and eagerness to please in the 30 bright and smiling faces of her students is infectious. The warm and safe classroom environment Miss Craigwell has created is remarkable. Her nurturing instincts and love of learning make her a natural fit for the education profession. She is an expert at her craft.

"My favorite part of teaching is doing fun learning activities with my pupils and the love we share as a big happy family. Am always happy knowing that i am inspiring my students positively in every way." - Miss Craigwell

I know that many of us have memories of that special teacher and loving classroom experience we had at some point in our childhood. For myself, that fond memory is of my second grade teacher, Mrs. Hannah. She was pretty, funny, smart, fun, and I loved everything about her and her class. I have no doubt that in 25 years there will be a contingency of Lott Carey alumni who will remember their time in Miss Craigwell's class and think fondly of the time they spent learning with her.

Muriel Craigwell (center) during her senior year at Lott Carey Mission School

Muriel as an intern at a LOEP training in 2009

Miss Craigwell and other members of the elementary team at Lott Carey planning lessons

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