The First Day

Because of past training experiences, where the teachers felt unimportant in the process, we decided to start off slowly to build a trusting relationship and rapport with the teachers. So for the first day, we decided to start off by brushing up on some basic laptops use, but more important to introduce one another. We started by asking the teachers (and students of ESCAF) to pair up with one another and interview their peer and record their answers in Write, and, if they know how, they can import a picture to that same document. We encouraged the teachers and students to think of really creative questions to make everyone laugh.

We started the day at 8am at Nonko. The first group was six teachers. They reall enjoyed the introduction project. All of the pairs were laughing and being very creative with their questions. They wanted to continue working on the introductions for an hour long than I had anticipated–which is great. The teachers came up with fantastic questions and when we shared we laughed and one of the teachers  announced she was pregnant.


We concluded the session by talking about the way we were going to work moving forward. Since the teachers had, prior, to this session not felt like an important part of the process, I wanted to ensure that the teachers understood this required work and dedication. The teachers said that they were ready and even that they were proud to have this training opportunity.

Next we went to ESCAF to work with the students for an hour. We did the same thing with the kids as we did with the teachers at Nonko. When we first asked the students to find a fellow peer that the didn’t know that well, all of the children were hesitant to move from the desks. Which makes sense, because I am sure they were never before allowed so much freedom in the classroom. So, to get the students to start to feel comfortable, we asked all the students to get up and get real close together in the center of the room. I then asked them to act like bumper cars and then find another seat somehwere else in the room. The students liked this. Once the will all partnered-up the began the interview. It took all of the hour session, so only a few students were able to present, and the one’s who did had great questions for each other!

One of our colleagues stayed at ESCAF to continue training with the teachers, while mself and another colleague continued on to Kagugu to work with the teachers. 45 of the 51 teachers showed up. Some of the teachers were new and had no experience with the laptops, so we made sure to suggest that those who don’t know much, work with a peer who does. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t provide any step-by-step guidance to complete this project because we wanted them to see that they could work together, and also to show them that they can figure out solutions on their own.  This also worked well. This time, I had a teacher as a partner. He asked me “would I marry a Rwandese boy?” “would I live in a Rwandese family” and “what do I love most?” Great questions!

Again, we wanted to start with something to build a relationship with the teachers and to get them to feel comfortable using the basic activites. Most of the teachers have experience using these activites so it also allow them to feel that they have a good understanding of the laptop.

Sidenote: the following day our team went to Kagugu to work with kids and we saw, that teachers were actually using the laptops in their class, doing the same activity we had just done with us!

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