News from Rumbek

Enhancing Teachers’ Cohesion in Loreto Primary

Teaching is a beautiful job that helps teachers grow and develop. Teachers help students grow and develop as well so as to brighten their future, because they are entrusted in the communal task of bringing up children. Success is guaranteed for teachers who embrace teamwork, because unity is strength and a strong team offers a bigger resistance to challenges.

Staffs’ acquaintance with team building skills is thus necessary for the attaining of success, because a school’s teaching force is one of its important assets. Teamwork also creates a community school climate that reproduces warm and intimate atmosphere of family life and promotes a community of trust. To attain these aspects, primary teachers participated in a team building workshop on 9th November 2019.

The workshop was facilitated by Fr. Ayaga James, the principal of Mazzolari teachers’ college in Cue-bet and two Loreto secondary teachers, Mrs Njuguna and Sr. Baiada Lyngkhoi of India.

In his opening remarks, Fr. Ayaga explained that team work makes dream work possible. He advised that a team that walks together has to agree on pace, skills of improvement and problem solving among other factors. In this session he taught participants that moving solely would help one move fast but moving with another person helps us move further. In addition, he brought out the aspect of adopting the language of sports in learning, as the two require cooperation, endurance, persistence, goal setting and are rewarding.

Mr Museveni spoke of the session, “This session has helped us realize we should be a team who can say yes we can. We will develop spirit of good team and aim higher with motivation. These simple games can be creatively incorporated in our lessons to help students reenergize like the singing game called balancing the ball.”

The facilitator encouraged teachers to conduct meetings, sports, knowledge sharing and problem solving sessions, which are some key factors that inspire teamwork. These avenues boost teachers’ enthusiasm to learn and in return inspire learners to learn with ease. He encouraged teachers to be participators and be the type of people who make things happen and discouraged dormancy. Fr Ayaga winded up his session by reminding teachers to wisely utilize time which is a scarce resource.

Sr Baiada facilitated a session that helped teachers incorporate instructions, creativity and communication skills. Participants carried out activities involving songs and arranging themselves in alphabetical order, helping them to see how fast they can communicate and understand each other.

In four groups, teachers expressed written instructions using nonverbal cues. In the same groups, they played a game of keeping a balloon in air and filling bottles.

The groups also discussed what strategies would have been used to fill their bottles faster, easier and more efficiently. One of the players quoting that “in every game there is power”. These exercises aimed at helping teachers understand that they should handle learns gently and patiently when they give them instructions.

The last facilitator used a bottle lifting exercise to explain teachers’ roles in supporting learners, emphasizing that everyone’s effort is crucial. According to Mrs Njuguna, “The strings are our roles and children are a delicate fruit placed on the bottle. The bottle represents the school as a place where children come to seek our support and care.” In the bottle lifting task, teachers successfully lifted the bottle without letting the apple fall. All these tasks were in harmony that team work is a key success factor.

On behalf of her colleagues, one of the teachers thanked the Loreto administration for giving them an opportunity to learn new aspects, stating that it is not common in many schools. Ms Rita urged teachers to never give up, maintaining that the unique aspect each teacher holds brings out their purpose and spirit in this school.

The Loreto teacher trainer concluded the session by asking teachers to mention an important word they learnt in the session, after which they happily dispersed.

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